Hennings (1993) History's Way of Knowing
Hennings argues that "to teach children and young people to read a discipline such as history is to teach them the structure of it - the ways of knowing that discipline. . . . Stress should be on learning the ways of knowing - the ways of reading, writing, and thinking about" history (1993, p. 363).
Consider this example. "One idea of history is that events occurring during a certain period relate to and influence subsequent events. To derive meaning from reading history, readers need to know this idea - an idea that embodies the concept of time and the concept of cause and effect" (Hennings, 1993, p. 363).
The following paragraphs describe in detail Hennings' (1993) five guiding principles of history. While her article deals specifically with reading about history, the five key ideas discussed by Hennings may be used to understand information presented in lectures or to prepare for tests as well. The strategies offered by Hennings may be used by students themselves, or instructors may model them for students.
According to Hennings (1993), the key to understanding history texts and lectures is to understand the five key ideas that structure the study of history: