Towards excellent historical r easoning the c ompetency of historical p erspective t aking hpt
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Towards Excellent Historical R easoning: The C ompetency of Historical P erspective T aking (HPT). Authors: Tim Huijgen , Carla van Boxtel , Wim van de Grift & Paul Holthuis Presenting author: Tim Huijgen The Netherlands HEIRNET 2014. Outline presentation. PhD research project

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Towards excellent historical r easoning the c ompetency of historical p erspective t aking hpt

Towards Excellent Historical Reasoning: The Competency of Historical Perspective Taking (HPT)

Authors: Tim Huijgen, Carla van Boxtel, Wim van de Grift & Paul HolthuisPresenting author: Tim HuijgenThe NetherlandsHEIRNET 2014

Outline presentation
Outline presentation

  • PhD research project

  • Theoreticalframework

  • Research questions

  • Method

  • Results

  • Discussion

Phd research project 2012 2018
PhD research project 2012 – 2018

  • How do history teachers stimulate students’ ability to perform HPT?

  • How can we help students to perform HPT?

  • Performing HPT: measuring students’ ability to perform HPT

  • Performing HPT: students’ knowledge and strategies to perform HPT (explorative)

  • Stimulating HPT: development and validation of an observational protocol regarding teacher ability to stimulate HPT

  • Stimulating HPT: differences regarding teacher ability to stimulate HPT

  • Stimulating HPT: development of class material with a view to stimulating HPT (a quasi- experimental study)

Theoretical framework 1
Theoretical framework (1)

  • In order to be able to explain and evaluate the past, students must learn to consistently take into account that the past differs from the present.

  • HPT is considered as a very important competency in many history curricula of different countries

Theoretical framework 2
Theoretical framework (2)

  • HPT means attempting to see through the eyes of people who lived in other times and circumstances (Seixas & Morton, 2013)

  • HTP is the application of the knowledge that historical agents had particular perspectives on their world that affected their actions(Lee & Ashby, 2001)

  • However, many students suffer from presentism and therefore do not outline the historical context.

  • Presentismis the bias by which people assume that the same goals, intentions, attitudes, and beliefs existed in the past as they exist today (Barton & Levstik, 2004).

Theoretical framework 3
Theoretical framework (3)

  • In order to take a historical perspective:

  • Students should use a chronological, a spatial and a social cultural frame of reference

  • Students must be able to display historical empathy

  • Students must avoid presentism

Research questions
Research questions

  • Which strategies and knowledge do students use in order to successfully take a historical perspective?

  • Which differences can be found between the strategies used by students classified as weak, as average and those classified as excellent when asked to take a historical perspective?


  • Seven teachers each selected a weak, an average and an excellent student (n = 21)

  • HTP assignment (developed and validated by Hartmann and Hasselhorn, 2008)

  • The mean category scores (pop, roa and cont) were calculated for each of the students

  • The data protocols were analyzed by using the coding software programmeMultiple Episode Protocol Analysis (Erkens, 2003)

  • The coding categories were formulated

Results 2
Results (2)

  • Students used:

  • Chronological historical knowledge (including thinking about continuity and change); social-economic historical knowledge; and social-political historical knowledge

  • Historical empathy  students made personal connections with the historical agent

  • Excellent classified students (as compared to weak classified students):

  • Used specification of ignorance

  • Asked more questions about the source

  • Made more references to the source

  • Combined chronological knowledge with social-economic and social politicalknowledge



  • Small number of participants (explorative)

  • Subjective classification

    Practical implications:

  • Combining different frames of references

  • Specifyingtheir lack of knowledge

    Further research:

  • Students who did not display a lot of chronological and social knowledge, tried to take a historical perspective by making personal connections with the historical agent in order to understand the historical agent’s decisions

  • The relation between generic task strategies and domain-specific strategies

Contact or full paper
Contact or full paper?