NCHE EXPECTATIONS FOR TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS:
THE BEST PRACTICES OF EFFECTIVE HISTORY TEACHING
Graduates of Teacher Preparation programs in History should already meet, or aspire to meet through continued professional development, the deep and rich content knowledge detailed in the NCHE’s “Statement on Teacher Qualifications.” They should also demonstrate the ability to consistently:
• Create curricula that display an understanding of historical events, themes and periodization and the relationship among them, while incorporating the perspectives and modes of thoughtful judgment derived from the study of history.
Examples of several definable habits of mind: reading widely and critically in order to recognize the difference between fact and conjecture, between evidence and assertion, and thereby to frame significant questions; grasp the complexity of historical causation and avoid excessively abstract generalizations.
• Formulate questions about the past and use those questions to inform instruction.
• Craft instructional activities that present various points of view on historical events, that analyze how historians use evidence to formulate an argument and draw tentative conclusions about the past, and that employ historical debate and controversy.
• Integrate primary historical sources, knowledge of secondary historical sources, and knowledge of historiographical debates into their instruction.
• Incorporate discipline-specific literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) into their history instruction.
Example: Incorporate disciplinary concepts (time, change, evidence, accounts, empathy, causation) and history’s literacy skills (sourcing, corroborating, contextualizing), while integrating primary historical sources, knowledge of secondary historical sources, and knowledge of historiographical debates into their instruction.
• Create, employ, and analyze the results of assessments that require students to evaluate historical sources, consider different historical debates and points of view, and craft written historical arguments in response to broad and complex historical questions.
• Use individual and group assessment outcomes to consider strengths and weaknesses in students’ historical thinking and to inform instruction.
• Practice a wide variety of pedagogical methods appropriate to the content presented and use multiple strategies and sources to engage all learners in historical study.