Historical Perspective

posted Oct 21, 2018, 7:22 AM by Jason Brunken
When learning about conflict in history, perspective is very important. People are complicated, and in history, people rarely fit nicely in to Good Guy and Bad Guy roles. Real life is far more confusing and people are much more complex than that. Students often forget that history is made by the billions of little choices made by the billions of people who lived in the past. We are so used to focusing on "Great Men" in our history when it is in fact the masses that turn history. In those masses are people just like us, so why do you not read history in way we can empathize those who lived in that moment in time? Getting kids to think about historical events this way is a challenge and we began that task in this unit with a lesson on historical perspective. Historical perspective is the point of view you take when looking at a historical event. For example, do you read about the the American Colonies breaking away from the British Empire as a war for independence, a revolution against an empire, or an uprising by rich landowners who didn't want to pay their taxes. How your read and see an event greatly affects how you understand it.

I delivered a lesson in class teaching these principles during this unit. I used the slideshow below to help. I also tasked the students with reading about a great figure in South African history, Nelson Mandela, and try to compare and contrast how he is seen from different perspectives in a short activity below. We will continue with perspective a great deal in our next unit.



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