Patterns of reasoning: A tentative model to analyse historical and moral consciousness among 9th grade students

Niklas Ammert


Students find ethical and moral issues central and interesting when they interpret history. History can offer explanations and references to moral values that are still valid - or not valid - in our time. At the same time moral values provide conceivable contexts that connect students to the past. Views on interrelations between the past and the present seem to interact with the students' moral foundations, questions, interpretations, understanding or repudiation. On a societal level similar phenomena can be identified when groups of people turn to history either to handle challenges or to apologize or heal wrongs from the past. Furthermore National curricula prescribe ethical dimensions in school education, not least for the subject of history.

In this pilot study swedish 9th grade students discuss a text from Christopher Brownings' book Ordinary Men. The students' answers are analysed in a theroetical model including different aspects of historical consciousness and different apsects of moral reasoning. The aim is to study if there are patterns of interrelations and, if so, how these patterns are manifested.


historical consciousness; moral consciousness; interrelations; Sweden; high school students;

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Copyright (c) 2017 Niklas Ammert

Historical Encounters is a double blind peer-reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the empirical and theoretical study of historical consciousness, historical cultures, and history education.

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