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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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