I SAW THAT IN A MOVIE: A HERMENEUTIC STUDY ON STUDENTS’ HISTORICAL THINKING ABILITIES
With the reliance on digital technology as the newest form of 21st century pop culture, students have virtual access to multiple resources that influence their cognition. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand how high school students construct historical knowledge and meaning using film and media as a medium, how historical thinking and literacy skills impact student perceptions of history, and the possible disconnections that exist between the skills used in document resources and film/media sources. Data was collected using an online questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis of information processing skills used on historical documents used in high school social studies classes. Using Gadamer’ s hermeneutic lens, the researcher incorporated thematic and content analysis. Three themes emerged: Let’s Watch a Movie, Excogitation, and Utilization facilitating Gadamer’ s spiral of fusions. Overall, the results of this case study revealed that teacher usage and student viewing of film and media provide a conduit for understanding historical content. Students have difficulty identifying film and media as trustworthiness and accurate. Employment of historical thinking skills are viable yet inconsistently used by students. There appears to be a strong disconnect in student skill sets based on varying mediums. Further recommendations for research on student’s construction of historical knowledge include but are not limited to evaluation of teacher instructional practices using HTS, how professional development in social studies is utilizing inquiry based techniques to facilitate HTS, and possibly how teacher education preparatory programs are addressing media literacy and use of HTS in the 21st century classroom.
Herbert, Courtney Marie