Towards an Effective Professional Development Model to Deepen History Teachers’ Understanding of Historical Concepts, pp. 13 of 16

Discussion

The findings from this study demonstrate the potential of how PD could be organised to bring about positive changes in a teacher’s practice when teaching historical concepts.

Site-embedded Professional Development Design

Beyond just the single workshop focused on the transmission of the PD content, PD designs could also consider site-embedded professional development which can impact classroom teaching in a situated and authentic context (Borko, 2004; Gusky & Kwang, 2009).  This was demonstrated in the Master Class design where allowing teachers to co-learn, co-construct and co-experiment with the new teaching ideas in teams arguably led to greater goal orientation and pedagogical innovations in their lessons to teach the concepts of causation and accounts.

Such PD designs could provide teachers with greater opportunities to question their own classroom pedagogies more meaningfully, provide social and learning spaces for feedback to be gathered and for positive learning outcomes to be celebrated. In so doing, this reinforces participant belief in how PD can change practice in the history classroom.

Differentiated Professional Development Design

All the participants had at least 5 years of teaching experience and the quantitative data showed that many of them came with a strong belief in how PD would impact their classrooms. The initial survey also showed that many of them had some understanding of historical thinking which we believed helped them implement the classroom interventions successfully in their specific contexts.

Related Teaching Materials

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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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