NIAS Wednesday Discussion: "Socio-Cultural Influences on Development of Historical Understanding" by Dr Shalini Dixit at Lecture Hall, NIAS

NIAS Wednesday Discussion Meeting


Topic:  “Socio-Cultural Influences on Development of Historical Understanding”


Speaker:  Shalini Dixit

Assistant Professor, Education Programme, NIAS  


Chairperson:    Anitha Kurup

Professor, Education Programme, NIAS


Date: 13th July, 2016


Time:  9.30 am


Venue:  Lecture Hall, NIAS


All are cordially invited


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Abstract: Engaging with history, as a mode of enquiry, is distinct from other cognitive activities. The unavailability of subject matter for current exploration, requirement to use wings of imagination and still remaining rooted in the factual evidences are some of the characteristics of historical understanding (HU) which distinguishes it from other subject matters. The wondering about how children approach historical information led to this investigation in the nature of HU in children. The stories about past of a society, through its elders, are common source of information about its past, besides textbooks. Therefore, in order to understand the role of these social meditations in cognition of history, a couple of studies were undertaken. The HU of children along with the adults from Santhali tribal community, in Jharkhand, was explored. The findings revealed that the culture-specific features in the HU of adults find their traces in the children’s learning of the narrative represented in their textbook.  The text book history acts as a deterrent in accepting the community history/narratives for tribal children. On the other hand their cultural history acts both as a prompt and deterrent in learning mainstream narrative of history.  This presentation will focus on the cognitive dimensions of HU in children, their developmental pattern and the socio-cultural influence on the same.  The impact of HU on social identity formation and its pedagogical implications will be discussed.

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For further info, please contact Sangeetha Menon [ or] and Suba Chandran [], Coordinators of NIAS Wednesday Discussion Meetings.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016