Baron, Christine, Sherri Sklarwitz, Hyeyoung Bang, & Hanadi Shatara (2018, in press). Understanding what teachers gain from professional development at historic sites. Theory & Research in Social Education. (ePub in advance of print). (Link:

Abstract: Despite decades of formal work with teachers, little is known about what they gain from professional development at and with historic sites. This article presents the first data-set from a 3-year Institute for Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant project designed to develop a broad-based assessment for understanding what teachers learn in historic site-based professional development. The centerpiece of this project is an assessment tool based in Q methodology. This round of study focuses on the pre-post Q sorts and interviews of 29 teachers in a history-focused institute regarding how they see their work at historic sites affecting their professional development. Contrary to advocates’ assertions, results indicate that only a small number of participants specifically set out to seek historical disciplinary expertise and analysis, while greater emphasis was placed on working with content-area peers, developing pedagogical practices, and the power of place.

Christine Baron <> is in the Department of Arts and Humanities, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

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