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László Kinyó : The judging national history events: an empirical study of 7TH and 11Th hungarian students

The present investigation integrates the narrative approach of social representation with several research trends on instruction to focus on historical reasoning. The paper discusses (1) which events of Hungarian history are judged the most positive and negative by students; (2) students’ justifications for their choices; (3) the differences in the responses and explanations which can be contributed to age, and (4) the relationship between the knowledge of collective narratives and students’ responses (i.e. missing, inappropriate, appropriate responses). 414 primary school students (12-13-year-olds) and 428 secondary school students (16-17-year-olds) were included in the survey. The components of the questionnaire were based on the structure of an instrument developed by Laszlo, Ehmann and Imre (2002). The questionnaire was comprised of open response items. Event categories and argument categories were established in a process of content analysis. The relationships between category variables were defined using contingency tables. The samples were compared in a homogeneity analysis. The relations between variables were explored with cross-table analyses. The results show significant differences (p<0.05) between the two age groups regarding both the events judged as positive and those as negative. Similarly, significant differences were found in the argument categories. Results form the analysis of the argument categories identified in the supporting statements given for the selection of specific events revealed qualitative differences between the historical reasoning of primary and secondary school students. In addition, several event-specific argument categories (concrete and abstract features) could be defined.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 105. Number 4. 409-432. (2005)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Kinyó László, SZTE Neveléstudományi Tanszék, H-6722 Szeged, Petőfi S. sgt. 30-34.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia