Abstract 4, Volume 10, Number 3, Winter 2015

Building Prospective Early Childhood Teachers Content Knowledge Through Historical Reasoning Tasks


Amy B. Palmeri

Vanderbilt University


The preparation of future teachers of young children should incorporate attention to the developmental markers at the heart of developmentally appropriate practice and ground early childhood subject matter learning in disciplinary perspectives, engagement, and thinking essential for later disciplinary learning. With this focus in mind, I described an instructional sequence designed to engage teacher candidates in historical reasoning tasks where they considered the conceptual resources they used to support their own historical reasoning as a point of entry for considering the conceptual resources young children have at their disposal.   I presumed that such a comparison would allow candidates to develop the kind of content knowledge for teaching, enabling them to best leverage children’s historical reasoning as a means of deepening children’s historical knowledge and understanding.   The analysis indicated that candidates began to construct initial developmental trajectories of children’s historical reasoning and raised pedagogical questions suggesting they began to envision themselves as teachers of historical inquiry.

Key words: content knowledge for teaching, historical reasoning, disciplinary practice, pre-service teachers, teacher preparation, early childhood social studies


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