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Combining the historical reading skills from the Stanford History Education Group, the work of Bruce Van Sledright, and input from teachers who have measured these skills in the classroom, the Assessment Resource Center for History project has developed the ARCH Historical Thinking Skills Rubric for elementary and secondary instruction.A rubric is a scoring tool for evaluating a student's performance.
The ARCH Historical Thinking Skills Rubric was designed along a continuum, moving from the more accessible to the most complex skills.
The historical thinking skills are organized into strategies and procedural concepts.
These are classified in the ARCH Historical Thinking Skills Rubric as close reading.
Most students begin their analysis of historical texts by sourcing.
For example, “This source is describing ______.” In attribution, students cite the author or authors and the earliest dates for the various sources.
They may also identify the types of sources (personal accounts, official reports, court proceedings, etc.).Students engage in corroboration by comparing multiple sources on the same topic to determine the historical interrelationships (Wineburg, 1991).They look for similarities in accounts that lead to a preponderance of evidence around a particular conclusion or theory.Strategies are tools for analyzing and interpreting historical documents.In the ARCH rubric, the strategies are close reading and some aspects of corroboration and contextualization.It is based on the sum of a range of criteria, rather than a single numerical score, with statements to guide raters. In analytic scoring, there is a separate score for each aspect of the product or performance. In holistic scoring, a single score is based upon the overall impression of a product or performance.The ARCH Historical Thinking Skills Rubric is designed to be used holistically. According to Brookhart (2013), task-specific rubrics are used to assess a discrete task, whereas general rubrics assess multiple tasks around a general set of skills.Corroboration is complex because it requires the analysis and interpretation of multiple sources in different forms of media.Corroboration also involves the close reading of these texts to determine potential bias, conflicting accounts, and reliability.Finally, they analyze the authors' perspective to determine the reliability and purpose of the sources.Wineburg (1991) states that sourcing is unique to the work of the historian and represents the first opportunity for students to interpret the past through critical analysis.