The word 'history' (in all Romance languages and in English) derives from the ancient Greek t a • o p tv, in the Ionic dialect [Keuck, 1934]. This form derives from the Indoeuropean root wid-, weid, 'to see'. Whence the Sanskrit vettas, 'witness', in the sense of 'he who sees'. This conception of sight as the essential source of knowledge leads to the idea that to'twp 'he who sees' is also he who knows: to'topetv in ancient Greek means 'trying to know', 'getting informed'. lo't<..>ptv means thus 'inquiry' .... To see, whence to know, is a first problem. (Jacques Le Goff, 'History', in Enciclopedia Einaudi)


In the last decade, history teaching in Italian elementary schools has seen significant changes. The New Programmes which came out in 1985 have emphasized the reconstructive character of historical knowledge, and the necessity of paying attention to the methodological procedures of historical research.