Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Hollywood and history: A qualitative study of the impact of film on high school students' historical understanding
by Burgard, Karen Louise, Ph.D., University of Missouri - Kansas City, 2009, 188; 3394769
Abstract (Summary)

This case study focuses on the impact of historical film on 20 high school students using document surveys, group, and personal interviews. The study examined the impact that two films had on students' historical understanding, the students' awareness of this impact, and their use of the tools of historical inquiry.

The results indicated film does impact students' historical understanding. The participants demonstrated this historical understanding through their comprehension of cause and effect relationships, chronology, historical significance, multiple viewpoints, displaying historical empathy, and the ability to evaluate the accuracy and credibility of sources. However, the students' responses illustrated they did not use the tools of historical inquiry when viewing these films.

The students also demonstrated a considerable lack of cognition of their own learning and the educational purpose they saw for those films. Their responses presented a gap between what they learned from these films, their perception of what they learned, and how historical films could be used in the classroom. This study illustrated the most important part of this discussion is that teachers need to teach their students the tools of historical inquiry.

This research study is a compilation of my previous classroom experience, my interest in how students learn history and how they make meaning of the past, and my interest in the power of historical film. What these students say can affect not only the way educators look at the use of historical film in the classroom but also how students learn from film.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Adler, Susan A.
School: University of Missouri - Kansas City
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 71/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social studies education, Educational technology
Keywords: Film, High school, Historical understanding, History, Hollywood
Publication Number: 3394769
ISBN: 978-1-109-61974-4
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