Historical Thinking

Presenting the Past

Good historians are good communicators. A historian seeks to be objective and to present evidence based on interpretations of the past. Historians are involved in presenting the past in many forms, including works of scholarship, museum exhibitions and public commemorations. However, no historian is entirely free from the concerns and values of their own place and time. Historians must communicate in such a way as to avoid over-generalisation and to make clear the degrees of uncertainty that exist. The skills of writing and speaking clearly about historical narratives, debates and discussions are important in the contribution of the discipline of history to society. Historians are not the only people who present the past, but unlike others, such as writers of fiction, journalists and film directors, they must always produce evidence-based, tentative interpretations and make clear degrees of uncertainty.

Learning Activities