Hidden in Plain Sight: Pre-Service Teachers’ Orientations Toward Inquiry-Based Learning in History

Anthony M. Pellegrino, Jessica Kilday


In order to implement models of reform-based history education in the classroom there is a fundamental need to address preservice and practicing teachers’ understanding of learning and teaching history, mindful of the role inquiry must play in the process. The project described in this paper employed a comparative case design to explore how prospective social studies educators perceived inquiry-based instruction and the extent to which it aligned with relevant history education for middle and secondary students. Results suggest that the process undertaken by the intervention group may have more of an implicit impact on shaping how preservice teachers understand inquiry. Yet these preservice teachers included more inquiry-based activities in lesson plan products analyzed as part of this project. After the implementation of both means of learning about historical inquiry, many remained conflicted about what the ideal model of inquiry represents for student learning and at what ability level students are capable of engaging in inquiry in social studies.


Inquiry-based instruction, preservice teachers

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