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Gabella, Marcy Singer. “The Art(s) of Historical Sense.” Journal of Curriculum Studies 27(2) (1996): 139-63.


Reviews recent research on sociocultural approaches to historical understanding and concludes that students' judgment of historical significance is substantially shaped by the social and cultural characteristics of the learner. Recounts several episodes revealing how minority and mainstream students differ in their trust of the authority of the textbook. Maintains that fundamental historical concepts can be imparted to high school students through the use of photography, painting, film, literature, and other forms of popular culture. Provides many examples of students utilizing popular culture to understand conceptions of historical time, locate meaning, and empathize with historical people.