Seeing the historical world

Teaching History article

By Lindsay Cassedy, Catherine Flaherty and Michael Fordham, published 19th June 2011

Seeing the historical world: exploring how students perceive the relationship between historical interpretations

In this article, Lindsay Cassedy, Catherine Flaherty and Michael Fordham draw upon their empirical research to assess what understandings their students had of historical interpretations at the end of their compulsory education in history. They found that most students operated with an underlying epistemological model that did not reflect the way history works as an academic discipline. From this, they argue that more emphasis needs to be given to the relationship between different types of interpretation, particularly in recognising that a notion of disciplinary expertise is an important tool in helping students escape misconceptions about the explanatory power of an interpretation...

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