Historical literacy and contradictory evidence in Finnish high school setting : The Bronzen Soldier of Tallinn
Veijola, A., & Mikkonen, S. (2016). Historical literacy and contradictory evidence in Finnish high school setting : The Bronzen Soldier of Tallinn. Historical Encounters, 3 (1), 1-16. Retrieved from http://hej.hermes-history.net/index.php/HEJ/article/view/52
Published inHistorical Encounters
© the Authors, 2016. This is an open access article publisher under the terms of the Creative Commons license.
This article revolves around three key issues. First, over the last 30 years, the traditional approach to history teaching as memorization of facts and chains of events has been changing. Currently, the Finnish national core curriculum fixes the focus of history teaching on students’ critical and historical thinking skills. However, the curriculum leaves a lot of maneuvering scope for schools and individual teachers, but teachers seemingly still emphasize content over skills with too little focus on historical thinking skills. Second, Finland has so far been lacking in research on students’ historical thinking skills, even if they have been adopted as an important part of the curriculum. What existing research there is shows that only a few students are able to evaluate the information available and make sense of contradictory interpretations of past events. Third, this article reports an experiment that aimed at offering students more opportunities to develop their historical thinking skills and at the same time evaluated their historical thinking ability. The case chosen was confrontation in Estonia between ethnic Russian and Estonian population around historical interpretations of the so-called Bronze Soldier that led to unrests and violence in Tallinn in 2007. Our research points out that Finnish students have weaknesses in their text skills. Furthermore, analysis of these weaknesses emphasizes a need for research that would examine what kind of interventions change how students learn and how their ability for historical thinking can be improved. ...
PublisherHERMES History Education Research Network, School of Education, The University of Newcastle