ERIC Number: ED370841
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
National History Day: An Ethnohistorical Case Study or Taking the Lid Off the Pot.
This document is a study of the dynamics of National History Day (NHD). The report notices a discrepancy between accounts of National History Day and those concerning contemporary history education. Contemporary history instruction was seen as boring and unimportant, while National History Day activities were seen as a fun opportunity for students to learn about historical subjects in depth. The goal of the study was to obtain a realistic portrait of NHD and determine: (1) whether the positive claims for NHD were realistic and founded; (2) why and how the program grew from a local program with 129 students in 1974 to over 500,000 students nationally in 1991; and (3) what implications there were for educational processes and concerns. It includes: a description of the study; findings in relation to the history and development of NHD and to the learning and motivational effects of participation in NHD; implications for educational reform in general and for the teaching and learning of history specifically; and conclusions, dilemmas, and recommendations. The study was an ethnohistorical case study using an approach that combined traditional historiographic methods such as library, documentary, and primary source research with traditional ethnographic procedures such as participant observation and interviewing. The historical foundations and the contemporary dynamics of NHD as well as the relationship between the two elements are described. The study concluded that participation in NHD provided an opportunity to fulfill needs that could not be met in a traditional classroom such as peer interaction and empowerment. Contains 39 references. (DK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Active Learning; National History Day
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the New England Educational Research Organization (Portsmouth, NH, April 1993).