Collaboration, Connection, Creation
The future of public history will be marked by increased collaboration among institutions and individuals, and by overlapping roles in the creation, experience, witness and analysis of the historical record and historical productions (scholarship).
One area in which this interplay of roles will become increasingly important is in the field of K-12 education. "Historical thinking" has become something of a buzz word among researchers and educators inside and outside of the academy. But what does it mean in the context of public history? Museum educators, archivists, teachers and administrators need to work together to create a learning community in which students are challenged to dig to the roots of the historical record, not only for the sake of practicing critical thinking skills but to connect to the "stuff of history," to gain an appreciation of how narrative and interpretation comes about. Like an art museum visitor who has played with clay or a science museum visitor who has witnessed the effects of gravity on feathers and stones, the student who has played with history will appreciate what it takes to both create and present history to the public.
Public historians will facilitate the creation, preservation and presentation of the historical record, teaching and inviting anyone interested to play roles along the interpretive continuum.
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Adina Langer, "Collaboration, Connection, Creation." Forward Capture: Imagine the Future of Public History, Item #24 (accessed May 23 2013, 9:09 pm)