University of Tasmania
Parker_whole_thesis.pdf (33.75 MB)

Teaching history in primary schools : a North West Tasmanian case

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posted on 2023-05-28, 01:22 authored by Parker, DL
It is argued that history education, particularly in primary school settings, is an under researched area of the curriculum in Australia. A widely agreed aim of history teaching is to prepare students for an active civic life and the results of this research suggest that teachers use history teaching as a way to build a collective or community identity for students. Qualitative research methodology was employed for its adaptability and the strong tradition of its use in the history education research community. Teachers from the Circular Head Federation of State Primary Schools were invited into individual, semi structured interviews whilst completing a photo sorting activity of potential local history learning sites. The use of photos as symbolic forms of representation is seen as a powerful way to engage meaning making by participants. Grounded theory was employed for analysis of the views expressed. One view noted as important is the transmission of 'Our Story', to create a collective/ community identity. 'Our Story' is created by favouring local and dominant voices in the historical record. It is argued that history teaching which does not include multiple perspectives and global identities narrows students' ability to create a meaningful sense of collective/ community identity within the realities of modern pluralistic society. Within the context of national curriculum transition, this study provides an opportunity for the history education community to understand the views primary level teachers in one local school federation hold about history teaching and how history curriculum is enacted in the primary classroom.


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Copyright 2012 the author.

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