Provenance Have a look at the activity sheet. There are four quotes. Have a look! Answer only the first two questions. You have just five minutes in your pairs.
People say Stupid Things … • 1. The iPod will never take off – Sir Alan Sugar in 2005 • 2. No need for a computer in the home – Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corp in 1977 • 3. "Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within ten years" – Alex Lewyt, president of the Lewyt Corp vacuum company • 4. TV won't last because people would, "soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night" – Darryl Zanuck in 1946 • 5. In 1933, after the first flight of the Boeing 247, a plane that could hold ten people, a proud Boeing engineer reportedly said, "There will never be a bigger plane built." • 6. "We stand on the threshold of rocket mail" – US postmaster general Arthur Summerfield in 1959 • 7. "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys" – Sir William Preece, chief engineer at the Post Office in 1878 • 8. "X-rays will prove to be a hoax" – Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, in 1883.
Rules of Thumb – Primary • People / Groups may embellish their own role / contribution / value / significance. • People / Groups may have explicit / implicit swipes at the opposition. • Don’t believe the hype! Speeches / Posters / Politicians / Groups can be guilty of over-stating a cause that they believe in. • Don’t swallow the content of the source as the gospel truth.
Rules of Thumb – Secondary • Hindsight is such a wonderful / convenient thing. Something that is a bad idea now might not have been / appeared so at the time! • Beware the historian a.k.a ‘Mrs. Buy-My-Book’ imposing personal bias / over simplifying / glossing over the facts / sexing up the story. Careful: Don’t confuse reliability with usefulness. A secondary source that doesn’t claim to be an eyewitness or first hand account is still useful.
Put it into practice … This is the exact exam paper that pupils sat on 22nd May 2012 for this module. • Digest question. Make notes in pairs. • Discuss approaches as a group. • Write our responses (peer consultation warmly encouraged!)
Metacognition What process do you go through when presented with a source? What in particular do we want to improve? What strategies can we implement to get there?