Att lära av det förflutna : Yngre elevers förståelse för och motivering till skolämnet historia

Sammanfattning: To learn from the past- younger pupils´ understanding of and motivation for history as a school subjectWhen pupils take part in schools´ history teaching they encounter a school historical culture, which is a part of society’s historical culture. Historical culture is here defined as the specific and particular way in which a society relates to its past. How pupils understand and motivate history as a school subject is a part of how they perceive society’s historical culture. This study examines younger pupils' historical culture based on Jörn Rüsen's defined dimensions of historical culture, which are: cognitive, political, moral, religious and aesthetical. The aim of this study is to examine younger pupils’ historical culture and how they perceive the historical culture they encounter in history as a school subject. In the study, the pupils´ historical culture is defined as the pupils' definition, perception and understanding of history, and primarily, of history as a school subject.The results show that all of Rüsen's five dimensions of historical culture become visible in the pupils’ expressed historical culture, albeit to a different extent. Both the cognitive and moral dimensions become visible in the pupils' main motivation for and understanding of history as a school subject: that they should learn from the past. The pupils say that they can learn from the major events and of peoples’ mistakes and achievements in the past. The pupils also believe that they can learn from the past on a practical level. They also emphasis that they need to learn from the past in order to understand the society they live in since it builds on the past. The pupils also express that school history has an entertaining aspect. They mainly emphasise the exciting and dramatic events in the past. The pupil’s historical culture appears to be homogeneous and mainly based on the teaching they received in history as a school subject, but also with an imprint from a social history culture with an interest in, primarily, World War II.The pupils primarily identify with the historical culture they meet through education at school, and mean that the history conveyed to them at school is the same as they encounter in society. The different historical cultural identities the pupils acknowledged that they belonged to seem to overlap and complement one another. The pupils trust the representations of history they encounter both inside and outside school.