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Scaffolded lesson study: Promoting professional teaching knowledge for problem-based historical inquiry

John W. Saye (Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA)
Jada Kohlmeier (Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA)
James B. Howell (Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA)
Theresa M. McCormick (Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA)
Robert C. Jones (Department of Education, LaGrange College, LaGrange, Georgia, USA)
Thomas A. Brush (Department of Instructional Systems Technology, Indiana University Bloomington School of Education, Bloomington, Indiana, USA)

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 23 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of scaffolded lesson study on the content knowledge, conceptions of curriculum, and classroom practice of 22 elementary and secondary history teachers in four school districts.

Design/methodology/approach

Teachers, teacher educators, and historians collaborated to design and test research lessons grounded in a theory-based framework for problem-based historical inquiry (PBHI) practice. The authors sought to support consonance between the reform ideas of the formal, professional development, curriculum, and the curriculum as enacted in participants’ classrooms.

Findings

Project participation was associated with significant gains in content knowledge and the conceptualization and implementation of more challenging instruction consistent with the PBHI model and the standards of authentic intellectual work (AIW). Mean AIW instruction scores for research lessons were more than double the scores for participants’ non-lesson study lessons and indicated noteworthy progress in integrating the formal and enacted curricula. Evidence suggested that many teachers developed more nuanced understandings of historical phenomena, gained greater appreciation for the importance of authentic purpose in motivating student engagement in challenging learning, and began to reconsider what is required to facilitate complex learning and to refine their repertoire of learning strategies.

Originality/value

Evidence from the first year of this project offers hope for the potential of collaborative communities of practice to facilitate a shared professional knowledge base of wise practice that brings the formal, intended, and enacted curriculum into greater alignment. These results also emphasize the evolutionary process of conceptual change.

Keywords

Citation

Saye, J.W., Kohlmeier, J., Howell, J.B., McCormick, T.M., Jones, R.C. and Brush, T.A. (2017), "Scaffolded lesson study: Promoting professional teaching knowledge for problem-based historical inquiry", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 95-112. https://doi.org/10.1108/SSRP-03-2017-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited