Skip to Content

von Heyking, Amy. “Historical Thinking in the Elementary Years: A Review of Current Research.” Canadian Social Studies 39(1) (2004).


Two important developments have occurred in the field of history education that have had important implications for elementary school teachers. First, our understanding of history as a discipline reflects a new understanding about the nature and purpose of history teaching. Second, we have a better understanding of the cognitive capacities of elementary school children, which means that new programs require even very young children in our schools to engage in historical thinking tasks. Peter Seixas (1996) identified six specific elements in the structure of the discipline of history that provide a coherent and thorough framework for an analysis of historical thinking. These elements will provide a framework for a review of current research into children's historical thinking and for suggested activities that would appropriately address these elements in elementary school history classrooms.

Canadian Social Studies