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ERIC Number: ED568515
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 202
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-6076-8
Effecting Student Learning for Historical Understanding
Lee, Gorman
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northeastern University
While there have been recent efforts to improve the overall public education system in the United States, American students continue to graduate from U.S. public high schools with limited knowledge of U.S. history (Ravitch, 1988; Evans, 2004; Ross, 2006; St. Jarre, 2008; Dillon, 2011). This qualitative case study investigated how high school students today have developed an understanding of the historical past in high school standards-based U.S. history classes in two public school districts located in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. The qualitative case study was designed to investigate the following research question, "What does learning for historical understanding looked like in public high school standards-based U.S. history classrooms?" The case study involved a thorough review of the literature on the topic of historical understanding and the gathering and analysis of data from two public high schools located in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. The data gathered included one-on-one semi-structured interviews with four high school U.S. history teachers and direct and unobtrusive observations of three high school U.S. history classrooms. The entire data gathering process occurred from late April to mid-May 2013. Interview transcripts, observation notes, documentary evidence analysis notes, and researcher's memos were carefully and thoroughly read and methodically coded according to major common themes that emerged in the initial analysis. The major findings of the case study are (1) historical understanding is the integration of content knowledge, its relationships to larger historical contexts, and significant implications to the present-day world, (2) students were motivated to learning U.S. history when it was interesting and relevant in their lives, (3) teachers utilized various tools and resources that foster learning for historical understanding in U.S. history classrooms despite certain contextual challenges, (4) high school students employed their higher order cognitive thinking and analytical skills when instructional activities incorporated the core concepts of historical understanding, and (5) local school districts' U.S. history curriculum is the key to foster historical understanding in the classroom. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts