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The Shifting Resonance of Historical Violence: Considerations of Distance, Seriousness, and Student Readiness

Grant Scribner, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This qualitative case study employs pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) as a framework for exploring secondary history teachers’ conceptions of historical violence in relation to curriculum, pedagogy, and their objectives for students. Participants first describe how they define the term “historical violence,” but the study turns on the ways participants account for their students’ intellectual and emotional well-being when broaching various instances of historical violence that do (and do not) fit into their conceptions. The author argues that teachers change their orientations toward violence based in part on its temporal distance from the present, its perceived political sensitivity, and their estimations of different students’ abilities and identities. In addition, participants discussed their rationales for surfacing or silencing instances of violence with students primarily with age-based (as opposed to experiential) notions of maturity, a finding that should be explored further in subsequent studies. The data is drawn from the perspectives of ten participant high school history teachers in a large public school district in the American Midwest.

Subject Area

Social studies education|Education|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Scribner, Grant, "The Shifting Resonance of Historical Violence: Considerations of Distance, Seriousness, and Student Readiness" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI29320806.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI29320806

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