Skip to main content

And Santayana lives on: students` views on the purposes for studying American history

Buy Article:

$47.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

This paper explores 30 students' views on the purposes for studying US history. Twelve students were 5th graders, 12 were 8th graders, and six were high school students. Responses were drawn from detailed interview protocol data compiled over three years in the context of a larger research programme that extensively studied the teaching and learning practices in five American history classrooms, two at 5th grade, two at 8th grade, and one at the high school level. Two questions from the protocol frame this exploration:`Why do you think they teach you American history in school?' and `How might learning American history help you in your life away from school?'. Responses indicated that (a )all the students were able to construct some answer to the questions; (b ) rationales for learning history varied considerably by age, interest and ethnic background, but versions of the Santayanan rationale and utilitarian responses were most common; (c ) students seemed initially puzzled by the questions as though they had never considered them before; and (d ) students appeared to hold a `stabilized', consensus view of history, meaning that they thought of history as a collection of putative facts and that their task was to learn them. Implications are considered against the backdrop of teaching and learning American history and the current history curriculum.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 1997

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more