Investigating Historical Reasoning in the Classroom

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Date / time: 16 October, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

The Nunn Hall, UCL Institute of Education

Investigating Historical Reasoning in the Classroom

Professor Carla van Boxtel & Dr. Jannet van Drie, Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam

In this seminar we will present our research on historical reasoning in the classroom. Nowadays more attention is given to the development of the ability to think and reason historically about the past, instead of learning ready-made facts and stories. This raises questions of what constitutes historical reasoning and how teachers can enhance historical reasoning in the classroom.We will present our framework of historical reasoning, which is based both on research literature and our analysis of students’ reasoning in the history classroom, for example, in group assignments, whole-class discussions and essay writing. The framework distinguishes itself from other models by its integrative nature and focus on students’ activities.

In our framework we define types and components of reasoning. Furthermore, we conceptualise and investigate how historical reasoning is shaped by students’ understanding of historical metaconcepts, substantial knowledge, epistemological beliefs, reading and writing abilities, and interest in history.During the seminar, we will set out how the framework developed over time and how it functioned as a research agenda. In addition, we will show examples of how the framework can be used in both qualitative and quantitative research.

Relevant reading: Van Drie, J. & Van Boxtel, C. (2008). Historical reasoning: towards a framework for analyzing students’ reasoning about the past. Educational Psychology Review, 20(2), 87-110. [Open access]

This event is organised by the History in Education Special Interest Group at UCL Institute of Education and by UCL Institute of Education’s Subject Specialism Research Group.

The event is FREE and open to all. Refreshments will be provided. Registration is essential. Please go to this link to register: