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Seixas, Peter and Carla Peck. “Teaching Historical Thinking.” In Challenges and Prospects for Canadian Social Studies, edited by Alan Sears and Ian Wright, 109-17. Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press, 2004.


Seixas and Peck begin this article by noting the difference between historical narratives such as those presented in movies and historical narratives as they should be presented in the classroom. Specifically, the authors maintain that while movies attempt to “sweep students in” through their accounts of the past, history learning in the classroom should aim to teach students to “approach historical narratives critically – precisely not to be swept in.” Thus, students should learn to ask of movies and textbooks: Who constructed the past as such? Why? How? Seixas and Peck argue that students should be able to construct their own historical narratives.

The first section of this chapter is divided into six subsections: “significance,” “epistemology and evidence,” “continuity and change,” “progress and decline,” “empathy (historical perspective taking) and moral judgement,” and “historical agency.” Here Seixas and Peck outline how their theoretical discussion can be applied to practice in a section titled “In the Classroom.” Thus, they offer teachers suggestions for moving away from rote learning and memorization exercises.

Ana Laura Pauchulo