Teaching for Historical Understanding (TfHU): Developing a Discipline-based Curriculum Model at Tanjong Katong Secondary School, pp. 6 of 17


Nature of work

Phase 1

The first phase of the project is a capacity-building phase that also served as PD for the history teachers. It consisted of two 3-hr sessions of training for all Upper and Lower Secondary History teachers on aspects related to Teaching for Understanding, the purpose of TK’s Teaching for Historical Understanding (TfHU) framework, the nature of historical knowledge and historical concepts that underpin the discipline (such as Causation, Accounts, Significance, Evidence and Chronology), and demonstrations of some TfHU strategies related to the concepts being discussed. The training sessions were aimed at developing teachers’ competency and also served to convince teachers on the value of the TfHU implementation. 

Phase 2

Following the training session, the second phase focused on coaching and mentoring of teachers as they designed learning sequences or a series of learning activities that supported the teaching of a particular topic. This phase of the consultancy involved the coaching of one Secondary 1 and two Secondary 3 History teachers in aspects of lesson planning and the (micro-)teaching of the planned lessons. The teachers were guided in the development of TfHU lesson strategies and given pointers and feedback on their planned lessons. Each teacher designed a TfHU lesson package, consisting of three 1-hr lessons, based on the level the teacher was teaching. Together with the consultant, the team of Sec 1 and 3 teachers observed one another’s lessons. A total of nine lesson observations were made (with each teacher running a three-lesson sequence for the taught topic). Developmental comments were thereafter provided to enable the team to continuously revise and improve the TfHU lesson packages.

Phase 3

Upon completion of the coaching and consultancy phase, the TKSS History teachers evaluated the effectiveness of the TfHU approach and discussed ways to move forward and further leverage on the PD experience. Teachers reflected and assessed the effectiveness of their lessons, the depth of the students’ responses, the challenges and opportunities of utilising a TfHU framework for student learning, and suggested improvements for future teaching and learning practices using the approach.

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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