Do you incorporate the Six Historical Thinking Concepts into your history lessons?
Got 45-60 minutes to spare and want a grad student forever in your debt?
A component of the Master of Teaching program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education involves conducting a small-scale qualitative research study. My research will focus on how educators are applying the six historical thinking concepts in their history lessons and what outcomes they are observing regarding student engagement. I am interested in interviewing teachers who have experience teaching the Ontario history curriculum both with and without incorporating the historical thinking concepts into their history lessons. The main goal of my study is to determine whether the historical thinking concepts are an appropriate framework for teaching Canadian history in Ontario’s increasingly diverse classrooms.
The Six Historical Thinking Concepts and emphasizing diversity are seen as the two most effective instructional practices for teaching Canadian history (Barton, 2008; Fogo, 2014; Sears, 2014; Seixas & Morton, 2012). The concepts provide teachers with a framework that encourages students to consider history beyond a mere conglomeration of facts; it is a way of knowing and developing an understanding about the relationships of peoples and events in the past and how these relationships impact the present (Lévesque, 2008; Seixas & Morton, 2012). As for emphasizing diversity, the incorporation of multiple, diverse perspectives can help students to understand how Canadian history is relevant to their lives (Barton, 2008; Lévesque, 2008; Peck, 2011), which becomes increasingly important as the demographics of Ontario continue to change.
Research suggests that historical thinking and diversity in history are not only compatible teaching practices, but their combined implementation will help students develop a deeper interest in and understanding of Canadian history. Both are part of the Ontario history curricula, however there is little information on how these two practices are being applied by teachers or what outcomes these practices are having on students’ understanding of Canadian history. The voices and experiences of Ontario’s teachers are missing from the Canadian history education conversation.
That’s where you come in!
Your participation will involve one 45-60 minute interview, either in-person or via Skype at a time/place that is convenient for you. While the interview will be transcribed and audio-recorded, you, your students, and school will be anonymous. You will be assigned a pseudonym to maintain your anonymity. The contents of this interview will be used for my research project (this includes a final paper and a presentation to my colleagues). You are free to withdraw your participation at any time. I will destroy the audio recording after the paper has been presented. I will share a copy of the transcript with you to ensure accuracy and a copy of the final paper.
- Participants should have a minimum of 5 years experience teaching the Ontario history curriculum for either grades 7, 8, or 10.
- Participants should have a minimum of 2 years of experience applying Peter Seixas’ six historical thinking concepts in their teaching of the Ontario history curriculum.
- Participants will teach history in a classroom where student demographics are ethnically diverse.
If you would like to participate or have any questions, please leave me a comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
With sincere thanks and appreciation for your time,