Abstract 10-Volume 8-Number 1, Spring 2013

Past Looking:Using Arts as Historical Evidence in Teaching History


Yonghee Suh

Old Dominion University


This is a comparative case study of how three high school history teachers in the U.S.A. use art in their practice.The following research question was investigated:How do secondary history teachers incorporate the arts—paintings, music, poems, novels, and films—in their teaching of history and why?Data were collected from three sources:interviews, observations, and classroom materials.Grounded theory was utilized to analyze the data.Findings suggest these teachers use the arts as historical evidence roughly for three purposes: First, to teach the spirit of an age; second, to teach the history of ordinary people invisible in official historical records; and third, to teach, both with and without art, the process of writing history.Two of the three teachers, however, failed to teach historical thinking skills through art

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