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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Interpretation of past texts : the application of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics to an understanding of history education Pedersen, Chris


This thesis applies an interpretation of philosophical hermeneutics in Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method to an understanding of history education. First, I review the Anglophone literature pertaining to history teaching and learning to determine whether there is a gap that can be filled by Gadamerian hermeneutics. Then, I present the interpretation of philosophical hermeneutics and describe what may occur during the experience of understanding in the history classroom. Specifically, this section e chapter presents the effects of tradition and history on individuals and the dialogical nature of Gadamer’s interpretation and understanding. Third, I describe what dialogue might look like in context of young people learning history. It also expands the interpretation of dialogue’s role in reducing the separation in time and meaning between interpreter and text. Last, I present the implications for Bildung. Dialogical interpretation and understandings in the classroom provides new opportunities for individuals to expand their horizons and understanding of the world. In chapter five, I also describe the implications for curriculum, pedagogy, classroom materials and teacher education.

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