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Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past


reviewed by John Patrick — 2002

coverTitle: Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past
Author(s): Samuel S. Wineburg
Publisher: Temple University Press, Philadelphia
ISBN: 1566398568, Pages: 272, Year: 2001
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Sam Wineburg, an educational psychologist with a deep interest in the teaching and learning of history, is a professor of cognitive studies and an adjunct professor of history at the University of Washington in Seattle. During the past ten years he has become a prominent researcher of historical cognition; and his innovative empirical studies have yielded valuable findings and insights with implications for history education. Wineburg’s research methods have included carefully constructed interviews, interactions, and observations involving students, secondary school teachers, and university-based historians. Participants in Wineburg’s inquiries have carried out such tasks as primary document analysis, history textbook assessments, lesson plan construction and justification, and classroom instruction. For example, he has asked participants to interpret and discuss what meaning they derive from such primary documents as conflicting accounts of the 1775 Battle of Lexington and excerpts from the records of Abraham Lincoln’s famous debates with Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. He also has engaged respondents in reading and rating the validity or trustworthiness of high school history textbook... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 5, 2002, p. 939-942
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10808, Date Accessed: 9/20/2017 3:28:00 AM

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About the Author
  • John Patrick
    Indiana University, Bloomington
    E-mail Author
    John J. Patrick is a Professor in the Indiana University School of Education, where he also is Director of the Social Studies Development Center and Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education. His recent publications include The Oxford Guide to the Supreme Court of the United States (2001), The Oxford Guide to the United States Government (2001), Constitutional Debates on Freedom of Religion (1999), and "Multicultural Education and the Civic Mission of Schools," in Research Review for School Leaders (2000).
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