For over a decade, we have collaborated with secondary school history teachers in an evolving line of inquiry that applies research-based propositions to the design and testing of a problem-based learning framework and a set of wise practices that represent a professional teaching knowledge base for implementing a particular model of instruction, problem-based historical inquiry (PBHI). PBHI centers history instruction on decision-making about persistent societal problems as they occur in particular historical periods. In order to prepare future teachers to be better able to implement this model in their classrooms, we have integrated components of this model throughout our secondary social studies teacher education program and incorporated a suite of digital tools and resources to facilitate modeling and implementation of PBHI strategies.

In an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of our model with pre-service teachers, a scenario-based survey was administered to 120 pre-service social studies teachers to examine their knowledge regarding problem-based historical inquiry (PBHI) teaching strategies. Results of data analysis suggest that pre-service teachers were able to recognize and incorporate core components of the PBHI curricular framework into the scenario-based activity more effectively on the post-survey than on the initial survey. In addition, participants were able to better articulate their reasoning for their instructional choices on the post-survey, and their reasoning tended to align with the core components of PBHI. Implications for the use of scenario-based instruments to measure knowledge of curricular innovations are also discussed.



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