Das Schweizer Fachportal für die Geschichtswissenschaften

CfP: Epistemic Cognition in History (Special issue of Historical Encounters)

16. Februar 2020 Add to calendar
Call for papers

Educational psychologists around the globe have investigated epistemic cognition using various perspectives and concepts, such as epistemological beliefs, epistemic performance, or epistemic cognition (e.g., Barzilai & Chinn, 2018; Hofer, 2016; Hofer & Pintrich, 1997). In the discipline of history, scholars have also discussed epistemological issues and questions for a long time (e.g., Collingwood, 1946; Lorenz, 2011). Since the 1980s, a growing body of new research has applied psychological methods to examine the epistemological conceptions, beliefs or thinking of students and teachers of history (e.g., Barzilai & Weinstock, 2015; Lee & Ashby, 2000; Wineburg, 1991).

Epistemological conceptions in history are of importance because it is widely understood that historical thinking and learning bear some relation to learners' epistemological beliefs and conceptions of history (e.g., Körber & Meyer-Hamme, 2015; van Boxtel & van Drie, 2018). Several studies have shown an interdependency between the teachers' epistemological beliefs, their teaching, and their students' performances. Furthermore, several theoretical models of epistemological conceptions in history have been published and internationally discussed (cf. VanSledright & Maggioni, 2016).

This special issue will bring together different approaches to the study of epistemic cognition in history and provide a venue for the most current research results from various communities of history education research around the globe.

In our special issue we use epistemic cognition in history, following Hofer (2016), to integrate the various phenomena mentioned above (e.g., epistemological beliefs, concepts, performance) that may be involved while learning and teaching history.

We therefore call for papers which deal with the questions along three research dimensions:

The theoretical dimension of epistemic cognition in history
- How is historical knowledge and knowing currently discussed in the theory or philosophy of history?
- How are historical knowledge and knowing modelled from the perspective of educational psychology and the didactics of history?
- Which epistemological concepts and goals should history teaching pursue? Why?

The empirical dimension of epistemic cognition in history
- What epistemological beliefs or concepts do students have?
- What epistemological beliefs or concepts do future and experienced history teachers or history mediators have?
- How do experts, history teachers, mediators of history, students, or pupils use epistemological constructs in different contexts (e.g. in teaching, in research, in public presentations, in research tasks, etc.)?
- What importance do epistemological beliefs and concepts have for historical thinking in relation to other aspects of historical thinking, such as skills, background knowledge, etc.?
- Which connections between epistemological constructs and other constructs (e.g. teaching-learning beliefs, historical thinking skills/historical knowledge) can be empirically examined and modelled?
- How can the development of scientific epistemological beliefs and concepts be promoted among students (e.g. through interventions in the classroom)? Which effects can be empirically identified?
- How can the development of scientific epistemological beliefs and concepts be promoted among prospective and experienced teachers (e.g. through interventions/study concepts)? Which effects can be empirically identified?

Pragmatic dimension of epistemic cognition in history
- How might the development of more sophisticated scientific epistemological beliefs and concepts be practically promoted among students in ordinary classroom settings?
- What practical interventions have been attempted in teaching epistemological conceptions in history? How were they designed, why, and with what results?
- How has the development of been promoted more sophisticated epistemological beliefs and conceptions be promoted among future and experienced teachers? How were these approaches designed, why, and with what results?

We invite you to submit an abstract of 500 words by February 16, 2020 to

Professor Christian Mathis at:

Abstracts accepted: March 31, 2020.

Full papers due: September 30, 2020

Reviews completed by March 30, 2021

Revisions due by June 30, 2021.

Publication of special issue is expected: September 2021.

The editorial team
- Dr. des. Martin Nitsche, School of Education FHNW, Switzerland
- Dr. Christian Mathis, Zurich University of Teacher Education, Switzerland
- Dr. Kevin O'Neill, Simon Fraser University, Canada


Barzilai, S., & Chinn, C. A. (2018). On the Goals of Epistemic Education: Promoting Apt Epistemic Performance. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 27(3), 353--389.https://doi.org/10.1080/10508406.2017.1392968

Barzilai, S., & Weinstock, M. (2015). Measuring epistemic thinking within and across topics: A scenario-based approach. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 42, 141--158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2015.06.006

Collingwood, D. R. G. (1946). The idea of history. Oxford: Clarendon.

Hofer, B. K. (2016). Epistemic Cognition as a Psychological Construct: Advancements and Challenges. In J. A. Greene, W. A. Sandoval, & I. Braten (Eds.), Handbook of epistemic cognition (pp. 19--38). New York: Routledge.

Hofer, B. K., & Pintrich, P. R. (1997). The Development of Epistemological Theories: Beliefs about Knowledge and Knowing and Their Relation to Learning. Review of Educational Research, 67(1), 88--140. https://doi.org/10.2307/1170620

Körber, A., & Meyer-Hamme, J. (2015). Historical thinking, competencies, and their measurement: Challenges and approaches. In K. Ercikan & P. Seixas (Eds.), New directions in assessing historical thinking (pp. 89--101). New York: Routledge.

Lee, P., & Ashby, R. (2000). Progression in Historical Understanding among Students Ages 7-14. In P. N. Stearns, P. C. Seixas, & S. S. Wineburg (Eds.), Knowing, teaching, and learning history. National and international perspectives (pp. 199--222). New York: New York University Press.

Lorenz, C. (2011). History and Theory. In D. Woolf & A. Schneider (Eds.), The Oxford History of Historical Writing (Vol. 5, pp. 13--35). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

van Boxtel, C., & van Drie, J. (2018). Historical reasoning: conceptualizations and educational applications. In S. A. Metzger & L. M. Harris (Eds.), The Wiley International Handbook of History Teaching and Learning (pp. 149--176). New York: Wiley & Blackwell.

VanSledright, B. A., & Maggioni, L. (2016). Epistemic cognition in history. In J. A. Greene, W. A. Sandoval, & I. Braten (Eds.), Handbook of epistemic cognition (pp. 128--146). New York: Routledge.

Wineburg, S. S. (1991). Historical problem solving: a study of the cognitive processes used in the evaluation of documentary and pictorial evidence. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(1), 73--87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.83.1.73

Organisiert von: 
Dr. des. Martin Nitsche, School of Education FHNW, Switzerland; Dr. Christian Mathis, Zurich University of Teacher Education, Switzerland; Dr. Kevin O’Neill, Simon Fraser University, Canada




Prof. Dr. Christian Mathis

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