Used by historians to identify chains of events and developments over time, short term and long term.
A concept (in the study of history) refers to any general notion or idea that is used to develop an understanding of the past, such as concepts related to the process of historical inquiry (for example evidence, continuity and change, perspectives, significance).
The period of modern world history from 1945 to 2010.
Occurs when particular interpretations about the past are open to debate, for example, as a result of a lack of evidence or different perspectives.
Continuity and change
Aspects of the past that remained the same over certain periods of time are referred to as continuities. Continuity and change are evident in any given period of time and concepts such as progress and decline may be used to evaluate continuity and change.
Empathy is an understanding of the past from the point of view of a particular individual or group, including an appreciation of the circumstances they faced, and the motivations, values and attitudes behind their actions.
In History, evidence is the information obtained from sources that is valuable for a particular inquiry. Evidence can be used to help construct a historical narrative, to support a hypothesis or to prove or disprove a conclusion.
Historical inquiry is the process of investigation undertaken in order to understand the past. Steps in the inquiry process include posing questions, locating and analysing sources and using evidence from sources to develop an informed explanation about the past.
An interpretation is an explanation of the past, for example about a specific person, event or development. There may be more than one interpretation of a particular aspect of the past because historians may have used different sources, asked different questions and held different points of view about the topic.
As defined in the Australian Curriculum: Senior Secondary Modern History, the period of time in the modern world between 1750 and 2010.
A person’s perspective is their point of view, the position from which they see and understand events going on around them. People in the past may have had different points of view about a particular event, depending on their age, gender, social position and their beliefs and values. Historians also have perspectives and this can influence their interpretation of the past.
Primary and secondary sources
In History, primary sources are objects and documents created or written during the time being investigated, for example during an event or very soon after. Examples of primary sources include official documents, such as laws and treaties; personal documents, such as diaries and letters; photographs; film and documentaries. These original, firsthand accounts are analysed by the historian to answer questions about the past.
Secondary sources are accounts about the past that were created after the time being investigated and which often use or refer to primary sources and present a particular interpretation. Examples of secondary sources include writings of historians, encyclopaedia, documentaries, history textbooks, and websites.
A picture or image of the past that may be a popular portrayal within society (past or present) or that may be created by historians.
In History, secondary sources are accounts about the past that were created after the time being investigated and which often use or refer to primary sources and present a particular interpretation. Examples of secondary sources include writings of historians, encyclopaedia, documentaries, history textbooks, and websites.
The importance that is assigned to particular aspects of the past, eg events, developments, and historical sites. Significance includes an examination of the principles behind the selection of what should be investigated and remembered and involves consideration of questions such as: How did people in the past view the significance of an event? How important were the consequences of an event? What was the duration of the event? How relevant is it to the contemporary world?
Any written or non-written materials that can be used to investigate the past, for example newspaper articles, photos, and journal entries. A source becomes ‘evidence’ if it is of value to a particular inquiry.
A word or phrase used to describe abstract aspects or features of the past (for example decolonisation, imperialism, democracy) and more specific features such as a warship or monument.