Historical Thinking Concepts & Critical Thinking Challenges

Historical Thinking Concepts
We’ve provided a guideline to critical historical literacy based on the Historical Thinking Project’s six key concepts:

  1. Establish historical significance
  2. Use primary source evidence
  3. Identify continuity & change
  4. Analyze cause & consequence
  5. Take historical perspectives
  6. Understand ethical dimensions
  7. Critical challenge (from the Critical Thinking Consortium)
History/Social Science
Historical significance:
Women have played a huge role in the legal profession in Ontario and have advanced equity under the law for women
Primary sources:
Scrapbooks of the WLAOhttp://www.lsuc.on.ca/with.aspx?id=2147491519″Crossing the Bar” online exhibithttp://rc.lsuc.on.ca/library/Crossing%20the%20Bar/Crossing%20the%20Bar%20intro.htmPetticoats & Prejudice: Women and Law in Nineteenth Century Canada. Constance Backhouse. Women’s Press, 1991http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constance_Backhouse
Continuity & change:
Women represented 50% of the legal profession in 2001, yet they still experience inequities within the legal profession, and are often forced to stop practicing due to family obligations
Cause & consequence:
While many women are working within the field, they still struggle to stay in law
Historical perspective:
The first woman, Brett Martin, petitioned to be barrister in 1896.The Law Society of Upper Canada, the governing body of the legal profession in Ontario, admitted its first female member in 1897, becoming the first such organization in the British Commonwealth to allow a woman into its ranks.Women who worked in law played important roles mentoring other women colleagues throughout the history of the WLAO. The WLAO was founded in 1919, and maintained an archives from the early ’20s.
Ethical dimensions:
The withdrawal of women in the legal profession has ethical ramifications.Many of the women who were crucial in organizing and mentoring women in the legal profession and for advocating for equitable legislation have yet to be historically recognized.
Critical challenge:
Ask your students to research the roles that women have played in the legal profession, or in getting particular legislation passed. What inequities still exist today? What are the ramifications when women don’t stay in their legal practice?