Narrative competence and epistemological beliefs of German Swiss prospective history teachers:
A situated relationship

Author

Martin Nitsche

Monika Waldis

Abstract

Few history education studies have indicated that school students’ epistemological beliefs affect their historical thinking and writing. Some research has suggested that history teaching could affect these aspects. Several history educators have assumed that (prospective) history teachers’ epistemological beliefs are related to their ways of teaching and to their ability to think historically. Yet evidence underpinning these assumptions is rare. To address this gap, we investigated how prospective German Swiss history teachers’ epistemological beliefs impacts their reading and writing abilities in terms of narrative competence. We therefore applied argumentative writing tasks to assess participants’ narrative competence and surveyed their epistemological beliefs and further contextual covariates (e.g., situational interest, number of history courses attended at university). Results show small effects of participants’ epistemological beliefs on their narrative competence, while their situational interest is more influential. Other contextual constructs (e.g., number of history courses attended at university) are also predictive. Overall, our results indicate that narrative competence and epistemological beliefs are correlated, yet situated in contextual aspects.

Keywords

Narrative competence, epistemological beliefs, situational interest, self-efficacy, history teacher training

How to Cite:

Nitsche, M., & Waldis, M. (2022). Narrative competence and epistemological beliefs of German Swiss prospective history teachers: A situated relationship. Historical Encounters, 9(1), 116-140. https://doi.org/10.52289/hej9.107

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  • Published 15 April 2022

  • Double Blind Peer Reviewed

  • Author Retains Copyright

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