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ERIC Number: EJ944023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0889-0293
Empathy as a Tool for Historical Understanding: An Evaluative Approach of the Ancient Greek Primary History Curriculum
Lazarakou, Elisabeth D.
International Journal of Social Education, v23 n1 p27-50 Spr-Sum 2008
The present study examines the ancient Greek history curriculum and the corresponding textbook as they are implemented in the fourth grade of primary school in an aim to determine whether and to what extent empathy is recognized as a fundamental tool for historical understanding. A close examination of the curriculum revealed that empathy is not explicitly included among the skills which are to be taught in the history class. Nevertheless, the special nature of the curriculum under study contributes towards a creation of an educational setting in which it is possible for empathetic procedures to take place. The study supports that the empathetic activities appearing in the history textbook are limited in number. These activities are mostly composed of undisruptive historical events that have no serious consequences and carry no emotional charging. Because of this reason, historical events offering more advantageous opportunities for empathetic processing are not touched upon. Similarly, the historical material that supports the empathetic activities of the textbook is limited. The instructions provided in the teacher's book are also inadequate. In this framework, the empathetic comprehension of history disengages from the historical method and is primarily based upon pupils' imagination and intuition. (Contains 31 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: Elementary Education; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece