Student understanding of causation in History in relation to specific subject matter – causes behind the scramble for Africa
The purpose behind this paper is to contribute with knowledge for what students might need to learn to master casual reasoning regarding specific subject matter (the scramble for Africa). The History-didactical framework used originates from the Historical Thinking-tradition. Data has been derived from a Learning Study and consists of a total of 138 pre- and post-assessments. Results showed that the following aspects were critical for the participating students’ capability to reason on causation in relation to the scramble: (1) Discern that the scramble had causes; (2) Discern that claims for what caused the scramble need support from evidence; (3) Discern that the scramble had both long-term and short-term causes; (4) Discern the chronological structure relating to the scramble not to confuse causes and consequences; (5) Discern that the scramble had composed causes of differing importance; and (6) Discern that the scramble was caused by interaction between societal structures and the actions from historical actors. A value in these findings is that they can contribute with empirically tested knowledge for what students might need to learn when causation is investigated in relation to specific subject matter. Another value is that the critical aspects found are extracted from a composed analysis originating from the character of the subject, curricular demands and analysis of students’ conceptions before and after research-lessons. Thereby findings can hopefully support planning and implementation of teaching.
second-order concepts; causation; student conceptions; critical aspects
- There are currently no refbacks.
Copyright (c) 2019 Anders Nersäter
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.
The journal is published by the HERMES History Education Research Network concentrated at The University of Newcastle, Australia. The journal publishes a single regular issue in June each year, and a special issue in the December. To ensure timely availability of scholarship, articles and reviews are published as soon as they have been successfully through the peer review and editorial processes, adding cumulatively to the content for the single regular issue each year. No fees are charged for subscription or publication. The journal is indexed in SCOPUS, DOAJ, Index Didacticorum, and Google Scholar, and periodically archived in the National Library of Australia's PANDORA Archive. Contributors to the journal retain copyright to their work. Please read the Copyright Notice for full details.
Click here to download the Journal Information booklet, with complete Author Guidelines.
Follow us on Twitter: @hermeshistory or #HistoricalEncounters
Robert J. Parkes, PhD
Editor | Historical Encounters
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle
Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia
T: +61 (2) 498-54080