History Teaching as Conversation
AuthorWhitehouse, John Alexander
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2022-03-09.
© 2019 John Alexander Whitehouse
The thesis uses Greek and Roman historiography to discuss the learning and teaching of history. It offers a synthesis of two leading approaches to historical thinking to present a combined model. The components of this model form part of the syntax that teachers and students can use to speak about the past. Although it is rare for research in education to evoke historians from classical antiquity, Greek and Roman historians address persistent issues for history teaching and teacher education. Drawing on the work of Herodotus and Thucydides, the study underscores the importance of using questions and sources to create opportunities for students to engage in historical thinking. The research adapts a model of the epistemic authority of teachers to capture conversation in the history classroom. In this approach, the source acts as a sign for the past or aspects of historical inquiry. The study explores syntactic elements of history such as causation, significance and change. In each instance, works by classical historians are used as the foundation of discussion. The research also addresses two different, but related concepts: historical narrative and interpretations. The research argues for the teaching of historical method in schools. It advocates a social construction approach in which history teachers and students explore source material, build interpretations and exchange representations to promote understanding.
KeywordsHistory education; Teaching history; Historical thinking; Curriculum studies; Teacher knowledge; Historiography; Herodotus; Thucydides; Tacitus
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