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  OAH National History Standards in Historical Thinking   History and Social Science SOL for Virginia Public Schools  
Standard Description
Standard 1: Chronological Thinking Students Should Be Able to:
  1. Distinguish between past present and future time.
  2. Identify in historical narratives the temporal structure of a historical narrative or story its beginning middle and end (the latter defined as the outcome of a particular beginning).
  3. Establish temporal order in constructing historical narratives of their own working forward from some beginning through its development to some end or outcome working backward from some issue problem or event to explain its origins and its development over time.
  4. Measure and calculate calendar time by days weeks months years decades centuries and millennia from points of the calendar system BC (before Christ) and AD(Anno Domini in the year of our Lord ) in the Gregorian calendar and the contemporary secular designation for these same dates BCE (before the Common Era) and CE (in the Common Era) and compare with the fixed points of other calendar systems such as the Roman (753 BC the founding of the city of Rome) and the Muslim (622 AD the hegira).
  5. Interpret data presented in time lines and create time lines by designating appropriate equidistant intervals of time and recording events according to the temporal order which they occurred.
  6. Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration in which historical developments have unfolded apply them to explain historical continuity and change.
  7. Compare alternative models for periodization by identifying the organizing principles on which each is based.
Standard 2: Historical Comprehension Students Should Be Able to:
  1. Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage by identifying who was involved what happened where it happened what events led to these developments and what consequences or outcomes followed.
  2. Identify the central question(s) the historical narrative addresses and the purpose perspective or point of view from which it has been constructed.
  3. Read historical narratives imaginatively taking into account (a) the historical context in which the event unfolded values outlook options and contingencies of time and place and (b) what the narrative reveals of the individuals involved their probable motives fears strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Evidence historical perspectives the ability (a) to describe the past on its own terms through the eyes and experiences of those who were there as revealed through their literature diaries letters debates arts artifacts and the like and (b) to present mindedness judging the past solely in terms of present day norms and values.
  5. Draw upon data in historical maps in order to obtain or clarify information on the geographic setting in which the historical event occurred its relative and absolute location the distances and directions involved the natural and man made features of the place and critical relationships in the spatial distributions of those features and the historical event occurring there.
  6. Utilize visual and mathematical data presented in charts pie and bar graphs flow charts Venn diagrams and graphic organizers to clarify illustrate or elaborate upon information presented in the historical narrative.
  7. Draw upon visual literary and musical sources including (a) photographs paintings cartoons and architectural drawings (b) novels poetry and plays and (c) folk popular classical music to clarify illustrate or elaborate upon information presented in the historical narrative.
Standard 3: Historical Analysis and Interpretation Students Should Be Able to:
  1. Identify the author or source of the historical document or narrative and assess its credibility.
  2. Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas values personalities behaviors and institutions by identifying likenesses and differences.
  3. Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations but acknowledge also that the two are related that the facts the historian reports are selected and reflect therefore the historian s judgment of what is most significant about the past.
  4. Consider multiple perspectives of various peoples in the past by demonstrating their differing motives beliefs interests hopes and fears.
  5. Analyze cause and effect relationships bearing in mind multiple causation including (a) the importance of the individual in history (b) the influence of ideas human interests and beliefs and (c) the role of chance the accidental and the irrational.
  6. Challenge arguments of historical inevitability by formulating examples of historical contingency of how different choices could have led to different consequences.
  7. Compare competing historical narratives by contrasting different historians choice of questions and their use of sources reflecting different experiences perspectives beliefs and points of view and by demonstrating how an emphasis on different causes contributes to different interpretations.
  8. Hold interpretations of history as tentative subject to change as new information is uncovered new voices heard and new interpretations broached.
  9. Evaluate major debates among historians concerning alternative interpretations of the past.
  10. Hypothesize the influence of the past including both the limitations and the opportunities made possible by past decisions.
Standard 4: Historical Research Capabilities Students Should Be Able to:
  1. Formulate historical questions from encounters with historical documents eyewitness accounts letters diaries artifacts photos historical sites art architecture and other records from the past.
  2. Obtain historical data from a variety of sources including library and museum collections historic sites historical photos journals diaries eyewitness accounts newspapers and the like documentary films and so on.
  3. Interrogate historical data by uncovering the social political and economic context in which it was created testing the data source for its credibility authority authenticity internal consistency and completeness and detecting and evaluating bias distortion and propaganda by omission suppression or invention of facts.
  4. Identify the gaps in the available records and marshal contextual knowledge and perspectives of the time and place in order to elaborate imaginatively upon the evidence fill in the gaps deductively and construct a sound historical interpretation.
Standard 5: Historical Issues-Analysis and Decision-Making Students Should Be Able to:
  1. Identify issues and problems in the past and analyze the interests values perspectives and points of view of those involved in the situation.
  2. Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances and contemporary factors contributing to problems and alternative courses of action.
  3. Identify relevant historical antecedents and differentiate from those that are inappropriate and irrelevant to contemporary issues.
  4. Evaluate alternative courses of action in terms of ethical considerations the interests of those affected by the decision and the long and short term consequences of each.
  5. Formulate a position or course of action on an issue by identifying the nature of the problem analyzing the underlying factors contributing to the problem and choosing a plausible solution from a choice of carefully evaluated options.
  6. Evaluate the implementation of a decision by analyzing the interests it served estimating the position power and priority of each player involved assessing the ethical dimensions of the decision and evaluating its costs and benefits from a variety of perspectives.