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      How younger students perceive and identify historical significance

      History Education Research Journal

      UCL Press

      history as school subject, historical significance, historical thinking, younger students

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          Abstract

          Historical significance is a historical thinking concept. Being able to identify historical significance is viewed as important for understanding change and continuity in the past, and for understanding the way ‘history’ is constructed by present society. This article discusses how Swedish students in Grade 5 (age 11 years) perceive and understand historical significance without having received prior instruction on how to identify historical significance. The results show that the students see thrilling and exciting events in the past as significant, as well as the events, inventions, ideas and values that have influenced the present or changed the course of history in some way. In this paper, I compare students’ answers to definitions of historical significance formulated by Christine Counsell (2004) and Matthew Bradshaw (2006). For the study, 67 students were interviewed in semi-structured interviews in small groups. They attended six different schools in the middle part of Sweden and came from varying backgrounds. Regardless of their backgrounds or origins, the students see the history culture of the majority, as presented in their history education, as their own.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Historical problem solving: A study of the cognitive processes used in the evaluation of documentary and pictorial evidence.

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            History, memory cultures and meaning in the classroom.

             K. Hawkey,  J PRIOR (2011)
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              Students' Understanding of Historical Significance

               Peter Seixas (1994)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                herj
                herj
                History Education Research Journal
                HERJ
                UCL Press (UK )
                2631-9713
                20 October 2020
                : 17
                : 2
                : 164-178
                Affiliations
                Mälardalens University, Sweden
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Email: karin.bergman@ 123456mdh.se
                Article
                10.14324/HERJ.17.2.03
                Copyright © 2020 Bergman

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                References: 42, Pages: 16
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                History Education Research Journal
                Volume 17, Issue 2

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