historical thinking is ALSO critical thinking? nice!

hallo fellow studes (students)!

so after theresa’s class(es) on historical ways of thinking, i started thinking (haha) about how the combination of all of these different perspectives is, essentially, a tailored critical thinking framework. in review, here are the six historical ways of thinking:

  • historical significance
  • evidence and interpretation
  • continuity and changes
  • cause and consequence
  • historical and cultural perspective
  • ethical judgement

and, to refresh your memory, here are the seven core critical thinking concepts:

  1. analyzing
  2. applying standards
  3. discriminating
  4.  information seeking
  5. logical reasoning
  6.  predicting
  7. transforming knowledge

now, because we were all in class and we definitely took very thorough notes (pssst, theresa has a powerpoint about all the historical ways of thinking on d2l) i’m not going to re-explain the specificities of each historical way of thinking. instead, i’m going to copy and paste the notes from the last post and clearly insert where these thinking concepts fit in!:

  1. analyzing (historical thinking)
    – breaking down ideas, events, or concepts to discover their significance, function and relationships.
  2. applying standards (historical and cultural perspective)
    – judging according to established or agreed upon personal, professional, or social rules and criteria.
  3. discriminating (historical significance, again)
    – comparing and contrasting ideas, events, and concepts, and distinguishing significance or purpose
  4.  information seeking (evidence and interpretation)
    – finding evidence, facts, or knowledge by seeking out relevant and appropriate sources and gathering various types of information (objective, subjective, historical, and current) from multiple reliable sources.
  5. logical reasoning (ethical judgement)
    – inferencing or drawing conclusions that are supported and justified by relevant and appropriate evidence
  6.  predicting (cause and consequence)
    – considering an event, concept, or idea and its potential impact and consequences
  7. transforming knowledge (continuity and changes) 
    – altering or reinventing the circumstance, significance, details, or function of specific concepts, events, and knowledge and applying these alterations in various contexts to assess the changed outcome

because each HWOT (why didn’t i abbreviate this sooner??) approach is unique in what is prioritized, individually they are only as well-rounded as the ground they can cover with their magnified lenses. because each perspective has a unique and narrow scope, a HWOT approach grounded in critical thinking skills would be incorporating all of these to create a lens that takes into account all aspects of a situation or event in order to analyze it effectively and fairly.

when we think (how many times can i use “think” in one blog post????? let’s count!) about historical thinking we can tend to fixate on the historical component; analyzing events from the past that we recognize (or don’t) for their consequences, lasting impacts, evidence,  perspectives, and so forth. however, these ways of thinking are imperative to understanding ourselves in a present (and future!) context as well.

i found a really neat pdf of a textbook about critical thinking as the “heart” of historical thinking. this was rad to find because not only did it mean that there is a clear connection between these two strains, but also, it proves that critical thinking should always be a foundational piece of our pedagogy. they also supplied me with yet another list to share with y’all. so here are there eight basic elements of thought:

  • point of view
  • purpose
  • implications and consequences
  • assumptions
  • concepts
  • interpretation and inference
  • information
  • question an issue

are we seeing the pattern??? if not, i made a quick list that illustrates what i’m trying to say here:

  • THEY!
  • ARE!
  • ALL!
  • THE!
  • SAME!
  • IDEAS!
  • TIES
  • ANY
  • OF
  • CAN BE
  • IN ANY

so…long story short? historical thinking is critical thinking in disguise, a contextual cloak, if you will. if we approach multiple subjects, topics, events, etcetera with these ways of thinking, think (25 times, apparently) of all the deep and interesting inquiry opportunities this would offer!! i’m not gonna give you a concrete example (at least not right now), that’s a fun exercise for you to do with all these nEw and ExCiTiNg discoveries!

until next time,


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