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      Bias in teachers' assessments of students' historical narratives

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            Abstract

            According to diverse research, historical thinking and historical accounts or narratives contain different dimensions. At least three such dimensions can be found: historical methods, rhetorical forms and ethical statements. The ethical dimension means that historical narratives contain ethical agendas; the rhetorical dimension implies that historical narratives consist of certain stylistic figures; the dimension of historical methods signifies that history is a science with certain methods that must be considered when constructing historical narratives. Although research on history teaching and assessment has made great progress in recent years, it almost exclusively deals with the dimension of historical methods. This is problematic as students' historical narratives, test responses or essays, contain all three dimensions, and all three dimensions seem to be taken into account when the students' narratives are assessed. This study problematizes what happens when teachers in Sweden are only required to assess the dimension of historical methods. The research is based on an empirical investigation where teachers, using the knowledge requirements from the syllabus in history, assessed four historical narratives with focuses on different dimensions of the three. The results suggest that teachers find it difficult to accept a historical narrative that, on the one hand, corresponds to the dimension of historical methods but, on the other hand, contains ethical statements that do not correspond with the assessor's own ethical understanding.

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            Journal
            75011015
            History Education Research Journal
            UCL IOE Press
            1472-9474
            1472-9466
            17 October 2019
            : 16
            : 2
            : 306-321
            Article
            1472-9474(20191017)16:2L.306;1- s10.phd /ioep/herj/2019/00000016/00000002/art00010
            10.18546/HERJ.16.2.10
            bd61dc78-bece-41ed-95a8-fdc5de66c061
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            Articles: General

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