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Marc Kropman, ASH PhD candidate, will defend the dissertation entitled 'Shifting Lenses | Multiperspectivity and narratives of the Dutch past in secondary history education' supervised by Prof. Carla van Boxtel and co-supervised by Dr Jannet van Drie.

Event details of PhD defense: Marc Kropman
Date 12 October 2021
Time 12:00
Location Agnietenkapel


Central in this thesis is how multiple perspectives are presented in the narrative representations of the Dutch past by students, in history textbooks, and by teachers in their lessons and lesson designs. Textbook representations form the basic subject matter whereupon students reflect when they are learning to think and reason historically. In the classroom different narrative representations of the past come together.

In five subsequent studies I analyzed (a) narratives and knowledge of the national past do students construct after finishing secondary education; (b) the distinguishing features of the narrative of the Dutch Revolt in Dutch and Flemish secondary school history textbooks and the extent of multiperspectivity; (c) the multiperspectivity and metaphorical language in the narratives of the Netherlands during World War II presented in a history classroom; (d) the extent of inclusion of multiple perspectives in teachers’ lesson designs based upon a text that includes multiple perspectives compared to a schoolbook history text containing fewer perspectives; (e) the degree of multiperspectivity in students’ representations when they engage in text processing assignments based upon a schoolbook history text that contains multiple perspectives compared to a schoolbook history text containing fewer perspectives.

The findings showed that the textbooks did not contain a variety of perspectives and offer a rather simple and “closed” narrative representation of the past. Most teachers presented a restricted degree of perspectives in their lessons and lesson designs. Students’ narrative representations showed not much multiperspectivity. Students’ representations did not seem to fit into the characteristics of a nationalistic master narrative.


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