Kelly. T. Mills: historical method through hoaxes

Kelly, T. Mills

Teaching students to lie: historical method through hoaxes‘, The Conversation, 18 August 2012

Fifty-one posters commented on this article which claims that, when you teach students how to lie, they become better historians. Kelly’s aim is to teach students to read sources critically. By creating elaborate historical hoaxes, they learned how to lie online. This was, he says, the best way he has found to teach historical method.

Because they had to create plausible “false facts” to support their hoaxes, my students became much closer readers of historical sources. Only by reading the “true facts” very carefully could they create plausible lies. They also spent many hours in libraries, archives, and visiting historical sites, all so the hoaxes they created would be more believable.

There is a related article in The Atlantic.

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