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Thinking and caring about indigenous peoples’ human rights: Swedish students writing history beyond scholarly debate
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. Department of History, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, Stanford University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1884-3252
2016 (English)In: Journal of Peace Education, ISSN 1740-0201, E-ISSN 1740-021XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

According to national and international guidelines, schools should promote historical thinking and foster moral values. Scholars have debated, but not analysed in depth in practice, whether history education can and should hold a normative dimension. This study analyses current human rights education in two Swedish senior high school groups, in classes meant to promote what has been described as conflicting ideals of historical thinking and empathy as caring. Content analysis of students’ exam essays shows intertwined relationships between critical thinking and judgements. The results also highlight how students care that people are treated unjustly; can identify different perspectives; link the past to the present and the future; and use corroboration of information to get the best grade. This analysis shows that the students focus on historical empathy as caring rather than sourcing and corroboration. However, all students combine normative judgements with the complicated act of more neutral perspective recognition in their papers. Evidently, students may combine historical thinking and empathy as caring in line with recommendations of international understanding when they write history about indigenous peoples’ human rights. These findings are significant to all researchers, teachers and decision-makers interested in furthering analytical skills or moral values in education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016.
Keyword [en]
Social studies education, historical thinking and empathy, human rights education (HRE), history education, indigenous people
National Category
Didactics History Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Curriculum Studies; History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-277315DOI: 10.1080/17400201.2015.1119106OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-277315DiVA: diva2:904658
Universella värderingar kontra historiskt tänkande: En studie av undervisning för mänskliga rättigheter i Sverige och USA
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Available from: 2016-02-19 Created: 2016-02-19 Last updated: 2016-03-10Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17400201.2015.1119106

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