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ERIC Number: EJ806191
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7996
Using Biography to Help Young Learners Understand the Causes of Historical Change and Continuity
Fertig, Gary
Social Studies, v99 n4 p147-154 Jul-Aug 2008
When teachers in elementary and middle school classrooms portray history as an immutable sequence of certain facts, dates, and events, young learners tend to view the past, and by extension the future, as something fixed and inevitable. Learning about the past through investigating biographies can help counter this tendency by teaching students to recognize that individuals and groups have the agency to make history and shape the future. In this article, the author presents three instructional strategies in which learners make use of graphic organizers to investigate the historical contexts and chronologies of individuals' lives. Students learn how people have effected historical change and worked together to preserve continuity with the past. They also learn that the values and attitudes that motivated individuals and groups to act as they did were in large measure the result of historically specific social structures and institutional arrangements. (Contains 2 tables and 1 note.)
Heldref Publications. 1319 Eighteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Tel: 800-365-9753; Tel: 202-296-6267; Fax: 202-293-6130; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A