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ERIC Number: EJ765257
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Closing the Distance between Authentic History Pedagogy and Everyday Classroom Practice
Warren, Wilson J.
History Teacher, v40 n2 p249-255 Feb 2007
One of the great challenges for the Teaching American History (TAH) grant program is changing conventional K-12 history pedagogy. The literature is full of a myriad of complaints about the traditionally poor pedagogy of secondary school history teachers. History faculty are among the most severe critics. Yet their complaints are often fuzzy and more than a bit hypocritical since history pedagogy among college and university professors is often just as hide-bound and lacking in authenticity as that found in the secondary schools. Relatively few college students, including history majors, are exposed to teaching methods that utilize what is known about how best to teach history. Nevertheless it is indeed possible to restructure secondary-level history instruction to emphasize historical thinking and approaches that are more authentic. In the context of the TAH program, however, these new approaches are not, of course, taught directly to students but are taught to their teachers. To answer the question, "How receptive are United States history teachers to more authentic historical instruction?," the author developed a survey of teachers' history dispositions for the TAH projects centered at Western Michigan University. In it, teachers are asked to evaluate their historical beliefs and attitudes using a Likert scale of strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, or strongly agree for several statements. The survey revealed that teachers failed to understand the value and use of authentic teaching methods. It is necessary to think creatively about convincing teachers of the importance of teaching historical inquiry skills and use of authentic methods and sources. In the author's opinion, the TAH program's most important achievement would be the leveling of the barriers that exist between academic and K-12 history teaching so that all students can learn better how to "do" history. (Contains 4 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan