A Teacher’s Perceptions of Teaching With Expeditions in a Tested History Course
This qualitative case study investigated an interdisciplinary expedition in an urban high school (based on the Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound model). The author wanted to understand what happened during an expedition and how the Global History teacher perceived teaching a tested course in an Expeditionary Learning School. Findings indicated the teacher thought the expeditions students engaged in each semester assisted them in developing a sense of global awareness and in making interdisciplinary connections. The teacher also discussed challenges encountered when teaching the Expeditionary Learning curriculum to students who struggled academically. Though 35% of students failed the state Global History and Geography test at the end of the semester, the teacher remained committed to teaching with expeditions. This research highlights the teacher’s perceptions of the benefits and challenges of implementing expeditions in a state-tested course in an urban high school, as well as the need for additional supports for implementing this type of curriculum and preparing students for high-stakes exams.
Keywords: Teacher’s Perceptions, State Tests, Expeditionary Learning, Urban Students, High School, Global History