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ERIC Number: EJ994103
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Subject Matter Counts: The Pre-Service Teaching and Learning of Historical Thinking
Keirn, Tim; Luhr, Eileen
History Teacher, v45 n4 p493-511 Aug 2012
The American Historical Association (AHA) and the National Council for History Education (NCHE) have recently advocated for raising the visibility of historians--and the significance of history coursework and subject matter preparation--in pre-service history teacher education. In 2006, NCHE adopted a position statement on history teacher qualification that established minimum levels of history coursework for pre-service teachers, and additionally called for methods courses to be taught by historians or instructors with an M.A. in history and for student teaching to be guided by experienced history teachers with at least a B.A. in history. In 2007, the AHA endorsed the NCHE position statement on history teacher qualification. In this essay, the authors will make the claim that, despite these best intentions, in California, it would appear that the role of history departments in the training of pre-service history-social science teachers has declined markedly in recent years. Given that California certifies one out of every eight teachers in the United States, this trend may also have national implications. The authors will make the case that the focus upon historical thinking requires pre-service teachers to have deep and sophisticated procedural historical knowledge (relative to factual historical knowledge), and that this signifies and accentuates the importance of the quality of subject matter preparation in a process that traditionally and institutionally privileges pedagogic training in history education and factual historical knowledge in terms of state certification. The authors will provide evidence that novice teachers with greater procedural knowledge and discipline-specific subject matter preparation in history perform better in student teaching than candidates without this level of rigor and disciplinary-focus in their undergraduate education. However, the deeper procedural knowledge required of novice practitioners by the expanding historical thinking movement, when juxtaposed with the diminished role of history departments in pre-service teacher preparation, has created curricular trajectories at cross-purpose. The authors will share the means by which the History-Social Science Credential Program at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has addressed these challenges and developed curricular interventions to ensure that candidates--no matter their undergraduate academic background--acquire and develop the procedural knowledge of history that is required both to think and to teach historically. In doing so, this essay also seeks to contribute to the greater understanding and agency of the university classroom in improving the teaching of history in the schools, as well as to promote and represent means and examples of high-quality pre-service history teacher preparation that is provided on larger scales. (Contains 3 figures and 24 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, 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: California; United States