Preparing Secondary History Teachers:
Implementing Authentic Instructional Strategies during Pre-service Experiences
Rachel G. Ragland
Lake Forest College
An investigation of how secondary history teacher education candidates implemented research-based instructional practices for instruction is described as a model of pre-service teacher preparation for social studies teachers. Cohorts of candidates participated in a five-year project while enrolled in a discipline-specific capstone senior methods course and subsequent student teaching experiences. Candidates were surveyed and interviewed concerning their use of, and feelings about, twelve instructional strategies developed with a focus on authentic history pedagogy. Surveys were administered three times: before the secondary social studies methods course, after the methods course, and after student teaching. A variation on the Concerns-Based Adoption Model was used to measure the levels of use and stages of concern of the candidates. Artifacts of practice, including lesson plans from a model unit plan and actual student teaching, also were analyzed to document use of the strategies. Results indicate an increasingly high level of implementation of and comfort with the strategies, as well as the developmental nature of the process. Implications and recommendations for pre-service activities in history teacher education are presented.
Keywords:secondary social studies teacher preparation, secondary history teacher preparation, teacher candidates’ beliefs and attitudes, methods courses, history instructional strategies, pre-service instructional activities