London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Teaching history at elementary school: how to develop historical understanding

Author(s) Santos Sole, M.  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2006  
Editor A. Ross, Citizenship Education: Europe and the World  
Language English  
Age group -  
Piagetian theory suggests young children cannot understand historical time, and therefore should not be taught history, but this has been challenged. It has been argued that young children do have a concept of causality, observed in their coherent following of a narration; and that this can be demonstrated with interactive research using stories, images, objects and time lines. This paper analyses the development of time concepts related to children’s historical understanding and teaching methodologies. What ideas do young children have of change and progress over time, what is the past and history; and how do children learn history? Research is in progress, but it seems strategies work with children of this age, and suggest they can understand notions of time and of historical understanding.

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