Historical Investigation Your job as students
The Difference between Math and History. • History is a science. • The theories and conclusions are based on evidence and study. • Facts are facts but a collection of facts are still open to interpretation by an expert.
Example (you don’t need to write this down) A historian is conducting an excavation (digging up the ground) of an area where a famous battle is believed to have been fought. Fact: The historian found a book written about the battle. Fact: The book describes a great sand beach, oak trees on the shore and a rare type of bird found only in a few locations.
Example • Fact: The location the historian selected fits the description. • Fact: The historian unearths the remnants of 5 weapons believed to have been used during that battle. Conclusion: The historian can now claim that they have found the location of the battle. However….what are some other explanations for the evidence.
Primary vs. Secondary Evidence • Primary evidence is evidence that comes from the event itself exp. Eye witnesses, artifacts, documentation from the time (newspapers, ship logs, birth certificates) • Secondary Evidence is evidence create after the fact that is based on primary evidence exp. textbooks, essays, books.
Your job • As a person studying history you have to keep an open mind. • It would be too time consuming to check every fact that you will hear but you should still be skeptical. • Watch for bias and opinion when drawing your conclusions.
Bias – favouritism, prejudice. When a person has already made up their mind before they’ve been presented evidence. • Opinion – A conclusion that is open to debate i.e. not a fact.
Assignment: Identity It’s 500years in the future. Canadians are a race of people lost in history and very little is known about them. As a historian you excavate the items and log them in these scrapbooks. As a group of 1,2or3 write an entry into a history text book (about three paragraphs) explaining Canadians to a group of students that had never heard of them before.