Learning History

Authored by: Linda S. Levstik

Handbook of Research on Learning and Instruction

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  February  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415804608
eBook ISBN: 9780203839089
Adobe ISBN: 9781136882159

10.4324/9780203839089.ch6

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Abstract

Interest in history education is rooted in fundamental questions about what students can and should learn about how the world came to be the way it is, about how power and exclusion operate in the world, and about how an understanding of the past might influence the present and the future. Because history is never a neutral force or a complete worldview, arguments persist about whose history appears in (or disappears from) the curriculum, how history is taught and learned, and for what purposes (Barton & Levstik, 2004; Berkin, Crocco, & Winslow, 2009; Epstein, 2008; Seixas, 2004; Thornton, 2004, 2008; Wineburg, 2001). These arguments have buffeted history education in the U.S. for over a hundred years and show little sign of disappearing any time soon (Nash, Crabtree, & Dunn, 2000; National Governing Board [NGB], 2000; Levstik, 1996; Lybarger, 1991; Snedden, 1924; Thornton, 2004).

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