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ERIC Number: EJ779672
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0889-0293
"Composing Visual History: Using Powerpoint Slideshows to Explore Historical Narrative"
Fehn, Bruce
International Journal of Social Education, v22 n1 p43-67 2007
This article explores PowerPoint slideshow's capacities for introducing history teachers and students to the pictorial and digital turns for representing and narrating the past. Based upon this research, the author argues that image-dominated PowerPoint slideshow provides teachers and students with a unique and powerful tool for composing and interrogating historical evidence and narrative. This investigation into PowerPoint's potential for history teaching and learning draws upon evidence from twenty-seven slideshow compositions produced by twenty pre-service history teachers. In the absence of instruction on PowerPoint slideshow and narrative history, the study found subjects quite predictably composed slideshow histories mimicking narrative structures featured in PowerPoint lectures frequently observed in classrooms and lecture halls. They also contained features such as heavy reliance on bulleted sentences and sentence fragments. Rather than exerting agency upon, and transforming, written and visual sources into their own interpretation and voice, subjects' first PowerPoint compositions tended to serve as vehicles for "knowledge telling" presentations. After instruction on PowerPoint and history, however, some subjects designed compositions demonstrating the medium's capacities to compose a different kind of historical narrative. These slideshows were dominated by images and much more open than subjects' first efforts at conversations about possible meanings an historical slideshow narrative may contain. (Contains 3 tables and 18 notes.)
International Journal of Social Education. Ball State University, Department of History, Muncie, IN 47306. Tel: 765-285-8700; Fax: 765-285-5612; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A