Students have difficulty moving beyond a recitation of course material to create their own interpretations of historical phenomena.
David Pace, Professor Emeritus, History Department, Indiana University
Step 1 — Describe the Bottleneck
It is very common for students in history courses to have great difficulty in moving beyond a simple recitation of the facts and dates of the course. When asked to write a paper or an essay exam many of them are unable to develop an interpretation that describes general patterns and explains their existence. There is often a bottleneck for instructors as well, because the steps that professional historians take in generating a thesis are often so automatic that they are invisible to teachers themselves.
Step 2 — Define the Mental Operations Required to Get Past the Bottleneck
Steps 3 and 4 — Model the Steps Needed to Get Past the Bottleneck and Give Students an Opportunity to Practice These Operations
Step 5 — Assess the Extent to Which Students Have Mastered These Operations