A1 Journal article – refereed
Visual Sources and Historical Thinking in Higher Education

List of Authors: Marjaana Puurtinen, Markus Nivala, Arja Virta
Publisher: Karlstad University
Publication year: 2015
Journal: Nordidactica : Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education
Issue number: 4
eISSN: 2000-9879


In this paper we argue that a meaningful perspective for framing the development of historical thinking is needed and suggest the expertise approach for this purpose. In an interview study, 12 master’s and 11 bachelor’s students of history were invited to name themes for two series of historical images and reflect on the images and their conclusions. Only eight students explicitly demonstrated what we define as advanced historical thinking: instead of simply describing the sources, these students used both conceptual and analytical tools, and evaluated the sources critically. We suggest that learning history at university should be a more frequent topic of research in history education and that the scaffolding of history students on different levels of expertise should be taken more into account.

Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 22:39