Putting knowledge in context:Curriculum contextualization in history classes

Mouraz, Ana; Leite, Carlinda
April 2013
Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal;Apr2013, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p1
Academic Journal
This paper seeks to study how a school discipline such as history has been required to put its knowledge in context, including its central knowledge (without which school matters lose their identity) as well as methods and the reasons for which this has been done. Putting knowledge in context, which is seen as a way of producing curriculum meaning from the pupils' points of view, is associated with curriculum coherence. Nevertheless, putting knowledge in context has often been put into practice in very technical ways (related to the 'what for?' question) or associated with ethnical purposes, with very little accordance to multiculturalism ideals. Thus the purpose of this study is to examine ways of putting knowledge in context, as Portuguese legal frameworks are recently requiring this change. With regards to empirical methodology, we will focus on eighth grade history teachers' learning proposals. This research was conducted by educational observations among a professional sample. Evidence from the study suggests that pupils' achievement was always (in every dimension) considered good or very good but curricular contextualization practices are not as common as we would have assumed.


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