Ottawa town hall, June 1895, James Ballantyne/Library and Archives Canada/PA-131974

Making the foundation for the new Ottawa town hall, June 1895. Photograph attributed to James Ballantyne/Library and Archives Canada/PA-131974.

Research & Reports

Historical thinking has been the subject of a substantial body of recent research. The “foundation documents” in this section provide further information about historical thinking and the historical thinking concepts (HTCs), as well as research conducted in the area of historical thinking in North America.

What is a Benchmark?

<p>John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising &amp; Marketing History,<br />Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections</p>

A surveyor cut a "benchmark" into a stone or a wall when measuring the altitude and/or level of a tract of land. A bracket called a "bench" was secured in the cut to mount the surveying equipment, and all subsequent measurements were made in reference to the position and height of that mark.

The term "benchmark" was first used around 1842 to refer to a standard of quality by which achievement may be measured.

The foundation documents available through the Benchmarks site attempt to help teachers establish standards for assessing student learning of the modes of thought that constitute historical thinking.

John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History,
Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections