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Open Access Students' expressive engagement with historical film's moving images in a Maltese secondary history classroom

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This paper arises from research into using historical film in a Maltese secondary history classroom vis-à-vis its impact on student motivation, engagement and historical understanding. The paper outlines and discusses indicators of students' affective and cognitive engagement when responding to and analysing historical film's moving images Рthat is, extracts from footage of twentieth- and twenty-first century historical events captured live on camera as shown on newsreels, broadcast on television or forming part of a historical documentary. Using a single-site study, data was collected from two cohorts of Year 11 students following the history option programme. Each cohort was taught for an academic year and moving images were used as sources in history lessons. Analysing students' discourse in whole-class dialogues to obtain evidence for student engagement, findings showed different indicators of students' expressive verbal engagement with moving images: asking questions, making spontaneous observations, inserting oneself, establishing associations, and peer interaction. Findings suggest that underlying students' expressive engagement were the visual and auditory appeal of moving images, and classroom talk. Features of classroom talk in which moving images were used were consistent with views of dialogic teaching. Based on this evidence, it is argued that moving images can be used as a tool for engaging students, through classroom talk in a dialogic context, in developing historical understanding. It is also suggested that there is potential for using students' verbal utterances when analysing moving images for assessing learning.
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Keywords: DIALOGIC TEACHING; HISTORICAL UNDERSTANDING; HISTORY CLASSROOM; MALTA; MOVING IMAGES; ORACY; PEER INTERACTION; VERBAL UTTERANCES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 26 October 2018

More about this publication?
  • The History Education Research Journal (HERJ) is an international, open-access, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on the global significance and impact of history education. It covers all aspects of history education theory, scholarship, and pure and applied research. Articles illuminate contemporary issues, concerns, policies and practice, drawing upon the eclectic research methodologies of history education. The journal is published in partnership with the Historical Association.

    HERJ is a relaunch of the International Journal of Historical Learning Teaching and Research. All past issues up to and including vol. 15, no. 1 were published under this title. HERJ vol. 15, no. 2 is the first to be published by UCL IOE Press.
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