Thematic or sequential analysis in causal explanations

Teaching History article

By Robin Kemp, published 3rd January 2012

Investigating the kinds of historical understanding that Year 8 and Year 10 demonstrate in their efforts to construct narratives

Struck by what he saw as the complexity, artistry and cognitive achievement of historians' narrative accounts, Robin Kemp decided to explore ways of teaching his pupils to write narrative and to analyse the role of such writing in developing various kinds of historical thinking.

Working with Year 8 and Year 10 he designed a research project that would probe the quality and nature of pupils' learning during two narrative-rich enquiries. Each enquiry was designed to  culminate in pupils' own narrative accounts. Using a hermeneutic theming method to analyse his pupils' writing, Kemp also sought to define emergent properties that might be useful in future efforts to find ways of assessing written narrative...

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