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Students' ideas about different representations of the past : South Korean adolescents interpret historical film

Park, Joohyun (2008) Students' ideas about different representations of the past : South Korean adolescents interpret historical film. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the ways in which secondary school students interpret different representations of the past as portrayed in the film. It focuses on the question of how they set the film director's view within a sociocultural context, and how they conceptualise what constitutes acceptable historical knowledge. Ninety-six secondary school students in South Korea viewed two sets of historical films that vary in terms of authorship, period, and genre. The viewings were followed by semi-structured interviews, which aimed to investigate a range of students' approaches to different representations produced at a given place and time. This thesis argues that acknowledging the structuring of historical knowledge as a part of cultural practice enabled students to make a shift in their picture of the past: from the idea of the past as being reproduced to that of the past as being organised and reconstructed. A range of ideas about historical knowledge, from a direct report of the event through an idiosyncratic interpretation of a literary past to systematic mediation of historical reality, was identified. Through analysis of students' approaches to revision of the past, this thesis also discusses the relationship between ideas about the role of perspective in history and ideas about the reconfiguration of the past for the present. Students tended to assume that more committed perspectives were likely to subject historical representations to greater revision of history. Students' ideas about changing representations of the past reflected their presuppositions about change of viewpoints in historical enquiry, mainly either in an empirical or cultural sense rather than in a methodological sense. Given students' tendency to conceive historical representations as being subject to perspective mainly fuelled by present interests, it is crucial to provide an opportunity for them to frame an historical account as an answer to a particular question, attributing a positive role to perspectival views of the past.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Thesis: (PhD) University of London Institute of Education, 2008.
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2011 10:27
Last Modified: 05 May 2015 08:37
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