Alignment to Common Core Standards
The tenets for historical literacy in Common Core* require students to: determine and evaluate the key ideas and concepts from a text; to comprehend how historical context can affect the assessment of a source; to assess arguments and criticize claims by drawing on relevant information; and to reach a reading and comprehension proficiency of historical texts.
The Historical Thinking Standards align with the Common Core, but also detail how to develop not only historical literacy but also historical thinking and understanding. Historians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Historians research, analyze, interpret, and present the past by studying a variety of historical documents and sources. Historians typically do the following: Gather historical data from various sources, including archives, books, and artifacts."
Historical thinking skills are an essential tool for learning historical content. By cultivating historical thinking skills, students can thoughtfully examine the historical record upon which any historical narrative is based, assessing the validity and point of view of those narratives. Historical thinking also involves research skills. Students should learn to look for historical evidence, analyze historical records, and construct a research-based narrative.