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Fink, Nadine. “Pupils’ Conceptions of History and History Teaching.” International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research 4 (2) (2004),


We present the results from qualitative analysis of eight interviews with 15 years old pupils about their conceptions of history and history teaching. These interviews were conducted as an extension of a survey conducted by a social sciences didactics team from the University of Geneva under Professor Audigier’s direction. We first analyse what pupils think about the utility of history and the statements they make about what is important in history (social science and teaching). We then examine how they think that we learn history. These questions introduce those of the function of history and its relation to identity, of relation to evidence and truth, and finally of how history teaching is perceived by these pupils. The main purpose of this paper is to draw patterns of pupils based on the nature of their feelings towards history and history teaching.

History Resource