Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, First International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Teaching Histories Critically: Developing Pedagogies for Historical Literacy Across the Disciplines
Nancy November

Last modified: 10-06-2015


How can we leverage students’ historical curiosity in order to develop deeper and more analytical engagement with the past? This essay identifies a problem in history education, a gap in our knowledge of history pedagogy. It then proposes a solution by showing why and how history educators can pursue a cross-disciplinary critique of their own pedagogies, with a view to transforming history education and expanding historical literacy. Where previous writers have focused on practices, and pre-tertiary history education, the present essay is centred on developing a methodology that will go deeper, enabling history educators to examine the pedagogical principles that underpin what happens in the tertiary-level classroom. In the research paradigm proposed here, knowledge and perceptions from teachers and students across historical disciplines are synthesised. This gives the pedagogical designs that result from engaging in collaborative ‘crossover teaching’ an unusually broad inter-disciplinary reach and utility. The innovative teaching designs that educators create when following this research paradigm incorporate best practices in teaching histories, and promote a newly revised ‘index of historical literacy’.



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