ERIC Number: ED466465
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
How Do Students Understand the Discipline of History as an Outcome of Teachers' Professional Development?
Medina, Kathleen; Pollard, Jeffrey; Schneider, Debra; Leonhardt, Camille
This paper documents how 390 history students in the fifth through twelfth grades understood history in ways related to their teachers' involvement in university-situated professional development. During the 3-year study, the research team traced the principal elements and goals of the professional development programs (via pretests and posttests) from teachers' work with historians and other regional teachers to their subsequent design of lessons and engagement of students in similar experiences in the classroom and finally to students' reported understandings of history. The research team found that it is possible to trace and document the understanding of key elements in teacher professional development to students' understanding, with positive outcomes for students. However, the team also found that the well-intentioned goals of professional development could have unintended consequences. Certain program components that professional developers had selected for emphasis, such as the use of primary sources and the delineation of multiple perspectives in history, could cause teachers and their students to reach faulty, subjective conclusions about the historical process. Researchers also found that, for the most part, teachers and students stopped short of historical interpretation, thus failing to realize fully the state's ambitious goals for teaching critical reasoning in history. (Contains 31 references.) (Author/SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: "Results of a 3-Year Study: 'Every Teacher an Historian,' a Professional Development Research and Documentation Program."