Cognitive and Instructional Processes in History and the Social Sciences

By Mario Carretero; James F. Voss | Go to book overview

the students to talk about a single set of events and a single set of agents and allowing other events and characters into the picture in a subordinate role at best.

If this is the form of the mediational means that seemed to be used by the students, what can be said about the processes and reasons for using it? The first and most obvious point is that the main reason the students used it was that they had no other mediational means available. Some students who recognized this made explicit statements about it. For example, one student stated at the outset that she considered the history of the United States to be the history of the land and its early inhabitants. After making this point, however, she went on to say, "Since . . . I know relatively little about the geological and anthropological aspects of the ancient United States, I will deal with aspects of history with which I am more familiar. Suffice it to say, however, that I do not consider the history of the 'US' to begin at this point." Following this disclaimer, she went on to write about European settlers, their relations with Native Americans, and so forth.

In general, then, even though roughly half the students expressed some form of discomfort with the story line they employed, they proceeded to use it. I argue that this tendency reflects the fact that the students invoked a single cultural tool. Many of them tried in one way or another to engage in "tactics of resistance" ( de Certeau, 1984) against the power of this mediational means to shape their text, but these tactics were generally quite ineffective, both because the students had access to no well-developed alternative cultural tool and because the tool they were using had an integrated and exclusionary structure that made it very difficult for other voices to participate in the production of the texts in any elaborate way.

What this suggests is that in addition to examining ways in which individuals master accounts of the past, we need to learn much more about how they enter into specific kinds of "use relations" with these accounts. Do they accept them wholeheartedly, or do they question or even reject them? By viewing the production of historical narratives as a form of mediated action, it is possible to keep these questions in focus. In addition to inserting an essential dimension into our understanding of how the teaching and mastery of historical knowledge takes place, this focus will perhaps allow us to address more fully issues of what citizens' historical beliefs are and how these beliefs are used for beneficial and detrimental purposes.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

An earlier version of this chapter was presented at the Conference on "Cognitive and Instructional Processes in Social Sciences and History," Autonoma University, Madrid, October 23-25, 1992. The research for this

-336-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cognitive and Instructional Processes in History and the Social Sciences
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 455

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.