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Title: Conceptions about the nature of accounts in history : an explorarory study of students' ideas and teachers' assumptions about students' understandings in Singapore
Author: Afandi, Sahaimi Mohamed
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 5768
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis is an exploratory study of students' understandings about the nature of accounts in history, and teachers' assumptions about those ideas. The study was designed to achieve two related objectives: first, to explore and map out the range of ideas students in Singapore may hold about the nature of historical accounts, and second, to examine the assumptions teachers in Singapore may have about their students' understandings. Sixty-nine students (fifty in Year 9 and nineteen in Year 12) across nine institutions completed two written task-sets designed to generate data on students' ideas about accounts. Group interviews were conducted with all students. 93 teachers responded to a questionnaire survey designed to explore teachers' ideas about students' understanding of accounts. In-depth interviews with nine teachers were carried out to supplement questionnaire data. Data analysis of students' ideas pointed to a broad range of student conceptions about accounts, and to the possibility of viewing these conceptions progressively across a 'factual-multiple-criterial' continuum. Analysis of data that focused on teachers' assumptions about students' ideas revealed the possibility of viewing students' conceptions in 'simple' to 'complex' terms, ranging progressively from (i) static and binary, to (ii) subjective and perspectiveful, and to (iii) dynamic and multi-dimensional. This thesis makes the argument that approaching the teaching of school history in a responsive way requires that Singapore teachers recognize the range of preconceptions that students hold about accounts. Specifically, this is done by engaging students' ideas to help them make sense of new knowledge and develop their disciplinary understandings about history. The implications these findings have on planning, research, assessment and practice are discussed in the context of a history pedagogy that is both receptive to an understanding of the methodological underpinnings of the discipline, and responsive to the notion of developing students' understandings of historical knowledge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available