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Researching epistemic beliefs in history education: A review


Gerhard Stoel

Albert Logtenberg

Martin Nitsche


Departing from the pioneering work of VanSledright and Maggioni (2016), this article revisits questions about epistemic beliefs and the role these beliefs play in the teaching and learning of history. Eighteen recent studies on epistemic beliefs of history teachers (n=7) and students (n=11) are reviewed, guided by questions regarding conceptualization, relationships with other constructs (e.g., historical reasoning and teaching beliefs), expression of beliefs in teachers and students, differences in age and educational level, suggestions for pedagogical principles, and contextual factors that inhibit or support history teachers in “putting their beliefs into practice”. Results reveal that epistemic beliefs are conceptualized based on developmental and dimensional frameworks, although most recent studies integrated developmental and dimensional approaches. Important findings regarding students and teachers are highlighted, resulting in implications for research and practice.


Epistemic beliefs, historical reasoning, history education, pedagogical principles, literature review

How to Cite:

Stoel, G., Logtenberg, A., & Nitsche, M. (2022). Researching epistemic beliefs in history education: A review. Historical Encounters, 9(1), 11-34.


  • Published 15 April 2022

  • Double Blind Peer Reviewed

  • Author Retains Copyright

  • Distributed under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License

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