“The Trick and How to Do It.” Teaching Historical Thinking in International Baccalaureate (IB) Classrooms in Finland


  • Susanna Soininen University of Jyväskylä


Analysis of Primary Sources, IB History Teaching, Historical Thinking


Recent research in history teaching pedagogy considers the analytical use of primary sources to be a key feature in the teaching of historical thinking. This article describes the teaching practices employed by International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) history teachers in Finland when using primary sources in history lessons. Six teachers in Finnish IB schools were interviewed between October 2017 and April 2018, and the collected data were subjected to qualitative content analysis. The results showed that the teachers used a variety of teaching practices, both teacher-driven and student-oriented, to meet the requirements of the IB history curriculum and to promote the learning of history by doing history. The teachers in the study instructed their students in the analytical use of sources and appreciated the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) assessment format, stating that the process of preparing students for Paper 1 and using the OPVL method (evaluating sources by their origin, purpose, value, and limitations) facilitated the teaching of historical skills.





Susanna Soininen, University of Jyväskylä

Susanna Soininen, PhD student at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. IB Diploma Coordinator, Teacher of IB History and Global Politics