As an assistant professor in the research group 'Domain Specific Learning' of the Research Institute of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam, I conduct research in the learning and teaching of history in secondary education. My key interests are: sensitive historical topics, the skill of historical perspective taking and learning history in museums and heritage institutions.
Next to my research activities, I work as a teacher trainer at the Graduate School of Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam.
Stephan Venmans, Saskia Arbon, Carla van Boxtel, Jaap Schuitema, Tessa van Schijndel en Geerte Savenije
This project aims aim to develop and test an integrative approach towards the teaching of critical thinking about controversial issues (integrating general critical thinking skills, subject-specific skills and knowledge and moral reasoning skills). In two projects, in science and history education, we develop an instrument to measure students’ understanding of the role of evidence and values in different types of controversies and investigate to what extent secondary students demonstrate this understanding. In addition, we investigate the effects of the integrated approach on students’ understanding of the role of evidence and values in different types of controversies, their critical thinking about specific controversial issues, general critical thinking skills, moral reasoning skills and use of subject-specific knowledge.
Bregje Prent, Carla van Boxtel, Jannet van Drie en Geerte Savenije
This project studies teachers' dialogic teaching about sensitive historical topics. It focuses in particular on their discussion of multiple perspectives and the ethical dimension of sensitive historical topics. The first study examines teachers' and students' experiences of whole-class discussion about sensitive topics and the ways multiple perspectives and the ethical dimension are addressed during these conversations. In the second study a teaching series will be developed. A third and fourth study examine the effects of a professional development program on 1) teachers' ability to teach dialogically about sensitive issues and 2) students' understanding of multiple perspectives and values in sensitive historical topics and their ability to participate in conversations about sensitive historical topics .
Gijs van Gaans, Carla van Boxtel, Arnoud-Jan Bijsterveld en Geerte Savenije
This research aims to gain insight in the ways multiple historical narratives play a role in the history classroom when discussing sensitive topics. The study explores which historical events, actors and phenomena students from diverse backgrounds and their teachers (fourth year of the Dutch secondary education (HAVO 4)) deem most significant. Using the LISA method, a method used in spiritual counselling (Kruizinga 2015), we study the narrative plots they use to bring these together into meaningful narratives and how they employ their narratives to orient themselves in their current world and to their future. In a full year observation study, we examine how the different narratives present in the classroom interact when discussing sensitive histories.
Thomas Klijnstra, Carla van Boxtel en Geerte Savenije
This project focuses on the design and implementation of (educative) curriculum materials that support both student and teacher learning. The first study alyzes the quality of students' reasoning to identify frequently occurring flaws and define levels of reasoning. Rubrics are constructed to help both teachers and students better understand the reasoning skills that are aimed at. The second study is conducted at two schools to design and test materials and activities that promote students' reasoning. In the third study, the materials and activities will be used in a professional development program (PDP) for social science teachers to investigate to what extent the educative curriculum materials contribute to teachers’ professional growth related to the teaching of social scientific reasoning.
Hanneke Bartelds, Carla van Boxtel en Geerte Savenije
This project focuses on the contribution of history education to students' understanding and appreciation of empathy. The first study is an interview study to examine teahcers' and students' beliefs about historical empathy and genral empathy. Second, in an intervention study, the effect of inviting eye witnesses in the classroom will be compared to using documentary film. A third and fourth study examine the ways in which history teachers' supervise such lessons and how they can be professionalised in their supervision.
Pieter de Bruijn, Geerte Savenije, Albert Logtenberg, Guido Goijens, Timo Epping, Diana Timmer, Erik van Zetten, Rutger van Houwelingen en Naomi Nagtegaal
This project aimed to strengthen teacher education with regard to teaching pre-service teachers to teach about sensitive topics. To add to existing general didactical approaches, we developed a domain specific training. The training focuses on the asking of historical questions to museum objects in three dimensions of time to show that the ways in which topics are considered to be sensitive changes over time and context.
The aim of the COST Action was to advance knowledge on the role played by social representations of history in processes of ethnic, national, and European identities construction and intergroup conflicts. It coordinated research on 1) the psychological antecedents of lay representations of history; 2) their content and structure; 3) their transmission through history textbooks and other media; and 4) their social psychological effects in shaping attitudes. Findings of a study on history teachers' perceptions of and experiences with the teaching of sensitive historical topics in 10 countries across Europe are now translated into a special issue.
This community of teachers in secondary educations, teacher educators and researchers conducts practice-oriented research into enhancing students' metacognitive skills in secondary school. As one of the researchers I'm involved in a study to develop a questionnaire to test teachers' self-efficacy in teaching students to use metacognitive skills.
In this community of teachers in secondary education, we developed teaching materials and approaches to improve pupils' reasoning skills and writing skills in history, social studies, economy and geography. I was involved as supervisor. The teaching materials and evaluations are presented in: Savenije, G.M. (Ed.) (2018). Denken en redeneren in schrijftaken bij de mens-en maatschappijvakken. Lesmateriaal ontwikkeld in een professionele leergemeenschap. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Landelijk Expertisecentrum Mens- en Maatschappijvakken.