The Lebanese Association for History launched a comprehensive Professional Development project“Developing History Teachers’ Capacity to Foster Historical Thinking” for the academic year 2014 – 2015. This training program offers an opportunity for a group of history teachers to benefit from an exhaustive training program. The program introduces a new approach to history pedagogy in Lebanon and proposes refocusing history education on historical thinking. It involves the introduction of inquiry-based learning and the use of a variety of resources in teaching history, and the processes of rigorous enquiry and debate about the meanings of the past. The project also aims to develop a community of learners by promoting collaboration and peer mentoring amongst the group of selected teachers. The program consists of a series of training modules accompanied by mentoring.
Dr. Arthur Chapman, University of London, launched on Oct 10th-11th 2014, the first session. He introduced Historical Thinking and walked teachers through the concept of causation. During two engaging days of hands-on activities, teachers closely examined “learning, historical learning and first and second order aspects of learning”, they also learned about levels of causal analysis, and practiced writing Enquiry questions focusing on causation. The main focus of the two days was to explore what historical thinking can look like in the context of one historical problem.
Christine Counsell, University of Cambridge, facilitated the second workshop, on Nov 28th- 29th 2014, with focus on “Change and Continuity”. During the workshop, teachers revisited and consolidated the concept of causation and shared the causation “enquiry” lessons that they designed. As they reflected on their implementation experiences, they critically considering the enquiry questions they had written and the designed lessons. The group then smoothly moved from “causation” to the concept of “Change and continuity” that they learned how to approach taking into consideration the depth, pace, time, and type of change.
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