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Operationalizing the Values of History and Historical Education for Secondary Textbook Designs

Poulakos Hreha, A. Eroica (2012) Operationalizing the Values of History and Historical Education for Secondary Textbook Designs. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Textbooks are not adequate resources from which to teach secondary history for two reasons: first, they largely disregard the nature of history, and second, they do not employ a sound method to learn history. In an attempt to address this problem, I employ three research questions:

• What have been the standards of United States history curriculum in secondary education over the past three decades, since the publication of A Nation at Risk?

• What is the nature of history and historical education in light of Nietzsche and Dewey respectively?

• How can the proper use of a curriculum design help in the authentic learning of history using Nietzsche and Dewey?

The study will analyze the discourse on history education to discern a set of values underwriting the field. Once discerned, these values will serve as a paradigm by which alternative curricular designs can be created.
The study will rely on two philosophers interested in both history and education, Friedrich Nietzsche and John Dewey. Nietzsche’s (1873) “On the Use and Abuse of History for Life,” argued that history is justified insofar as it affords us equipment for life. Dewey’s (1938) Experience and Education posited that education is justified insofar as it is an authentic experience. With the discussion of their views in mind, the study shows that Nietzsche and Dewey’s insights lend themselves to a typology of values that prove helpful when attempting to move beyond the impasse on historical understanding and instruction. These values come in the form of five commitments: to life, action, the present, the useful, and the interplay of permanence and change.
This typology serves as a reminder of those values of history and historical education that, over the years, may have been neglected. It also provides directions and aspirations for teachers and students who may have been misguided. But before this typology can be introduced to the history classroom, its terms must be given a concrete curricular face. This comes in the form of a critical reading of a primary document, and a discussion and illustration of the tasks and skills embedded in a new curricular design.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Poulakos Hreha, A.
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWerlinich, Josephjwerlini@pitt.edy
Committee MemberBickel, Williambickel@pitt.eduBICKEL
Committee MemberLongo, Jerrylongoj@pitt.eduLONGOJ
Committee MemberSeckinger, Richardrsecking@pitt.eduRSECKING
Date: 21 May 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 March 2012
Approval Date: 21 May 2012
Submission Date: 10 April 2012
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 138
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: History Textbooks, Secondary History, History Education
Date Deposited: 21 May 2012 18:52
Last Modified: 21 May 2017 05:15


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