Polyhistoria classes emphasize critical thinking, analyzing, evaluating and creating. We believe that students learn history best by doing what professional historians do. They analyze and evaluate a variety of primary sources, interpret their meanings, and construct an interpretation of the past based on the empirical evidence. The raw material for our inquiries is a variety of historical documents– firsthand accounts, paintings, photographs, and academic research papers.
This Inquiry-Guided Learning approach requires students to integrate different sources of information into a logical whole rather than passively memorizing the analysis of others and facilitates higher levels of critical thinking, as measured through Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Levels.
Polyhistoria classes teach students to analyze evidence (break big issues into constituent parts), critically evaluate historical sources (learn how to judge which are more trustworthy), and create their own interpretation of the past (Bloom’s three highest cognitive levels).