Visual Sources and Historical Thinking in Higher Education
Nyckelord:COLLIGATION, ENCAPSULATION THEORY, EXPERTISE, HIGHER EDUCATION, HISTORY EDUCATION, VISUAL SOURCES
In this paper we argue that a meaningful perspective for framing the development of historical thinking is needed and suggest the expertise approach for this purpose. In an interview study, 12 master’s and 11 bachelor’s students of history were invited to name themes for two series of historical images and reflect on the images and their conclusions. Only eight students explicitly demonstrated what we define as advanced historical thinking: instead of simply describing the sources, these students used both conceptual and analytical tools, and evaluated the sources critically. We suggest that learning history at university should be a more frequent topic of research in history education and that the scaffolding of history students on different levels of expertise should be taken more into account.