Chauncey Monte-Sano is a social studies educator and researcher. Her scholarship focuses on (a) supporting adolescents’ disciplinary thinking, talk, and writing as they investigate complex historical and social issues with primary and secondary sources; (b) understanding how social studies teachers learn to center and support students’ thinking and talk through an inquiry approach to instruction; (c) understanding how students and teachers take up curriculum materials designed to support this work. She conducts her research in partnership with teachers, students, and school leaders, which results in practical curriculum, teacher education, and professional development designs and materials to support inquiry- and justice-oriented social studies education.
Monte-Sano leads the Teaching Reasoning and Inquiry Project in Social Studies (TRIPSS) lab in collaboration with Professor Mary Schleppegrell , a linguist who supports bi/multilingual learners, and Dr. Amanda Jennings, a mixed methods and economics education expert. The TRIPSS lab has most recently developed the Read.Inquire.Write. curriculum for 6th-8th grade social studies and the Learning Labs for Social Studies professional development model (based on the University of Washington’s Learning Lab model). The research-tested social studies curriculum materials for English-speaking and bi/multilingual learners, videos of teacher practice, recorded webinars and teacher guides, and samples of student writing are freely available at Read.Inquire.Write. Complementary professional development materials will be added to the website as the analysis of Learning Labs for Social Studies is completed.
Several assumptions guide Monte-Sano’s work: learning - of students and teachers alike - is social, situated, and advanced through interaction and activity; teachers are partners with valuable expertise; students are active sensemakers; engaging students’ voices in critiquing and constructing knowledge is an equity issue; content is not neutral and requires both deconstruction and reconstruction grounded in multiple perspectives; developing disciplinary thinking, talk, and writing and a critical approach to content through inquiry is one way to promote civic reasoning and discourse. Over the past several years, Monte-Sano has been working to shift her work on historical inquiry toward critical historical inquiry. This shift is a work in progress and most evident in recent revisions to the Read.Inquire.Write. curriculum and in her elementary teacher education work.
Monte-Sano earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University and her B.A. and teacher certification from Yale University. She began her teaching career as a high school history teacher and was awarded National Board Certification in 2000. While at Stanford, she was a founding member of the Stanford History Education Group. Her dissertation won the 2007 Larry Metcalf Award from the National Council for the Social Studies. In 2011, she was awarded the Early Career Award from Division K (Teaching and Teacher Education) of the American Educational Research Association. She has twice won the American Historical Association’s James Harvey Robinson Prize for the teaching aide that has made the most outstanding contribution to teaching and learning history. Her research has been funded by grants from the McDonnell Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, the Spencer Foundation, the Braitmayer Foundation, and the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program.
Teaching Social Studies in PK-6
This course focuses on how to teach civic engagement, four major disciplines of social studies, and the early childhood foundations for these understandings. This course emphasizes four core teaching practices to support inquiry, investigation, and discourse: eliciting and interpreting student thinking, setting up and managing small group work, leading discussions, and explaining and modeling content/practices/strategies. This course foregrounds pedagogy and extends interns’ learning about the subject they teach through assignments grounded in interns’ field placements.
Topics in Educational Studies
Prerequisites: Graduate standing.
Research on Teaching
History of research on teaching; process-product research, studies of instructional decision making and teacher thinking and approaches to the study of instructional practice and the factors that influence it; research on effects, tools and measures of instruction.
“Teaching to Transgress:” Using Dialogic Thinking and History/Social Science Perspectives to Understand Contemporary and Historical Issues
Through their practice with Intergroup Dialogue in the context of four social studies disciplines, interns learn key orientations and skills needed to realize bell hooks' vision by (a) understanding social and historical issues that shape students in their classrooms and (b) framing education - in this case, social studies - as liberatory. This course foregrounds learning the orienting framework and practices of Intergroup Dialogue and ways of thinking across social studies disciplines (civics/political science, economics, geography, history) while delving into pedagogy to support civic discourse, inquiry and investigation, deliberation of multiple perspectives, decision making and action.
"Discussion in diverse middle school social studies classrooms: Promoting all students’ participation in the disciplinary work of inquiry."
Monte-Sano, C., Schleppegrell, M., Sun, S., Wu, J., & Kabat, J. (2022). Discussion in diverse middle school social studies classrooms: Promoting all students’ participation in the disciplinary work of inquiry. Teachers College Record, 123 (10), 142-184.
"Teaching models of disciplinary argumentation in middle school social studies: A framework for supporting writing development."
Alston, C., Monte-Sano, C., Schleppegrell, M., & Harn, K. (2021). Teaching models of disciplinary argumentation in middle school social studies: A framework for supporting writing development. The Journal of Writing Research, 13 (2), 285-321. https://www.jowr.org/next.html
"Pedagogical practices and how teachers learn."
Conklin, H., Lo, J., McAvoy, P., Monte-Sano, C., Howard, T., & Hess, D. (2021) Pedagogical practices and how teachers learn. Educating for Civic Reasoning and Discourse. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Education. https://naeducation.org/civic-reasoning-and-discourse/
"Designing curriculum to interrogate social studies and center critical perspectives."
Monte-Sano, C. & Quince, C. (2021). Designing curriculum to interrogate social studies and center critical perspectives. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 65(5).
"Successes and challenges in learning to teach history: Novices’ uptake of core practices."
Monte-Sano, C., Bordonaro, A., & Aumen, J. (2020). Successes and challenges in learning to teach history: Novices’ uptake of core practices. The History Teacher, 53 (4), 675-706.
"Teaching content in practice: Investigating rehearsals of social studies discussions."
Kavanagh, S.S., Monte-Sano, C., Reisman, A., Fogo, B., McGrew, S., & Cipparone, P. (2019). Teaching content in practice: Investigating rehearsals of social studies discussions. Teaching and Teacher Education, 86 ,102863. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2019.06.017
"Supporting diverse students’ reasoning and writing through collaboration with practitioners and iterative curriculum development."
Monte-Sano, C., Hughes, R., & Thomson, S. (2019). Supporting diverse students’ reasoning and writing through collaboration with practitioners and iterative curriculum development. In Rubin, B., Freedman, E., & Kim, J. (Eds.), Design-Based Research in Social Studies. Routledge.
"Historical argument writing: The role of interpretive work, argument type, and classroom instruction."
Monte-Sano, C. & Allen, A. (2018). Historical argument writing: The role of interpretive work, argument type, and classroom instruction. Reading and Writing, 32 (6), 1383–1410. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-018-9891-0
"Bridging reading and writing: Using historians’ writing processes as clues to support students."
Monte-Sano, C. (2017). Bridging reading and writing: Using historians’ writing processes as clues to support students. In G. Andrews and Y. Wangdi (Eds.), The role of agency and memory in historical understanding: Revolution, reform, and rebellion (pp. 247-265). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
"Argumentation in history classrooms: A key path to understanding the discipline and preparing citizens."
Monte-Sano, C. (2016). Argumentation in history classrooms: A key path to understanding the discipline and preparing citizens. Theory into Practice, 55 (4), 311-319.