Historieintresse och historieundervisning : Elevers och lärares uppfattning om historieämnet

Sammanfattning: This thesis studies teachers’ and students’ conceptions of history and history teaching and aims to explain the importance of an interest in history among teachers and students of the subject. Research on teachers’ conceptions (e.g. Martin 2005) shows that the didactical question “Why?” influences the “How?” and “Why?” questions and that teachers’ thinking about their own practice is mainly influenced by their background and their experiences from teaching. Research on students’ opinions (e.g. Youth and History, 1997) shows that they enjoy history shown in films, that they appreciate museums, and that the preferred topic is 20th century history. In this thesis learning is envisaged as something individual but it is the learners’ social context that defines what is important, meaningful and interesting to learn. The research methods consist of a survey study concerning the pupils’ attitudes towards history and history education, and an interview study with their teachers about their teaching and their opinions about history in general. Nine teachers and their 217 pupils participated.It is mainly topics from 20th century that are described as interesting by both students and teachers. The teachers had different views on the didactical whyquestion, which they described either as student oriented or subject oriented. Their views on why history is important influenced their teaching methods. The student oriented teachers stated that their pupils’ needs and wishes affect their methods while the subject oriented teachers said that they give varying lessons, and have a more student active teaching, but decide for themselves what teaching methods are to be used. The subject matter is influenced by the teachers’ personal interest in history, in most cases a Eurocentric political history. This choice of content, and the teachers own interest, are explained by the historical culture of Swedish society rather than the curriculum. The teachers state that exciting stories and dramatic events related in books or films were, and still are, important to their interest in history. Their individual interpretation of what is important and meaningful in their historical culture influences teachers’ personal interest, their knowledge, and the content of their history teaching. The students’ attitudes to history are also influenced by various factors, of which history education at school is merely one.