Abstract 1- Volume 3, Number 1, Spring 2008

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 3, Number 1, Spring 2008



Identifying the Markers of History: Teachers and Researchers Describe the Assessment of Historical Knowledge and Understanding

S. G. Grant
University at Buffalo

Jill M. Gradwell
Buffalo State College


Although standardized testing of K-12 student knowledge and understanding garners considerable attention, few observers profess satisfaction with the assessments in place. In this exploratory paper, we report on the data gathered from an open-ended email survey of small, convenience samples of teachers and researchers. Although no clear consensus about alternative assessments of students’ historical knowing and understanding emerged, we argue that the potential for a consensus exists. Any emergent consensus, however, must be negotiated with several issues in mind.

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About the Author(s)…

S. G. Grant is Associate Professor of Social Studies Education and Chair of the Department of Learning and Instruction at the University at Buffalo. With a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, Grant’s research interests lie at the intersection of state curriculum and assessment policies and teachers’ classroom practices, with a particular emphasis in social studies. Contact information: S. G. Grant, Associate Professor and Chair, 517 Christopher Baldy Hall,
University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260; Telephone: (716) 645-2455 x1135 & Fax: (716) 645-3161; Email: sggrant@buffalo.edu

Jill M. Gradwell is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Social Studies Education in the Department of History and Social Studies at Buffalo State College, State University of New York. A graduate of the University at Buffalo, Gradwell teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in the teaching of history and research in social studies education. Her research has centered mainly on secondary teachers’ perceptions of state policy changes in social studies curriculum and assessment. Contact information: Jill M. Gradwell, Classroom Building C 209, Buffalo State College,1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222. Telephone: (716) 878-5427 & Fax: (716) 878-4009; Email: gradwejm@buffalostate.edu.