ERIC Number: ED374071
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Facing History and Ourselves: An Instructional Tool for Constructivist Theory.
Presseisen, Barbara Z.; Beyer, Francine S.
This paper presents a study using "Facing History and Ourselves," an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge development that focuses on the period of Nazi totalitarianism as a powerful case study through which teachers can stimulate moral reasoning and develop critical thinking skills in their students. The program encourages teenage students to learn about this particular historical period in depth while at the same time recognizing the causes and consequences of prejudice, racism, and violence in the present society. The questions that were explored in this study are: (1) how can teachers apply the theory of a constructionist conception of education to the instruction of domains of knowledge that are the very substance of the school's program? and (2) how would one best prepare teachers and students for their new constructivist roles in the classroom? It was decided to address these questions by examining an established teacher development program that advocates the general constructivist conception in its ongoing work. The focus of the examination was to find out what is required to develop classroom activities that are constructive in meaning for students in this program and, at the same time, to determine what learning and instructional aspects need to be attended to in designing successful classroom experiences. A model lesson was designed for use in eighth grade classes. A lesson plan, visual examples packet, and examples of completed homework assignments are included. Contains 17 references. (DK)
Descriptors: Critical Thinking, Curriculum Development, Educational Research, Foreign Countries, History Instruction, Interdisciplinary Approach, Nazism, Persuasive Discourse, Secondary Education, Social History
Research for Better Schools, Inc., 444 North Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
Identifiers: Facing History and Ourselves; Germany
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1994). Visual examples and student assignment sheets may not reproduce well.