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Currículo sem Fronteiras
 A journal for a critical and emancipatory education   ISSN 1645-1384

Marcos de Consciência Histórica de Jovens Portugueses (Marks of Portuguese youth's historical consciousness)

Isabel Barca

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The concept of historical consciousness philosophically discussed by Jörn Rüsen is related with the need of temporal orientation of the human being and must be distinguished from a mere common-sense answer to practical demands exclusively based on feelings of identity. According to such a conceptualisation, the ideas of Portuguese 10th graders about the contemporary national and global past were explored. Youngsters attending and not attending history classes in six schools, two of them located in the North, two in the Center, and two in the South were challenged to write an account about the national history and another one about the world history in the last 100 years. Through data analysis substantive ideas (historical markers, milestones and characters, master narratives) as well as second order ideas (narrative structure and concepts of change) were identified. Results suggest that those Portuguese students know some of the relevant milestones and markers of the contemporary national history, attibuting democratic values to them. Nonetheless, their understanding of the global history as well as the recognition of characters who might have positively contributed to history appears to be more restricted.


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