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”När man kollar på bilden tänker man så här”: en receptionsstudie av gymnasieelevers uppfattning om bilder som kunskapskällor i historieundervisningen
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (History and Education)
2014 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
"When looking at the picture, you think" : A Study of Upper Secondary School Pupils' Rerception of Images as Sources of knowledge in History Education (English)
Abstract [en]

Images are used in history education for a variety of reasons, not least to generate interest through a better understanding of historical events and people. The aim of this study was to investigate how historical pictures, either illustrated or documentary/photographic, can be used as a resource for activating and improving pupils' historical empathy, in the way described by Stéphane Lévasque.

I conducted a reception study on five different focus groups consisting of pupils from different upper secondary schools in Sweden. The pupils varied with regard to number of credits for admission to upper secondary school. A sixth group of pupils was interviewed as a contrasting control group in order to add perspective to the results. The discussions were based on the pupils' interpretations of 34 selected pictures, all of which were taken from the most common history textbooks. Each pupil was asked to choose the picture he/she felt was the most representative historical image. On the basis of the strategies used by the pupils when interpreting the pictures and discussing them, the material was analysed in accordance with Lévesque's categories: imagination, historical contextualisation and morals. The last category, morals, was further divided into three sub-categories: sense of justice, sympathy and progression.

The reflections of the pupils and the degree of contextualisation varied. It appeared that the pupils were less inclined to discuss assumptions about the persons in the pictures; instead they chose to discuss the historical context in question. The pictures in this study did not seem to trigger the pupils to fabricate anachronistic reasoning about history; when they did produce lengthy reasoning, it was contextual, structural and metahistorical. In this context, the pupils who belonged to the group with the highest average of credits showed some signs of reflection on the basis of historical context and some criticism about the historical sources. On no occasion did any of the pupils choose a picture as a concrete expression of injustice.

One of the questions this study aimed to explore was whether a lack of historical context affects how pictures trigger emotions and reasoning on the basis of moral aspects. Some of the pupils displayed moral standpoints, primarily the degree of morals concerning injustice. One possible interpretation could be that the feeling of being unfairly treated and subjected to insulting behaviour and social injustice was something the pupils could relate to. The group of pupils who had not yet studied history at upper secondary school, the control group, generally made reflections using this sort of reasoning when they discussed the historical aspects of the pictures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2014. , 139 p.
, Licentiatavhandlingar från forskarskolan Historiska medier, 8
Keyword [en]
historical empathy, historical understanding, historical images, reception, history didactics
National Category
Didactics History Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-89040ISBN: 978-91-7601-080-8OAI: diva2:718289
2014-06-03, Föreläsningssal 4, Högskolan Dalarna, Falun, Högskolan Dalarna 791 88 Falun, Falun, 13:30 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-05-20 Created: 2014-05-20 Last updated: 2014-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Boström, Ulrika
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