What does it mean to 'get better' at History?
As any History student will tell you, being good at history isn't just about memorising historical content such as key events and dates (although that is important!). You also need to master historical skills such as structuring arguments, researching and using evidence.
But that isn't all. Great history students also have an in-depth understanding of the historical concepts that lie behind higher-level thinking in History. These include cause and consequence, change and continuity, significance, and interpretation. Understanding these concepts can help you to think critically about historical issues, form judgements and evaluate past claims.
To 'get better' at History, you therefore need to master these three key elements that underlie historical thinking:
The Three Key Elements
But how do you master these three key elements? To start, explore the three pages below on each of the key elements for further information, activities and help in moving your understanding of them from basic to mastery:
Historical Content plays a crucial role in any history course, as there needs
to be a solid base of factual knowledge to underpin the development of
conceptual understanding. Specific examples and case studies also help you to
ground abstract concepts, allowing you to see a concept represented
in a particular context.
Historical Concepts are big powerful ideas that help you to move from knowledge to understanding. Concepts also help to facilitate transfer of knowledge across historical contexts and events. Understanding the “big ideas” behind a topic can also help you to get
to the heart of why you are learning a particular topic.
Throughout any history course, you are encouraged to develop your understanding of the methodology and practice of the
discipline of history. Learning Historical Skills enriches your understanding of history as a distinct subject and encourages you to apply these skills
to the future study of history or related areas at University.