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Grant, S. G. “It’s Just the Facts, Or Is It? The Relationship Between Teachers’ Practices and Students’ Understandings of History.” Theory and Research in Social Education 29 (2001): 65-108.


In this paper, I use classroom observations of two high school social studies teachers’ units on the civil rights movement in the United States and interviews with students in each class to explore the relationship between teachers’ practices and students’ understandings of history. Drawing on the literature on students’ historical understanding, I focus on three dimensions of historical thinking: historical knowledge, significance, and empathy. My analysis suggests that, while there is not sufficient evidence to support a causal relationship, the data do suggest a correlation, points of coherence, if you will, between each teacher’s practices and the views their students construct of history in general, and of the U.S. civil rights era in particular.

Theory and Research in Social Education