Evaluative language in history textbooks

Myskow, Gordon (2015). Evaluative language in history textbooks. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This three-module thesis employs quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate evaluative language in Canadian secondary school and university history textbooks. The first module overviews approaches to the study of evaluation and key issues of historical discourse in need of research. The second module proposes a framework (Levels of Evaluation) for investigating history texts that combines methods from Martin and White’s (2005) Appraisal theory, and Hunston’s (2011) Status, Value and Relevance.

The third module further theorizes this framework, employing Kress and van Leeuwen’s (2006) methods to account for evaluative features of visual texts. The Appraisal framework is also elaborated to include two subcategories of Judgment: Normality, and the Appreciation network is reworked to account for different types of historical significance. Coffin’s (2000) Voices of History framework is expanded to include an intermediary voice between Recorder and Appraiser, which was found to be a salient feature of history textbooks. Key findings include a higher frequency in secondary school than university textbooks of inscribed Attitude, a high overall occurrence of the resources of Affect, and a low overall occurrence of extra-evaluation, the evaluative level concerned with disciplinary engagement. Implications for the study of evaluation in historical discourse and history education are discussed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6234


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