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What is historically significant - OHASSTA

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					What is historically
        significant?




      Marc Keirstead
Dimensions of Historical Significance




 1. Significance depends on perspective and

the observer’s frame of reference.



 What will be judged to be significant may vary depending upon an
  individual’s or group’s perspective/bias.
 2. Significance is more than a matter of personal reaction.



 When determining significance it is not sufficient to rely on an
  individual’s or group’s felt reactions to an event.

  Although significance is influenced by one’s perspective, events
  that have the greatest felt effects are not necessarily the most
  significant.
 3. Significance depends on purpose.



 The significance of an event depends upon its role in the larger
  narrative or story the historian is attempting to tell
 4. Significance varies with time.



 The significance of an historical event may not be fixed in
  time but may moderate depending on subsequent events and
  current priorities.
 5. Significance depends on context.



 An event that is significant in one context may not be as significant
  in another context
The mass demonstrations that unfolded
simultaneously across the globe on the
weekend of February 15-16, 2003 will live
in history.-World Socialist Website
Challenges in determining
              significance
•Frame of reference

•Different criteria for events, individuals, objects

•Context

•Quality of evidence
                                                                                   Evidence
 Read a source for evidence vs for knowledge
 Identify type of source
 Identify author and possible frame of reference
 Reveals information about purposes of the author
  as well as author’s values
 Needs to be read in historical
context




Peter Seixas-http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/socstud/foundation_gr8/tns/tn1.pdf
Criteria for determining significance

 Audience suggests criteria
Mind Maps
What is the most significant?-student
response
 Medals

 Trench postcard

 Discharge papers

 Pay book

 Christmas card

 Pieces of son’s hair

 Thanks from the King

 Dog tags
   Some suggested criteria
        from Britain


http://74.125.95.104/search?q=cache:wekYX4RGOakJ:www.history.org.uk/file_do
wnload.php%3Fts%3D1213106362%26id%3D1295+ian+dawson+and+historical+signifi
cance&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=safari
            Partington’s model
What makes an event significant is dependent upon
the following factors:
* Importance – to people living at the time
* Profundity – how deeply people’s lives were
affected by it
* Quantity – how many lives were affected
* Durability – for how long people’s lives were
affected
* Relevance – the extent to which the event has
contributed to an increased understanding of present
life
             Christine Counsell’s model
An event/development is significant if they are: -
*Remarkable – it was remarked upon by people at
the time and/or since
 *Remembered – it was important at some stage in
history within the collective memory of a group or
groups
 *Resulted in change – it had consequences for the
future
 *Resonant– people like to make analogies with it;
it is possible to connect with experiences, beliefs
or situations across time & space
 *Revealing – of some other aspect of the past
             Ian Dawson’s model
Reasons for a person being significant.
If s/he:
*changed events at the time they lived.
*improved lots of people’s lives – or made them
worse.
*changed people’s ideas.
*had a long lasting impact on their country or
the world.
*had been a really good or a very bad example
to other people of how to live or behave.
Peter Seixas


Aspects of Significance

*resulting in change-deep consequences, for many people,
  over a long period of time

*revealing-sheds light on enduring or emerging issues in
  history and contemporary life or was important at some
  stage in history within the collective memory of a group
  or groups

(Benchmarks of Historical Thinking: A Framework for
  Assessment in Canada, 2006)
                 Cause and Consequence
 Key elements:
  Key role of individuals as
 causal agents
  Causes are related but are
 distinguishable from motivations
  Causes are layered
  Identification of causes by historians can be
    susceptible to historian’s frame of reference
  Humans cause change but are restricted by the
    natural environment, geography, historical legacies
  Actions often have unintended consequences
 Peter Seixas-http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/socstud/foundation_gr8/tns/tn1.pdf
Application-Think Pair, Share

  Is the carpet significant?
Strategy:


 Which event/individual/object was the most significant?

 Priorize the events in order of significance

 Which events or individuals will be considered
  significant?
Why work with the concept?


       The past vs history

				
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