The Study of History and Development: Making History Come Alive in One Secondary School in Trinidad and Tobago
If a country is to attain meaningful development, not only in the sphere of economics but also in terms of the quality of its human resources, then development must also include the inculcation of a national ethos. However, one of the criticisms levelled against History teaching is that it has failed to contribute to national identity. This paper advocates that exposure to the historian's craft can solve many of the problems of the teaching and learning of History in secondary schools. It reports on an experimental study in which Form Four History students at St. George's College were exposed to a unit in which they engaged in archaeological activities, one aspect of the historian's craft. A researcher-designed test of achievement in the relevant content and attitudes to History was used to measure the effect of this unit. A quantitative analysis of student responses was undertaken. The findings suggest that there were no significant differences in the scores on pre- and post-test performances on either attitudes or achievement, although qualitative analysis of student responses implied some positive effects of the unit.
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