Concept Acquisition and Conceptual Change in History

Rodríguez-Moneo and Lopez examine the acquisition of intuitive knowledge and its relation to the process of conceptual change in the field of history learning. Their chapter’s first section explores the cognitive processes underlying the construction of concepts and stresses their relevant role for both developing and changing theories. In the second part of the chapter these analyses are applied to the field of history and placed in relation with empirical studies carried out in the field regarding students’ key historical concepts such as nation and national identity. The chapter also emphasizes the connection between historical concepts and narratives as a crucial way to better understand students’ prior knowledge and promote a conceptual change towards their more critical understanding of history, closer to disciplinary historical knowledge.