Tell Me about It! How Preservice Teachers Interpret U.S. History

Thomas Lucey, Doug Hatch, Duane M. Giannangelo


The design and delivery of programs that prepare social studies teachers to meet the needs of diverse learners should (a) interpret teachers’ understandings of history; (b) clarify and remedy these understandings where necessary; and (c) facilitate their awareness of methods enabling their students’ understandings. This research paper presents the interpretations of five aspects of pre-1877 U.S. history (1492-1877) by early childhood, elementary education, and middle level preservice teachers at three institutions of higher learning. The researchers collected data as part of an online survey instrument that contained 25 multiple choice items and a pool of five open response prompts. The findings raise concerns about the inability of preservice teachers to articulate the content knowledge that they are responsible for teaching to P-8 students. 


Content knowledge; Teacher Education, Elementary Education

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