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Professional development of history content and skills: Measuring effects on teachers and students

Teresa J Wanser, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


National and local standards in history are evolving from standards on history content to standards on critical thinking and analyzing historical documents. The purpose of this research was to determine the effects of professional development received by K-12 teachers on infusing historical thinking skills into their history instruction. Changes in teacher use and application as well as impacts on students' self-efficacy were examined. Forty-eight (48) teachers from a mid-western public school district participated in an accredited masters of historical studies degree program at a mid-western liberal arts university. The two and one-half years masters degree program infused historical thinking skills and pedagogy into the program of studies for all teacher participants. Over the course of the program, data were collected from teachers at three points in time measuring changes in competence of their knowledge, use, and student use of historical thinking skills, as well as their ability to apply historical thinking skills to their own learning. On measures of competence and skill application, findings indicate that teachers' skills and competence improved significantly (p < .05). On a measure of student self-efficacy, findings indicate that students of participating teachers improved significantly (p < .05).

Subject Area

Educational evaluation|Educational psychology|Social studies education|Quantitative psychology

Recommended Citation

Wanser, Teresa J, "Professional development of history content and skills: Measuring effects on teachers and students" (2013). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3568510.