Document Type



This study assesses history students’ historical skills in the Cape Coast Metropolis of Ghana. The specific skills assessed were document literacy and evaluative skills. In assessing these skills, two instruments were employed: the use of a test and a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guide. Students were tested to examine their skills in using historical documents under sourcing, contextualisation and corroboration. FGD was used to investigate how students evaluate historical evidence. The data analysis of the students’ test consisted of three stages. The first stage involved marking the responses while making notes on them, the second stage included writing a single case for all the notes prepared from the students’ responses and the third involved additional analyses and validity. The FGD data analysis consisted of three primary actions: data reduction, data display, and drawing conclusions. The study established two significant findings. First, the study has shown that the students did not apply sourcing, contextualisation and corroboration when reading historical documents as required, but only engage in noting discrepancies and dates of documents as well as document type. Second, it has been revealed that the students did not evaluate historical evidence but referred to the textbook and the history teacher for answers in the study of history.