Good historians are good communicators. A historian seeks to be objective and to present evidence based on interpretations of the past. Historians are involved in presenting the past in many forms, including works of scholarship, museum exhibitions and public commemorations. However, no historian is entirely free from the concerns and values of their own place and time. Historians must communicate in such a way as to avoid over-generalisation and to make clear the degrees of uncertainty that exist. The skills of writing and speaking clearly about historical narratives, debates and discussions are important in the contribution of the discipline of history to society. Historians are not the only people who present the past, but unlike others, such as writers of fiction, journalists and film directors, they must always produce evidence-based, tentative interpretations and make clear degrees of uncertainty.
This activity challenges the ‘accepted’ way in which the start of World War One is usually depicted: the war was ‘unavoidable’. It looks into a more nuanced presentation of the past, taking into account multiple factors (perspectives).
Hawks and Doves: the key players of the descent into war. Discovering multiperspectivity in the origins of the ‘unavoidable’ World War One.
After the analysis of how the instrument of censorship had been used in some dictatorial regimes of the past, being able to recognize the risk and the continuities of that in democratic societies.
How does censorship work in non authoritarian societies?
How effective is education as a tool to influence society?
Students communicate the past by writing a letter from 1919 in which they are to show knowledge of the period as well as empathy.
Analyzing and understanding the past in the perspective of the present
Students construct a museum exhibition of iconic images.
What are the iconic images of World War 1?