“This Day in History…” Series Archives

May 2019

“Historical Empathy and Perspective Taking in the Social Studies” edited by AATC founding member and 2003 AATC Annual Conference keynote speaker O. L. Davis, Jr. (with series editors Elizabeth Anne Yeager and Stuart J. Foster) was released in May 2001. Throughout his career in education, Dr. Davis has positively impacted curriculum and its application in teaching and learning that includes using perspective and empathy to provide context for meaningful learning, especially in social studies.

Drawing on research and experiences of the contributors, Dr. Davis compiles an edited volume that illustrates how educators can create an environment that truly allows students to interact with the past. He advocates engaging students in subject matter, such as the historical past, to make learning come alive for students. As educators gain experience, they can facilitate students taking different perspectives that allow for the development of empathy and deeper understanding of the people and events of the past.

As we consider the work of Dr. Davis, we can strive to provide varied perspectives that aid in the development of empathy that makes learning real and relevant to students. The following questions may help us to further our work. In the spirit of encouraging dialogue, a foundational component of AATC’s identity, we encourage you to share your thoughts and engage in discourse in the comments section:

  • What roles do teachers and students have taking different perspectives? How do these roles influence teaching and learning?
  • When considering an adopted curriculum, how can educators draw from the work of Davis to support student development that extends beyond knowledge acquisition to include deeper learning through personal construction of knowledge?
  • When considering unwritten or hidden curricula, how can educators draw from the work of Davis to use varied perspectives and empathy to develop holistic understanding of content?

Written by Dr. Corey Nagle

March 2019

March 15, 2019 marked 18 years since the release of Gloria Ladson-Billings’ seminal work “Crossing Over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms.” Continuing her work illustrated in this book, Dr. Ladson-Billings continues to explore pedagogy to meet teachers’ needs in addressing equity and social justice through the “Teach for Diversity” program at the University of Wisconsin. In 2014, Dr. Ladson-Billings discussed these ideas and more in her keynote address at the AATC Annual Conference.

While teachers may experience some preparation for multicultural classrooms, Ladson-Billings recognized potential improvements in teacher preparation to foster a more comprehensive pedagogy for culturally-responsive teaching. Driven by personal teaching experiences, Ladson-Billings explored teacher education that challenges and develops teachers for diverse classrooms. Culturally diverse learners continue to fill classrooms across the United States, thus maintaining the relevance of the work of Ladson-Billings. Teacher educators as well as in-service and pre-service teachers can be reminded of the importance of developing and supporting practices that are truly responsive to cultural diversity and ensure equitable and socially just learning opportunities for all students.

As we consider the work of Dr. Ladson-Billings, we can strive to continually meet the needs of teachers and students in diverse classrooms. The following questions may help us to further our work. In the spirit of encouraging dialogue, a foundational component of AATC’s identity, we encourage you to share your thoughts and engage in discourse in the comments section:

  • In what ways can we better prepare and support teachers in culturally diverse classrooms? What methods can we use to foster culturally responsive pedagogy?
  • How can we foster a philosophy inclusive of culturally responsive pedagogy that will ensure implementation in a variety of school settings? How will this philosophy build on or encompass issues of equity and social justice?
  • How can we use cultural diversity and related pedagogy to inform educational decisions for learners of various ages and levels?

Written by Dr. Corey Nagle

February 2019

Eleanor Duckworth’s “Tell Me More: Listening to Learners Explain” was released in February 2000. Drawing from the work of Jean Piaget and Bärbel Inhelder, Duckworth has conducted teacher education, curriculum development, and program evaluations across the globe. Dr. Duckworth delivered a keynote address at the 2003 AATC Annual Conference.

As a student of Piaget, Duckworth recognized the impacts of students’ prior learning experiences and knowledge. Teachers can challenge students to explore and expand their thinking through appropriately planned learning opportunities. In “Tell Me More: Listening to Learners Explain,” Duckworth and her colleagues explore how students of all ages connect and engage in learning. Through the work of Duckworth, educators can be reminded of the importance of listening to student explanations and using student voice to develop learning opportunities that move from questions to deeper learning and answers.

As we consider the work of Dr. Duckworth, we can strive to continue to develop and use curricula that allow students to have a voice that leads to meaningful and engaging learning experiences. The following questions may help us to further our work. In the spirit of encouraging dialogue, a foundational component of AATC’s identity, we encourage you to share your thoughts and engage in discourse in the comments section:

  • What methods can we use to aid in listening to learners explain? How can we use what we learn from listening to students to develop improved learning opportunities?
  • How can we use student explanations to inform educational decisions? How can Duckworth’s ideas be applied to learners of various ages and levels?

January 2019

January 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of “Teaching Thinking Through Effective Questioning” by AATC founding member and 1995 AATC Annual Conference keynote speaker Francis P. Hunkins. Dr. Hunkins is a longstanding advocate of curriculum and its role in teaching and learning, including the value of questions to drive instruction. As educators prepare to teach students of all ages, it is important to consider effective questions and the decisions that allow for the development of thinking skills.

The role of the educator includes planning for, use, and assessment of questions that can spur thinking. Educators can identify types of thinking aligned with concepts being taught to aid in the development of relevant, effective questions. From teacher planning and instruction, experiences can allow students to gain the skills necessary for asking and assessing their own questions. These student-developed questions coupled with appropriate scaffolds can drive student learning and thinking. As students expand their learning beyond the classroom, effective questions and related thinking skills can be a valuable tool in the application of their learning.

As we consider the work of Dr. Hunkins, we can strive to continue to develop and use curricula that encourage effective questioning and critical thinking. The following questions may help us to further our work. In the spirit of encouraging dialogue, a foundational component of AATC’s identity, we encourage you to share your thoughts and engage in discourse in the comments section:

  • What roles do teachers and students have in questioning and thinking? How do these roles complement each other?
  • When considering an adopted curriculum, how can educators draw from the work of Hunkins to support student development of questions that can drive learning?
  • When considering unwritten or hidden curricula, how can educators draw from the work of Hunkins to use questioning that develops critical thinking skills?

Written by Dr. Corey Nagle