ERIC Number: ED426914
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reasons Students Give for Studying American History.
VanSledright, Bruce A.
This study presents students' responses to the question: "Why do you think they teach you American history in school?" It also provides responses to a second related question: "How might learning history help you in your life away from school?" The study also discusses the types and nature of the rationales students offered and places them against the background context of the U.S. history classroom and curriculum. Subjects were 30 students--12 fifth graders, 12 eighth graders, and 6 high school students from schools in the Midwest. Among the study's conclusions are that presuming that discussions of rationales for studying U.S. history are a sparse feature of standard U.S. history courses, nevertheless, many of these students were able to offer interesting and coherent responses to the question. It is suggested that a shift in how history is learned would see multiple interpretations and points of view, questions of evidence would arise frequently, and debate about the "construction of history" would be common. (Contains 2 tables of data and 44 references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).