The purpose and practice of history education: can a humanist approach to teaching history facilitate citizenship education?

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Stout, Aaron P.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science
History has a longstanding relationship with citizenship education (Osborne, 2000). Pedagogically, history classes were used to pass on established narratives to students that reinforced predetermined social priorities. Needless to say, the transmission of nationalistic content has not developed students who know history (Dominion Institute, 2009). Recent scholarship argues that a procedural approach to history education will foster the development of students’ historical consciousness (Seixas & Morton, 2013, Seixas, 2006). This thesis questions the effect of a historical thinking pedagogy, suggesting that the procedural approach does little to shift the historical consciousness of students. Instead, inspired by the work of Barton and Levstik (2004), this thesis argues that history should be taught as a humanity (Nussbaum, 2006), that strives to foster disciplinary thinking, open-mindedness, and imaginative understanding, in order to be relevant as a means of citizenship education in a pluralistic democracy.
History , History Education , Citizenship Education , Historical Consciousness , Historical Thinking , Humanism