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A theory-building approach to the study of medieval history in grade four

A theory-building approach to the study of medieval history in grade four

By Monica Resendes and Maria Chuy

Paper given at the 2010 Knowledge Building Summer Institute (2010)

Abstract: This study examined the historical reasoning of Grade 4 students exploring medieval times using a Knowledge Building approach and Knowledge Forum technology. Discursive analysis of student contributions was conducted according to six critical aspects of historical reasoning: asking historical questions, contextualizing, argumentation, using substantive concepts, using meta-concepts, and using historical sources. Students engaged in all major aspects of mature work in historical analysis, suggesting that Knowledge Building pedagogy and technology are conducive to mature historical reasoning. Results also pinpoint components of less developed attributes that require further pedagogical support and suggest ways to further promote effective knowledge construction in history.

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