Qualitative case study: Teaching citizenship through history education in primary schools | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1751-1917
  • E-ISSN: 1751-1925


This empirical study focuses on an instruction of key historic events of twentieth-century Czechoslovakia and how it is being introduced to third-grade pupils. First, the topic is briefly introduced using a theoretical framework of current development of history education in primary schools, and after a short description of the research methodology, the main findings are introduced. The qualitative explanatory case study of teaching performed by three teachers, which was based on various observations of their teaching, interviews with them and on an analysis of written tasks done by their pupils, has proven that primary school pupils are able to understand the meaning of historic events and the value of life in a free society. Teachers can guide their pupils towards this result using various approaches. However, it is important to respect the developmental abilities of pupils and to react to specific difficulties imposed by the subject matter of history education. These difficulties include demands on keeping track of time periods and the tendency towards personification and presentism. What has proven to be very efficient were the approaches of research-oriented instruction – approaches using oral history and approaches based on the analysis of the value of living in a democratic society conducted on the basis of an interview about experiences and feelings with people who had lived during the times of oppression.


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