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Peer Review

Historical Thinking Matters

by Center for History and New Media


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 31, 2014 by History Editorial Board
Overview: This site explores four key topics in US history teaching students how to critically interact with conflicting primary source material in order to construct a contextualized historical narrative. The site includes resources for both students and teachers The four topics are: the Spanish American war, Scopes Trial, the development of Social Security, and the life of Rosa Parks.
Type of Material: Reference material
Recommended Uses: • In class discussion • Individual homework assignments • Small group discussion • Lecture support for teaching
Technical Requirements: Flash and HTML Reviewed on Chrome
Identify Major Learning Goals: • Students will begin to read documents historically, using strategies of contextualization, careful reading, and corroboration. • Students will expand critical thinking skills. • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the connections, causal and otherwise, between particular historical events, and larger social, economic, and political trends and developments.
Target Student Population: • AP High School History • College Lower Division • College Upper Division • General Education (Freshman Seminar)
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Well developed curriculum • Excellent video support • Excellent source material • Excellent assignments
Concerns: • The curriculum requires support from an outside textbook for background information. This is not a problem, but requires the teacher’s prior planning for integration.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Outstanding teacher resources and learning objectives. • Provides assignment and grading resources • Excellent tool for developing critical reading and contextualization skills.
Concerns: • Prerequisite information is assumed and not fully clear – a minor criticism.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Clean, clear, and easy to use
Concerns: • None

Other Issues and Comments: • Outstanding site!