Where, however, do history teachers learn such pedagogical practices? What challenges do teachers face in learning to understand and employ history-specific literacy practices in instruction? How might teacher education programs meet these challenges and improve teachers’ instruction in history? This paper takes up these issues through a case study of secondary preservice history teachers working across three semesters of their professional program. In this paper, I ask: (a) How do preservice history teachers view the use of texts in teaching historical content? (b) How do, or do, their views change over time? (c) How might programmatic reforms in methods and other courses help them see disciplinary literacy as a key element in, if not synonymous with, historical thinking and learning historical content?
Using an analysis of preservice history teachers’ work over three semesters and explaining efforts to improve our professional program for history teachers, this paper suggests that (1) often PSTs conceptions of history teaching were at odds with the pedagogical practices we teach in the program and (2) restructuring the methods course, field experience and the literacy course appeared to make a difference in how the history PSTs placed historical thinking more centrally in instruction.
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