Development of Students’ Knowledge of History: Acceptance and Rejection of the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation Narratives

Leo Agung Sutimin


The purpose of this research is to investigate the development of students’ knowledge in the process of learning history. The research questions are as follows: (1) How do students construct their knowledge of history? (2) What main factors affect whether students accept or reject historical information? This research is a qualitative project adopting Charmaz’s (2006) grounded theory framework to focus on the position of language use in the development of students’ knowledge of history. In total, 30 postgraduate students of the History Education Department, Sebelas Maret University, enrolled in a course on the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, participated in this research. To analyze students’ language use, I used critical discourse analysis focusing on their speech acts and discursive practice. The findings of the research show that students have autonomy to construct their knowledge of history. Students could accept or reject the historical information that arose throughout the learning process. Two factors affected whether students accepted or rejected the historical information: their prior knowledge and discursive practice. Students construct their knowledge of history through a dialectical process in the form of such discursive practice between their ideology, prior knowledge, and historical information. The findings of the research indicate that language use, especially in the form of discursive practice, determines the transmission and development of knowledge of history in the learning process.


learning history, knowledge development, knowledge of history

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