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Begriffene Geschichte – Geschichte begreifen

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Edited By Holger Thünemann, Jürgen Elvert, Christine Gundermann and Wolfgang Hasberg

Wer Geschichte in ihrem Wesen begriffen hat, der weiß, dass der Gegenwart immer eine Zukunft, dass dem Heute immer ein Morgen folgt. Jörn Rüsen hat sich mit dem einmal Erreichten nie zufrieden gegeben, sondern hat in den vergangenen fünf Jahrzehnten seit seiner Promotion an der Universität zu Köln immer wieder zentrale wissenschaftliche Beiträge zum besseren Begreifen der Geschichte vorgelegt. Weggefährten sowie Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aus dem In- und Ausland, die seinen Weg weiter verfolgen, knüpfen in diesem Band an Rüsens Œuvre an und setzen sich mit seinen geschichtstheoretischen, geschichtsdidaktischen und kulturwissenschaftlichen Positionen produktiv auseinander.

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Making Sense of Lessons of the Past. Theoretical Perspectives on Historical Learning

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“We define ourselves as being a cross-point, an interface of time and events, permanently in transition. To remain what we are, not to change and evolve, appears to us as a mode of self-loss, a threat to identity.”

Jörn Rüsen

Abstract Drawing upon Jörn Rüsen’s theories, this article discusses the aims and content of history learning. The author rejects a “trickle-down” approach to history teaching, arguing instead for a turn towards the historical culture surrounding us as well as towards history’s potential to create meaning and to orientate individuals.

A Swedish historian is supposed to carry out a threefold professional work: to research, to teach, and to fulfill the so-called “third task”, which is to provide individuals and institutions outside the academic world with scholarly information and knowledge. My recurrent professional frustrations are seldom connected to the first and third tasks, but often to the second one, that is to the teaching and learning of history. There are several reasons for my frustrated state of mind. One is that the teaching-learning nexus is not only factually the second task, but it is often also considered a secondary task, subordinate to the first, most important task aimed at producing new scholarly knowledge. It goes without saying that such a distinction between the different professional roles becomes artificial or even misleading in a discipline such as history, in which interpretative and communicative aspects are integrated parts of the cognitive operation....

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