NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ837364
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0965-0792
What's Important about the Past: American Fourth Graders' Interpretations of Historical Significance
Fertig, Gary; Rios-Alers, Jennifer; Seilbach, Kelly
Educational Action Research, v13 n3 p435-452 Sep 2005
In this article, a university researcher and two teacher researchers collaborated in a classroom study of how 26 American fourth graders (9-year-olds) used primary source photographs to evaluate the historical significance of events in their community's past. Interpreting the photographs as historical evidence, students generated ideas and exchanged strategies for determining significance with one another. Students' interpretations of historical significance were analysed through the development of initial and focused codes to reveal relationships between conceptual categories of valuing criteria and decision-making processes. Students regarded changes over time in their community's material conditions and social relations to be significant when a change was (a) perceived to have affected them personally, (b) meaningful for people living in the present rather than for people who lived in the past, and (c) believed to have been a result of the intentions and actions of identifiable individuals and generalized groups. These findings have important implications for designing cognitively appropriate history instruction that builds on children's prior knowledge.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A