lec13 - Chapter 13 Historical Research (Reminder: Dont...

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Chapter 13 Historical Research (Reminder: Don’t forget to utilize the concept maps and study questions as you study this and the other chapters.) What is Historical Research? Historical research is the process of systematically examining past events to give an account of what has happened in the past. It is not a mere accumulation of facts and dates or even a description of past events. It is a flowing, dynamic account of past events which involves an interpretation of the these events in an attempt to recapture the nuances, personalities, and ideas that influenced these events. One of the goals of historical research is to communicate an understanding of past events. Significance of Historical Research The following gives five important reasons for conducting historical research (based on Berg, 1998): 1. To uncover the unknown (i.e., some historical events are not recorded). 2. To answer questions (i.e., there are many questions about our past that we not only want to know but can profit from knowing). 3. To identify the relationship that the past has to the present (i.e., knowing about the past can frequently give a better perspective of current events). 4. To record and evaluate the accomplishments of individuals, agencies, or institutions. 5. To assist in understanding the culture in which we live (e.g., education is a part of our history and our culture). Historical Research Methodology There is no one approach that is used in conducting historical research although there is a general set of steps that are typically followed. These include the following steps although there is some overlap and movement back and forth between the steps:
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lec13 - Chapter 13 Historical Research (Reminder: Dont...

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