Learning to 'understand backwards' in time: children's temporal cognition and the primary history curriculum

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dc.contributor.advisor Kitching, Karl en
dc.contributor.advisor Conway, Paul F. en
dc.contributor.author O'Sullivan, Eileen
dc.date.accessioned 2016-07-11T09:07:22Z
dc.date.available 2016-07-11T09:07:22Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.date.submitted 2014
dc.identifier.citation O'Sullivan, E. 2014. Learning to 'understand backwards' in time: children's temporal cognition and the primary history curriculum. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 374 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/2851
dc.description.abstract This study examines children’s temporal ways of knowing and it highlights the centrality of temporal cognition in the development of children’s historical understanding. It explores how young children conceptualise time and it examines the provision for temporal cognition at the levels of the intended, enacted and received history curriculum in the Irish primary school context. Positioning temporality as a prerequisite second-order concept, the study recognises the essential role of both first-order and additional second-order concepts in historical understanding. While the former can be defined as the basic, substantive content to be taught, the latter refers to a number of additional key concepts that are deemed fundamental to children's capacity to make meaningful sense of history. The study argues for due recognition to be given to temporality, in the belief that both sets of knowledge, the content and skills, are required to develop historical thinking (Lévesque, 2011). The study addresses a number of key research questions, using a mixed methods research design, comprising an analysis of history textbooks, a survey among final year student teachers about their teaching of history, and school-based interviews with primary school children: What opportunities are available for children to develop temporal ways of knowing? How do student teachers experience being apprenticed into the available culture for teaching history and understanding temporality at primary level? What insights do the cognitive-developmental and sociocultural perspectives on learning provide for understanding the dynamics of children’s temporal ways of knowing? The study argues that the skill of developing a deeper understanding of time is a key prerequisite in connecting with, and constructing, understandings and frameworks of the past. The study advances a view of temporality as complex, multi-faceted and developmental. The findings have a potential contribution to make in influencing policy and pedagogy in establishing an elaborated and well-defined curriculum framework for developing temporal cognition at both national and international levels. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2014, Eileen O'Sullivan. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Temporal ways of knowing en
dc.subject Temporal cognition en
dc.subject Historical understanding en
dc.subject Primary history curriculum en
dc.title Learning to 'understand backwards' in time: children's temporal cognition and the primary history curriculum en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Education) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.check.info No embargo required en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Education en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en
ucc.workflow.supervisor k.kitching@ucc.ie
dc.internal.conferring Spring 2015 en


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© 2014, Eileen O'Sullivan. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2014, Eileen O'Sullivan.
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