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Introduction to College History
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  1. Introduction to College History How to get History into your long-term memory

  2. What is History? History A Collection of Stories History Survey Courses Before 1970’s • His Elite White Story History Survey Courses After 1970’s – His Elite Story with more emphasis on the common people • Common People Stories • Gender Stories • Race Stories • Ethnic Stories • The Workers’ Stories

  3. College History • Not just facts and dates • You must now analyze historical events, people, and places and be able to explain the following about events in history: • Who was involved? • When did it happen? • Where did it happen? • What happened? • Why did it happen? • Why is it significant? How does it impact future events?

  4. How do I Learn History? • Work to encode history into your long-term memory • Chunk information by writing your own story for each important event and include the following: • Period - Time and place in history ? Who was involved ? When did it happen? • Event - What happened? Why? How is this event linked to other events? • Significance - Remember for every action there is a reaction - What happens as a result of this event? • Themes to think about in learning and grouping information from any event or aspect of history • Political Issues involved and consequences • Economic systems involved and consequences • Social/cultural aspects involved and consequences

  5. What is Memory? • The mental (cognitive) processes that enables us to acquire, retain, and retrieve information. • The basic memory processes are Encoding Storage Retrieval

  6. Stage Model of Memory

  7. Maintenance Rehearsal Long-term Memory Sensory Memory Working or Short-term Memory Encoding Attention Sensory Input Retrieval Three Stages of Memory • Three memory stores that differ in function, capacity, and duration

  8. Three Stages of Memory – Elaborate Rehearsal

  9. Chunking Information • Grouping small bits of information into larger units of information • expands working memory load • Which is easier to remember? • 4 8 3 7 9 2 5 1 6 • 483 792 516

  10. Maintenance Rehearsal Long-term Memory Sensory Memory Working or Short-term Memory Encoding Attention Sensory Input Retrieval Long-term Memory • Once information passes from sensory to working memory, it can be encoded into long-term memory

  11. Maintenance Rehearsal Long-term Memory Sensory Memory Working or Short-term Memory Encoding Attention Sensory Input Retrieval Long-Term Memory • Function—organizes and stores information • more passive form of storage than working memory • Unlimited capacity • Duration—thought by some to be permanent

  12. Maintenance Rehearsal Long-term Memory Sensory Memory Working or Short-term Memory Encoding Attention Sensory Input Retrieval Long-Term Memory • Encoding—process that controls movement from working to long-term memory store • Retrieval—process that controls flow of information from long-term to working memory store

  13. Effortful Memory Encoding • Effortful processing • Requires attention and conscious effort • Examples: • Memorizing your notes for your upcoming exam • Repeating a phone number in your head until you can write it down

  14. How are memories organized? • Hierarchical organization • Associations

  15. Hierarchical Organization • Related items clustered together to form categories • Related categories clustered together to form higher-order categories • Remember list items better if list presented in categories • poorer recall if presented randomly • Even if list items are random, people still organize info in some logical pattern

  16. Semantic Network Model • Mental links between concepts • common properties provide basis for mental link • Shorter path between two concepts = stronger association in memory • Activation of a concept starts decremental spread of activity to nearby concepts

  17. Maintenance Rehearsal Sensory Memory Working or Short-term Memory Encoding Attention Long-term Memory Sensory Input Retrieval Review of Long-term Memory • Retrieval transfers info from LTM to STM • Forgetting—inability to retrieve previously available information • Why do people forget?

  18. Sensory memory The senses momentarily register amazing detail Short-term memory A few items are both noticed and encoded Long-term storage Some items are altered or lost Retrieval from long-term memory Depending on interference, retrieval cues, moods, and motives, some things get retrieved, some don’t Why Do We Forget? • Forgetting can occur at any memory stage

  19. Encoding Short-term memory Long-term memory X Retrieval Retrieval failure leads to forgetting Forgetting as Retrieval Failure • Retrieval—process of accessing stored information • Sometimes info is encoded into LTM, but we can’t retrieve it

  20. Tip-of-the-Tongue (TOT) Experience • TOT—involves the sensation of knowing that specific information is stored in long-term memory but being unable to retrieve it • Can’t retrieve info that you absolutely know is stored in your LTM • Think about the themes of history and your story and to tap into your encoding process to retrieve the information

  21. Encoding Specificity – When conditions of retrieval are similar to conditions of encoding, retrieval is more likely to be successful – You are more likely to remember things if the conditions under which you recall them are similar to the conditions under which you learned them

  22. Encoding Specificity • Context effects—environmental cues to recall • State dependent retrieval—physical, internal factors • Mood congruence—factors related to mood or emotions

  23. Themes of History = Chunks • By using the themes of history you can chunk information for easier encoding by tapping into your existing knowledge base and encoding and retrieval norms • Using Themes you can explain the following about events in history: • Who was involved? • When did it happen? • Where did it happen? • What happened? • Why did it happen? • Why is it significant? How does it impact future events?

  24. Themes throughout history • Political Issues • Deals with how societies structure their government as well as indicating societal rules and norms. • Relationship between “ruler and ruled” • The role of conflict – • Example: Empire and American colonies

  25. Themes –The Power of Thought • The exchange of ideas within a society and also between them • Religions, Cultural Practices, Intellectual Theories (ex: Locke) • Ideas are central to social change – • Nationalism • Revolution

  26. Themes – Economic Systems • Denotes not only how societies reach subsistence but also exchange and trade • Types of economic systems: • Subsistence agriculture • Trade based • Mercantilism • Slave based • Industrialized • Free and Wage Labor

  27. Themes – Social Aspects • Class Systems • Economic divisions • Racial divisions • Ethnic divisions • Gender divisions • Marriage and Family Life • Rural versus Urban • Social norms

  28. Themes – Cultural Aspects • Traditions and Rituals • Religious Practices • Food • The Arts • Education

  29. Themes – Scientific Advances • The role of discoveries and technological innovations • From the wheel, stone tools, iron and farming implements to shipbuilding and factories societies depend on science and technology • Scientific discoveries and technological advances forever change the way societies interact

  30. Themes – Environmental Factors • How humans go from being controlled by their environment to controlling their environment • Environment touches on every single aspect of a society • Examples – disease, changes in the land

  31. Cause and Effect = Why is this Significant • For every action there is a reaction • Understanding the chain of events that leads up to an even larger event will give you the context you need to create see the full picture (story) of why something happened • This allows you to encode the story into your long-term memory and to create triggers to retrieve the information from your long-term memory

  32. Bias • It is critical for the student of history to understand the bias of historical interpretations, primary and secondary sources • Human beings are inherently biased • Propaganda • Looking for bias in a source enhances analytical and critical thinking skills

  33. Perception versus Reality and Bias • Hindsight is 20/20 • Even though we can look back and judge decisions it is often difficult to put yourself in a historical person’s time and place in history • Example – decision to use the Atomic Bomb during World War II

  34. Fact versus Opinion • It is important for the student of history to be able to recognize fact from opinion • Historians combine both when evaluating historical events and actors • So evidence may be interpretation rather than fact

  35. Comparing and Contrasting • Historians often compare and contrast events, people and places to draw conclusions • Identify major characteristics in order to find similarities and differences • Use the themes of history and to help you answer who, what when, where, and why is this significant to help you compare and contrast events, people, and places • Compare events, people, and places with information you are familiar with can help make this process easier and help you encode the information into your long-term memory

  36. Sources • Primary Sources • Legal Documents, Personal Histories, Oral Histories, Artifacts, Photographs, Newspapers… • Secondary Sources • Texts, Biographies, the Internet… • Sometimes sources are both primary and secondary • Tertiary Sources • Encyclopedias