Learning and teaching about the past: three to eight year olds (Aprendendo e ensinando sobre o passado a crianças de três a oito anos)

Cooper, Hilary ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7468-9910 (2006) Learning and teaching about the past: three to eight year olds (Aprendendo e ensinando sobre o passado a crianças de três a oito anos). Educar em Revista, Specia . pp. 171-190.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1590/0104-4060.405


This paper considers how we can help young children to engage with the past, in ways which reflect genuine historical enquiry. It defines the key process of historical thinking, at any lever as: discussing the causes and effects of changes over time; making inferences from historical sources in order to construct accounts of the past using specialized vocabulary, and understanding why-historical accounts may differ but be equally valid. The paper then considers ways in which the constructivist learning theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner, and subsequent research based on their work, can be applied to history, from children’s earliest years, and in increasingly complex ways. It argues the importance of learning history as a dimension of early years education in ways which are meaningful to children and multi perspectival; which allow them to hypothesise, evaluate, support ideas with arguments, listen to others and recognize that sometimes there is no right answer. It then suggests many familiar contexts in which young children can begin to discuss the causes and effects of changes over time, make inferences about a variety of historical sources and construct, compare interpretations of the past and understand why they may vary. It is argued that learning about the past is an integral part of social, emotional, as well as cognitive development. The paper concludes with extracts from dialogue which illustrate progression in children’s reasoning about the past.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Educar em Revista
Publisher: Universidade Federal do Paraná
ISSN: 0104-4060
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute of Education (IOE) > Initial Teacher Education (ITE) > Early Years and Primary Undergraduate Partnership QG
Additional Information: Available under a Creative Commons International licence.
Depositing User: Hilary Cooper
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2010 16:21
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 19:15
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/112


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