Negotiating Historical Narratives: An Epistemology of History for History Education

Historians typically tell stories about the past, but how are we to understand the epistemic status of those narratives? This problem is particularly pressing for history education, which seeks guidance not only on the question of which narrative to teach but also more fundamentally on the question of the goals of instruction in history. This article explores the nature of historical narrative, first, by engaging with the seminal work of Hayden White, and second, by developing the critique of White by David Carr. The picture of historical inquiry that emerges is one in which the fundamental cognitive activity is one of negotiating among narratives. Students, like historians, like any of us, come to the work of historical inquiry in possession of prior narratives, which are then thrown into an encounter with other narratives of varying size and scope. Good historians enact the negotiation among narratives responsibly and well, demonstrating the virtues of historical interpretation. History education, therefore, ought to help students improve their historical interpretations at the same time as it fosters those qualities that make them good interpreters
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9752.2010.00737.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,280
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Lorraine Code (1987). Epistemic Responsibility. Published for Brown University Press by University Press of New England.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #196,699 of 1,932,488 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #332,988 of 1,932,488 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.