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ERIC Number: EJ927911
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 38
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0362-6784
Beyond Reading Comprehension and Summary: Learning to Read and Write in History by Focusing on Evidence, Perspective, and Interpretation
Monte-Sano, Chauncey
Curriculum Inquiry, v41 n2 p212-249 Mar 2011
Basic reading comprehension and summary tend to be the focus in social studies and history classrooms, if reading and writing are included at all. But such a focus inhibits a conception of history as an interpretive discipline grounded in evidence that is analyzed, not simply accepted. Understanding the past is impossible without such historical reasoning, as is advanced literacy. This study examines the discipline-specific literacy instruction of one history teacher and the simultaneous growth in his students' historical reasoning and writing. Student data included pre- and post-instruction writing samples as well as regularly assigned essays, interviews, and annotations of readings. Teacher data included observations, interviews, and artifacts such as assignments and feedback from one term of a required 11th-grade U.S. history course. Analysis included developing codes based on patterns, testing propositions, and searching for alternative explanations. Through a focus on historical evidence use, perspective, and interpretation students learned to construct more accurate, grounded interpretations of the past. Three teaching strategies emphasized these aspects of historical thinking: annotating primary source readings; regular informal writing prompts that focused on historical perspectives followed by writing prompts that called for a synthesis of major issues; and feedback focused on evidence use and accuracy of interpretation. This study suggests that discipline-specific ways of reading and writing can help students understand history and learn to think historically while developing advanced literacy skills.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 11; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States