Sunday, May 11, 2014

Creating An Historical Thinking Concepts Inventory Assessment

Since signing up to Twitter and becoming active, I have encountered and interacted with many teachers who seem, almost single-mindedly, obsessed with aligning their instructional decisions with what is best for students.

As many of us know, it is easy, or it becomes easy, to walk into a classroom and talk. It is also easy to tell ourselves, and, in fact, many administrators tell us, that a well managed classroom with a knowledgeable teacher is about as good as it gets in education. This is what is best for students.

But is it? And how do we know?

Frank Noschese (@fnoschese) and many other physics teachers have probed how effective their teaching is, and reflected and refined their teaching, by administering the Force Concept Inventory, an instrument of assessment that, according to its creators, “ can be used to assess the effectiveness of physics instruction at [various] levels.”

I have discovered through many interactions with colleagues that it is quite typical for teachers to assert that they are teaching history in ways that are best for students. Are we? How do we know?

These two questions, and my exposure to the physics assessment and its impact, have caused me to wonder if we might create something similar to the physics assessment I mentioned above.   Your thoughts?

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