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      What is the purpose of studying history? Developing students’ perspectives on the purposes and value of history education

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          Abstract

          This paper reports on an intervention study conducted with the A level students whom I teach at a sixth form college in the north-west of England. The study aimed to survey the students’ perceptions of the purposes of history education, and to broaden their understanding of the debate. The study drew upon data from 82 online forum posts from 41 history A level students. It consisted of two stages: the first surveyed students’ initial perceptions of the purposes of history education; the second aimed to further develop students’ perceptions through the deployment of stimulus material and activities designed to broaden students’ understanding of the issue. Following these activities, students’ perceptions were surveyed for a second time to facilitate comparison. The study data indicate that students who have chosen to pursue their historical studies to a higher level tend to appreciate the intrinsic value of knowing history (as opposed to its extrinsic value, such as developing transferable skills or for the sake of employability). The study also indicates that students’ perceptions of the purpose and value of historical study can be significantly altered by teacher intervention, although the long-term impact remains unassessed.

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          The big six historical thinking concepts

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            Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism

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              Elicitation Techniques: Getting People to Talk About Ideas They Don’t Usually Talk About

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                herj
                herj
                History Education Research Journal
                HERJ
                UCL Press (UK )
                2631-9713
                20 April 2021
                : 18
                : 1
                : 89-108
                Affiliations
                UCL Institute of Education, UK
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Email: danielnuttall1981@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                10.14324/HERJ.18.1.06
                Copyright © 2021 Nuttall

                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
                Figures: 2, Tables: 7, References: 43, Pages: 21
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                History Education Research Journal
                Volume 18, Issue 1

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