A Two-Way Bridge: Building Better Partnerships between Historians and History Teachers/Teacher Educators

Sunday, January 5, 2020: 8:50 AM
Sutton Center (New York Hilton)
Christopher Martell, University of Massachusetts Boston
This presentation will discuss the importance of forming partnerships between historians, history teacher educators, and K-12 history teachers. The core argument is that the relationship must be a “two-way bridge,” where K-12 teachers/teacher educators and historians work together to improve history instruction across elementary-, secondary-, and university-level classrooms. For too long, there has been an artificial division between pedagogy and content, with teachers and teacher educators seen as the experts of the first and historians as the experts of the latter. Instead, we need to empower historians, K-12 teachers, and teacher educators to work together, eliminating artificial barriers between content and pedagogy experts, to transform history education. The presentation will begin with a description of a recent social media campaign designed to increase dialogue between K-12 history teachers and historians, and what was learned from it. It will be followed by a discussion of the barriers that exist to building bridges between K-12 teachers, teacher educators, and historians. Ultimately, all history educators must work together to redesign how we teach about the past. Together, they can ensure that the history curriculum is a place for students to learn how to craft arguments based on evidence, ask important historical questions in a way relevant to the present, and better understand the experiences and perspectives from the past, especially those often voices missing. It will end some examples of historians, teacher educators, and K-12 teachers working together on powerful projects that bridge K-12 schools and higher education institutions to collectively improve teaching and learning.