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History at the Crossroads Pushing American History in Different Directions (c) 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "History at the Crossroads Pushing American History in Different Directions (c) 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 History at the Crossroads Pushing American History in Different Directions (c) 2011

2 At its heart, History at the Crossroads is an exercise in analogizing history. While not a direct 1 to 1 application of analogy, the mental processing involved in History at the Crossroads is almost analogous in nature. As such it is instructive to examine the use and application of analogies in the history classroom. The next seven slides discuss analogies and their limitations in the classroom. (c) 2011

3 USING ANALOGIES How many times have you seen the Vietnam Conflict compared to the American Revolution (the southern campaign in particular)? (c) 2011

4 Analogy 1.a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based: the analogy between the heart and a pump. 2.similarity or comparability From Dictionary.com (c) 2011

5 Why Use Analogies in History 1.Build conceptual bridges for students between the familiar and the unfamiliar – Between the known and unknown 2.Breaks complex information down into familiar and manageable parts 3.Activates prior knowledge 4.Utilizes cross-curricular connections 5.Can tap into multiple intelligences (c) 2011

6 Some Educationism “Analogy is properly the domain of higher order thought because it requires fluency – lots of ideas – and integration across multiple representations. Analogy is also more simply thought of as flexible pattern recognition, the process involved in all those good things that should be emphasized in education – critical thinking and deduction, inference, and solutions by insight” From the studies of Dr. Kevin Dunbar, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth University (c) 2011

7 Beware of the Fallacies! Fallacy of the Perfect Analogy Fallacy of the Multiple Analogy Fallacy of the Proof by Analogy Adapted from: Fischer,David H. Historians Fallacies. New York: Harper Perennial, (c) 2011

8 Fallacy of the Perfect Analogy This is where one sees a partial resemblance between two entities and expands it to an exact correspondence. – Analogy by its very nature is a resemblance in some respects only A Prime example is using Munich as an analogy for America becoming involved in Vietnam – If America didn’t intervene then China would have been encouraged to gobble up SE Asia Adapted from: Fischer,David H. Historians Fallacies. New York: Harper Perennial, (c) 2011

9 Fallacy of the Multiple Analogy Using a second analogy to piggback or bootleg off of the original analogy An example from Alfred Sigwick – “The growing size of London bodes evil to England because London is the heart of England and a swollen heart is a sign of disease.” Adapted from: Fischer, David H. Historians Fallacies. New York: Harper Perennial, (c) 2011

10 Fallacy of the Proof by Analogy First and foremost analogy is a useful tool of historical understanding NOT as a proof Example dealing with slavery: – Stanley Elkins established an analogy between American slavery and Nazi concentration camps. – His argument is that they are analogous on several levels and that slavery created the “Sambo” effect and it is comparable to the “old prisoner” mentality psychologists have found in the Concentration Camp survivors Adapted from: Fischer, David H. Historians Fallacies. New York: Harper Perennial, (c) 2011

11 The end result is to be careful drawing too many conclusions from analogies or placing too great of a reliance on their abilities to prove or predict. “Though analogy is often misleading, it is the least misleading thing we have." - Samuel Butler (c) 2011

12 THE ANALOGY (c) 2011

13 Dorothy at the Crossroads In the acclaimed 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz Dorothy finds herself at a crossroads as she was on her way to see the wizard. Dorothy had been caught in a tornado that displaced her house and dropped it on top of a wicked witch. Dorothy emerged from the house into a fantasy world of munchkins, wicked witches, good witches, and a yellow brick road. The crossroads that Dorothy has come to goes off into three different directions and she has no idea which way to go. She asks her little dog Toto, "Now which way do we go?“ ”Pardon me. That way is a very nice way…” said a Scarecrow pointing in a direction. Dorothy was in utter disbelief. Then the Scarecrow said, “It's pleasant down that way too!” as he pointed in the opposite direction. (c) 2011

14 Why This Applies to History Dorothy’s trip down the Yellow Brick Road is much like America’s path through history. From tumultuous beginnings America has been on a journey and that journey has been fraught with pitfalls, side adventures, groups of compatriots, and others who wish the country evil. At various points in its history America has found itself at a crossroads. The events of the past pushed the country to its current place but it found itself in a quandary. Much like Dorothy, America had to ask itself "Now which way do we go?“ The Scarecrow was little help to Dorothy, but America has many scarecrows offering advice and demanding action. From demagogues to fire-eaters to hawks and doves there have been vast forces that wanted to steer America down one path or another. The question becomes not only Dorothy’s "Now which way do we go?“, but also “Why should we go that way?” (c) 2011

15 American Crossroads April 1775 Ft. Sumter Death of William Henry Harrison Annexation of HawaiiVersailles Great Depression Tonkin GulfNullification CrisisWatergate Crisis (c) 2011

16 American Scarecrows April 1775 Ft. Sumter Death of William Henry Harrison Annexation of HawaiiVersailles Great Depression Tonkin GulfNullification CrisisWatergate Crisis (c) 2011

17 Principal Components of the Analogy Street Signs : Informative, cautionary, or hindsight information Road : The course of American history leading to this point Crossroads : The point where America finds itself at a crucial junction The Directions : Possible avenues of action that America could take The Person : Us trying to decide which way to go The Cars: The pressures pushing America one way or the other (c) 2011

18 The Crossroads Process 1.Briefly introduce the target concept 2.Review the America at a crossroads analogy 3.Identify the relevant features of the target concept and Crossroads 4.Map similarities between the target and Crossroads (this is the heart of the process) 5.Indicate the limitations of the Crossroads for the target concept 6.Draw conclusions about the target concept based on the presentation (c) 2011

19 Introduce the Target Concept This generally involves recapping the material that led us close to the point where the lesson is designed to start. For example, if we were going to use the Crossroads analogy in discussing the early American Revolution the it would be wise to have a short discussion on the events leading up to the war as well as what may be the causes of the war. In the case of the early American Revolution example it would follow that there needs to be an introduction to the fighting at Lexington, Concord, and the British flight back to Boston. (c) 2011

20 Review the Crossroads Analogy In order for Crossroads to be successful student must have a thorough understanding of the analogy itself. We are trying to cross the boundary between what is known (the analogy) and what may be unknown (the target concept). Without a working understanding of the Crossroads analogy the target concept will be garbled and the exercise will not work. (c) 2011

21 Present the Lesson Use the pieces of the Crossroads Analogy throughout the lesson. As you move to new concepts and ideas, reinforce the Crossroads approach. Summarize each section with a brief conclusion. (c) 2011

22 Indicate the Limits of Crossroads Breaks Down Where it may totally miss the mark Places where the analogy can be misleading or lead to false conclusions Excels Parts of the analogy that are very poignant Spots where the analogy draws the correct inferences and leads to logical conclusions (c) 2011

23 Draw Conclusions This is where students are asked questions about the analogy and the target concept to demonstrate understanding. (c) 2011

24 Let’s go see if we can do some of this … (c) 2011


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