“How do you know what to Ask?”: Disciplinary Epistemologies and Heuristics in the Academy and Secondary Social Studies Classrooms

By Adrea Lawrence.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research study emerged from the question of how
disciplinary epistemologies in history and the social
sciences might inform the pedagogical methods of practicing
and pre-service secondary social studies teachers in the
United States. Although research has been conducted on how
students and historians develop “historical thinking,” there
is a dearth of similar research for social science
disciplines, such as economics, political science,
anthropology, sociology, law, and geography. This project
seeks to expand the existing body of literature on how
students and scholars develop disciplinary thinking. From
the observational, participatory, survey data collected
during a pilot teacher education course on disciplinary
approaches to pedagogy in the broad field of social studies,
research questions and an interview protocol were developed.
The interview protocol was then used with history and social
science faculty at American University about how they have
developed disciplinary ways of thinking and how they
approach inquiry and teaching within their fields. This
project intends to contribute new research to the field of
teacher education and engage in ongoing cross-disciplinary
conversations about teaching and learning among scholars in
history and the social sciences.

Keywords: Epistemology, Teaching, Research, Qualitative, Social Studies, History

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 9, pp.121-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 522.408KB).

Dr. Adrea Lawrence

Assitant Professor, School of Education, Teaching and Health, College of Arts and Sciences, American University, Washington,D.C., USA

Dr. Adrea Lawrence is a policy historian and the social studies specialist in the teacher education program at American University in Washington, D.C. Her research interests extend from American Indian education to historical and qualitative research methodologies to disciplinary learning and thinking within the social studies.


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