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South African Journal of Education

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Cognitive processes in history: learners' explanation of the causes of colonialism in Africa

S Schoeman

Abstract




Despite enormous growth in the study of learners' cognitive processes, relatively
little is known about how learners reason about social phenomena and issues
involved in disciplines, such as history. Yet, according to scholars the process
could hardly be more important, and it demands redress and scientific explanation.
To contribute to the understanding of learners' reasoning about historical
issues, an empirical research project, on the cognitive processes of learners'
while explaining the causes of an historical event, was undertaken. The data
obtained showed that difference in age and expertise tended to lead to different
types of historical explanation. A model to induce learners' understanding of an
historical event is put forward.

Keywords: Africa; cognitive; colonialism; history; learners

South African Journal of Education Vol. 27 (4) 2007: pp. 709-727



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