Cognitive and Instructional Processes in History and the Social Sciences

By Mario Carretero; James F. Voss | Go to book overview

Some institutions have created such opportunities (for recent examples, see Project 30, 1991). Yet, these are rare and, frequently, short lived. Formidable institutional and cultural obstacles stand in the way of widespread development of such opportunities. Organized along feudal lines, with departments and colleges-not to mention individual faculty-enjoying and exercising considerable autonomy, most universities are inhospitable to courses that require cooperation between departments or colleges. In this age of tight budgets, arts and science departments are hard pressed to offer the range of courses they feel their undergraduates need. Pulling scarce faculty away to co-teach courses with teacher education faculty is simply not a priority for arts and science deans. This situation is compounded by the low status of teacher education departments and colleges on many campuses. Arts and science deans and faculty often feel teacher education courses are not intellectually rigorous. The rewards for arts and science faculty to cooperate with teacher education faculty are not immediately apparent.

The fiscal crisis facing higher education further undermines opportunities for learning about teaching history in the context of actually doing history. The push at most institutions is toward larger classes that limit faculty's pedagogical options. In short, the prospects are bleak for the kinds of experiences that the data suggest prospective history teachers may need.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The author thanks Peter Vinten-Johansen and his students who all gave generously of their time and ideas. Lamar Fertig, Nancy Jennings, and Steve Smith helped collect the data on which this chapter is based and generously shared their ideas. Although their help has been instrumental, they are not responsible for any mistakes.

This work has been supported by the Spencer Foundation and the National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, College of Education, Michigan State University. NCRTL is partially funded by the Office of Educational Research & Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Spencer Foundation, the College of Education at MSU, nor OERI/ED.


REFERENCES

Arons A. B. ( 1990). A guide to introductory physics teaching. New York: Wiley.

Ball D. L. ( 1988). SummerMath for teachers program and educational leaders in mathematics

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