NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1153543
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0272
Fiction, History and Pedagogy: A Double-Edged Sword
Clark, Penney; Sears, Alan
Journal of Curriculum Studies, v49 n5 p620-639 2017
There are many areas of overlap between history and fiction. Teachers of history have long recognized this connection and used a range of fictional accounts in their teaching. In this article, we argue that fiction is a double-edged sword that must be handled carefully. On the one hand, it presents compelling characters and accounts that provide powerful connections with the past often missing from school history. On the other hand, the narrative force that draws the reader in and connects him or her to the experience of the characters also mitigates against alternative readings of the situation, undercutting the reader's ability to understand the past in complex and critical terms. We contend that in the hands of effective teachers, the double-edged sword of fiction can be a valuable and effective tool in the teaching of history. We begin by exploring three scholarly conversations around the nature of history, history education and learning theory. We then discuss the general relationship between history and fiction, move on to describe two broad categories of fiction and their particular connections to history and history teaching and consider some of the tensions between history and fiction. Finally, we investigate pedagogical implications for effective use of fiction in the teaching of history.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A