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2015 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence

2015 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence

June 2628, 2015
Nashville, Tenn.

Invest in the power of great instruction and learn how to leverage it in classrooms and school districts.



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Journal of Curriculum and Supervision
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Fall 1997 | Volume 13 | Number 1
Pages 56-69

A Workshop in Uncertainty: “New Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences” as a Basis for Professional and Curriculum Development

Peter Seixas and Gabriella Minnes Brandes

“You know, Professor Schama, my parents aren't paying all this money for me to become more confused.”
—Student, after a lecture by Columbia University historian Simon Schama1 

Uncertainty, in the right place, at the right time, is a necessary ingredient for profound learning. Indeed, uncertainty in the proper measure is, in some ways, the foundation of intellectual life. And yet knowledgeable guidance, a steady hand, a clear set of goals and sense of purpose are also necessary—in the right place, at the right time. The issues of certainty and uncertainty, and the related problems of authority and control over knowledge, are present in many guises in professional and curriculum development. The Humanities Teacher/Curriculum Development Project of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) offers a particularly interesting configuration of these issues.


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