Envisaging the alternatives: From knowledge of the powerful to powerful knowledge in history classrooms

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Abstract

In this case study, we explore pedagogical practices that could promote powerful knowledge in school history. We analyse teaching sessions conducted by two teachers. The cases were selected from an observation study that focused on historical literacy in Finnish schools. While Michael Young's ideas of powerful knowledge have gained considerable attention in recent years, the pedagogical aspects of powerful knowledge have been less explored than its knowledge theorization. Our results indicate that promoting powerful knowledge is possible in school history. We suggest that powerful knowledge could be supported by teacher-led pedagogy that involves the systematic use of historical texts, and that uses disciplinary concepts to re-conceptualize everyday knowledge. Hence, teaching strives to unpack the (political) use of historical knowledge and narratives that represent the knowledge of the powerful.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
Volume53
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages16
ISSN0022-0272
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • CURRICULUM
  • DISCIPLINARY LITERACY
  • EDUCATION
  • Historical literacy
  • NEED
  • SCHOOL
  • TEACHERS
  • historical thinking
  • history education
  • powerful knowledge
  • 516 Educational sciences

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