This volume is a direct result of an international conference that brought together a number of scholars from Europe and the United States to discuss their ideas and research about cognitive and instructional processes in history and the social sciences. As such, it fills a major gap in the study of how people learn and reason in the context of particular subject matter domains and how instruction can be improved in order to facilitate better learning and reasoning. Previous cognitive work on subject matter learning has been focused primarily upon mathematics and physics; the present effort provides the first such venture examining the history and social science domains from a cognitive perspective.
The different sections of the book cover topics related to comprehension, learning, and instruction of history and the social sciences, including:
*the development of some social sciences concepts,
*the teaching of social sciences -- problems and questions arising from this cognitive perspective of learning,
*the comprehension and learning from historical texts,
*how people and students understand historical causality and provide explanations of historical events, and
*the deduction processes involved in reasoning about social sciences contents.
This volume will be useful for primary and secondary school teachers and for cognitive and instructional researchers interested in problem solving and reasoning, text comprehension, domain-specific knowledge acquisition and concept development.
Contents: Preface. J.F. Voss, M. Carretero, Introduction. Part I: Cognitive Developmental Processes. A. Furnham, Young People's Understanding of Politics and Economics. A.E. Berti, Children's Understanding of the Concept of the State. J. Delval, Stages in the Child's Construction of Social Knowledge. J. Torney-Purta, Dimensions of Adolescents' Reasoning about Political and Historical Issues: Ontological Switches, Developmental Processes, and Situated Learning. J. Linaza, Discussion of Chapters 2-5: Cognitive Development and Representation Processes in the Understanding of Social and Historical Concepts. Part II: Teaching and Instructional Processes in History. G. Leinhardt, C. Stainton, S.M. Virji, E. Odoroff, Learning to Reason in History: Mindlessness to Mindfulness. G.W. McDiarmid, Understanding History for Teaching: A Study of the Historical Understanding of Prospective Teachers. O. Hallden, Constructing the Learning Task in History Instruction. C.L. Hahn, Controversial Issues in History Instruction. A. Rosa, Dicussion of Chapters 6-9: What Do People Consume History For? (If They Do). Learning History as a Process of Knowledge Consumption and Construction of Meaning. Part III: Learning from History and Social Sciences Texts. I.L. Beck, M.G. McKeown, Outcomes of History Instruction: Paste-Up Accounts. C.A. Perfetti, M.A. Britt, J-F. Rouet, M.C. Georgi, R.A. Mason, How Students Use Texts to Learn and Reason about Historical Uncertainty. S.S. Wineburg, J. Fournier, Contextualized Thinking in History. M.J. Rodrigo, Discussion of Chapters 10-12: Promoting Narrative Literacy and Historical Literacy. Part IV: Complex Processes in History and Social Sciences. J. Wertsch, Struggling with the Past: Some Dynamics of Historical Representation. B. von Borries, (Re-)Constructing History and Moral Judgment: On Relationships Between Interpretations of the Past and Perceptions of the Present. M. Carretero, L. Jacott, M. Limon, A. Lopez-Manjon, J.A. Leon, Historical Knowledge: Cognitive and Instructional Implications. D. Kuhn, M. Weinstock, R. Flaton, Historical Reasoning as Theory-Evidence Coordination. J.F. Voss, M. Carretero, J. Kennet, L.N. Silfies, The Collapse of the Soviet Union: A Case Study in Causal Reasoning. A. Riviere, Discussions of Chapters 13-17: The Cognitive Construction of History.