My recent research follows two streams, one empirical and the other literature-based. The goal of the empirical stream is to help secondary and postsecondary students better understand the nature of historical knowledge.
With support from the Spencer Foundation and several colleagues at SFU and UBC, I have been developing a web site, historyconcepts.org, which allows instructors to quickly assess their own students’ conceptions about what a historical account is and where it comes from.
I am now working with secondary and postsecondary teachers of history to explore how the site may help them to plan more effective and engaging lessons.
The second strand in my recent work relates to design-based research: a way for education scholars to work alongside practitioners to design and refine effective and usable innovations for learning. This approach has been promoted since the early 1990s but presents challenges which need to be better understood if it is to meet its long-term potential.