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Developing and sustaining communities of practice in elementary history education: Doing history in the classroom with limited professional development support

Your Name and Title: Katherine Ireland, Instructor and Ph.D. student

School or Organization Name: University of New Brunswick

Co-Presenter Name(s): n/a

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: New Brunswick, Canada

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Elementary and middle school teachers, teacher educators, and curriculum developers

Short Session Description (one line): This session will discuss how teachers of young students who have limited resources or limited access to professional development in history education can support one another.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

In New Brunswick, Canada, there are limited opportunities for elementary teachers' professional development in Social Studies education, due to limited funding allocation to areas of greater priority. History education is a vital component of young students' education. It can engage children’s imaginations, inspire them to ask questions and pursue mysteries, fostering a love of learning that can surpass subject-specific lines. It can create meaningful connections between generations in a community, inspire respect for those gone before us, and foster greater understanding and communication between different groups. I believe that while young students are capable of addressing complex issues such as citizenship, democracy, and discrimination in historical contexts, the study of history is marginalized in elementary schools, thus elementary teachers and students are afforded very little opportunity to do so.

My doctoral research employs an innovative methodological approach to examine the conditions necessary to empower teachers to do history in the early elementary years. This involves developing the materials and the capacity to support one another in professional learning communities. In this session, I would like to discuss some of the research I have conducted so far, and share some approaches to developing this approach in schools that I will be implementing in my research. 


Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: 

http://thenhier.ca/en/user/2535/published

http://www.ierg.net

http://historicalthinking.ca

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