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Interpreting National History (08 Edition)by Terrie Epstein
Synopses & Reviews
Narrating National History examines the differences in white and African American children's, adolescents', and adults' interpretations of US history in classroom and community settings. Based on ethnographic interviews with children, teens, and adults in a working class US city, the manuscript focuses on the difference in different grade levels' interpretations of national history at the beginning of the school year. Also included are teachers' views and instruction, vignettes from classroom discussions, as well as parents' views of US history, contemporary society and citizenship.
The book sets this work firmly in social studies methods, and teaching and learning more generally, by noting how contemporary learning standards, textbooks, and some pedagogies can be disconnected from students' cultural identities. The next three chapters shows that while teachers' historical interpretations were largely congruent with those of the White students, students of all backgrounds tended to ignore teacher or text interpretations that conflicted with their pre-instructional views. Also included are discussions of what methods teachers might have instead used done to create better, more just understandings of history. Finally, the concluding chapters provide research based examples of challenges and possibilities facing teachers who want to examine their own views toward teaching national history and society and engage in more culturally responsive pedagogy.
How do students racial identities work with and against teachers pedagogies to shape their understandings of history and contemporary society? Based on a long-term ethnographic study, Interpreting National History examines the startling differences in black and white students' interpretations of U.S. history in classroom and community settings. Interviews with children and teens compare and contrast the historical interpretations students bring with them to the classroom with those they leave with after a year of teacher's instruction. Firmly grounded in history and social studies education theory and practice, this powerful book:
Illuminates how textbooks, pedagogies, and contemporary learning standards are often disconnected from students cultural identities
Explores how students and parents interpret history and society in home and community settings
Successfully analyzes examples of the challenges and possibilities facing teachers of history and social studies
Provides alternative approaches for those who want to examine their own views toward teaching national history and aspire to engage in more culturally responsive pedagogy.
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