The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Creating Inquiry-oriented Discussions in History Class: reading and talking about multiple texts

Aiyu Hsieh, Department of curriculum design and human potentials development, National Dong Hwa University (Taiwan, Republic of China)

Wu Yi-Jin, Department of History, National Dong Hwa University (Taiwan, Republic of China)

Abstract

     Based on the five types of texts classified by Hartman and Allison [1996], i.e. complementary, conflicting, controlling, synoptic and dialogic, the purpose of this paper is to design a curriculum to boost students’ critical thinking by providing extensive readings of the five text types as supplements in a high school history class. The theme of the curriculum was a Taiwanese aboriginal tribe, Tao, inhabiting in Orchid Island, Taiwan. The participants of this study were 30 freshmen, taking a selective course of history, at a high school in eastern Taiwan. This study was conducted with documentary analysis. Students’ essays as well as teacher obeservation records from the inquiry-based discussion were collected. Given different types of texts, students engaged themselves in analyzing bias, examining different viewpoints, and proposing their own perspectives. The findings indicate that as the five types of extensive reading text were supplemnted with the intergration of critical thinking skills in inquiry-oriented discussions, students achieved higher scores on both assignments and quizzes. Furthermore, they gained a deeper and more meaningful understanding of historial scenarios, that is, the social position of the Tao people in the curriculum.

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