Tag Archives: history teaching

Talking, not just reading

In a recent study on what undergraduate students think historical thinking is, one surprising finding was that they thought it was about talking. Talking to one another, talking to tutors…discussion, which teachers thoughts was the mechanism for learning about history as the fundamentally individual reading and analysis of primary sources, was actually what historical thinking consisted of, according to students.

Yet another quote from Brown et al 1989 might suggest why they could be right:

It is a mistake to think that important discourse in learning is always direct and declarative. This peripheral participation is particularly important for people entering the culture. They need to observe how practitioners at various levels behave and talk to get a sense of how expertise is manifest in conversation and other activities. p40