Engaging Students in Historical Reasoning: The Need for Dialogic History Education

In this chapter, Van Boxtel and Van Drie argue that dialogic teaching is needed to develop students’ historical reasoning ability. First, the authors specify types of historical reasoning and the activities and underlying knowledge, interest and beliefs that constitute a historical reasoning. Second, important characteristics of dialogic teaching are discussed. In dialogic education, the teacher and students explore multiple perspectives, challenge ideas and co-construct historical insights. The chapter offers examples of how a dialogic way of teaching opens up, widens and deepens historical reasoning in the classroom. Students are enhanced to ask historical questions, to explain and compare, and critically assess interpretations and evidence. It is concluded that dialogic history education can prepare students to become more able and informed participants in a democratic society.