ERIC Number: ED433272
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Well at the Bottom of the World: Positionality and New Zealand [Aotearoa] Adolescents' Conceptions of Historical Significance.
Levstik, Linda S.
A study investigated early adolescent Maori, Pacific Islander, and European New Zealanders' understanding of significance in New Zealand (Aotearoa) history through open-ended interviews with 49 11-13-year-old students. Participants understood history to have a dual purpose. First, history linked them to various national, racial, and ethnic heritages and second, it provided a window on the rest of the world. A framework of significance (fairness, coexistence, and instances where New Zealand served as a positive example to other nations) connected bits and pieces of the past into a somewhat cohesive whole, but the connections were tenuous. At the point at which these students were interviewed, their grasp of history was too insubstantial to support in-depth inquiry into the complexities of their own society or of its geoposition, though the latter was an important feature of their discussions of historical significance. Findings suggest that students' perceptions of their global and national position frame how they think and learn, and how they assign significance to what they learn just as surely as do the more "local" elements of race, class, gender, and ethnicity (among other things). Includes 13 notes; contains 35 references and four appendixes: a list of materials used in interview task; interview protocol; students interviewed; and interview responses by gender. (Author/BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand