What happened at recess? - TOK-AIS

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HISTORY AS AOK
IN TODAY’S LESSON, KEEP IN MIND:
1. How reliable is eyewitness
testimony as a primary source for
history?
2. To what extent is any certainty
attainable in history?
WHAT HAPPENED
AT RECESS?
An introduction to History
as an Area of Knowledge in TOK
Brendan Toohey
WHAT DO WE KNOW HAPPENED,
BUT IS MISSING?
History
is often the story of
the extraordinary – great
event/disaster/person?
WHOSE PERSPECTIVE
IS THIS FROM?


History is elite:
it is from the perspective of those who can
write/publish/have their thoughts or opinions
kept – thus royal families, governments, Church,
large institutions, rich, educated
History relies on the recorder/s of
information:
why did they see this event this way? What did
they not see? What have they neglected to mention
(either deliberately or through not noticing
(cultural bias) – how many cooks / cleaners in
your school?)
HOW WAS RECESS THE SAME /
DIFFERENT TO A RECESS FIVE OR
TEN YEARS AGO?

‘Life’ undergoes subtle changes that may or
may not be recorded:
history is either a snapshot in time (On this day…)
or
 a generalization (In this period…)

HOW DO YOUR
ACTIONS AT RECESS
AFFECT THE WAY YOU TELL YOUR
STORY?
(DOES YOUR AUDIENCE AFFECT
YOUR STORY?)


The writers of history may also be key
participants in the action they are describing.
(Beware the desire for Historical Legacy:
Politicians, Generals, even sports stars or
musicians, telling their story, their way … how
does an autobiography compare to an
unauthorised biography?)
ACTIVITY
Take a sticky note about one event in history
 What is the ‘consensus’ view? (The usually told
story)
 How does this story change if told from other
perspectives?

20-30 min to research.
 30-60 sec feedback

HOMEWORK
READ THE HANDOUT
“What are the main challenges faced by
historians in recovering the voices and
perspectives of the subaltern?”
Be prepared to discuss in small groups,
“What are some problems with history?” and other
knowledge issues which arise based on the extract
and your wider knowledge.
HISTORY
Lesson 2
Discussion of Homework task
History as Myth / Fiction / Fact
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS
What knowledge issues arise in gathering
historical knowledge?
Should historians make moral judgments
about the past?
Be prepared to discuss in small groups, “What are
some problems with history?” and other knowledge
issues which arise based on the extract and your
wider knowledge.
(About 20 mins)
HISTORY AS MYTH/FICTION/FACT
Small Group task:
Read your assigned article
‘All history is political’. To what extent is this
evident in your example? Why?
Report back:
Brief overview of ‘myth’
Evaluation of ‘history as political’
HISTORY AS AOK
Lesson 3:
Oral history
Film as history
ORAL VS DOCUMENTARY
HISTORY
The Story of the Three Little Pigs
FILM AS HISTORY
(‘Is history fiction?’)
What is the purpose of a film?
What is the purpose of an historical film?
A Knight’s Tale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Hi8IWqic0U
1. Historical Fact
2. Historical ‘Theme’
3. Anachronism
- is it historically useful?
HISTORY & (SELECTED) WOKS
Sense Perception
 Emotion
 Language
 Memory
 Imagination

TOK ‘HISTORY’ IS NOT…
The events of the past
 ‘It happened in the past, so that’s the AOK of
History’
 A nice long story about some event that may or
may not be related to your RLS / Prescribed Title
and you’re hoping the marker thinks it is History
 If you’ve studied it in History class, it is probably
pointing towards TOK History…

TOK HISTORY IS…
A critical analysis of History as a source of
knowledge
 An attempt to identify influences on our
understanding of our world in its current form
 An appreciation of different perspectives in the
recording and transmission of history


Is ‘history written by the winners’?
ASSESSMENT
Take one example of an event or time period that
you have studied in history at some stage of your
schooling, and write it from a different perspective
than you received it.
Why was this perspective not part of the ‘story’
that you received?

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