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Historical Thinking Matters

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Historical Thinking Matters

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Historical Thinking Matters


A vast, free historical archive has emerged on the Internet. New technology, together with millions of dollars in government and foundation funding, has democratized access to the historical record in ways unimaginable. The potential represented by this development has only been partially realized because most students lack the skills to decipher historical texts and to synthesize them into coherent narratives. Many teachers are similarly ill prepared.This project addresses the paradox of an abundance of historical texts and a dearth of students and teachers able to read these texts in sophisticated ways. Rather than seeing new technology as the problem, we want to make technology part of the solution. We want to develop web-based resources for teachers and students that will democratize historical understanding and promote core features of academic literacy. We propose a three-year project that will create resources for teachers and students in the basic U.S. history survey course taught regularly in high schools, community colleges, and colleges.

Start Date


End Date


Proposal Co-Authors

Roy Rosenzweig
Sam Wineburg


Sharon Leon

Web Designer(s)

Stephanie Hurter


Jeremy Boggs
Josh Greenberg
Rikk Mulligan

Staff Members

Meagan Hess

Content Experts

Michael O'Malley


Daisy Martin
Chauncey Monte-Sano
Avishag Reisman
Julie Park,
Brad Fogo


1. project ideas and website development - one-week intensive workshop, select and create materials, beta version of one complete module and outlines of the design and interface for three additional modules.
2. prototyping and testing the site with diverse groups of teachers and students (high school, community college, and public university levels. Continue work on modules, videotape classroom experiences. Complete beta versions of four modules.
3. complete site and gather formal evaluation information at the different sites. Dissemination through traveling graduate student, workshops, and additional networks.


William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York


Stanford History Education Group


American Historical Association's 2008 James Harvey Robinson Prize for an Outstanding Teaching Aid





“Historical Thinking Matters,” RRCHNM20, accessed August 14, 2022, https://20.rrchnm.org/items/show/231.

Item Relations

This Item foaf:fundedBy Item: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
This Item foaf:fundedBy Item: Carnegie Corporation of New York
This Item Staff Item: Roy Rosenzweig
This Item Staff Item: Sharon Leon
This Item Staff Item: Stephanie Hurter
This Item Staff Item: Jeremy Boggs
This Item Staff Item: Josh Greenberg
This Item Staff Item: Rikk Mulligan
This Item Staff Item: Meagan Hess
This Item Staff Item: Mike O'Malley