ERIC Number: ED376121
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr-6
Understanding the "Knowing How" of History: Elementary Student Teachers' Thinking about Historical Texts.
Yeager, Elizabeth Anne; Davis, O. L., Jr.
This study examined elementary teacher candidates' understanding of how history is "made" by historians and how texts are analyzed in the process of historical inquiry. Interviews with three elementary student teachers enrolled at a large southwestern state university indicated that they all had a markedly limited background in academic history. None recalled being actively engaged in the derivation and construction of meaning and significance in history, and none recalled that their teachers explicitly explained issues and components of historical thinking. They were noncommittal about the usefulness of their social studies methods course with regards to teaching history. They were not required to teach social studies lessons during their student teaching semester. When the student teachers were asked to analyze historical documents and express their historical thinking, each student teacher manifested quite different historical understandings, with the three views of social studies being labelled as "the great connection," as a "nonsubject," and as "creative expression." Implications for elementary teacher education programs are offered, focusing on the importance of such issues as historical time, layers and textures of meaning and context, the range and robustness of historical narrative, and rhetorical and persuasive devices. (Contains 22 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).