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Kohlmeier, Jada. “The Power of a Woman’s Story: A Three-Step Approach to Historical Significance in High School World History.” International Journal of Social Education 20(1) (2005): 64-75.


The author's ninth grade world history students communicated the connection they felt to three women whose stories they evaluated in class. The women represented ordinary people living during time periods being studied, and their personal stories demonstrated how the political, economic and cultural events had an impact on people in unique and powerful ways. With the growing body of research into various aspects of historical thinking such as why history should be taught, how historical thinking should be defined, why teachers were or were not engaging in historical thinking instruction, how historians engage in historical thinking, and how historical thinking is being incorporated into classrooms--the author was inspired by several studies calling for more research into the relationship between teacher and student in historical thinking and how the process is experienced in classrooms. Some researchers argued that the novelty of the experience was the major obstacle for students as they attempted to interpret documents, write a historical narrative or exercise historical empathy. As a full-time high school social studies teacher writing a dissertation, the author was in a position to take advantage of the opportunity to study the consistent use of instructional strategies that might expose a new dimension of the complex relationship between these strategies and students' abilities.