Teaching for Historical Literacy : Building Knowledge in the History Classroom book cover
1st Edition

Teaching for Historical Literacy
Building Knowledge in the History Classroom

ISBN 9781138859586
Published August 5, 2015 by Routledge
206 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations

SAVE $11.79
was $58.95
USD $47.16

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Teaching for Historical Literacy combines the elements of historical literacy into a coherent instructional framework for teachers. It identifies the role of historical literacy, analyzes its importance in the evolving educational landscape, and details the action steps necessary for teachers to implement its principles throughout a unit. These steps are drawn from the reflections of real teachers, grounded in educational research, and consistent with the Common Core State Standards. The instructional arc formed by authors Matthew T. Downey and Kelly A. Long takes teachers from start to finish, from managing the prior learning of students to developing their metacognition and creating synthesis at the end of a unit of study. It includes introducing topics by creating a conceptual overview, helping students collect and analyze evidence, and engaging students in multiple kinds of learning, including factual, procedural, conceptual, and metacognitive. This book is a must-have resource for teachers and students of teaching interested in improving their instructional skills, building historical literacy, and being at the forefront of the evolving field of history education.

Table of Contents

HISTORICAL LITERACY. Chapter One: Historical Literacy. Chapter Two: Historical Thinking. HISTORICAL INQUIRY AND INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN. Chapter Three: History as Inquiry. Chapter Four: Historical Knowledge. Chapter Five: Plan Instruction. GETTING LEARNING UNDER WAY. Chapter Six: Activate Prior Learning. Chapter Seven: Preview the Learning to Come. BUILDING HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE. Chapter Eight: Collect Evidence. Chapter Nine: Analyze and Evaluate. Chapter Ten: Make Connections. Chapter Eleven: Synthesize. APPLYING THE LEARNING. Chapter Twelve: Apply Historical Knowledge. 

View More



Matthew T. Downey is Emeritus Professor of History and former Director of the Hewit Institute for History and Social Science Education at the University of Northern Colorado.

Kelly A. Long is an Associate Professor of History and Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University.


It is so refreshing to have a book for history teachers that paints a picture of practice in the midst of flux, of reforms actually taking hold. Matthew Downey and Kelly Long are thoroughly conversant with the research literature, but have honed their ideas in dialogue with experienced history teachers trying those ideas in classrooms.  In Teaching for Historical Literacy, we get the best of both worlds.

Peter Seixas, Director of the Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness, University of British Columbia, Canada

Using case studies from the classrooms of practicing history teachers, Matthew Downey and Kelly Long show how research on learning, child development, teaching, planning, and literacy can be applied to increase the effectiveness of classroom practices. The authors write in a manner that recognizes teachers as professionals with the ability to discern their students’ specific needs and choose wisely from a range of suggested methods. This book is a wonderful resource for preservice or practicing history teachers who want to design powerful courses and improve their daily instruction. 

Jeffery D. Nokes, Professor of History Education, Brigham Young University, USA