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Title: Adolescents' tacit substantive understandings of history : making sense of Roman slavery
Author: Pereira, Maria do Céu de Melo Esteves
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 2518
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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Our study focuses on adolescents' tacit substantive understanding and their attempt to make sense of Roman slavery. We studied forty-five Portuguese students distributed by three age groups aged 12+, 14+ and 16+ respectively. They were selected from one secondary school from the North of Portugal, in the environs of Braga. They all had studied, with different degrees of accuracy and depth, the subject of Slavery in Rome. The main purposes of this study were to map students' tacit ideas on slavery, and to detect possible links between students' tacit historical understanding and their empathetic understanding of people of the past. To attain those purposes two specific questions were formulated: What tacit substantive historical ideas do students evoke when trying to understand social practices in the past?, and What tacit substantive historical ideas constitute workable generalisations for understanding such practices? Based on the analysis of data from two interviews and a written test administered to the three age groups, we found commonalities and differences in the students' tacit historical understanding of slavery (Tacit Substantive Historical Understanding interview) and in their empathetic understanding of Roman slaves' reasons for saving their masters from death (Empathy test and Empathy interview). We also determined the students' substantive generalisations on some areas of human experience which were evoked to understand past people and practices. Based on commonalities and differences found in the three age groups, we propose a systematization that may provide some partial and provisional contributions for the study of adolescents' understanding of history.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available