Do Primary History Books Show a Concern for Explanatory Understanding?

  1. Lookup NU author(s)
  2. Dr Anthony Blake
  3. Professor Douglas Newton
Author(s)Blake A; Newton DP; Newton LD; Brown K
Publication type Article
JournalWestminster Studies in Education
ISSN (print)0140-6728
ISSN (electronic)1470-1359
Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.
This article explores the extent to which books covering history topics identified by the National Curriculum available for use by the teacher in Key Stage 2 (children aged 7-11 years) demonstrate a concern for explanatory understanding. Following a discussion about the meaning and importance of understanding in history and the classification of possible alternative conceptions held by young children identified by researchers, forty-three history books available to the Key Stage 2 teacher were analysed in terms of the types of verbal structures of exposition they employed. Results suggested a concern more with descriptive than explanatory understanding. Teachers seeking to support children’s explanatory understanding in history are advised to be more selective in their choice of text and consider the use of alternative or additional strategies.
NotesTexts relating to children’s knowledge and understanding of history are popular in the primary classroom, but little systematic analysis has been carried out on the types of understanding they promote in this knowledge domain and how effectively they support such understandings. This study provides a mechanism for teachers to use in selecting history texts for the classroom.
Actions    Link to this publication

Altmetrics provided by Altmetric