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ERIC Number: EJ1003255
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
History Lessons Blend Content Knowledge, Literacy
Gewertz, Catherine
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v78 n4 p11-16 Dec 2012
For years, educators have been trying to free history instruction from the mire of memorization and propel it with the kinds of inquiry that drive historians themselves. The common core standards may offer more impetus for districts and schools to adopt that brand of instruction. A study of one such approach suggests that it can yield a triple academic benefit: deepen students' content knowledge, help them think like historians, and build reading comprehension. The Reading Like a Historian program, 75 free secondary school lessons in U.S. history, is getting attention as teachers adapt to the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts. Those guidelines, adopted by all but four states, demand that teachers of all subjects help students learn to master challenging nonfiction and build strong arguments based on evidence. Searching for ways to teach those literacy skills across the curriculum, while building content knowledge and thinking skills, some educators have turned to that program. Designed under the tutelage of history educator Sam Wineburg, it has been downloaded from the website of the research project he directs, the Stanford History Education Group, more than 330,000 times in the past two and a half years. Teachers trained in the approach focus heavily on four key skills: (1) "sourcing," to gauge how authors' viewpoints and reasons for writing affect their accounts of events; (2) "contextualization," to get a full picture of what was happening at the time; (3) "corroboration," to help students sort out contradictory anecdotes and facts; and (4) "close reading," to help them absorb text slowly and deeply, parsing words and sentences for meaning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A