Month: March 2020

Part VIII of the Current State of Assessing Historical Thinking: How Does Inquiry Assessment Motivate Students?

In the last article of this series, I describe what scaffolding exists for teaching historical thinking and how it can be improved. I will know focus on how inquiry assessments motivate students to succeed. A reason teachers scaffold a lesson or activity is because it motivates students to accomplish tasks which lead to mastery over skills, concepts, and information. In essence, if students believe they can climb the mountain, even if it is difficult, they …

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Part VII of The Current State of Assessing Historical Thinking: Problems with Current Research on Scaffolding

In the last part of this article series, I began to describe how scaffolding needs to be a more important focus in research into historical inquiry assessments. In this section, I use two exemplar articles to further suggest my point on the need for scaffolding. Exemplar Article #1 Analysis of the article “Fostering Analysis in Historical Inquiry Through Multimedia Embedded Scaffolding” suggests researchers do not consider how familiar students are with the historical topic. In …

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Part VI of The Current State of Assessing Historical Thinking: What Scaffolding Exists and How Can It Be Improved?

Teachers know they must build scaffolds, but producing scaffolds is more challenging each passing year. Creating scaffolds does not stop at teachers adapting curriculum for differences in reading levels or learning disabilities. There are additional socioeconomic, political, and natural circumstances affecting students that teachers must address by scaffolding curriculum. A United States teacher may need to adapt curriculum for students who do not speak English, are from cultural groups which represent “the enemy” in dominant, …

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Part V of The Current State of Assessing Historical Thinking: What Data Can Be Pulled From Research in Inquiry and Historical Thinking

In the last section, I mentioned how DBQ assessments cannot accurately measure specific cognitive processes in social studies, like sourcing or contextualization. Additionally, Reich demonstrated how students use unintended thinking processes to answer multiple choice questions. Adding to the issues of creating assessments, there are many categories of data which complicates measuring historical thinking. For example, Adam Wallace examined motivation and belief in oneself when examining National History Day projects (Wallace, 1987); David Hicks and …

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