Karl Benziger, Department of History, Rhode Island College
1968, Facing the American War in Vietnam: Historical thinking skills and civic virtue
1968 demonstrated to many Americans that military coercion would not legitimize the American backed government of South Vietnam. The continued fighting indicated a stalemate with no foreseeable end. That year dissatisfaction with the war led both the Democratic and Republican candidates for President to run on peace platforms and yet the war continued. In my Vietnam seminar, 1968 provides an opportunity to engage students in a role play in which they analyze the decision-making process of the American and North Vietnamese to understand the underlying motivations and rationale for continuing the war. How did America’s domestic politics play out in these considerations? A debriefing session provides the setup for a second phase of the exercise ending in 1973 in which we examine peace proposals offered by the Vietnamese Communists and the American response. How did politics influence American and Vietnamese proposals? At what point does civic obligation override political persuasion?
Philipp Bernhard, Augsburg University
Constructing a tool for analyzing and comparing “postcolonial” teaching materials using theoretical concepts from German history didactics
In recent years a number of postcolonial grassroots initiatives, university projects and projects by NGOs have produced teaching materials on German (post-)colonial history outside of school textbooks. My talk, which presents preliminary findings from my PhD project, asks if these materials both do justice to theoretical key concepts of German history didactics and to demands of postcolonial theory. The ultimate goal of my study is to identify challenges for history didactics posed by postcolonial theory. This talk presents the theoretical background, the tool with the criteria used for analysing selected teaching materials as well as preliminary results of the analysis of German “postcolonial” teaching materials. Finally, I will briefly talk about the planned second part of the study, which analyses “postcolonial” teaching materials from Great Britain. The main goal of this comparison is to identify the specific characteristics of the German discourse.
Oldimar Cardoso, Anima Educational Transmedia
Assessment of historical thinking as feedback to the production process of educational media
This proposal is a discussion of a specific Brazilian experience on the production of educational media called “Planos de Aula NOVA ESCOLA”, which is a project conducted by Google.org and the Brazilian NGOs Associação Nova Escola and Fundação Lemann. The author of this proposal is the pedagogical advisor of this project to the subject of History. His role is to select teachers all around Brazil to write full lesson plans to all contents of the new Brazilian national curriculum. Brazil never had a national curriculum before these lesson plans will be distributed for free in a digital platform. During the production process of these lesson plans, some of them are tested in many different classrooms from schools invited to this project. In this process, we assess the historical thinking of the students to help us to understand the impact of the lesson plans in classroom and how to improve them. The purpose of this proposal is to do an appraisal of this project.
Luis Fernando Cerri, State University of Ponta Grossa
Quantitative methods in historical learning assessment: some findings in South American countries
Between 2012 and 2013, four thousand students from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile answered a questionnaire inspired by the 90’s European project “Youth and History”, with adaptations to South American subcontinent’s histories and cultures. The methodology used is the descriptive statistical analysis. This communication details the methodological guiding and presents part of the obtained results in a comparative way. With regards to historical learning and ideas about history, it was possible to realize that there is a certain historiographic update about older subjects, as middle ages, but at subjects relatively more recent, as colonization, industrialization and military dictatorships, the students show a wider range of sources of knowledge apart from historiography.
Barbara Christophe, Georg-Eckert-Institute, Leibniz Institute for International Textbook Research
The political in teaching history: Introducing the Cold War in a German and Swiss history classroom
Comparing two video-taped lessons in a German and Swiss history class-room, introducing the Cold War as a topic, the paper raises two issues. Analyzing the frames, the two teachers apply, it shows how they tell completely different stories on the origin of that conflict marking different events as important and coming to different conclusions about the moral qualities of the main actors. At the same time neither of them even mentions alternative versions or reflects on the political inherent to their treatment. Providing a close reading of dense moments of interactions between teacher and students, it secondly demonstrates that both teachers’ attempt at rendering invisible the political characteristic of their narratives makes it rather difficult for the students to understand the frames they are faced with. Reflexivity, it concludes, is not only an imperative of fairness in plural memory cultures. It is also an indispensable instrument for fostering purely cognitive understanding.
Jeffery D. Nokes, Brigham Young University – Simultaneous interpretation
Argumentative historical reading and writing: Heuristics for citizenship
Argumentative writing—the use of historical evidence and claims to support an interpretation—represents the pinnacle of historical writing. Argumentative reading—the ability to construct a defensible interpretation through a critical evaluation of historical evidence—is a prerequisite for argumentative writing. Active and informed citizenship involves similar processes: using vetted evidence to make decisions and to promote action. With this understanding, history classrooms may represent the best venues for nurturing skills for citizenship. Current research reported here sheds light on historians’ and students’ argumentative reading and writing. I report cognitive and social strategies historians and students use while investigating historical evidence in order to solve a current problem. Empirical research is need to further investigate the transfer of argumentative historical reading and writing skills into real-world civic engagement.
Catherine Duquette, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and Lindsay Gibson, University of Alberta
Big picture, small cards: The influence of historical thinking on students’ narrative competence
The development of a sophisticated historical consciousness is dependent upon a well-developed facility with the processes of historical thinking (Duquette, 2015). Historical consciousness is expressed through narratives, which are often considered by scholars to be relatively fixed over time (Rüsen, 2004). Our study has investigated whether an historical thinking based teaching methods and pedagogical resources have an impact on students’ ability to construct broad, coherent, and plausible historical narrative. This paper will describe a design-based research methodology where grade 5 and 10 students in Quebec and Alberta completed five one-hour classroom activities using timeline cards and historical thinking pedagogy. We will then discuss preliminary findings about the degree to which students’ narrative abilities were improved.
Nina Enkvist, Åbo Akademi University
History in encounters with other school subjects in primary education
This study intends to explore the function of history in an interdisciplinary project in a Finnish primary school, using a qualitative case study design. Data is collected by non-participant observations and a semi-structured teacher interview.
In the current era of increasing demands for interdisciplinary approaches, history didactics can be enriched by exploring what role the subject of history adopts in cross-curricular education. Previous studies have revealed a narrative history teaching tradition to still be dominant in Nordic primary classrooms. With a narrative tradition, one could assume that history adopts a role of a background subject in interdisciplinary educational situations, mainly providing historical facts about the theme. While, if history is seen as a tool for developing citizenship, the subject could take an active role of providing its unique perspectives of tracing the origins of current issues, to critically evaluate society and people.
Markus Furrer, University of Teacher Education Lucerne
The Swiss General Strike from 1918 – a historic masterpiece for civic education in 2018?
In November 1918 the modern Swiss state underwent the biggest crises in its history – the “General Strike”. It left behind a divided society but it also was a pivot to work out a compromise and to find a consensus in democracy. This was the result of a long ongoing process. Only 50 years later historians were able to analyze the painful historic event in a non-dogmatic view.
In classes the teaching of this event was for a long time a difficult and a hidden issue. As textbook analyses show the history of the teaching of the General strike was the fifty years long strongly ideologized by a dominant “bourgeois” rhetoric. Only recent textbooks seem to have a more relaxed and distant but also more analytical approach to the event. We ask for: Which potential is hidden in this event referring to the dimension of historical thinking, agency and citizenship? How is the General Strike taught in classes and how is the event presented in textbooks?
Christian Grieshaber, University of Koblenz-Landau
The development of a global historical thinking through CLIL – a videographic approach
In order to play an active role in shaping democracy and society in a globalized world pupil need more than mainly a national curriculum. Despite of many anglophone countries many other European curricula still offer their pupils a more or less national input or actually delete global issues from their curricula. Even CLIL textbooks in Germany only focus on German history than on transnational perspectives. The main focus of my current research is to identify useful topics for intercultural global learning. Based on some research in modern German and British textbooks, I will firstly analyze sources, texts and questions which could be useful to promote intercultural global historical thinking. Secondly, I will initiate the development of teaching materials in my teacher training seminars. These materials will eventually be used in bilingual high school classes during practical training units. The final evaluation will be documented and analyzed via videography.
Wolfgang Hasberg, University of Cologne
Historical consciousness: Difficulties of empirical exploration a third order concept. German experiences and general observations
In the paper the concept of “historical consciousness in society” (K.-E. Jeismann) which plays the role of a strong paradigm in the German speaking debate about history didactics will be explained on different way. Firstly, the history of this concept did not start in the 1970s as oft is suggested, but the origins can be found in the 19thcentury when the concept of Geisteswissenschaften (humanities) was founded by W. Dilthey and other scholars (Hasberg, 2015). Though, the main focus in this part of the lecture will lie on the development since 1970 when the concept was created and elaborated by diverse impulses. The goal of this chapter is to explain historical consciousness as a third order concept which includes such second order concepts as historical argumentation, reasoning etc. By this way of comparison with not-German-concepts shall emblaze the peculiarities of historical consciousness as theoretical framework.
In a second step the lecture will summarize the empirical efforts which are done not only to investigate the concrete forming and arrangement of the historical consciousness of different groups of persons (among others: pupils), but also for to evaluate and elaborate the theory. There are a lot of quantitative as well as qualitative empirical research studies since the 1970s which are not known outside of the German speech community (eg. Hasberg 2001, 2007).
But the ask for more and more empirical research in the field of historical learning which not falls silent ignore the difficulties of applying and implementing empirical results, less in theoretical frameworks than in social fields as history lessons. By German examples the difficulties can be explained and generalized: the adoption of empirical results presupposes a theoretical idea of the social field (eg. History lessons) wherein they should become fruitful. And this theoretical idea may not controvert the theoretical basis whereon the empirical research is grounded. The necessary of a theory of application (Anwendungstheorie) will be discussed in the end. Because: From what is, one cannot deduce what should be (naturalistic fallacy).
Harry Haue, University of Southern Denmark
The impact of compulsory interdisciplinary education on the subject of history in the Danish upper secondary school
In my presentation I will shortly discuss the theoretical didactical reasons for introducing compulsory interdisciplinary education in the Danish upper secondary schools with references to the system theory of Niklas Luhmann. In 2005 the upper secondary education was changed, and it became compulsory to organize cross curricular education at least 10 % of classes. Today 75 % of 16-19-year old attends the upper secondary school, and history is a mandatory subject. Then I shall analyze the empirical material collected by my fellow researchers over the latest decade in order to focus on the possible impact interdisciplinary might have had on history education. The research question is: Has the interdisciplinary education changed the choice of items and the status of history as a subject?
Terry Haydn, University of East Anglia
What values should citizens possess and act on in the 21st century and what part should school history play in the cultivation of civic values? A view from England
The stipulation that all teachers in England should promote “fundamental British values” was a controversial facet of the current regulations for the training of teachers in England (DfE, 2013). The inclusion of this requirement would appear to have particular significance for the teaching of history in schools. It also raises the question of whether the role of the history teacher is to transmit values or to examine them, and whether it is reasonable to claim that the values in question are in fact “British”.
The paper will examine the changing views of policy makers and history educators in England on the issue of “values” in the history curriculum. Although the focus is on policy and practice in England, the issue of values in the history classroom has important implications for the ways in which history is taught in schools in other countries.
Meike Hensel-Grobe, University of Mainz
Future history teachers’ concepts on historical culture
Content knowledge for future history teachers should comprise, among other aspects, a well-structured concept of historical culture (Waldis 2014, Shulman 1987), its infrastructure and its narrative constructions (Grever 2017). This contribution examines how given concepts of historical culture held by preservice teachers (master course) may change when they develop a project for high school students in a history lab. We designed the teaching and learning lab “Thinking about historical culture” to foster university students’ understanding of teaching history in modern societies, in which presentism is the common alternative to trying to reach a deep understanding of the past. We will also discuss the opportunities, challenges and limits of using concept mapping as a diagnostic tool for developing and changing content knowledge.
Mayaka Hida, Hiroshima University
“Learning the other’s historical narrative”: Content analysis of Israeli-Palestinian binational textbook
This study analyses characteristics of the Israeli-Palestinian binational history textbook. The textbook was developed by Israeli and Palestinian teachers in the Israeli-Palestinian textbook project initiated by the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East and the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research from 2002 to 2009. Three volumes booklets were published between 2003 and 2007, and then they were integrated into one binational textbook in 2009. Content analysis of the textbooks and transcripts of interviews with teachers who participated in the project elucidated the depiction characteristics of both Israeli and Palestinian sides. The depiction of Israeli side uses a more detached tone and tends to deal with development of society and triumph of war, whereas that of Palestinian side uses an emotional tone and tends to deal with tragic events. This study also assumes that some depictions were affected by teachers’ perception.
Csaba Jancsák, Ágnes Képiro and Eszter Szőnyi, University of Szeged
Witnesses of the Shoah: Video testimonies in school education in Hungary
Our research team was founded in 2016 at the University of Szeged, supported by Hungarian Academy of Sciences. According to our credo, “fact-based” education development is essential, as well as to embalm historical thinking and the collective historical memory. Similarly, to other Central-Eastern European countries, several historical events of the 20th century, such as the Holocaust, are unspoken today in Hungary and rarely discussed in depth in education, which causes lots of frustration to the students and teachers. In the present project, we argue that digital materials should be incorporated into history teaching, which is especially important in the age of the digital generation. Our research explores the application of digital materials, using video testimonies of Holocaust survivors in formal education – and their impact on attitudes of the students.
Amna Khawaja, University of Helsinki
The design process of an assessment tool for historical literacy: The case of Copernicus
Since 2004 The Finnish history education has been based on various aspects of historical thinking. Yet, classroom materials, including assessment materials, persistently seem to emphasize substance knowledge and ignore the interpretive nature of history as a discipline. In the Finnish educational system, the teachers carry out all student assessment as there are no standardized tests. My research aims to design assessment material, which could help teachers to assess different aspects of historical thinking at primary school level. In my presentation I describe the design process of an assessment task, which looks into the relationship between Copernicus and the Catholic Church through primary and secondary sources. I tested the assessment task on three occasions and made improvements based on the results. By conducting think-aloud-interviews I tried to improve the validity of the assessment tool. Pen and paper test confirmed that the task was neither exhausting nor time consuming.
Urte Kocka, Free University of Berlin
History classes for educating responsible citizens?
In large parts of the world there is much consensus: History lessons should help students to become responsibly acting citizens. For the same purpose a lot of countries around the globe have even adopted a new school subject: Civic Education. Which are the main obstacles? How should history classes be structured and practice in order to reach this aim?
Social science, education and history didactics research on youth and history teaching found out:
1) Curricula concentrating mainly on national history could partly be globalized.
2) In heterogeneous classrooms with multiple cultures teachers better know about their students’ life-worlds in order to choose meaningful topics of the past with questions of today.
3) Historical thinking is not innate, it is to be learned for combining and evaluating the past, present and future.
4) Digitalization in the classroom is often opposed, but critical digital literacy has to be taught.
Carla L. Peck, University of Alberta – Simultaneous interpretation
Does history education have an effect on citizenship practices?
Citizenship education, which has as its central goal the creation of “good” citizens, has been a central justification for the teaching of history for decades. Politicians, pundits, and educators alike lament the (perceived) lack of youth engagement in citizenship activities such as voting and participating in formal political activities, and often point to deficits in youth’s historical knowledge as a central cause for this disengagement. But, what evidence is there that “more history” actually leads to “good” citizens? Might some approaches to teaching history be more effective than others for promoting critical and active citizen engagement? And if so, how might we know? In this keynote presentation, I call for a research program to explore such questions and begin to sketch how we might uncover the effects, if any, of history education on future citizenship practices.
Benjamin Lille, Université Laval and Jean-François Gosselin, Marcelle-Mallet Secondaire privé
The effects of an authentic maker pedagogical sequence on high school students’ historical thinking competency
Engaging in historical thinking development through inquiry is a complex and difficult process for novice students as they potentially face didactic and cognitive limits. We wish to contribute to the didactics of history literature in proposing scaffolds for historical inquiry through an authentic collaborative maker-based pedagogical sequence. Considering computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) literature to design collaboration, we argue that core mechanics of the Minecraft sandbox videogame, 3D printing and maker culture can offer scaffolds and agency in collaborative historical inquiry as they present congruities with cognitive operations required in historical inquiry. In this action research project, students were asked to collaboratively recreate an historical event of the French and Indian War while also answering an interpretative historical question. The 3D world was then physically printed in 3D in order to be exposed in the Civilization museum (Quebec City).
Georg Marschnig, University of Graz
It’s the language, stupid! The hidden curriculum of historical thinking as a challenge in teacher training
The production of historical knowledge, and in consequence historical thinking, too, is always very closely connected to language. Without language, history is simply unthinkable. “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”, as Ludwig Wittgenstein put it over a hundred years ago.
Although the connections between the concepts of historical thinking and language awareness are obvious, it is quite a young question in German History Didactics, how to deal with the acquisition of the so called “hidden curricula” (Halliday).
The proposal presents the theoretical basis of language-sensitive history teaching as it was designed by Saskia Handro in the recent years and discusses its broad effects to the teaching of history in a multilingual, immigration-society, characterized by a wide range of diversity. After the presentation of empirical research aiming on the verbal manifestation of perspectivity, the consequences for initial and in-service teacher training will be discussed.
Philipp Marti, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
Teacher’s assessment and feedback strategies relating to historical writing: Empirical case studies
Writing skills are viewed as a crucial competency needed in today’s knowledge society. Therefore, the perception of a need to foster and improve writing skills beyond language education but in context with different school subjects and their respective disciplinary discourse has become common sense in science. This paper focuses on historical writing (scientific framework, e.g.: van Drie et al. 2015; Monte Sano & De La Paz 2012; Voss & Wiley 1997) as part of history teaching based on the qualitative analysis of a sample of interviews with 10 high school teachers in Switzerland. The teachers were asked about the way they practice historical writing in their classes, how they construct and assess written tests and about their feedback strategies in order to improve student’s historical writing skills. First results of the ongoing evaluation suggest that historical writing is practiced and assessed very differently. One of the most enlightening results seems to be, that the emphasis on different assessment categories such as content, linguistic skills and text coherence tends to vary strongly among teachers. Moreover, the data indicate an influence of teacher’s respective further disciplinary background (e.g. German Philology or Philosophy) on their assessment and feedback strategies. To end the paper, results shall be discussed in the context of the current discourse on a scientific modelling of history teacher competencies (Heuer, Resch & Seidenfuss 2017).
Oliver Mayer-Simmet, Augsburg University
Open Educational Resources (OER) in the history classroom. An empirical market and usage analysis from a history didactics perspective
In recent years, a market for Open Education Resources (OER) has been emerging in Germany, the development of which is increasingly being promoted by the public sector. A major advantage of OER seems to be not only the legal protection for potential users, but also the adaptability of the educational media provided to specific contexts. Starting from a clear definition of the term “Open Educational Resources”, a review of the previous OER initiatives and projects in Germany as well as the approaches of previous research, the lecture deals with the potentials and limits of OER for historical teaching. The lecture presents first results of an empirical study on the internet market for OER in Germany and the habits of the teachers using OER materials from the World Wide Web. One of the most important questions is what quality the History teachers measure OER for learning History and who they see as responsible to check the materials.
Lorna McLean, University of Ottawa
Teacher education, social studies and the Truth and Reconciliation’s calls to action
In this study, I investigate how an assignment that was intended to inform and raise students’ understanding of Indigenous culture, society, politics and economy succeeded in achieving that aim. To do so, I examined the essays that students wrote about their understanding of Indigenous knowledge and didactics after reviewing a series of blogs, videos, websites and articles that they selected for their assignment. My approach to this assignment represented two central concerns in teacher education: teacher educators’ responses to the Truth and Reconciliation’s (TRC) calls to action (#62/63); and, the students’ understanding of the relationship between Indigenous knowledge and the Social Studies, history and Language curricula (Dion, 2004). As a non-Indigenous educator, I’m interested in learning more about the sources that the students selected and the way in these sources connected to their learning about the Truth and Reconciliation’s calls to action.
Marianna Nagy, University of Hungary
Can we better support in-service teachers in contemporary Hungary?
My paper intends to present if we can better support in-service teachers in contemporary Hungary, when legal and institutional framework do not provide suitable conditions for improving critical thinking in History classes. Curricula, textbooks, final exams and the teams behind them all prevent teachers to teach or to think differently. In my courses for in-service teachers while reconsidering the history of Hungary in early modern and modern ages topic by topic we examine questions, like: why do we teach the given topic? What message does it send to the present, why is it timely for us? What relics of former ideological approaches (e.g. nationalis-romantic, marxist) have the textbooks which must be used nowdays preserved in their texts, in their selection of sources or in their directed questions etc.? Why is the topic incoherent, what is hidden from the students? Which elements of the topic should be emphasized? How does the topic relate to the regional/European and world history?
Mare Oja, Tallinn University
Action research – project as an active method to develop pupils´ civic skills
Educational policy should make the student aware of their ability of being an active and responsible citizen. To do this, educators need to use models of real life, engage partners from the labor market, civil society and community, and to give students the opportunity to experience the positive change in society through a particular activity. Such an experience influences development of students’ knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, which are characteristic of an active, responsible and socially solidary citizen.
Tallinn University in cooperation with six schools tested the project method, which corresponded to the applications described above. Students analyzed the causes, characteristics and effects of selected social problems and offered a positive program that would mitigate or solve the problem and implemented it. Students were given the initiative in planning and implementing activities. The inquiry of the process was carried out with engaging in action research.
Cláudia Pinto Ribeiro, University of Porto | CITCEM
I-teachers: The importance of ICT in initial teacher training
This work shows the results of the implementation of the course unit The WEB and the Teaching of History, in the Faculty of Arts- University of Porto, between 2015 and 2018. It is structured in two parts: the first contextualizes the relevance of the course unit, its program and objectives, as well as its importance in the initial training of history teachers; the second presents some works done by students and the evaluation made by them about the course unit, obtained through the application of a survey.
The results of this study showed instigating conclusions. Initially, the students, mostly “digital natives”, didn’t master the digital language, nor the basic use of WEB tools. Sometimes they offered resistance and showed distrust of its effective use in history teaching. However, the frequency of the course unit showed them the potentials of the ICT, evident in their creative works and in the production and use of digital didactic resources in the following years in several contexts
Nathalie Popa, McGill University
Teaching and learning meaningful history in a regular US high school history class: A design-based study of historical consciousness in classroom practice
It is cliché, yet it remains true: we live in a dizzyingly complex and rapidly changing world. Major developments, such as the digital and cyber revolutions, social acceleration, climate instability, and mass migration, are rendering obsolete previous ways of making sense of, and engaging in the world. In this context, history education has seen a significant shift over the past decades toward a more constructivist approach that emphasizes disciplinary forms of understanding, critical thinking, and democratic attitudes. In this sense, important work has been made both by researchers and educators to rethink history education for the 21st century. However, these efforts have generally assumed that students find history relevant and meaningful to their lives today and in the future. In this paper I argue that cultivating young people’s historical consciousness can help in that respect, and is a necessary step toward developing critical thinking, citizenship skills, and historical agency.
Susanne Popp, Augsburg University
Facing the challenges of historical content knowledge in the initial teacher training
Many of our students –future history teachers– complain at the end of their studies about a lack of solid historical overview and orientation knowledge, particularly with regard to the “canonical” topics of the school curriculum (e.g. Attic Democracy, French Revolution). In an advanced seminar on the planning of history lessons, we jointly examined and reflected by action research how the students proceed when they design lessons on historical topics where they feel very unsure about content knowledge. On the one hand, they realized that this uncertainty resulted in a strong tendency to place data and facts at the center of their teaching plans or to favor student activities, under the label “competences” or “games”, that require little historical knowledge. On the other hand, they learned that the framework of historical thinking concepts can serve as a very useful tool for systematically working on the (perceived) gaps in the history teacher’s content knowledge.
Cenek Pycha, Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes
Working with primary sources in digital environment. Case study: Research and development of an online learning tool
The learning environment “HistoryLab.cz” was designed to engage students of primary and secondary (in the Czech Rep.) education in active building of historical literacy focusing contemporary history. It offers analytical and interpretational tools along with historical photographs and texts. The learning environment attempts to make use of digital technology’s potential to apply methodological elements of constructivist pedagogy. Important part of the development process was testing. The testing design consisted of mixed methods, we collected data from using the tool in 50 schools. In my paper, I will present some concrete results of testing and also the decisions we made in design, content and scaffolding techniques based on our research. It seems, that digital technologies can be employed to deepen understanding and acquire skills by working with primary sources, but it is necessary to take into consideration design of the environment and also the real conditions in the classroom.
Jukka Rantala and Najat Ouakrim-Soivio, University of Helsinki
Finnish history teachers’ satisfaction concerning National Core Curriculum as a teaching guide
The new National Core Curricula (NCC) for basic education and high schools have been put into effect recently in Finland. The NCC for Basic Education (2014) emphasizes disciplinary history: in other words, teaching and learning focusses on historical thinking. This manifest itself through a detailed portrayal of the study aims and assessment criteria. The content knowledge is displayed non-specifically, and only 11 broad content goals are defined for four-year history studies in basic education (266 lessons). However, the NCC for high schools (2015) still stresses content knowledge. In total, there are 36 content goals to learn in three obligatory courses (114 lessons). In our presentation, we answer our research question: how have history teachers received the history portion of the NCC? In our presentation, we also present teachers’ perceptions about the study aims, contents, and assessment criteria expressed in the history curricula.
Anu Raudsepp, University of Tartu
The student’s researches on the developing of the historical thinking based on Estonian experiences
The aim of the presentation is to explain the importance of writing historical researches from the viewpoint of historical thinking.
1) Challenges for developing the teacher’s competences for the guidance of historical researches. The tools of training teacher’s competences for guiding students to find and interpret relevant, including empirical sources, required for writing researches will be introduced.
2) Challenges for developing the student’s competences for the writing of historical researches. The methods of analyzing and interpreting sources from the different perspectives concerning the historical and civic problems as example on the e-course for students will be introduced.
3) The Estonian recent practices of the student’s historical researches in school from the perspective of moral civic values.
The student’s consequences concerning the intercultural understanding and respect, identity, connections between past and present and its impact on the future will be discussed.
Mario Resch, Christian Heuer and Manfred Seidenfuß, Heidelberg University of Education
The development of competencies for teaching history during the second phase of teacher training
For the systematization of historical didactic knowledge and competencies of history teachers, a specific model of action was theoretically postulated in the context of a research college. In order to validate the model of domain-specific competencies and to investigate didactic competence development processes in history, a vignette-supported test instrument, a specialized knowledge test and self-assessment scales for subjective theories are used in a longitudinal study for prospective teachers during the second phase of teacher training. The vignette test refers to the competence facet “Formulating tasks”.
The lecture will focus on the results of the survey with regard to the following questions:
1) How do teaching competencies develop during the second phase of teacher training?
2) How does the relationship between historical knowledge and historical didactic knowledge and competencies develop during the second phase of teacher training?
Dennis Röder, Augsburg University
Categorizing humans and the difficulties in history teaching – a German case study
Colonies, tribes, nations, races, ethnicities – categorizing humans into various groups has been done throughout history and, of course, in the History classroom by our History books, by students and by teachers. However, reflecting on such categories in an in-depth way is seldomly done. History teachers-to-be often face the difficulty of employing the “correct group name” or categorize human groups etc. on the historic level and in connection with topics dealt with in class. In addition, they only rarely get to know the history of the use of such categories in order to professionally deal with sensitive issues such as race.
My presentation wants to focus on interviews and group discussions with History students and teachers-to-be in Germany on “categorizing” humans throughout history, esp. on the sensitive issue of “race” in the German History classroom. The interviews/ discussions centered on sources, use of language and topics that sparked new teaching material I’d like to present.
Jutta Schumann, Augsburg University
The new Bavarian curriculum Plus and the associated task formats as result of a long-lasting competence debate – progress or regression on the way to “historical thinking”?
As one of the last 16 German federal states, Bavaria has been introducing in 2012 a curriculum for history, which puts a central focus on competence orientation (skills). This approach is not new to German history didactics, since the subject has not considered data and facts to be central knowledge goals since the 1980s. Rather, the concept of “historical thinking” has already subsumed skills such as for example the ability to reflect critically on historical sources. Despite these traditions, a debate has developed in the subject over the last 15 years, on how to implement the concrete demand for competence orientation. In a first section, the contribution deals briefly with this debate and then evaluates the new Bavarian curriculum (including teaching examples). The primary interest is in the question of which changes result from the newly introduced competence orientation and how these changes affect the school subject of history with its traditional concept of historical thinking.
Mahunele Thotse, University of Limpopo
Teaching a skills-based approach to historical evidence and knowledge: A schools based assessment learner portfolio
Since the advent of democracy, South Africa embarked on attempts to build curriculum based on the values that inspired the country’s constitution. Its aims are to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights, etc. The History education curriculum in particular has an important role in the realization of these aims. The experience of implementation, however, had the curriculum receiving three major revisions already. To achieve these aims, the History education as a rigorous process of enquiry is challenged to produce and enable learners to develop and acquire particular skills. This presentation aims to reflect on the teaching of a skills-based approach to Historical evidence and knowledge using Learners Portfolios as evidence. Due to South Africa’s unequal past which has still not been redressed, challenges to this approach/methodology will also be flagged upon, discussed and plausible suggestions made.
Laura Triviño Cabrera, University of Malaga
Multimodality and historical thinking for the empowerment of the social sciences teacher in training
This paper addresses the research lines we are currently developing in the Research Project entitled Multimodal Literacy and Cultural Studies: Towards a citizenship education in postmodern society, which is being developed by the Social Science Didactics Department at University of Malaga. It focuses on media culture in classrooms; the present time; the feminist perspective, the visibility of otherness, as well as the interdisciplinary nature in teacher training. This study tries to showcase the results of an educational research design for the Master in Secondary Teacher Training, regarding the subject History, Geography, Art and Philosophy Curriculum. The aim of this project is to train teachers on citizenship education using audiovisual resources in the classroom. In order to ensure that citizens are critical and empowered, our empirical research incorporates: the detection and deconstruction of media culture and the construction of individual liberating productions in the postmode.
Nicole Tutiaux-Guillon, Professeure des universités émérite, École supérieure du professorat et de l’éducation de Lille (Communauté d’universités et d’établissements Lille Nord de France) et équipe de recherche Théodile-CIREL, université de Lille – Simultaneous interpretation
Students, did you say students? Who are we talking about?
Researches in didactics of history evidently consider the students … But which students? A seemingly naive question, which in fact covers several of them: the simplest is to conduct a reasoned inventory of the objective characteristics of the students in the literature; the most complex one questions how didacticians construct students in their research. The latter can be broken down on the one hand on the role and the place of the student (singular or plural) in research, on the other hand on the defining features that may be retained: gender, cultural identity, social identity, etc. The conference will try to answer these questions, based on various contributions (conference and researches) in didactics of history in different contexts (French / English / Spanish – speaking), and to draw some reflections on the way researches are written, volens nolens, in the socio-political stakes of the teaching of history.
Cynthia Wallace-Casey, University of Ottawa
Deconstructing national narratives: Agency, Indigenous voices, and historical thinking in the Canadian history hall
This presentation will explore ways of enabling students to engage in Historical Thinking with museum collections. Drawing from an empirical investigation that included student visitors as well as adult facilitators at the Canadian Museum of History, I will examine “big ideas” about Canada’s past. Over 3 days, 26 students, representing every province and territory in Canada, came together in Ottawa for the National Youth History Forum. As part of this learning experience, student participants were surveyed and interviewed (both before and after their museum experience) on what history they wished to remember about Canada’s past.
Adopting a critical discourse methodology, I will discuss these findings, and explore the potential role for museum collections (as exhibited in the Canadian History Hall) to supporting Historical Thinking. I will also examine how the national narrative has changed over time, and how Indigenous voices have become part of the current medley for Canada’s past.
Kalsang Wangdu, University of Turku
History teaching for nation-building in exile: The case of Tibetan refugee schools in India
History is essential to the construction of a national identity. However, the issue of how refugee communities construct their national identity and the image of their historical legacy via the teaching of history is an understudied one. As such, this study examines the role history teaching play in engendering a collective national identity of the Tibetan refugee children in India. By employing critical discourse analysis of the history textbooks with a focus on power and representation, and thematic analysis of classroom observations and interviews with history teachers, this study analyzes the key features of nation-building project of the Tibetan exiles, and how nation-building project manifests itself in the curricular and pedagogical practices of history education. It argues that refugees and other communities in diasporia live in an unstable socio-political climate where use of history for the construction of collective national identity is even more pertinent and urgent.
Roy Weintraub, Tel Aviv University
Agents of the Divine Redemption facing Hayden White: Religious-Zionist history teaching in postmodern times
In recent decades, the influence of postmodernism on history teaching has propelled an extensive global debate in which diverse and clashing voices participate. In this lecture, I examine how Israel’s State-Religious Education (SRE), the public education system of Religious-Zionism, copes with the issue. Religious-Zionism is the spearhead of Israeli settlement in the occupied territories and one of the most prominent ideological players on the national scene. Central in its ideology are the spiritual and essentialist linkage of the Jewish people to the biblical Land of Israel and the concept of the Zionist project as embodying the process of the Divine redemption. The study, based on Peter Seixas conceptual framework, analyzes SRE’s recent history curriculum, textbooks, and a range of lesson plans. The analysis reveals a complex coping pattern that, while adopting epitomic postmodern stances at the declarative level, aims to neutralize their effect on the learning process in practice.
Michael Wobring, Augsburg University
The flexible presentation of space in subject-matter related maps – concepts for the mediation of world history
Regardless the central meaning of subject-matter related maps for history teaching, the imagination of the geographical area remains a specific challenge. In general, we do not know much about the contemporary imagination of geographical area, but contrary to the culture of many popular and established historical atlases. They suggest and canonize the imagination of the geographical area across the eras. These stereotypes were contrasted e.g. by the atlas concept of Jeremy Black (1999). But it still can be enlarged in manifold ways.
The paper wants to point out flexible concepts concerning the presentation of space in subject-matter related world maps. The didactic principle “change of perspective“ is in the center of the approach. The creation of maps by using innovative technical tools from the hand of geographers will be demonstrated and discussed concerning the additional benefit for the mediation of world history. First results of implementation will be presented.
Joanna Wojdon, University of Wrocław
Historical thinking about multiethnic societies in the past – from developing lesson plans to their implementation
Being part of research project Cohesion building of multiethnic societies, 10th-21th c., funded by the Polish Ministry of Science but comprising researchers from several countries (including Russia, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Britain), I have been asked to develop teaching materials based on the findings of the research team that concentrated mostly on the Medieval societies. I decided to develop lesson plans that would combine each of Peter Seixas’ “Big Six” historical thinking concepts with the project findings. The paper will present this publication (the English-language version of which is being also prepared), starting from its background, content and ending with the observations of the implementation of the lesson plans in selected secondary schools of the Wrocław area. The opinions of teachers, students and author’s conclusions from the lesson observations will be taken into consideration.