Using Educative Curriculum Materials and Practice-based Professional Development for Teacher Uptake of Historical Inquiry in Elementary Classrooms

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Powers, Robert, Curriculum and Instruction - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Moon, Tonya, ED-CISE Department, University of Virginia

In recent years, numerous states have revised social studies standards documents to incorporate the various elements of the National Council for the Social Studies’ C3 Framework for College, Career, and Citizenship. In Massachusetts, the 2018 revised framework included a series of History & Social Science Practice Standards that emphasize how students should engage in history education, including the use of historical inquiry practices. A review of the literature suggests that the uptake of historical inquiry, particularly in the elementary grades, is not commonplace in most history classrooms. Using Ball and Cohen’s (1996, 1999) frameworks for practice-based professional development and curricular materials for instructional reform, I conducted a qualitative case study of two fifth-grade teachers from one district in Massachusetts to understand how the use of educative curriculum materials and curriculum-based professional development could foster teacher uptake of historical inquiry. Data from semi-structured interviews, field notes from professional development, and classroom observation data were analyzed to investigate whether these elements fostered uptake of historical inquiry. Findings suggest that each of the aspects of the program impacted the uptake of historical inquiry in varying ways. Based on these findings and implications, recommendations for the district where the study was situated are also provided.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
Historical inquiry, Educative curriculum materials, Practice-based professional development, Elementary social studies
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