PhD candidate: Yolande Potjer, MA Funding Agency: NWO – Dutch Research Council
This PhD-research project is about historical reasoning in elementary schools. The main question of my research is: How can a professional development programme (PDP) assist elementary school teachers to stimulate historical thinking and reasoning in children between 8 and 12 years old, using inquiry based learning.
The aim of history education is developing historical awareness in children. This development is stimulated by learning how to critically assess and reason with historical sources and to use these to create new coherent histories. Historical reasoning skills encompass sourcing, contextualization and argumentation using concepts like continuity and change, cause and consequence and similarities and dissimilarities. Based on existing research, inquiry based learning appears to be a fitting approach to help children develop historical reasoning skills. However, as elementary school teachers themselves need to be skilled in historical reasoning before they can teach historical reasoning, the research focuses on professional development of teachers in historical reasoning.
Research questions are:
The project aims to develop: