Social Studies Teachers’ Perspectives on the Differences Between Disciplinary History and School History

  • Kaya YilmazEmail author


The purpose of this study was to investigate secondary school social studies teachers’ perspectives on the differences between disciplinary history and school history. A purposeful sampling procedure was employed to recruit participants for the study. Social studies teachers were selected as the participants of the study. The method of data collection was in-depth, semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions. Descriptive qualitative data analysis was used to analyze the interview transcripts. The research findings showed that the teachers see differences between the two types of history in terms of their orientations, the ways they are presented, the context in which history is taught and learned, including institutional constraints that affect history education, and resources used. These categories of teachers’ responses are not mutually exclusive but overlapping. Generally suspicious of textbooks, the teachers have a negative view of textbooks because of their detrimental effects on history education. They also see differences in academic history books and school history textbooks in terms of the perspective, the ownership of the perspective, the style of presentation, the quality of presentation, the sources of information, the treatment of controversial issues, the external influences on publication, the goals of publication, and the ways they are used. From the teachers’ responses, academic historians differ from history teachers in terms of their professional orientations, pedagogical skills and practices, specialization or level of expertise, type of instruction, treatment of subject matters, type of student population in both settings, the nature of relationship with students, and the context or working conditions. Because these findings are not documented in previous studies, they not only contribute to our understanding of how social studies teachers differentiate between two types of history, but also guide upcoming research studies in the field.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marmara UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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