Teaching K16 History Education: Recognizing Interdependence and Moving toward Coherence

AHA Session 229
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History 2
Saturday, January 7, 2017: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Mile High Ballroom 3C (Colorado Convention Center, Ballroom Level)
Fritz Fischer, University of Northern Colorado
Sarah Drake Brown, Ball State University
Richard Lowry Hughes, Illinois State University
Catherine Keller, Smoky Hill High School
Beth Scarbrough, National Council for History Education

Session Abstract

The teaching and learning of history must be a K-16 endeavor. In order to ensure that the discipline plays a vital role in the education of all individuals, it is crucial to recognize the interdependence of history teachers and history learners across the K-16 continuum. How do history teachers at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels engage students in discipline-specific reading and writing? How do they assess student learning? How do they make adjustments in their instruction based on their understanding of students’ strengths and weaknesses with respect to historical thinking? By the same token, how do history learners at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels come to understand the nature of the discipline? How do they demonstrate various aspects of historical thinking? To what extent can they articulate cohesive narratives about the past? The persistent questions above have been examined thoroughly in literature pertaining to historical thinking, learning in history, and the preparation of history teachers. Oftentimes, however, conversations have focused only on historical thinking, teaching, and learning at specific and often segregated grade levels. What do these ideas mean in the context of K-16 history education as a whole? What can all history educators learn from our students and from each other?

All teachers of history encounter students with various levels of experience; likewise, we bring various levels of experience to conversations about teaching and learning in the discipline. The purpose of this roundtable is to bring together elementary, secondary, and post-secondary history teachers in order to foster discussion and comparative scholarly research related to history teaching and learning across the K-16 continuum. Roundtable participants will share their respective qualitative and quantitative analyses of their elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students’ epistemological understandings and construction of narratives, and they will explain how they adjust instruction based on their students' representation and framing of history. The audience will be invited to consider the ideas their own K-16 students bring to the history classroom and contribute to dialogues about how all teachers of history might engage in systematic and scholarly reflection in order to use evidence to better understand the learning needs of our students.

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