Kenniscentrum Onderwijs en Opvoeding

Promotieonderzoek van Tessa de Leur (UvA)


In secondary history education, empathy-tasks are used: tasks in which students have to try to imagine what it was like to live in the past, connecting with a historical protagonist and then describing an image from the past.

“Just Imagine…” Empathy-tasks in Secondary History Education.

Empathy-tasks are a difficult type of tasks, both for students and teachers. Students need to have knowledge of the past, the ability to empathize and the disposition to step into the shoes of another human being. Teachers have to know what they want the students to achieve with these “just imagine” assignments in order to make them an authentic learning activity.

This study aims to explore the current use and future possibilities of empathy-tasks in secondary history education. Research questions focus on cognitive and affective learning strategies, task-perceptions and the construction of meaningful tasks.

Research questions:

1.How do students perform and perceive empathy tasks?
2.What is the effect of different types of empathy tasks on students’ historical knowledge and understanding and their ability to take a historical perspective?
3.How can you design a meaningful empathy task and how do you work with it in the classroom?

Students from havo 3 and their teachers will participate in this research. The goal of this project is to produce a format with which teachers can construct or choose the type of empathy-task that is most suitable for their goals as well as for their particular students.

Find the thesis here.

Download hier Leerlingen verbeelden het verleden. Een handreiking voor docenten.

Beluister hier de podcast Verbeelden Verbinden.

Promovendus Tessa de Leur
Promotor Prof. dr. Carla van Boxtel (UvA)
Co-promotor Dr. Arie Wilschut
Gepubliceerd door  Kenniscentrum Onderwijs en Opvoeding 8 juni 2023

Project Info

Startdatum 01 sep 2014
Einddatum 05 nov 2019