Tools of Historical Reasoning

What are the tools of historical reasoning? Most curricular discussions revolve around what topics to cover or what information to deliver. Information is important, yet a classical approach to history is more concerned with forming the way our students reason about the past. Historical reasoning is an intellectual skill, a disciplined way of drawing inferences about the past. We want our graduates to go beyond us, discover information that we did not supply them and arrive at sound conclusions that we did not suggest. We must equip them to learn for themselves. What are these history skills? Do they appear in our curricular objectives?

Christopher Schlect

Dr. Schlect has worked in classical and Christian education for over 25 years. He is the Director of the Classical and Christian Studies Graduate Program at New Saint Andrews College, where he also teaches courses in history and classical rhetoric. Schlect has also taught at Washington State University, and has delivered many subjects to 7th- to 12th-grade students at Logos School in Moscow, Idaho. Schlect serves classical and Christian Schools around the country through his consulting and teacher-training activities, and his published writings appear in various school curricula and other outlets. Christopher is a teaching elder at Trinity Reformed Church (CREC) in Moscow, Idaho. He and his wife, Brenda, have five children, all products of a classical and Christian education. They also have three grandchildren.

Did Rome Fall? And Other Historical Questions That We Need to Ask But Seldom Do

Historical “facts” do not speak for themselves. They have meaning only when we place them into a narrative frame. As Christian educators we need to teach our history students to interrogate the historical narratives that frame our conceptions (and misconceptions) of the past: Was there a Renaissance? The Middle Ages occurred in the middle of what? Did the Puritans dominate the culture of colonial New England? Did the generation gap widen in the 1960s?

Christopher Schlect

Christopher Schlect, PhD, has worked in classical and Christian education for over 25 years. As Fellow of History at New Saint Andrews College, he teaches courses in ancient and medieval civilizations, US history, American Christianity, medieval education, and Classical Rhetoric, among other subjects. He has also taught introductory and advanced courses in U.S. history and Ancient Rome at Washington State University. He is the Director of New Saint Andrews College’s graduate program in Classical and Christian Studies. He taught history and the Bible at Logos School in Moscow, ID, for many years, and serves classical and Christian schools around the country through his consulting and teacher-training activities. His published writings appear in various school curricula and other outlets. Schlect’s research in 20-century Protestant church life has earned numerous competitive grants and fellowships, and he has presented his research at meetings of the American Historical Association, the American Society of Church History, the American Academy of Religion, and the Idaho Council for History Education. He was recently named the 2016–17 distinguished lecturer for the Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities. His historical work includes service as a ranger for the U.S. National Park Service, where he specialized in Protestant missions to the Nez Perce people and interpreted historical sites and material culture for members of the public. Schlect is a teaching elder at Trinity Reformed Church (CREC) in Moscow, ID. He and his wife, Brenda, have five children, all products of a classical and Christian education. They also have one grandchild.