Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 7(4), pp. 1027 - 1036
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2019.070414
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Teaching the Reasons Why: An Analysis of Causation in History Textbooks and Historical Primary Source Documents


Jason C. Fitzgerald *
Department of Education, Wagner College, US

ABSTRACT

The variety of primary source documents (PSDs) used in secondary education history classes leads to students' assorted exposure to key language constructions important to historical reading and writing such as causal expression. This study asks (1) what is the difference in causal construction exposure between PSDs and textbooks and (2) in what ways do the types of causation qualitatively vary between textbooks and primary source documents. Quantitative analysis demonstrates that students are exposed to a statistically higher rate of causal constructions when reading textbooks then when they read PSDs. Qualitative analysis illustrates that the language used to construct causation in the PSDs was different from that found in the history textbooks. These findings indicate that PSDs do not mentor students in the types of historical writing constructions used in historical explanation.

KEYWORDS
Causation, History Education, Textbooks, Primary Source Documents, Historical Thinking

Cite this paper
Jason C. Fitzgerald . "Teaching the Reasons Why: An Analysis of Causation in History Textbooks and Historical Primary Source Documents." Universal Journal of Educational Research 7.4 (2019) 1027 - 1036. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2019.070414.