Historical learning using concept cartoons

Teaching History article

By Christoph Kühberger, published 6th April 2022

Historical learning using concept cartoons: engaging with pupils’ prior conceptions

Although perhaps unfamiliar to the majority of our readers, concept cartoons are not a new educational tool. Christoph Kühberger here lays out his rationale for using this technique, borrowed from science education, in history teaching. Concept cartoons provide a means for pupils to express such difficult historical concepts as the historicity of interpretations, and perspectives in contemporary sources, through the lenses of other characters. With a number of possible answers, students are able to justify their choices of which characters’ lenses are more useful.

Concept cartoons have featured in science education for some years now, but history education has engaged little with this innovative approach to subject-based learning. Concept cartoons are cartoons linking pupils’ everyday experiences to the subject-specific concept being taught. This article will discuss the potential of concept cartoons as a method in the teaching of history, illustrating the method via two specific examples...

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