Teacher activism is increasingly occurring in online spaces, but the implications for educators are unclear. The authors use the recent Oklahoma Teachers Walkout and the active #OklaEd network to offer an illustrative example of the power and fragility of socially networked teacher movements. They offer eight lessons educators may take from the #OklaEd network and the walkout.
This qualitative case study addresses the need for pedagogical approaches to working with open educational resources (OER). Drawing on a mix of historical thinking heuristics and case analysis approaches, a blended pedagogical strategy and primary source database were designed to build student understanding of historical records with transfer of knowledge to related, contemporary problems. Thirty-seven graduate students tested the five-step strategy as they worked with historical OER on the topic of public health among slaves on 19th-century American plantations. Findings demonstrate the pedagogical strategy supported pattern identification and model building among all students and, for most students, the ability to transfer and use their understanding to inform new problems. Students expanded their understanding of 19th-century plantation life and factors impacting public health. Recommended adjustments to the strategy include added support for content curation, collaborative argument building, and discussion.
Using the of Humans of New York photoblog concept, the exemplar lesson plan described in this article incorporated technology and the replacement, amplification, and transformation framework to modify a traditional social studies lesson on the American Civil War into an engaging and inquiry-based lesson. Students researched individuals who lived during the American Civil War and created their own digital storyboard of Humans of the Civil War. This lesson idea uses available technology to engage students in more meaningful instruction that goes beyond lectures. Doing so allows teachers to transform their lessons using technology in authentic ways that help students become more active agents in their learning. This lesson requires students to make strategic decisions about what is important to know about historical figures and how best to tell their story while also learning about the war.
The researchers used activity theory to examine how teachers planned and implemented inquiries in social studies classrooms given the recent publication of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. This phenomenology used semistructured interviews, relevant documents, and observations as data for the research questions (a) “How do participants design inquiry modules?” and (b) “How do participants teach these inquiries in K–12 classrooms?” Results indicated that designing and implementing social studies inquiries were challenging and worthwhile for the teachers; participants found accessing and using various sources to be a fruitful yet challenging inquiry tool, and appreciated the use of a template to aid in their design process, even while it perhaps limited taking informed action. Participants noted that support was necessary for their successful use of inquiry. This study provides insight into how social studies teachers bring inquiry into their social studies classrooms and points to ways in which teachers can be better supported in this endeavor.