Source criticism in the classroom: An empiricist straitjacket on pupils’ historical thinking?

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Source criticism in the classroom: An empiricist straitjacket on pupils’ historical thinking?

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Source criticism in the classroom: An empiricist straitjacket on pupils’ historical thinking?
Author(s) Rosenlund, David
Date 2015
English abstract
The concept of source criticism has long had a central role in Swedish history curricula. In this essay, the concept is analysed in three contexts. First, a growing epistemological discrepancy is identified over time with regard to the ways in which the aim of history teaching and the use of source criticism is set down in school curricula. The aim of teaching history has changed towards a more post-structuralist approach, while the concept of source criticism is still described from a more empiricist, epistemological stance. In a second context, Swedish history textbooks are found to use the concept of source criticism in an empiricist, epistemological way. In a third context, upper secondary pupils seem to be confused, navigating between two incompatible epistemological views of historical knowledge. The essay ends with a discussion on how to convert the use of source criticism - from the strait jacket it seems to put on pupils historical thinking, to the necessary and helpful tool it should be.
Swedish abstract
Begreppet källkritik har länge haft en central roll i svenska kursplaner i historia. I denna artikel analyseras begreppet i tre sammanhang. Först identifieras en ökande epistemologisk avvikelse över tid mellan historieämnets syftesbeskrivning och beskrivningen av källkritik i kursplanerna. Syftet med undervisningen historia har förändrats i en mer poststrukturalistisk riktning, medan begreppet källkritik beskrivs ur en mer objektivistisk epistemologiska hållning. I ett andra sammanhang undersöks svenska historieläroböcker och i dessa beskrivs begreppet källkritik ur ett objektivistiskt perspektiv. I ett tredje sammanhang identifieras hur hur gymnasieelever förefaller vara navigera mellan två svårförenliga kunskapsteoretiska paradigm. Uppsatsen avslutas med en diskussion om hur man kan förändra användningen av källkritik - från den tvångströja begreppet verkar att sätta på elever historiska tänkande, till det nödvändiga och användbara verktyg det skulle kunna vara.
Link http://hej.hermes-history.net/index.php/HEJ/article/view/46 (external link to publication)
Publisher HERMES History Education Research Network - The University of Newcastle, Australia
Host/Issue Historical Encounters A journal of historical consciousness, historical cultures, and history education;1
Volume 2
ISSN 2203-7543
Pages 47-57
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) history education
source criticism
epistemology
evidence
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/19882 (link to this page)

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