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Researching History Education

Theory, Method, and Context

By Linda S. Levstik, Keith C. Barton

Routledge – 2008 – 424 pages

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    978-0-8058-6271-3
    February 7th 2008
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    978-0-8058-6270-6
    February 7th 2008

Description

"The authors’ research is well known and among the most important American works being done on how children learn history. It is thus a great idea to gather this pivotal research in one place. The volume offers a new perspective through the authors’ reflections on the research process. It is profound without pomposity, ideal for the intended audience; the tone is just right. There really isn’t another book that does what this one does."

Stephen J. Thornton, University of South Florida

Researching History Education combines a selection of Linda Levstik’s and Keith Barton’s previous work on teaching and learning history with their reflections on the process of research. These studies address students’ ideas about time, evidence, significance, and agency, as well as classroom contexts of history education and broader social influences on students’ and teacher’s thinking. These pieces—widely cited in history and social studies education and typically required reading for students in the area—were chosen to illustrate major themes in the authors’ own work and trends in recent research on history education. In a series of new chapters written especially for this volume, the authors introduce and reflect on their empirical studies and address three issues suggested in the title of the volume: theory, method, and context.

Although research on children’s and adolescents’ historical understanding has been the most active area of scholarship in social studies in recent years, as yet there is little in-depth attention to research methodologies or to the perspectives on children, history, and historical thinking that these methodologies represent. This book fills that need. The authors’ hope is that it will help scholars draw from the existing body of literature in order to participate in more meaningful conversations about the teaching and learning of history.

Researching History Education provides a needed resource for novice and experienced researchers and will be especially useful in research methodology courses, both in social studies and more generally, because of its emphasis on techniques for interviewing children, the impact of theory on research, and the importance of cross-cultural comparisons.

Reviews

"The authors’ research is well known and among the most important American works being done on how children learn history. It is thus a great idea to gather this pivotal research in one place. The volume offers a new perspective through the authors’ reflections on the research process. It is profound without pomposity, ideal for the intended audience; the tone is just right. There really isn’t another book that does what this one does."--Stephen J. Thornton, University of South Florida

"An excellent and important book, one that should be read by anyone with even the slightest interest in the theory and practice of contemporary history education—academics, graduate students, and practitioners alike…Over the past several years, few, if any, scholars have offered as many insights into history education, particularly children’s historical understandings, as have Barton…and Levstik…With respect to instruction, RHE should prove appropriate for a variety of courses, undergraduate as well as graduate."--Kevin D. Vinson, Melissa B. Wilson & Crystal Swenson, Education Review (April 2009), Vol. 12, No. 5

"This book makes an important contribution to the conversation about history learning by making multiple studies available to a wide audience. History educators and social studies teachers, both prospective and experienced, should find this book useful."--Sara Brooks Sundberg, The History Teacher (2009), Vol. 42, Issue 3

"It is interesting to note that the authors do not limit their research techniques to a qualitative vein. Indeed, their research perspectives are wide ranging and present the reader with a variety of excellent classroom experiments."--Richard A. Diem, Teaching History: A Journal of Methods (Fall 2009), 34, No. 2: 99-100

Contents

@contents: Selected Contents:

Preface

  1. Narrative as a primary act of mind?
  2. Linda S. Levstik

  3. The relationship between historical response and narrative in a sixth–grade classroom
  4. Linda S. Levstik

  5. Building a sense of history in a first grade classroom
  6. Linda S. Levstik

  7. Visualizing time
  8. Keith C. Barton

  9. "Back when God was around and everything": The development of children’s understanding of historical time
  10. Keith C. Barton and Linda S. Levstik

  11. "They still use some of their past": Historical salience in children’s chronological thinking
  12. Linda S. Levstik and Keith C. Barton

  13. Making connections
  14. Keith C. Barton

  15. "Bossed around by the Queen": Elementary students’ understanding of individuals and institutions in history
  16. Keith C. Barton

  17. Narrative simplifications in elementary children’s historical understanding
  18. Keith C. Barton

  19. "I just kinda know": Elementary students’ ideas about historical evidence
  20. Keith C. Barton

  21. What makes the past worth knowing?
  22. Linda S. Levstik

  23. "It wasn’t a good part of history": National identity and ambiguity in students’ explanations of historical significance
  24. Keith C. Barton and Linda S. Levstik

  25. Articulating the silences: Teachers and adolescents’ conceptions of historical significance
  26. Linda S. Levstik

  27. Challenging the familiar
  28. Keith C. Barton

  29. "You’d be wanting to know about the past": Social contexts of children’s historical understanding in Northern Ireland and the United States
  30. Keith C. Barton

  31. A sociocultural perspective on children’s understanding of historical change: Comparative findings from Northern Ireland and the United States
  32. Keith C. Barton

  33. Border crossings
  34. Linda S. Levstik

  35. Crossing the empty spaces: Perspective taking in New Zealand adolescents’ understanding of national history
  36. Linda S. Levstik

  37. Digging for clues: An archaeological exploration of historical cognition

Linda S. Levstik, A. Gwynn Henderson, and Jennifer S. Schlarb

Afterword

Related Subjects

  1. Educational Research

Name: Researching History Education: Theory, Method, and Context (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Linda S. Levstik, Keith C. Barton. "The authors’ research is well known and among the most important American works being done on how children learn history. It is thus a great idea to gather this pivotal research in one place. The volume offers a new perspective through...
Categories: Educational Research