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Uses of History in History Education
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (History and Education)
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Historiebruk i historieundervisning (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This compilation thesis contains an introductory chapter and four original articles. The studies comprising this thesis all concern aspects of how historical culture is constituted in historical media and history teachers’ narratives and teaching. It is argued that the teaching of history is a complex matter due to an internal tension resulting from the fact that history is both a product and a process at the same time. While historical facts, and knowledge thereof, are an important aspect of history, history is also a product of careful interpretation and reconstruction. This study analyses and discusses how history is constituted in history textbooks and popular history magazines, i.e. two common historical media, and in teachers’ narratives and teaching of history.

The study finds that the historical media studied generally tend to present history as void of perspective, interpretation and representation, suggesting this to be the culturally warranted form of historical exposition. Moreover, the teachers studied also tend to approach history as if it were not contingent on interpretation and reconstruction. These results indicate that the history disseminated in historical media and history classrooms presents history in a factual way and disregards the procedural aspects of history.

Applying the history didactical concepts of historical consciousness, historical culture and uses of history, this thesis argues that an essential aspect of historical understanding is an appreciation of the contextual contingency that characterises history. All history is conceived within a particular context that is pertinent to why and how a certain version of history is constructed. Furthermore, all history is also received within a particular context by people with particular preconceptions of history that are contextually contingent, in the sense that they are situated in a certain historical culture. Readers of historical media are members of societies and are thus affected by how history is perceived and discussed in these contexts. This thesis argues that an awareness of these aspects of history is an important factor for furthering a complex understanding of history that encompasses the tension highlighted above.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2016. , 94 p.
Series
Umeå studies in history and education, 13
Keyword [en]
Uses of history, historical culture, historical consciousness, history education, historical media, textbooks, popular history magazines, history teachers
Keyword [sv]
Historiebruk, historiekultur, historiemedvetande, historieundervisning, historiska medier, läroböcker, populärhistoriska tidskrifter, historielärare
National Category
History
Research subject
history of education; History; didactics of history
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120212ISBN: 978-91-7601-512-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120212DiVA: diva2:952904
Public defence
2016-09-09, Föreläsningssal 4, Högskolegatan 2, 791 31, Falun, Falun, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-08-19 Created: 2016-05-11 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Historical Consciousness and Historical Media: A History Didactical Approach to Educational Media
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Historical Consciousness and Historical Media: A History Didactical Approach to Educational Media
2014 (English)In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 5, no 4, 497-516 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a theoretical approach to analysing educational media using the concept of historical consciousness. The concept of historical consciousness is defined and operationalised and its relevance for analysis of historical media discussed. One aspect of the theoretical framework proposed is then applied in an analysis of a history textbook account. The analysis finds that while the framework may be applied in analysis of textbooks, its results regarding historical consciousness are tentative and in need of further investigation from the perspective of how its users perceive and appropriate the textbook account. Still, it is argued that the framework proposed may be useful since it specifies how a historical consciousness may be manifested and what methodological approaches that can be used when analysing it.

Keyword
historical consciousness, historical media, history education, uses of history, historical thinking, history didactics, historiemedvetande, historiska medier, historieundervisning, historiebruk, historiskt tänkande, historiedidaktik
National Category
History
Research subject
history of education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88787 (URN)10.3402/edui.v5.24282 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-05-15 Created: 2014-05-14 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved
2. Popular history magazines and history education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Popular history magazines and history education
2015 (English)In: Historical Encounters: A journal of historical consciousness, historical cultures and history education, E-ISSN 2203-7543, Vol. 2, no 1, 102-112 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper argues that popular history magazines may be a welcome complement in history teaching. By outlining a theoretical framework of uses of history, the paper analyses popular history magazine articles from five European countries all dealing with the outbreak of World War I. The study finds that while the studied articles provide a rather heteregoneous view of the causes of the Great War, they can be used to discuss and analyse the importance of perspective in history, thus offering an opportunity to further a more disciplinary historical understanding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The University of Newcastle, Australia, 2015
Keyword
popular history magazines, history education, uses of history, history didactics, populärhistoriska tidskrifter, historieundervisning, historiebruk, historiedidaktik
National Category
History
Research subject
history of education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108281 (URN)000373181800008 ()
Available from: 2015-12-03 Created: 2015-09-08 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved
3. Representation and interpretation: Textbooks, teachers, and historical culture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Representation and interpretation: Textbooks, teachers, and historical culture
2015 (English)In: IARTEM e-journal, ISSN 1837-2104, Vol. 7, no 2, 73-99 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents a study of how contemporary Swedish lower secondary school textbooks present the emergence of the Cold War and how 10 active lower secondary school history teachers interpreted a quotation that was ambiguous in relation to the general narrative in the studied Swedish textbooks, seeking to analyse textbooks both from the perspectives of content and reception. Applying a theoretical framework of uses of history, the study finds that the narratives presented in the studied textbooks are what could be called traditional in the sense that they do not acknowledge perspective and representation in history. While the interviewed teachers generally acknowledged that textbook narratives are representations of history and contingent on perspective, few teachers extended this to include how their own views affect their interpretations, suggesting an intermediary appreciation of the contextual contingency of historical narratives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Association for Research on Textbooks and Educational Media, 2015
Keyword
textbooks, narrative, history didactics, reception, historical culture, uses of history, historical consciousness, läroböcker, narrativ, historiedidaktik, reception, historiekultur, historiebruk, historiemedvetande
National Category
History
Research subject
history of education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108295 (URN)
Available from: 2015-09-18 Created: 2015-09-08 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved
4. Experiencing, Using, and Teaching History: Aspects of Two History Teachers' Relations to History and Historical Media
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experiencing, Using, and Teaching History: Aspects of Two History Teachers' Relations to History and Historical Media
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Cold War, educational media, historical consciousness, historical culture, history education, narrative, uses of history
National Category
History
Research subject
History; history of education; didactics of history
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120200 (URN)
Projects
Teaching the Cold War: Memory Practices in the Classroom
Available from: 2016-08-14 Created: 2016-05-11 Last updated: 2016-08-17

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