ERIC Number: ED387404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
"My Mom Taught Me": The Situated Nature of Historical Understanding.
Barton, Keith C.
This paper reports on a year-long qualitative study of two elementary classrooms in a suburban community near Cincinnati (Ohio). The classes were very homogeneous racially with no students of Hispanic, African-American, Asian, or Pacific Island descent in either class. Interviews, classroom observations and participation, and analysis of student's written assignments were conducted to examine the historical understanding students brought to school, the social context in which their thinking had developed, and the way their ideas affected their encounter with the content of the school curriculum. Students developed their understanding of the past primarily through interactions with relatives, and they used that understanding to construct a narrative of historical development which explained their own lives in the present. This study suggests that research and instruction should begin not with the content of the school curriculum or the nature of the historical discipline, but with the cultural context in which students' historical understanding develops. Contains 84 references. (EH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).