ERIC Number: ED338555
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding History. Technical Report No. 458.
Warren, Beth; Rosebery, Ann S.
The major problem in history education at the precollegiate level is that the history that is typically taught is based on an impoverished idea--or model--that history is recollected facts. There is an enormous discrepancy between "school history" as represented in textbooks and its use in classrooms, and "academic history" as represented in the work of historians and philosophers of history. The two key features that distinguish academic from school history are inquiry and interpretation. Both of these features point to history as a sense-making activity, mediated by the constructive use of language, rather than as the assimilation of recollected facts. An examination of several high school history textbooks show that they do not embody the idea of history as interpretation; rather than telling just one story, they fail to tell any story at all. Precollegiate history needs to be reconceptualized as an active process of inquiry and interpretation. It should imply a content that brings students into contact with concrete historical realities, problems, and models through consideration of both documentary and secondary source materials. One table is included, as is a 22-item list of references. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.