Become Part of The Historical Thinking Project

The Historical Thinking Project invites history educators to contribute to the growing community of teachers and scholars who are actively engaged in promoting historical thinking across Canada — and the world. You can participate by signing up to receive regular email notifications of news and new postings to The Historical Thinking Project site. 

Please include your postal code in the mailing address.

As well, if you would like to create a historical thinking lesson for posting to this site, please contact ulrike.spitzer@ubc.ca

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