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Educar em Revista

versão impressa ISSN 0104-4060versão On-line ISSN 1984-0411

Educ. rev. vol.35 no.74 Curitiba mar./abr. 2019  Epub 09-Maio-2019 

Dossiê - Metodologia da pesquisa em Educação Histórica

History, historiography and research in historical education1

Estevão C. de Rezende Martins*

*University of Brasília. Department of History, Distinguished Professor. Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil. E-mail:


Historical thought, whose articulation produces the historical consciousness, leads every rational human agent to produce about himself and his environment a historical narrative, factor of identity (own and social) and factor of culture. Historical culture, as an intellectual environment encompassing historical education, has been based, at least since the scientification of history from the mid-19th century, on two pillars: the historical narrative in general and the historiographical narrative in particular. The relevance to historical education research of the interaction and dialogue between these narratives and their interdependence is argued in this article.

Keywords: Historical consciousness; Historiography; Historical narrative.

Education is a treasure. The Unesco Report on education, co-ordinated by Jacques Delors, published in 1996, has this enunciation in its title. It goes back to a classical moral tradition, beginning with La Fontaine's (17th century) version of a fable of Aesop (6th century BC) about the value of work as a builder of character and as a guarantee of a meritorious life. Delors replaces the praise of labour for the praise of education as an investment of high added value, capable of bearing fruit continuously, provided it is framed by universal values and practiced with the historical consciousness of collective responsibility.

The first paragraph of the report marks an analytical style typical of the analysis of the 20th century as a painful, troubled, unstable time, whose lessons in the future not only integrate the project of human dignity but pose a huge challenge:

Faced with the multiple challenges of the future, education appears as an indispensable asset to enable humanity to progress towards the ideals of peace, freedom and social justice. The Committee, in concluding its work, reaffirms its conviction that education plays an essential role in the continuous development of the person and of societies. Not as a 'miracle solution' nor as a 'touch of magic' that makes this world a place where all ideals were realized, but as a way, among others, for sure, but better than others, in the service of a more harmonious, more authentic human development. (DELORS, 1999, p. 13)

The obvious utopian element of this horizon of expectation, relative to the strategic role of education, was clearly recognized by the report. Utopias, however, are not projections of the impossible or the absurd, but projections of the possible at a future time not yet achieved, for which it is worthwhile to learn and act (MARTINS, 2011). The process of education - teaching, learning, thinking, acting -, in the opinion of the Unesco commission, is based on four pillars. Education aims to make us live together, through "the knowledge of others, their history, their traditions and their spirituality” (DELORS, 1999). The specific reference to history, next to alterity, points out how the analysis considers the historical consciousness relevant - and even decisive - for the formation of the person, as an intrinsic goal of the very notion of education. Traditions and 'spirituality' refer to a binomial of the past - what is brought in the paths of time and memory - and 'mentality', as a characteristic of a society in its present moment (VOVELLE, 1987).

Knowing their culture, their social group, their origin and their formation, the increasingly interdependent context of societies in a globalized world become crucial objectives of educational processes. They are components of the consciousness of each individual, taken from history. History is the cultural environment in which each and every one constitutes, extends, deepens and consolidates their identity, individually and socially. This is the reason why 'historical education' is a substantive combination within the framework of the constitution of historical consciousness, in the practice of historical thought and in the sedimentation of historical culture. Like all existential experiences of human rational agents, the historicizing reflection is permanent. It processes each concrete experience at each moment in order to make sense in the individual's consciousness in threefold perspective: interpretive of the past, explanatory of the present, projective of the future.

Historical education is, therefore, a continuous process. It takes place in consecutive phases: from its initial stage (from family education in childhood to school education), it continues as a permanent learning movement once consolidated (throughout life). How to understand these assertions? The underlying assumption of the thesis is to admit that, for the realization of the rational agent as a historical subject, historical education is decisive. The subject needs to master the experience of life in time in a reflective, explanatory way. It does not suffice, it seems, to describe or list experiences and occurrences. You need to understand, articulate, explain, interpret, project. Therefore, it is imperative to think, reflect, put into perspective the lived, both as yesterday and today, as well as projecting the possible (or expected, intentional) lived tomorrow. Such a reflexive process is not produced in a totally intuitive or spontaneous way. In the contemporary world every subject is immersed in culture, whose historicity is determined and determining.

The surrounding culture includes the stages of historical education: the first stage occurs in the original scope of coexistence of any individual, usually in what is commonly called family or in the social group of origin, in whatever format. The second stage is usually formal schooling. Such schooling is long-term and historical issues, as a specific discipline, are not present in all grades. Schooling is reduced over time, and includes, for the reflection presented here, any form of higher education. The third stage corresponds to the autonomy of historical thought reached by the subject, without being possible to define univocally if there is a precise, generic, valid for all moment, in which this occurs (i.e., it does not seem possible to establish a universal characteristic of historical, homogeneously present thinking in every subject). This stage extends throughout the life experience of the subject, passing through the other experiences, those carried out both by own initiative and those induced. The category of induced experiences includes those that occur in the pedagogical projects of school systems.

On the general level, however, the consciousness constituted by the historicizing reflection is broader than that provided by systematized school instruction. The sources of the historical consciousness of each are therefore distributed, certainly not uniform, in the mentioned stages and are not exhausted in school discipline. This, however, undoubtedly has an eminent role in the material and formal conformation of this consciousness, particularly when it comes to basic education. It should be made clear, however, what is meant by historical consciousness, as a result of historical education processes.

Historical awareness, historical culture

Historical consciousness is the expression used contemporaneously to designate the consciousness that every rational human agent acquires and constructs by reflecting on his concrete life and on his position in the temporal process of existence. It includes two constitutive elements: that of personal identity and that of understanding the social set to which it belongs, both situated in time. The constitution of historical consciousness is a logical moment of the operation of historical thought and is immersed in the comprehensive environment of historical culture. Historical culture is thus the 'collection' of the senses constituted by human historical consciousness over time. The historical consciousness needs the memory - individual and collective - as a reference of the contents (information, data) that it has and with which it operates.

Because of the interdependence between historical consciousness and historical culture, in spite of the natural specificity of every culture in the context of each individual's concrete life, particular culture articulates - especially in the era of cognitive globalization - with culture in its general forms, to incorporate common and specific elements into each other. The dimension of 'global history consciousness', then, became part of the concept of historical consciousness (of an individual character) used in the didactics of History since the 1980s. The extension of the concept to that of a global historical consciousness intends to express that the process of globalization has repercussions on the contents of historically organized learning, which are no longer adequately covered only by the concept of individual historical consciousness.4

The historical consciousness includes the consciousness of the historicity intrinsic to all human existence, inserted in the whole of the culture, the institutions and the actions of the people. Historicity is a fundamental presupposition of the existential condition of every human being. Reflecting on this condition is a procedure of historical thought, necessary to everyone, which always takes place and at all times, in every circumstance, throughout life. Historicity and temporality coincide. Historical thought takes hold of them and elaborates them reflectively on historical consciousness. The expressions of this reflection, in the form of narrative (formal or informal), therefore, fits both within the context of the individual agent as within the comprehensive framework of historical culture.

Every human action requires the historical (even if not historiographical) reflection of the agent (MARTINS, 2016). The empowerment to act comes from learning. This is due to the appropriation of the concrete data of the empirical history in which the agent is situated, on which reflection is based, producing understanding and interpretation of the historical environment in which the agent finds himself, of which he is both product and producer. ‘Historical consciousness’ has in mind that historical culture precedes and involves every concrete existence, just as it is only constituted by the accumulated action of individual agents. Learning (knowing the concrete empirical data of the pertinent past) is a basic requirement of the operations of historical thought (which fills the memory with reflected information). These operations lead to the constitution of historical consciousness and are responsible for the contents found in the historical culture. Research, learning and practice are never abstract, but concrete and specific, linked to the concrete specificity of each person 'of flesh and blood'.

The diversity of human rational agents is expressed in the multi-perceptivity of the historical culture proper to each one and makes understand both the multiplicity of historical cultures, beyond that which is recognized as proper, and the elements common to all cultures as human. The idea of equality of human beings and their common dignity has become the historical patrimony of historical consciousness, known as the 'dignity of the human person' and 'fundamental human rights'. Historical consciousness is also constituted by the consolidation of this knowledge as immediately related to the affirmation of the subject as concrete individuality.

Historical thought inscribes in historical consciousness the knowledge of the meaning learned in the surrounding historical culture and operates the understanding interpretation that re-elaborates this sense as a result of the conscious and intentional acting of the agent. Historical learning is informal (in the usual environment of practical life) and formal (in the school system). Every learning process presupposes historical awareness (as initially present, not yet thematized in every agent), contributes to its constitution and consolidation, helps it to be firm and to develop. For Jörn Rüsen, historical learning contributes to the development of the subject and is operated by the developing subject. Historical consciousness contributes to the development of the subject and strengthens his learning ability (RÜSEN, 2015).

Hans-Jürgen Pandel proposed seven "dimensions" of the category of history consciousness : (a) time awareness (distinction between past, present and future) and historical "density" (saturation of events) [in the case of Brazil, for instance, the dictatorship in 1964-1985 or the degradation of the political environment between 2016 and 2018]; (b) sensitivity to reality (a feeling of the real and the fictional: the dichotomy between the world of life and the imaginary world of 'virtual reality', notably in video games); (c) consciousness of historicity (duration and change of concrete existence in time: the sensation of the 'acceleration' of time); (d) identity (awareness of belonging to a group and ability to take this into account: the experience of exclusionary conflicts between groups); (e) political awareness (view of dominant structures and interests in culture: orientation crises and the lack or overabundance of guidelines); (f) economic-social awareness (knowledge of social and economic inequality: the distances of social classes and their opposition); (g) moral awareness (ability to reconstruct values and norms of the time, without falling into alienating relativism or giving up one's own judgment) (PANDEL, 1987).

Other dimensions can be added, such as awareness of differences between individuals and groups, consciousness of the absolute community of humanity as a pre-eminent cultural value (dignity and rights of the human person), and so on.

In the formal process of school learning, the historical awareness of teachers and students interact in substantive intergenerational communication, in cultural coexistence and in the production of historical knowledge. Every learner (regardless of age or the stage of formation in which he/she is) experiences both relations: that of the interaction of the generations and the subsistence between teachers and students. There is a reflex effect of this learning on the teacher, for whom it continues and evolves in the professional exercise and the sociocultural life.

The historical culture sediments a social practice and results from it: every form of historical thought is inserted in the historical culture and in the memory, in the context of which historical narratives are produced and interpreted. This process has historical identity as its goal, for every way of thinking and narrating historically includes historical educational offerings for the present and future, such as consistent identity projects. The powers of historical thought enable the agent to orient himself in the present and for the future, by the reflexive appropriation of the past and its cultural context. Historical consciousness allows the subjects to express themselves or to recognize themselves in successive logical stages: diffuse prior narrative, reflected historical narrative, critical historiographic narrative. The science of history collects and methodically elaborates, in its practices, the historical consciousness. Historical thought - as well as its cognitive contents obtained by experience and research - will, in its historicity common to all and in its scientific specificity, therefore operate in two interdependent but logically distinct levels: that of the historical consciousness of all and of anyone, and that of the critical historical consciousness, achieved and consolidated in historiography.

Rüsen points out five procedures that are proper to the scientific version of historical consciousness: (1) the development and refinement of historical culture, through the methods of research and the discursive strategies of historiography; (2) the transposition of the past from its eventual presence in memory to events distant in time: the past is objectified, as it is in the informative content of the sources and how can be apprehended methodically of them and in them; (3) this objectified form of the past is the content of a methodological knowledge process; (4) cognitive collections become available for the purpose of orienting and professionalizing the historical production of knowledge and its transmission (teaching and learning); (5) this conformation of historical knowledge generates an ever renewed content of meaning - which starts from the previous contents and evolves into reflective interpretation (PANDEL, 1987).

Historical consciousness is, therefore, a basic category of history didactics, encompassing its five basic operations of historical constitution of meaning: to ask, to experience or to perceive, to interpret, to guide, to motivate. In the broad and specialized social space, historical learning is a process of historical consciousness at its two levels. Every reflexive subject/agent goes through learning processes, informal and formal, in which the historical generation of sense occurs. Being historically aware of the interconnection between individuals and societies, between yesterday, today and tomorrow, between experiences and expectations is an indispensable factor of human existence, to be taken into account in all teaching and learning processes (in the choice of contents as in tactics concerning information, appropriation and use of contents and narratives).

Written history - historiography

To understand how history is written is to explain what moves the historian when he proceeds to transform his research results (his historical understanding) into a historiographical narrative. Usually every subject deals with narratives available in the 'culture market'. Two types of narrative coexist in this 'market': [1] those produced by 'ordinary people' over time and all the time, from the perceived and discursively (and eventually) solved needs produced by [2] the 'unusual people' - the specialists, the professional historians - who enunciate, in methodically organized narratives, the verified empirical basis of their researches, the argument that describes, interprets and explains the object of these researches. Let us define what this second kind of narrative, known as historiography, consists of.

The goal of history is the same as that of the social sciences as a whole: to give intelligibility to the social world. Its specificity is to construct this intelligibility through the singular narrative of specific events. The events examined, described, explained, and narrated by history are in the past. The past assumes that the events are completed, finalized. This does not stop their unfolding from reaching the present. One of the indicators of this scope lies in the fact that every historiographical examination of the past originates in the present and is intended to answer the questions that this present (and its respective future) elicits.

Historical reflection produces, as a rule, three types of intellectual outcome. The first corresponds to what is commonly called historical consciousness, as discussed above. This consciousness apprehends and systematizes the experience of time lived by the human rational agent. The second is expressed in the scientific format of historiography. The methodical procedures and the theoretical resources of historical science apply to the diffused historical consciousness, to make it as precise as possible, from the empirical basis of investigation and criticism of tradition. A third type of result is historical culture and can be seen in the conjunction of historiography (and related scientific production) and diffuse individual and collective consciousness. As said, this culture includes both the professional of the area and the common man. Thus, the historiographical product entails two types of effect. The first is given within the corporation of historians. It is, in a way, an internal effect, unfolding in critical analysis, revision and innovation in theory and method, exploration of new fields of investigation, incorporation of unpublished sources. The second effect occurs in the external world: diffusion, in social space - starting, of course, by the "republic of letters" or by the school system. Combined, both effects contribute to the formation of a historical consciousness which, in turn, has effects on the social praxis of people and the view of themselves and the world they construct.

Historiography is therefore the term used to designate all the scientific narrative products that deal with human history, its doing and undoing. There are two systemic elements in historiography: production and output. Historiography-process is research (and all its stages), in which reliable and demonstrable knowledge is produced. It obviously depends on the methodical performance of the professional who performs it. This professional depends on his intellectual training and his practical training. The effectiveness of the research usually ends in a narrative (discourse, text) in which a certain historical subject is described, analysed, understood, interpreted, explained, argued, and demonstrated (ANHEZINI, 2011). This narrative is historiography-product. Report, article, chapter, dissertation, thesis, monograph - these terms describe multiple classic forms of consigning the historiographical narrative.

In the strict sense, therefore, historiography designates those works of scientific nature that, through empirical research of sources, propose in narrative form a significant explanation for a determined set of human actions, rationally founded, in the past (ANHEZINI; SILVA, 2011).

Historiography also includes the history of historiographies (GONTIJO et al., 2015; NEVES, 2011; BENTIVOGLIO, 2017; OLIVEIRA; GONTIJO, 2016). This term designates, first, the art of writing history. Next, it concerns the works of history referring to a certain epoch. Finally, it refers to the way in which such works were produced. Indeed, over time, history has evolved as much in its research methods as in its writing styles - memory needs writing to keep itself in the long run. However, despite all these variants, the discipline is considered one and the same, and it refers to Thucydides, whose History of the Peloponnesian War asserts that the historian must seek the truth. In order to do so, they have to deal with the most reliable documents that are closest to the facts, to confront the testimonies and to distrust the traditional truths. Principles that continue to be valid, even if the writing of the history practiced by Thucydides is very far in the past. Ultimately, it is the human rational agent, common subject of any and all history, who practices and ensures the unity of historical narrative.

This history of history is usually exposed through the organization of its stages or practices in "historical schools" (for instance: DELACROIX; DOSSE; GARCIA, 2012). Such standardization certainly facilitates classifications and hierarchies. It also helps to memorize phases, influences and dependencies. However, just as history is the set of human actions in time and space, the history of history is the result of the human action of historians over time and under the most diverse circumstances. Thus, even if one uses the assemblage of "schools" as an organization format (such as the Annales, for example), it is always necessary to bear in mind that the record of the (hi)story, its reflection and the writing about its happening, are made by successive and diverse generations of historians, inserted in networks of affinities or divergences, theoretical and ideological belongings, methodical procedures and socio-cultural contexts that react or respond to a stage of research development, a social requirement, and even fashions or ambitions.

Although historiography generally cuts its objects from a historically constituted perspective ("national", even when it is called "social," "cultural," or "economic"), rarely producing comparative analyses (and when is often limited to large generic lines or small cuts).

Following mediations of historical learning, historiography has a connecting role between the present time and the experience of the past inscribed in the sources. Its narrative mediates, for the society, the empirical material collected in the research and processed in it. Historiography logically serves as the starting point for the conception of history teaching (curricula, programs, manuals and other teaching-learning strategies adopted in the formal school system).

Historiographical analysis is certainly not meant to produce successful recipes. At least three major components are present in historiography: the conception of the historical sense of the object studied; the theoretical - explicit or implicit - framing of the theme and its relevance to contemporary time; and the projection of a rational explanation of past human action as a proposal to act present and future.

Historiography, learning, identity

Historical learning, promoted by historiography and made in it, contributes decisively to the foundation of identity and is a historical constant of reflection of every social agent, individual or group (clan, gens, ethnicity, tribe, segment, estate, class). The accelerated process of political, economic and social transformations of the contemporary world makes it indispensable to identify the temporal and structural contours of the personal and collective consciousness that underlies the discourse and the action of the people of today. The expression "today" certainly refers not only to the present "present," but also includes a transtemporal reference to the "today" of each time, particularly of the past.

To investigate the broad context of the historical process (origins, political, economic, social and cultural conditions, areas of influence, possible effects of intentional action in any field of activity, possible influx into people and groups with whom one comes in contact, etc. .) in which the agent of each 'today' inserts himself (or in which he wants to be inserted) provides the conscientious and social framework of his identity: the subject considers himself liberated - at least intellectually - from his own circumstance, while he becomes (or is reasonably convinced that he becomes) master of this circumstance, by rational analysis and practical action.

What is the main reason for this? In what way does the human rational agent consider dominating its circumstances? To the first question one must answer that the temporal context of the subject includes the complex of historical conditions that make society and men what they are objectively. These conditions are studied scientifically by the subjects themselves, according to models considered sufficiently tested to be trustworthy. The results obtained are codified, according to rules, in scientific summaries, of which accumulated historiography is an example. The second question is answered precisely by the elaboration of the rules and by the grounded conviction that the established rules correspond (or apply) to the objective considered as reality, which explains why the rational human agent believes they have become master of the situation. There is no doubt that there is a strong psychosocial component in the scientific process of reality domination, at least concerning the consecrated social sciences, such as history and the constitution of historical consciousness.

The historian, clad in scientific competence, socially recognized as a member of a professional corporation, gives meaning and, so to speak, infuses "history" to what is initially a conglomeration of empirical information whose connection is not given in and of itself.

This task is accomplished through the methodological procedure proper to the scientific community, in its historiographical version, particularly in the one confirmed by the academic format. This circumstance sometimes reinforces the impression that "science" is a mysterious subject of experts whose authority would be superimposed on that of the community at large. Not all science is so mysterious. And in the case of the social sciences, especially in the case of historical science, what is scientifically obtained, after laborious research, directly touches upon the personal and social identity of the subjects and their groups. In the immediate context of the subject (regional history, sectoral history), in its broader context (social history, political history, national history, ethnohistory, intellectual history, etc.), this string is tangible in different tuning forks, as if producing successive waves of effect) or in its comprehensive insertion in global processes (economic history, history of international relations, history of imperialism/colonialism, etc.). There are works that are predominantly situated in only one of these dimensions or that approach more than one of them (MARTINS, 2012). Each procedure employed has its reason which seeks to be recognized and rationally admitted by the author's interlocutor (reader). In the case of an activity that elaborates the questions related to personal and collective identity in a historical perspective, without demanding from each and every one of them the scientific qualification required of the author, works that generate history are loaded with pragmatic intention, whose plausibility (that is: whose degree of effectiveness in the process of convincing the interlocutors) rests on or refers to scientific competence.

Historiography, with the support of the many specialties with which it dialogues, expresses, in the argumentative narrative and in the discursive demonstration, the understanding and the explanation that comes to history as a research practice, generating intellectual synthesis. It is a consolidated achievement throughout the 20th century that is extremely fruitful for history. The scientific security of history asserts itself: it demonstrates, it argues and it explains based on data from the sources.

Convergences are not just disciplinary. They are also themed. The range of subjects worked by historical research knows no limits. This is due not to a loss of specificity, but to the very historicity of human action, whose effects multiply in time and society, space and culture. Nihil humanum a me alienum puto... Nothing human is foreign to me - so Terentius exclaimed in the 2nd century BC: thus, any human action, however simple or complex, can (and possibly should) be the object of historical reflection. The experience of actual or lived action, reflected in its origin, its development, its reasons and its effects, becomes history. Historiography records in its narrative argument this reflection that historicizes the experience.

In order to support the narrative that understands and explains them in the reflected human time line, the most varied themes are rooted in the careful and thorough investigation, long and detailed, sometimes even tiring, that is the own doing of the historian. Knowing how to deal with records, transforming into information, data, monument and document is a methodical characteristic of historiographical work. Experience lived and reflected is common to anyone. For historiography, as a result of historical reflection, what matters is how the reflection is conducted and then inserted into the historical discourse. For this, it is necessary to know, remember, record and interpret. Memory is thus a key element of reflection.

Consciousness and narrative in everyday life: acceleration and fragmentation

Historical consciousness does not arise from the 'pure' content of history. Rather, it forms and shapes itself in dealing with content that derives from structuring, but usually pre-reflective, thinking and attitude processes. Among these contents is historiography, increasingly abundant, diversified and present in social, school and cultural life.

One wonders whether the goals from which a historical consciousness must emerge can be reduced to some common denominator - universal or culturally centred. According to Rüsen, establishing a common denominator is a basic operation in historical narration. This is fundamental, so far as in a discursive, enunciating competence can be acquired from it. In the narrative activity, a temporal orientation is achieved by practicing and internalizing the management of the three dimensions of time: past, present and future. Historical narrative, like the historiographical one, is essentially "understanding about the experience of time" as a present visualization of the past (MARTINS, 2018). A task that seems increasingly difficult at the breakneck speed of the 21st century (ESCUDIER, 2008; PALERMO, 2017).

Historical learning cannot be seen only as a cognitive process. Emotional, aesthetic, and normative interests also play an important role. History is considered a factor of cultural orientation under these aspects.

Rüsen distinguishes four different types of historical learning based on a reciprocal relationship, although built on one another. Each of these types can be considered a prerequisite for the other levels. Each of the four forms of learning results in a higher degree of subjectivation. The four forms of learning are traditional, exemplary, critical and genetic learning. These four forms reproduce, for the itinerary of learning, what Rüsen previously applied to historiography (MARTINS, 1992).

In the traditional formation of meaning, traditions are visible and adopted as a fixed orientation of life practice. The exemplary formation of meaning derives general rules from the tried traditions, and there is an awareness of the interaction between the general and the particular. At the level of critical meaning, experiences become subjective and their validity fundamentally called into question. Genetic education deals with the productive appropriation of historical experience. This process is always continuous. The distinction between these forms is merely analytical, since they form a single process of formation; they are not hierarchical.

The goal of historical learning can be understood as a combination of historical reference and its practical life function. Crucial is the production of a narrative - a story-story in which lived-history is differentiated and concretized. According to Rüsen, four directions are conceivable here:

  1. an orientation of historical learning aims at the dimension of experience. Rüsen emphasizes that historical learning creates awareness of temporality itself as a historical being. History must be experienced as a phenomenon, which has to do with the world of life itself. Only then does the story become meaningful;

  2. historical learning must be related to subjectivity. Otherwise, the process is unlikely to be didactically significant;

  3. historical learning arises, not at last, from the exchange of experiences between different people. Therefore, history is essentially negotiation, discourse and dialogue;

  4. dealing with history can take many forms. This can range from the analysis of sources, through the reading of representations, to active participation in the historical discourse of the present.

Narrative skills cannot be taught in a purely theoretical way. They can only be acquired through practical experience: by writing. At the same time, digital forms of work have inaugurated new ways of writing and representing. One of these modes is interactive, in which the learning of apprehension, saying and explaining interacts with teachers and with the virtual world of generic interlocutors. Dealing with readers and writers on the web (webreaders, webwriters) introduces a dimension - until recently unknown - in the practice of historical and historiographic narrative.

Jakob Krameritsch, in the essay "The Five Types of Historical Narrative - in the Age of Digital Media", adds to the four classic types of historical narrative by Jörn Rüsen a fifth type, which he calls a ‘situational historical narrative’, proper to the interactive narrative of the digital world. Krameritsch (2007) flirts with postmodern theses, noting the acceleration of the transformations through which narratives pass, in a virtual world (in which the search for sources is not always carefully performed) (KRAMERITSCH, 2007).

Such an accelerated world is characterized by the diversity of options (high risk), hybridity and a high degree of composition and re-composition of the traditionally defined 'blocks of identity'. According to Richard Sennett (2012), this (perhaps unlimited) flexibility deals with a loss of coherence and meaning and must constantly relate the space of experience and the horizon of expectation to one another in a new situational way. Hermann Lübbe (2014) observes in this acceleration of time a 'shortening of the periods' in which constant conditions of life could be located, or at least long term ones. With this, the individual becomes less familiar with the past, more intrigued by a gift that can be transposed into digital fiction and less able to deal with a future that arrives 'so fast'. Historical consciousness thus faces a new challenge: the abbreviation of time, in hypertextual narratives and fictional overlaps. The 'grand narrative', the 'master narrative' loses its attractiveness - the mosaic of narratives gains relevance. Fragmentation (and particularization) seems to stand out as a new form of narrative individualism.

The narrative develops itself as a multi-authorial mosaic in hypertext. Readers become easy writers (uncompromised with methodical rigor) and create story(ies). There are no longer major master narratives - what matters to the flexible individual is consumed situationally and, where appropriate, accompanied by hypertext structures. Examples of this evolution are Wikipedia and the world of 'blogs', 'social networks', 'true news' or 'fake news' (BUENO; CREMA; ESTACHESKI; NETO, 2018).

The educational process of historical consciousness formation has thus to deal with the different rhythms of the surrounding macro-narrative, the fragmentation of memories and individual narratives and the articulation between them, in cultural contexts more and more placed in opposition or competition. The empirical research expressed in methodologically guaranteed historiography provides teachers with a kind of 'raw material' which is safe (as much as possible) for both their professional training and their teaching practice. It is certainly not the only 'matter', particularly in a rapidly changing world and confronted with 'virtual worlds' in increasing numbers. Thus, the educational process of history is close to the investigative process of history: one does not sustain itself without the other. And no one can risk dismantling the subject with the force of methodical disengagement and critical disengagement.


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1Translated by the author.

2Historical consciousness is still framed by the national reference. The school system, in general and everywhere, takes as its descriptive, analytical and explanatory axis the national history. Rising above this frame is something that still crawls in research, historiography, teaching, and manuals. Susanne Popp (a professor at the University of Augsburg) is one of the German specialists in didactics of history who has dedicated herself to overcoming this nation-centered limitation. Cf. for example Susanne Popp / Johanna Forster (eds.): Curriculum Weltgeschichte. Globale Zugänge für den Geschichtsunterricht. [ Curriculum World History. Global Proposals for History Teaching] Schwalbach / Taunus: Wochenschau Verlag, 2008. Historian Stefan Berger (Cardiff, then Bochum) has published two landmark works around the binomial state-nation / global history: The Search of Normality. National Identity and Historical Consciousness in Germany since 1800 (New York: Berghahn Books, 1997) and, with Chris Lorenz (Amsterdam), Nationalizing the Past. Historians as Nation Builders in Modern Europe. London: Palgrave-MacMillan, 2015. This historiography is articulated around originally European issues(and German, in part), a sociocultural space in which the conception and practice of the nation-state occurred - and from which it spread.

Received: November 29, 2018; Accepted: December 14, 2018

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