ERIC Number: EJ915441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
Causal Discourse and the Teaching of History. How Do Teachers Explain Historical Causality?
Montanero, Manuel; Lucero, Manuel
Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, v39 n2 p109-136 Mar 2011
In this paper we aim to describe how secondary school teachers explain multicausal historical events. To that end, we recorded and analyzed seven classes on "The discovery and colonization of America". The results show that secondary school teachers do not simply deal with history as a catalog of actions, characters and dates. On the contrary, historical contents are presented as a mesh of events and factors, explicitly or implicitly interwoven. In the discourse analysed, causal-conditional relationships are predominant, although some intentional and narrative elements are also integrated. The teachers asked some questions specifically aimed at involving students in causal reasoning. In spite of the fact that some students recalled a great deal of information, they were likely to describe the historical accounts without explaining why they were generated. Recall protocols contained many more narrative elements than causal ones. Most of the students only remembered and understood those causal relationships which had been signaled and supported verbally by teachers during the explanation. Implications for future research are discussed.
Descriptors: Secondary School Teachers, History Instruction, Recall (Psychology), Memory, Secondary Education, United States History, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A