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A review of literature from history education and cognitive research strongly suggests that conceptual frameworks, by whatever name, contribute to meaningful understanding and should be a major component of history education. This is especially true in world history classrooms where the volume of potential content to be assimilated can be overwhelming. Students need conceptual frameworks to make sense of history, to give it meaning and to make it usable. Research on conceptual frameworks In 1999, the National Research Council (NRC) released a major study titled How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. The central theme of this report was that the mind uses experience to "develop coherent structures of information" that are meaningful to the learner and are stored in memory where these structures form the basis of understanding, thinking and problem solving. The NRC report cited research studies that compared the thinking of experts to the thinking of novices, not because teachers expect their students to become experts, but because experts solve problems better than novices do. Researchers wanted to know what it is about experts that makes them good at thinking and problem solving. According to the NRC report, expert knowledge "is not simply a list of facts and formulas that are relevant to their domain (area of expertise); instead, their knowledge is organized around core concepts or 'big ideas' that guide their thinking about their domains." The NRC report cited a study by Sam Wineburg in which a group of history experts and a group of highachieving advanced placement high school seniors were given the task of making sense of primary source documents from American history. Although several of the students outscored several of the historians on a factual test of American history, the historians excelled at evaluating and understanding the documents because they possessed useful conceptual frameworks. The students "had no systematic way of making sense of contradictory claims...They lacked the experts' deep understanding of how to formulate reasoned interpretations of sets of historical documents. Experts in other social sciences also organize their problem solving around big ideas.�

Co requisite text pdf  

Co-requisite reading / gateway content course instruction.