Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2011
The Multigenre Research Project: An Approach to Developing Historical Empathy
William Patterson University of New Jersey
This action research study explores how the multigenre research project develops historical empathy, or historical perspective taking skills, in a class of 22 fourth grade students. Much of the research in these areas focuses on the high school and university level. However, this study explored the degree to which upper elementary students were able to recognize historical perspectives, and whether the multigenre project format was conducive to developing this particular skill. The students in the study selected a historical topic from a list of historical subjects, then researched this topic, and displayed what they learned through multiple genres. The action researcher found that the multigenre research project increased students’ understanding of the differences in historical perspectives.