2004.第32卷第2期(Vol. 32 No. 2).pp. 39–59



Reading to Learn History: Making Personal and Critical Connections to History

楊秀珠(Alison Sau-Chu YEUNG)




“Reading to learn” is one of the four key tasks advocated by the Hong Kong education reformers in recent years. Yet the relationship between reading programs and content area reading is largely unexplored. Drawing from the three main paradigms of content area reading (i.e., reading and study skills paradigm, cognitive and learning paradigm, and social constructivist paradigm), this article discusses the results of a study on the effects of content area reading activities in the development of historical understanding and thinking among Chinese history and World history students in twelve Hong Kong secondary schools. Based on focus group interviews with students and textual analysis of their reading reports, two main questions are pursued. First, how can reading activities achieve the goals of history education laid down in the official curriculum? Second, how do the social contexts shape the reading habits of history students? The article hopes to shed light on how history fictions and non-fictions can be used to broaden the realm of historical inquiry and independent thinking among teachers and students, particularly the close relationship between the process of critical reading and the construction of historical knowledge.