The Role of Historians and the Sequencing the Teaching and Learning of Historical Thinking in Teacher Preparation

Thursday, January 6, 2011: 4:00 PM
Room 304 (Hynes Convention Center)
Tim Keirn , California State University at Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
The new scholarship of the teaching and learning of history has significant implications for the training of pre-service teachers and demands much greater discipline-specific training of future teachers. Consequently, this scholarship and approach has created an opportunity for historians to be more directly involved in the training of pre-service history teachers. This is reflected in the current interest in teaching and teacher preparation within professional historical organizations.

            Despite such enthusiasm and intention, the impact of this scholarship in the training of pre-service teachers is limited as a consequence of institutional divisions between subject matter and pedagogic training.  If candidates do engage with the scholarship of the teaching and learning of historical thinking, it normally takes place in the methods course. Given the diversity of academic backgrounds. and the ‘factual’ as opposed to ‘disciplinary’ conceptualizations of history, of pre-service teachers, is one course enough to shape the candidate’s notions of historical thinking let alone provide them with the tools to provoke authentic thinking and dispositions amongst K-12 students?

            The scholarship of teaching and learning history needs to be ‘scaffolded’ and imbedded within the academic preparation of pre-service teachers across the subject matter and pedagogic divide. In doing so, this requires that historians be more visible in the process of pre-service teacher preparation and certification.  CSULB has designed a curriculum for history certification that sequences and aligns the scholarship of teaching and learning in a number of courses associated with both the subject matter and pedagogic training of pre-service teachers. This curriculum will be shared and the origins and challenges of such an approach will be presented. The paper will conclude with evidence from a research project demonstrating that despite the good intentions of the historical profession, and programs like that a CSULB, historians are becoming less involved in pre-service teacher training.

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