Time's arrows? Using a dartboard scaffold to understand historical action

Teaching History article

By Arthur Chapman, published 21st June 2011

Arthur Chapman presents a task-specific scaffold - a ‘dart' board - designed to teach students how to interrogate sources of information so that these become sources of evidence for particular claims about past actions, beliefs and aims. Chapman also uses his ‘dart' board to foster students' reflection on the degrees of certainty that they can attach to such claims. In this game of ‘darts', students win by making and sustaining the weightiest claims. In recommending an approach for teaching and assessing the quality of evidential argument, Chapman's work addresses a similar theme to that of Pickles (pp 52-9) who reveals the limitations and dangers of current, typical examination questions designed to assess use of sources.

Chapman's close examination of what is involved in helping students to reconstruct decisions of past actors also connects with the work of Lee and Shemilt (pp 39-49) who examine the conditions and properties of successful empathetic explanation...

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