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ERIC Number: ED522389
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 256
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-3806-4
Difficult Knowledge and Social Studies (Teacher) Education
Garrett, H. James
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
Social studies education is a field in which those involved--teachers and students--encounter what can be called "difficult knowledge". Difficult knowledge is a theoretical construct suggesting that when an individual encounters representations of social and historical trauma in a learning situation there exists a host of emotional and pedagogical complications. This dissertation investigates difficult knowledge, its complications and implications, within the field of social studies teacher education. When learning to teach, the student/teacher is already going through incredibly complex learning environments. But in social studies education, where the curriculum is often marked by studies of war, famine, genocide, slavery and lynching (to name a few), learning to teach becomes complicated by dealing with these traumas. There becomes a layered problem: making sense of the traumatic essence of history and then helping others do the same through curricular and pedagogical practice. As such, this study examines six individuals at various stages in a secondary social studies teacher education program as they encounter difficult knowledge in various settings. The focus of the study is on the processes that the participants use, the language they employ, and the discursive routes forged in their articulations about their experiences teaching and learning about difficult knowledge. Methodologically, this study brings psychoanalytic theory to bear on qualitative education research. The study takes as given the existence of the unconscious and then proceeds to examine the data as being influenced by the vagaries and uncertainties of knowledge, the ways that learning can be traumatic, the manners in which personal histories cloud and color current perceptions, and the protections that we all use against psychic discomfort and pain. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A