Organizing the Past: Historical Accounts, Significance and Unknown Ontologies

The importance of accounts in history is paramount because histories only exist in the present in the form of accounts of the past in written and in other media. In their chapter Cercadillo, Chapman and Lee focus on students’ understandings of historical narratives and representations per se rather than on the establishment of particular facts or explanations about the past. The authors review what is known about students’ understandings of accounts, and of the related second-order concept historical significance, explaining different empirically based models of progression in historical thinking. Moreover, they offer some novel lines for research in relation to the relevance of cognitive ethics and epistemic dispositions in history education.