Gene Preuss (University of Houston – Downtown)
Many college and university students take Texas history courses as part of their teacher certification program and training. While textbook publishers and, by extension, faculty have embedded pedagogical and anagogical learning tools into the classroom environment by infusing study aids into the textbook, this is not true for Texas history texts. Instead, Texas history texts tend to be insular and ignore larger national and international events, even when they directly influence the history of the state.
Moreover, there is little effort in the Texas history texts to tie skills that are expected of teachers, including examination and evaluation of primary source documents. Finally, even in the better textbooks, there is more emphasis on the sixty-year period between 1830 and 1890 than on the twentieth century, or any other period. In sum, the Texas history course does little to prepare future teachers to teach social studies. This project has two phases: First, conduct a survey of secondary history teachers and college-level history faculty to determine whether college-level history courses prepared social studies teachers with the skills needed in the middle- and high-school classroom.