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An interactive exploration of the Salem witchcraft outbreak of 1692, the Salem Witchcraft Site provides data about certain aspects of the outbreak and demonstrates how this data can be used to further our understanding of events. The website takes a "learn by doing," or "inquiry" approach to learning. It formulates questions...
An interactive exploration of the Salem witchcraft outbreak of 1692, the Salem Witchcraft Site provides data about certain aspects of the outbreak and demonstrates how this data can be used to further our understanding of events. The website takes a "learn by doing," or "inquiry" approach to learning. It formulates questions about Salem witchcraft, explores solutions, and encourages users to pursue further understanding on their own.
In emphasizing a quantitative approach to Salem, the site provides a number of data sets containing information about various aspects of the Salem outbreak, such as the month of the year when "witches" were accused and the communities in which they lived. Instructions are provided to analyze the data so that users can determine for themselves connections not readily apparent in traditional historical sources and books. The statistical analysis includes histograms, scatter plots, pie charts, means, and medians. Users need not perform statistical analyses but can simply follow the discussion.
Used selectively or in its entirety, the site is intended for a wide audience: historians, whether as researchers or teachers; students of history and of the Salem witchcraft episode, whether in school or not; and non-historians, such as those who teach or are learning basic statistics or social science methodology.