This model is based on Morton, T. & Seixas’ The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts (2012); Scott’s Understanding Cause and Effect (1990); and my own modifications and interpretation.
Understanding ‘causation’ in history is crucial for students to make sense of the past. At a basic level, causation appears to be the bread and butter of history. The causation model outlined here attempts to get student to understand a number of key strands:
1. Change happens because of MULTIPLE CAUSES and leads to many different results or consequences. These create a WEB of related causes and consequences.
2. Different causes have different LEVELS OF INFLUENCE. Some causes are more important than other causes.
3. Historical changes happen because of two main factors: The actions of HISTORICAL ACTORS and the CONDITIONS (social, economic etc.) which have influenced those actors.
4. HISTORICAL ACTORS cannot always predict the effects of their own actions leading to UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. These unintended consequences can also lead to changes.