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1. Philosophical transactions [1666 - 1886] Online

Book
177 v. : ill. ; 23-30 cm.
SAL3 (off-campus storage), Special Collections

2. Seeing Thinking on the Web [2008] Online

Collection
Graduate School of Education Open Archive
Sophisticated readers actively "source" when they read everyday texts. They notice whether a new story appeared in the Washington Post or Washington Times, or whether an op-ed comes from the pen of Bill O'Reilly or Bill Maher. Sourcing is key to understanding how knowledge is made in many disciplines but it is especially important in history. Historians continually and consistently source the traces of the past to construct legitimate interpretations of the material they study. On the other hand, students in our history courses rarely see "sourcing" or other discipline-specific reading strategies as part of learning and understanding history. Acts of close reading and textual analysis, which come routinely to historians, remain a foreign and obscure language to many of our students. As Gerald Graff notes in Clueless in Academe, college students often view typical academic practices as "bizarre, counterintuitive or downright nonsensical." Graff argues that academics obscure their practices from students by using a variety of methods, including "the problem problem": finding problems where none are generally thought to exist. He explains: The academic faith in the singular virtue of finding problems in subjects ... generally thought to be unproblematic seems especially bizarre and forced when the problems have to do with the meanings of texts. The idea that, below their apparent surface, texts harbor deep meanings that cry out for interpretation, analysis, and debate is one of those assumptions that seems so normal once we are socialized into academia that we forget how counterintuitive it can be. Professional historians find problems as a matter of course, but it is precisely this routine nature that masks "problem finding" in many classrooms. Few historians see it as part of their job description to make their reading processes explicit or visible to students. At the high school level, students may only read the textbook and too often their main task becomes scanning that book for information and repeating it back on tests. Concerns about coverage in the high school classroom can make close reading seem like an expendable luxury teachers can ill afford. Graff's central argument holds true for history education writ large. Analyzing and questioning historical texts seems mysterious and even unnecessary in many history classrooms, even though practicing historians see it at the heart of their daily practice. Fitting the teaching of textual analysis into the history survey is not without its challenges. The need to cover content and transverse the historical terrain often drives teachers' planning decisions, and the large lecture course seems to allow scant opportunity to model and teach historical reading and thinking. Some have suggested that technology may ameliorate this problem. For the first time in history, the novice has instant access to the archive -- in the past decade alone millions of documents have been digitized and made readily available to teachers and students alike. Whereas teachers once bemoaned the difficulty of tracking down historical sources, such complaints can no longer be defended. We are literally awash in a digital deluge. What we lack, however, are the tools that would allow us to address Graff's concern: how do we use new digital technologies not only to make sources more available, but also to cultivate skills that teach students to read and think about these sources in meaningful ways?
Book
v. ill., plates (part col.) photos., ports., maps, facsims., tables, diagrs. 23-25 cm.
Collection
Stephen J. Gould Rare Books Collection
Green Library, Earth Sciences Library (Branner), SAL1&2 (on-campus shelving), SAL3 (off-campus storage), Special Collections

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