History K.I - BrockIBHistory

How is TOK taught in
IB History?
Shannon Leggett
History Paper 2 & 3 examiner
International School of Prague
sleggett@isp.cz, slegg48@yahoo.ca
Shannon Leggett 2008
• Examine the TOK
syllabus + History
• Choose some of the
questions and
examine them with
concrete, applicable
(The power point’s info starts on
pgs 175 of your workbook &
I have added material…)
Shannon Leggett 2008
TOK syllabus & History:
4 strands, 19 questions
I. Nature of History (5 questions)
II. Methods of Gaining Knowledge (7)
III. History and Knowledge Claims (4)
IV. History and Values (3)
I will examine 12 of them.
Shannon Leggett 2008
1. Nature of History (I)
•“What is History? Is it a study
of the past or the study of
records of the past? “
EH Carr
•EH Carr debate only a start…how do
each of us broach this topic?
•My overview of the topic has changed
(ie.in package from myself &
Timothy Kane from the OCC)…
•General Knowledge quiz!
*Reinterpreting assumptions using data
Shannon Leggett 2008
2. Nature of History (I)
“What is the significance of Carlyle’s
view that ‘The history of the world is
but the biography of great men?’”
Time magazine’s recent response in
their “Person of the Year” issue
“Great man” Socratic seminars:
Napoleon, Alexander II, Lenin,
Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Hitler
•Why not Hitler as “Man of the 20th
Shannon Leggett 2008
3. Nature of History (I)
“Who controls the past controls the
future. Who controls the present controls
the past. “ George Orwell
“Corrupting the minds of a generation…” UBC B.Ed
•Exercise: William Jawitz, Understanding Mass Media
& Stroodle forums
•The role of a press secretary/govt decisionmaking ie.
US--Season 5 episode “Access” (PBS Frontline
mock doc) on The West Wing
•Movies & media: The Insider (+interview LB)
Control Room, Good Night & Good Luck, Wag the
IHT 2.4.07 Japan rewrites textbooks on Battle of
"The future is an apathetic void of no interest to
anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate
us, provoke us and insult us, tempt us to destroy
or repaint it. The only reason people want to be
masters of the future is to change the past.”
Milan Kundera
Shannon Leggett 2008
4. Methods of Gaining Knowledge (II)
•“Can one talk meaningfully of an historical
fact? How far can we speak with
certainty about anything in the past?”
•Witness to the event: “The Limitations of
Memory” & reenact an event/notes
•The Rashomon
•Death and casualty statistics ie. WWII Serbia
Jasenovac massacre in Croatia (US
Holocaust museum
http://www.jasenovac.org/) vs parallel site
in Bosnia Donja Gradina (Republika
Srbska/Bosnia) http://www.jasenovacinfo.com/cd/gradina/index_en.html
•History Lessons-How History Textbooks from
around the world portray US History by
Dana Lindaman and Kyle Ward.
Shannon Leggett 2008
5. Methods of Gaining Knowledge (II)
“In what way has technology affected the study of
•MANY changes ie. Forensics/CSI…
•Bloggers as 21st century pamphleteers:
•CBC doc 9/11 24 hrs media around the world: “As the Towers Fell”
• A History of the Evolution of the Internet:
•Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, MySpace/Facebook revolutions
http://masterplanthemovie.com (3:14 min video): Google’s aims (?)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6423659.stm Fake prof Wikipedia
10 questions for the head of Wikipedia
•”Web needs to find a way to separate fact from rumor”
ISP “Stroodle” Moodle account http://moodle.org/
Shannon Leggett 2008
6. Methods of Gaining Knowledge (II)
“Does the historian record history,
or create it? Can the historian be
free of bias in the selection and
interpretation of material?…”
• Map projections:
Mercator vs Peters
Clips on this from The West Wing:
TOK class map examination
Shannon Leggett 2008
7. Methods of Gaining Knowledge (II)
“How does the context within which
historians live affect historical
AJP Taylor. A famous British historian, some of his
writings on various topics are Bismarck, The Course
of German History, The Origins of WWII, The
Warlords. One of his online biographies can be
found at:
Lenin: Richard Pipes (Harvard) 3 Whys of History vs.
Sydney Hook (NYU) “Could the October Revolution
have occurred without Lenin?” -One of Pipes’
-One of Hook’s biographies:
•Mao: Jung Chang vs most other Mao Sinologists
(above right)
Shannon Leggett 2008
8. History and Knowledge Claims (III)
• “What knowledge of history might be gained by
focusing attention on each of the following: historian,
historical documents & written history, the readership,
and the social/cultural/historical context?”
• Annotated Bibliographies for every assignment
• Primary & Secondary source analysis document
• Causality in History discussions! “Inevitability”
discussion ie. See French Revolution debate
Shannon Leggett 2008
9. History and Values (IV)
• “About whom is history written? Are the lives of some groups of
people more historically significant than the lives of others?…”
Brecht’s play Fear & Misery in the 3rd Reich; Gogol’s The Overcoat
Zinn’s People’s History of the US + Zinn On War + “You Can’t Be
Neutral on a Moving Train” doc
“Herstory” http://library2.usask.ca/herstory/herstory.html
Female historians in every unit (or try) ie. Margaret MacMillan 1919
Shannon Leggett 2008
10. History and Values (IV)
• “Are value judgments a fault in the writing of history?
Should value-laden terms, such as hero or freedom,
always be avoided or does exclusion of value
judgments deprive history of meaning?”
• “Terrorist” vs. “Militant” vs. “Freedom fighter”
WWII D Day: Saving Private Ryan (Stephen Ambrose) vs. Zinn On War
• Letters from Iwo Jima vs. Flags of Our Fathers
Shannon Leggett 2008
11. History and Values (IV)
•“To what extent can distinctions be
made between factual report,
biased interpretation and calculated
distortion? Can history be used for
propaganda? If so, how?”
Analyze the differences between the perspectives of
the turn of the century editor of the New York
Times, Adolph S. Ochs (“The purpose of a
newspaper is to objectively report, not inflame”)
vs. Joseph Pulitzer (“The purpose of a
newspaper is to expose wrongdoing in high
places/social reform”) vs. a key publisher of the
day, William Randolph Hearst, found in Charles
G. Ungerleider and Ernest Krieger’s Television
and Society and “Who won the Great Press War
of 1897?” http://www.slate.com/id/2148494/
“smart mob” of donors pay trained journalists to report
stories outside of the mainstream
•Soviet Propaganda Poster in-class tour
Shannon Leggett 2008
12. History and Knowledge Claims (III)
•“Can history provide a guide to
understanding contemporary
affairs…a guide to the
I try to immerse every unit
with these kinds of links…
•“If truth is difficult to prove in
history, does it follow that all
versions are equally
Discussion…refreshment time?
Shannon Leggett 2008
Key Additional Resources
• •Alchin, Nick, Theory of Knowledge
• http://aldaily.com/ Arts & Letters Daily
• •Carne, Mark C. ed., Past Imperfect: History
According to the Movies
• •O’Brien, Tim, The Things They Carried
• •Opposing Viewpoints website:
• http://find.galegroup.com/ovrc/start.do?&&prodId=OV
• •Modern History Sourcebook:
• •Woolman, Frank, For Teachers: TOK
Shannon Leggett 2008