Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (Critical Perspectives on the Past)
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Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (Critical Perspectives on the Past)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts Since ancient times, the pundits have lamented young people's lack of historical knowledge and warned that ignorance of the past surely condemns humanity to repeating its mistakes. This book demolishes the conventional notion that there is one true history and one best way to teach it. Full description
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 11th 2001 by Temple University Press (first published March 1st 2001)
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Basic critism of our educational system. However, the author offers no suggestion to an alternative method.
One of the critiques I have read about this book is that it does not provide a "how to" of historical thinking. I'm not sure why this is a critique of the book, because Wineburg doesn't put forth that he will be trying to give teachers tools on how to teach historical thinking. This book is an exploration of what historical thinking is. Other scholars have engaged this material to develop tools for historical thinking pedagogy.

If you really want to learn how to teach historical thinking, go to t...more
This book offered insight into how we might better learn and understand history. It was very interesting to consider that it is through understanding the dialogue in context of the epoch that we can more truly understand the actors and the actions of those making history.

Some chapters in the book went by easily, where others were tedious and laborious. I especially didn't like Chapter 8 because it did not lead do meaningful conclusions nor next steps. It was a circle, and through the chapter you...more
Rebecca Radnor
Feb 20, 2011 Rebecca Radnor rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rebecca by: Assigned for a class
Read for class: Actually a fairly decent book. It's the collected papers of a cognitive scientist who specializes in how we learn and teach history. He offers a variety of studies that look at generational differences in how history is understood, and taught. He investigates what does it mean to think historically (rather than suffering from present-ism, or ascribing to others motives and priorities that have more to do with modern sensibilities than seeing the person as a product of their time...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I was poking at my Amazon wishlist, and Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts came up as a "you might also be interested in this" recommendation. I couldn't resist a title like that.

It was a surprisingly fast read. If you've ever thought about teaching history, and/or pondered what the best way to do it is, or wondered why or if it's important, then you might enjoy this book. It's a little heavy on the non-concrete philosophical musings - judging by how many times the author uses the word...more
This is primarily a collection of essays and articles reformatted as chapters that Wineburg has published elsewhere. In each, Wineburg poses many important questions regarding how history is taught and learned, and why, but does not necessarily come to any major conclusions. A thought provoking read, certainly, but one that may frustrate someone looking for more practical advice or a more clearly established theoretical framework for history pedagogy. Much of the research also stems from the 198...more
I'm glad I read this book, but I'm not sure what to do with it. Wineburg discusses various ways that American primary school students lack the tools for robust "historical thinking." He tentatively identifies various causes for the deficiency. But I'm not sure that the book will actually help me with my college teaching responsibilities. If my students come to university without the skills they need to read primary sources or criticize secondary sources, what strategies might I adopt to remedy t...more
Alli Poirot
this book was referenced and recommended at a teaching conference i attended at brown this past spring. the session it was mentioned it was excellent; i was very impressed by the professor and his ideas about teaching history; the book says smart things in betweeen its documentation of academic research. since finishing college it's hard for me to work up excitement or energy to read something with 4 pages of footnotes for every chapter...

but the ideas are good.
anis Ahmad
bagus, mengajarkan kita tentang bagaimana kita menata masa depan dengan memetakan masa lalu, sehingga kita diajak untuk berpikir secara lebih arif, akan tetapi karena backgroun dalam penulisan itu adalah amerika maka suli kiranya untuk dipahami oleh pembaca dari indonesia, tapi terlepas dari semuanya, yang jelas buku ini menawarkan cara berpikir yang baru tentang sejarah
thanx sam
Wineberg is lively. But you can tell he has never had to teach using state mandated standards. Anyone can make Rosa Parks or the Civil War interesting...we have primary sources that our kids can access, including photographs. It's exponentially more difficult to make the nullification crisis palatable to my 13 year olds.

It was a good textbook for my clinical history class. I'm not sure that I would have ever thought to read it, without being induced to do so in a classroom setting. But having done so, I would recommend it to any all secondary and college history teachers.
This book was pretty good. I had to read it for a class and I preferred this one to the other, so that's something.
Going back to this one as I am thinking about the next year teaching history. A thorough discussion of what it means to /do/ history, rather than studying it--without dimissing the importance of orienting yourself in historical space.
A fresh look at historical thinking. The author links historical thinking to psychological developing and formation. Those ties really connected with me. A good read for anyone teaching history or social studies.
Fantastic book! Should be a required read for all history teachers: past, present, and future. Wineburg's comparison between AP history students and historians, describing how each read, question and understand history.
This should be a must read for anyone who wants to or already does teach History or Social Studies. I've never read a better, more helpful book on the act of teaching.
Adam Gutschenritter
It was insightful into his mindset as he made Reading Like a Historian. It also gave me a bunch to think about as I seek to improve my own teaching
Awesome collection of essays. History teachers, read and be inspired!
great for anyone interested in education, psychology, collective memory
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