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      Fostering historical consciousness and empathy in lower secondary students: A comparative study of history curricula in Australia and Singapore

      research-article
      Heliyon
      Elsevier
      Australia, Singapore, History education, History curricula, Empathy, Relationality

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          Abstract

          Over the last three decades, research in history education has led to the development of more relevant, student-centred approaches to history curricula. Some researchers have argued that the mastery of historical literacy fosters individual students' personal attitudes or dispositions toward history, ranging from historical understanding to historical consciousness and empathy. This paper sets out to compare, to what extent and how, history curricula developed in Australia and Singapore have helped to encourage historical consciousness, and empathy in lower secondary school students and strengthen students' sense of relationality with those individuals and groups in society who are different from themselves. The comparative education approach adopted in this paper begins by briefly describing the social, political, and cultural context of each country before presenting a comparative analysis of the history curriculum documents of both countries. This analysis is discussed alongside personal responses from history academics, lower secondary classroom teachers, and senior teachers in charge of history. The findings indicate the two countries’ curriculum documents do seek to foster historical consciousness, while the comments of teacher participants demonstrated how their understanding of the curriculum documents had led to examples of empathy and relationality in their classroom teaching.

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          An Updated Theoretical and Practical Model for Promoting Historical Empathy

          Over the past two decades significant attention has been given to the topic of historical empathy, yet the manner in which historical empathy is currently defined, operationalized, and put into classroom practice lacks consistency and often is based on dated conceptualizations of the construct. Scholars have employed a variety of theoretical and practical approaches to utilizing historical empathy with students, leading to persistent confusion about the nature, purpose and fostering of historical empathy. Our goal is to present an updated conceptualization that clearly defines historical empathy as a dual-dimensional, cognitive-affective construct and differentiates historical empathy from exclusively cognitive or affective modes of historical inquiry. We further provide an updated instructional model for the promotion of historical empathy that includes consideration for historical empathy’s proximate and ultimate goals. We aim to highlight where research has produced some consensus on best practice for promoting empathy and where further study is needed.
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            Differences in Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking Across 63 Countries

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              Historical empathy and perspective taking in the social studies

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Heliyon
                Heliyon
                Heliyon
                Elsevier
                2405-8440
                02 February 2024
                29 February 2024
                02 February 2024
                : 10
                : 4
                : e25769
                Affiliations
                [1]School of Education, The University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
                Article
                S2405-8440(24)01800-0 e25769
                10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e25769
                10869849
                c4d49b6e-34b7-4725-9f9d-c7728e02e45c
                © 2024 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                History
                : 28 February 2023
                : 23 January 2024
                : 1 February 2024
                Categories
                Research Article

                australia,singapore,history education,history curricula,empathy,relationality

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