Helping students make sense of historical time


By Keith C. Barton, published 31st May 2004

Once upon a time, educators believed that there was a property of children’s minds known as ‘understanding of time’. According to this belief, young children had little ability to understand when things happened, even within their own immediate experiences, much less in the distant past. As they got older, their ability to understand time became progressively more developed: In the early years of primary school they began to understand concepts such as ‘before’ and ‘after’, then to learn about minutes, hours, days and so on, and finally, in early adolescence, to be capable of dealing with the more expansive periods of historical time. Recent theory and research have demonstrated the inadequacy of these older beliefs. Several studies have led to a more complicated - and optimistic - view of children’s thinking about time, as well as to practical guidelines for improving their understanding.

This resource is FREE for Primary HA Members.

Non HA Members can get instant access for £2.75

Add to Basket Join the HA