Clock at Oliver Kelley Farm, MN, 2018.
history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian using history

Challenge – How Did We Get Here?

Today’s challenge is meant to give you practice in using history to learn critical thinking skills and examine context around situations and events.

Pick a current event, situation or issue and ask, “How did we get here? How did this event, situation or issue arise?”

Dig around and do some research to see if you can find one instigating event or a series of events that led to what is happening today.

Use “The Ultimate Cheatsheet for Critical Thinking” by the Global Digital Citizen Foundation to guide your research as you start investigating the context of events that led up to the current event or situation.

As you find earlier events that led to today’s event or situation, ask again, “How did we get here?”

Feel free to fall down the rabbit hole of internet research with this exercise, however, try to use credible sources. If you aren’t sure how to analyze an internet source for credibility, check out Georgetown University Library’s guide to Evaluating Internet Resources.

This is an exercise that can be endlessly repeated and should give you a wonderful sense of how situations build from previous actions and situations.