A Museum Veteran Writes About Historical Thinking at Historical Sites

My friend Tim Grove spent the first part of his career working for the Smithsonian.  He recently left his post at the Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and started a history consulting business.  This will also give him more time to write. You may also remember Tim from Episode 5 of The Way of … Continue reading A Museum Veteran Writes About Historical Thinking at Historical Sites

When it Comes to Measuring Historical Thinking, the “Nation’s Report Card” is “Fool’s Gold”

First, here is some background on the National Assessment of Educational Progress report.  It is often described as “the nation’s report card.” And here is a taste of critique of the NAEP by Sam Wineburg, Mark Smith, and Joel Breakstone: Students have never fared well on NAEP’s tests in these subjects. The first history test … Continue reading When it Comes to Measuring Historical Thinking, the “Nation’s Report Card” is “Fool’s Gold”

Barack Obama Gave Donald Trump a Lesson in Historical Thinking

In case you have not seen this yet, the letter that Barack Obama left for Donald Trump has been released.  Here it is: Dear Mr. President – Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your … Continue reading Barack Obama Gave Donald Trump a Lesson in Historical Thinking

This Irresponsible Historical Thinking Has to Stop!

Read Jennifer Kerns‘s recent piece on politics and Charlottesville at The Washington Examiner.  Kerns is a GOP communications strategist who has worked for the California Republican Party and Fox News. Here is a taste: In the aftermath of Charlottesville, an awful lot of awful things have been said about Republicans and race relations. However, the Left’s … Continue reading This Irresponsible Historical Thinking Has to Stop!

The Trump White House Needs Another Lesson in Historical Thinking

Stephen Miller, a senior aide of Donald Trump, is now telling reporters what is “ahistorical” and what is not. In case you did not hear, today Trump and two United States Senators rolled out the “RAISE Act.”  In a nutshell, this law will limit future legal immigration to “highly skilled” workers and those who already speak English. … Continue reading The Trump White House Needs Another Lesson in Historical Thinking

Historical Thinking at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama

Yesterday I was in Montgomery, Alabama as part of the Returning to the Roots of Civil Rights bus tour.  We spent a couple of hours at the headquarters of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an organization “committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to … Continue reading Historical Thinking at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama

Historical Thinking and Moral Reflection

Should historians ask whether something in the past was good?  Bad?  Here are five suggestions: 1. The historian’s primary responsibility is explanation and understanding, not moral criticism.  Historians can engage in moral criticism, but they should do so only after they have fully grasped what happened in the past and why it happened in the way it did. … Continue reading Historical Thinking and Moral Reflection

Why Historical Thinking is Essential in the #AgeofTrump

This morning two commentators were on CNN talking about how a gunman, claiming he was investigating a fake news story about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, fired shots in a Washington D.C. pizzeria. Yes, you read that correctly, a guy acted on a fake news story and could have killed someone.  Perhaps he was mentally unstable. … Continue reading Why Historical Thinking is Essential in the #AgeofTrump

The 5 C’s of Historical Thinking Tattoo

I did not attend the Messiah College History Department homecoming event today (I am on sabbatical), but one of my former students showed me his new tattoo via Twitter. 🙂 @JohnFea1 sorry it is faded from frequent reference. pic.twitter.com/Vv51yMeyPa — Phillip Strunk (@PhilStrunk) October 17, 2015 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Messiah College students take the 5 C’s of … Continue reading The 5 C’s of Historical Thinking Tattoo

Historical Thinking in the World of Business

Chris McNickle is a historian and the former global head of institutional business for Fidelity Worldwide Investment.  In a wonderful essay in Perspectives on History, McNickle discusses how historical thinking is a valuable asset for those in the business world.  Here is a taste of “A Historian in the World of Investments How Historical Thinking … Continue reading Historical Thinking in the World of Business

When School Districts Do Not Understand Historical Thinking

An Albany, New York teacher was placed on leave and will face disciplinary action and possible termination because she/he asked students to try to understand the mentality of the Nazis during the Holocaust.  Here was the writing assignment that the teacher gave to his/her high school English students: For the following assignment, you need to … Continue reading When School Districts Do Not Understand Historical Thinking