Source Problems on the French Revolution

Source Problems on the French Revolution

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Source Problems on the French Revolution

Source Problems on the French Revolution

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Excerpt

The evolution of history teaching from the stage characterized by the memorizing of a text to that distinguished by a critical study of evidence forms one of the most interesting chapters of the pedagogic history of the past twenty-five years. The steps in this evolution were: (1) The addition of "library work," collateral reading in secondary histories; (2) the preparation of a topic based upon secondary works; (3) the use of the sources as collateral reading; (4) the interpretation of documents and narrative sources, little or no attention being paid to criticism, namely, to localization, evaluation, independence, and the establishment of the fact by the agreement of two or more independent affirmations. A single source was sufficient, the main purpose in dealing with narrative sources was to get the contemporary color and sentiment; (5) preparation of a paper based indiscriminately upon sources and secondary works, no attempt being made to distinguish the two classes of material or to use the sources critically; (6) finally, a study based upon a collection of sources, dealing with a limited topic . . .

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