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Motivation, engagement and understanding in history: A study of using moving-image sources in a Maltese secondary history classroom

Cutajar, Alexander (2017) Motivation, engagement and understanding in history: A study of using moving-image sources in a Maltese secondary history classroom. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study addresses the question: What are the issues associated with using moving images in the history classroom regarding motivation and engagement and historical understanding? Moving images are defined as footage extracts of historical events occurring at points in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries shown on newsreels, documentaries and news broadcasts. In an image-rich, technology-influenced education, learning history with moving images is something that requires investigation. It is possible that as students progress through schooling, motivation and engagement vary. The development of historical understanding, the depth of which may be dependent on the use of procedural knowledge in relation to historical content, is an important objective of history education. This context provides a valid area for research. Using a single-site study to research moving images in the history classroom, two cohorts of Year 11 mixed-ability students (age 15/16) in a Maltese state secondary school following the history option programme and who were in their final year of secondary schooling, participated in this study. Data sources included audio-recorded whole-class teacher-student dialogues, students’ writings and semi-structured group interviews. Findings indicate that students seemed to be interested in moving images because of their visual and auditory appeal. It was found that features of classroom talk, evidenced in students’ spontaneous observations, being responsive to peer contributions, and giving form to understanding through talk, combined to demonstrate motivation, engagement and historical understanding. Analysing the substantive-procedural connection showed that historical understanding was supported when students saw a link between topics and when substantive and procedural knowledge were related. Building on existent research, it is argued that moving images lend themselves to classroom talk as a way of engaging students in a dialogic context, for developing historical understanding and assessing student learning. Recommendations are made for further research and pedagogical development.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.745727
Depositing User: Dr Alexander Cutajar
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2018 08:51
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20138

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