When studying history it will be important that I make clear to my students that there will have been a bias in the account given. In both English and History/Social Studies I will want my students to have the imagination to look at stories from multiple perspectives and be critical. Last semester in class we discussed looking at literature with different lenses. The same goes with history, because well, what is history if it isn’t a story? One should be able to study a historical account like a literary work: there will be different perspective, narration, characters, a setting, etc… My students should be able to pick up on bias and look at history from different perspectives. In the article, Wineburg said about sensing purpose, plan, motive, and intention (67). Wineburg also wrote about how when the gap between an actual reader and a mock reader it small, it will be because they are reading straightforward facts; when the gap widens the actual reader will know that the story is not to be believed.
Instead of writing my opinions about the article down I decided to find a song that I think fits with the article’s view that history is subjective.
I LOVE musicals and whenever I think about history I always think of the song from a musical: “Wonderful” from Wicked. A minute into the song (almost exactly) the Wizard has some clever lines about history that I love. I recommend listening to the whole song because it is fun and vaudeville-esque, but from 1:00 to around 2:00 are the key parts about history. (unrelated: the whole soundtrack is awesome!) (also for some reason it is not coming up as the youtube video right on the page so the link will take you to the youtube video!)
and if you liked the song here is the full version without the ending cut off :
Wineburg, S. (2001). On the reading of historical texts: Notes on the breach between school and academy. Historical thinking and other unnatural acts: Charting the future of teaching the past. Philadelphia: Temple UPress, pp. 63-88.