Michael Lovorn - Publications

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Michael Lovorn

Michael Lovorn

University of Pittsburgh
5109 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412-624-7229
Email: mlovorn@pitt.edu

Publications

  • Book Chapters

  • Lovorn, M. (In press). Engaging Gifted Students in Historiographical Analysis: Perspectives on Prohibition. In J. Clabough & M. G. Hickey (Eds.), Digging Deeper: Activities for Enriching and Expanding Social Studies Instruction K-12. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

    INVITED BOOK CHAPTER: I was invited by co-editors to contribute a chapter to this book on teaching social studies to K-12 gifted and talented students.

    ABSTRACT: History, according to Sam Wineburg (2001), “teaches us a way to make choices, to balance opinions, to tell stories, and to become uneasy - when necessary - about the stories we tell” (p. ix). In Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the Past (2001), Wineburg asserted that students who are enabled to interrogate the historical sources they encounter and then use findings to form reasoned conclusions about the past, build skills necessary to read and think like historians. These historical thinking skills, in turn, invite deeper understandings of people and events of the past and their connections to the present and future. Gifted students are uniquely skilled to practice historical thinking and to make these connections. A historical thinking curriculum for gifted secondary social studies students can foster their development in perspective recog- nition, cause and effect relationships, source evaluation, and persuasive writing.

  • Zajda, J. Tsyrlina-Spady, T., & Lovorn, M. (2017). Globalisation and Historiography of National Leaders. In J. Zajda, T. Tsyrlina-Spady & M. Lovorn (Eds.), Globalisation and Historiography of National Leaders: Symbolic Representations in School Textbooks from Around the World (pp. 1-14). New York, NY: Springer.
    CO-EDITOR OF BOOK: I am co-editor for this international book entitled Globalisation and Historiography of National Leaders: Symbolic Representations in School Textbooks from Around the World. This is the book's introductory chapter.
  • Zajda, J. Tsyrlina-Spady, T., & Lovorn, M. (2017). Research Trends in Globalisation and Historiography of National Leaders: Symbolic Representations in School Textbooks. In J. Zajda, T. Tsyrlina-Spady, & M. Lovorn (Eds.), Globalisation and Historiography of National Leaders: Symbolic Representations in School Textbooks from around the world (pp. 275-280). New York, NY: Springer.
    CO-EDITOR OF BOOK: I am co-editor for this international book entitled Globalisation and Historiography of National Leaders: Symbolic Representations in School Textbooks from Around the World. This is the book's concluding chapter.
  • Lovorn, M. (2017). The Politicization of U.S. History Textbooks: Reinventing Ronald Reagan. In J. Zajda, T. Tsyrlina-Spady & M. Lovorn (Eds.), Globalisation and Historiography of National Leaders: Symbolic Representations in School Textbooks from Around the World (pp. 161-178). New York, NY: Springer.

    CO-EDITOR OF BOOK: I am co-editor for this international book entitled Globalisation and Historiography of National Leaders: Symbolic Representations in School Textbooks from Around the World.

    ABSTRACT: Americans have embarked upon the interminable process of electing their next president, and as is common during each presidential election year, history lessons everywhere are being contextualized with current events. Generally speaking this is a good thing because such consciousness serves to heighten students' historical and political awareness and enrich their attention to making real-world connections with the past. As an example, each major Republican candidate has gone to great lengths to align himself with former president and party hero Ronald Reagan. As the bastion of conservatism and face of the "Party of Lincoln," Ronald Reagan has, for many, become an iconic representation of better times, better leadership, and a "greater America." His overlapping personifications of all-American boy, actor, cowboy, defender of faith and family, and of course, vanquisher of 20th century communism all seem to make him the quintessential American; a life worthy of our heroification. A brief investigation into Reagan's evolving legacy reveals that conservative Americans have undertaken a rather expeditious mobilization to lionize him over the past two decades. Organized campaigns to rename streets and public buildings, publication of glorious biographies, and the production of obsequious documentaries and television specials have contributed to the rapid growth of the Reagan cult of personality (Fischer, 2014). This ongoing exaltation or "reinvention" of the former president has resulted in a historical reputation of legend similar to those of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Interestingly, and not unlike Washington and Lincoln, it appears that at least part of our image of Ronald Reagan may be based as much in myth as it is in reality. What's more, some of the key events of his presidency receive little or no coverage in history textbooks. The purpose of this paper was to examine presentations of Ronald Regan in three recent U.S. history textbooks, to historiographically analyze the ways in which he has been memorialized, heroified, or demonized in text, and to summarize the politicization of Reagan's presidency from a historiographical standpoint.

  • Tsyrlina-Spady, T., & Lovorn, M. (2016). Emotional, Moral, and Symbolic Imagery of Modern History Textbooks. International Handbook of Research in Historical Culture and Education: Hybrid Ways of Learning History (pp. 697-716). New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

    HANDBOOK CHAPTER: This book chapter is to be featured in an international handbook on history education. I am fortunate to be among some of the world's most renowned history education scholars.

    ABSTRACT: This paper centered on an examination of history textbook passages, quotes, narrative, excerpts, and graphics known collectively as “emotives.” For purposes of this study, researchers defined “emotives” as text or graphics that build emotional connections to content and/or set moral models of exceptional behavior. Researchers observed various emotives used in recently published history textbooks (N = 6), and then analyzed degrees to which those emotions are represented in historical text and graphics, and thus introduced to students as moral and civic exemplars. Authors performed a qualitative, horizontal analysis of Russian history textbooks’ representations of national, political, and civic exemplars and levels of each text’s political and/or patriotic emotives. Authors selected excerpts of historical narrative and examples of graphic illustrations they deemed as intended to elicit or promote students’ emotional connections to content and set moral models of exceptional behavior. Common or emergent themes included attention to conscience, justice, moral/immoral behavior, kindness, adoration, compassion, guilt, among others in contexts of promotion of the state or national identity, advocacy for nationalism/jingoism, or support for cults of personality. The study revealed that each of the textbooks investigated in the study demonstrated a clear agenda to develop emotional connections through a lens of patriotic identity and national superiority. Authors resolved that this trend creates numerous problems for the development of historical and critical thinking skills. This analysis adds to existing research in the field of history education and fills a gap in exploring the linguistic, emotional, symbolic, and graphic imagery of modern history textbooks.

  • Tsyrlina-Spady, T., & Lovorn, M. (2015). A Curriculum of Ideology: Use and Misuse of Modern History Education in Russia and the United States. International Dialogues on Education: Past and Present. 2(2). Retrieved from: http://www.ide-journal.org/journal/?issue=2015-volume-2-number-2.

    ABSTRACT: This paper examines the extents to which students in high school history classes in Russia and the United States are subjected to curricula, texts, images, and symbols that promote patriotic and nationalistic ideology. Authors perform a comparative content analysis of various commonly used Russian and American 20th century history textbooks. This analysis includes an exploration of textual attention to ideological agendas, including heroification of certain political and military figures, and a series of implications regarding the impact of this manipulation of content on students’ general understandings of history, their country’s place history, as well as an overall effect on their personality and character development.

  • Journals

  • Lovorn, M., Manning, P., & Annis Warsh, M. (2017). Entering a New Era in World History Education. In M. Lovorn (Ed.), New, Critical, and Re-envisioned Approaches to Teaching World History, a Special Edition of The History Teacher, 50(1).

    GUEST EDITOR FOR A HIGH PROFILE JOURNAL: The History Teacher is arguably the leading research/pratitioner journal for secondary history teachers and history education. The current acceptance rate is reported to be about 15%.

    Despite more than two decades of emphasis on and promotion of the shared histories and cultural commonalities of world citizens, history teachers now find themselves at a crossroads. Somehow, despite our collective and longitudinal efforts to heighten our students’ sense of global identity, countries around the world appear to be entering a period of renationalization reminiscent of the Cold War Era. As hyper-nationalists assume power across Europe, the Americas, and Asia, they bring with them self-serving approaches to identity – often promoting patriotism, national pride, and even xenophobia (Lovorn and Tsyrlina-Spady 2015). History teachers are left asking several poignant questions. Among them: Are we failing in our efforts to educate students about the virtues of global community, common background, and shared histories? What responsibilities do we as history teachers bear in combatting this emerging global identity crisis?

  • Lovorn, M., & Dristas, V. (2017). The Mt. Lebanon Project: Partnering to Re-envision the Teaching of World History. In M. Lovorn (Ed.), New, Critical, and Re-envisioned Approaches to Teaching World History, a Special Edition of The History Teacher. 50,1.

    HIGH PROFILE JOURNAL: The History Teacher is arguably the leading research/pratitioner journal for secondary history teachers and history education. The current acceptance rate is reported to be about 15%.

    ABSTRACT: In 2013, scholars and from the University of Pittsburgh (PA) partnered with a local school system to conceptualize and implement a plan to promote world consciousness and global citizenship in middle and high school social studies classrooms across their district. Over the next three years, this university research team, made up of experts in history/social studies education and global studies, collaborated with veteran teachers and administrators, enlisted the expertise and guidance of history department scholars, outlined a plan for the development of a pilot comparative and connective world history course, and met regularly each semester to put the plan into action. The project, which would go on to be presented at the “Researching World History in the Schools: Nationwide and Worldwide Conference” hosted by the Alliance for Leaning in World History (2015), and the Annual Conference of the National Council for the Social Studies (2014, 2015), has been hailed as a groundbreaking partnership in comparative and connective world history and history education. This paper summarizes project development by: 1.) orienting the reader to the origins of the partnership; 2.) summarizing the theoretical frameworks that informed curriculum development activities; 3.) elaborating on the scope and sequence of the curriculum that was developed; 4.) describing implementation of the curriculum; and 5.) discussing challenges faced by the development team throughout and suggesting next steps in the process.

  • Tsyrlina-Spady, T., & Lovorn, M. (2016). Patriotism, History Teaching, and History Textbooks in Russia: What was Old is New Again. In J. Zajda (Ed.), Globalisation, Ideology and Politics of Education Reforms. New York: Springer.

    ABSTRACT: This paper examined the extent to which government-endorsed, patriotic curriculum is being effectuated throughout the Russian Federation, particularly through the promotion of new, grand narrative-style high school history textbooks. Authors performed a comparative content analysis of different textbook accounts (n = 5) of three different events/eras from 20th century Russian history: 1. Russia’s participation in World War II; 2. post-WWII Russia; and 3. the attempt to establish democracy in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Textbooks were selected as representative of various eras in Russia’s recent history, and were analyzed to determine the degrees and extents to which each one presented the selected events. Authors connected the presentation of each event to the time in which the text was published and predominant concepts of patriotism and national identity of the day as a means to investigate how the language of text has changed over the past 30 years. The study, which was conducted during a time of prominent military activity in Russia, revealed that Russian history is increasingly being taught from a single grand narrative approach and high school history textbooks appear to be incorporating more patriotic and nationalistic themes just as they did during Soviet times. Researchers determined this trend warrants increased concerns among history and education scholars that Russian history/social studies education is shifting backward by promoting the hyper-nationalist ideas of the Cold War rather than concepts of global democratic citizenship promoted during the 1990s.

  • Lovorn, M., & Tsyrlina-Spady, T. (2015). Nationalism and Ideology in Teaching History: A Survey of Teachers. World Studies in Education, 16(1) 31-52.

    ABSTRACT: This paper examined growing trends of nationalism and patriotic ideology as represented in Russian history education. Authors performed a survey of history teachers (n = 113) to determine their perspectives on paradigm shifts in the discipline and the impact of a compulsory patriotism-centered curriculum upon history education in the Russian Federation. The study was conducted during a time of prominent political and military activity in Russia, and revealed that the majority of survey participants favored a shift from that of post-perestroika, democracy-based history to a more ideological, grand narrative of national history.

  • Lovorn, M. (2015). Bolstering Inquiry in Social Studies by Fostering Students' Natural Curiosities. The Leader, 29(1).

    PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: I served as President of the National Social Studies Supervisors Association for the 2014-2015 term, and this was my spring 2015 address to the NSSSA membership. It was published in our biannual newsletter/journal The NSSSA Leader.

  • Lovorn, M. (2014). Historical Literacy through Historiography: Teaching to the C3 Framework. Russian American Education Forum Journal, 6(3) Retrieved from www.rus-ameeduforum.com.

    The author discusses the new C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards and, in particular, its emphasis on the development of historical literacy skills at the secondary level. The author then shares a comprehensive, research-supported strategy for engaging high school students in historiographical analysis activities to facilitate their development of historical thinking and related disciplinary literacy skills. Historiographic analysis is a strategy that takes students outside the classroom and into their local communities to perform literacy skills-based evaluations of historical commemorations (such as museum displays, landmarks, monuments, roadside historical markers, local presentations, parades, festivals, or reenactments). Throughout a historiographical analysis project, students are trained to collect and critique information on a commemoration, to recognize perspective and agency, to evaluate sources and evidence, to evaluate causal relationships, and to formulate strong arguments and counterarguments. Students then develop presentations to share their findings. The author demonstrates that activities of this nature fit neatly into the design of the new C3 Framework and support the development of historical literacy skills.

    More
  • Others

  • Lovorn, M. (2017). Thinking Historically, Acting Locally: Using an Online Format to Engaging Students in Historiographical Analysis of Local Monuments. Proceedings of The 9th MAC 2017. Multidisciplinary Academic Conference. Prague: Czech Republic.
    ABSTRACT: The author discusses an approach for engaging participants in an advanced history education course (all in-service middle and high school history teachers) in historiographical analysis activities to facilitate their students’ development of historical thinking skills. This semester-long project took course participants outside the classroom and into their communities to evaluate local historical commemorations including landmarks, gravestones, monuments, murals, and roadside markers, and then return to apply these skills to pedagogical discourse and lesson development activities. During the first two weeks of the course, participants took a tour of a historical commemoration, shared initial observations about its size, shape, inscription, and other commemorative elements, and engaged in a discussion on its historical significance. Next, course participants were trained in implementing a nine-step historiographical analysis method designed to engage them in the interrogation of a similar commemoration. Course participants then identified local commemorations on their own, evaluated them using newly-acquired historiographical analysis skills, and reported their findings during a historiography festival. The project was found to be an effective technique for overcoming some of the challenges inherent to an online format, and participants reported overwhelmingly positive experiences and engagement as a result of the semester-long project.
  • Lovorn, M. (2015). New Orleans: A Global Intersection of Cultures and Ideas... And an Ideal Location for a Social Studies Conference. [Electronic version]. The Leader, 29(2), 4-5.
    PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: I served as President of the National Social Studies Supervisors Association for the 2014-2015 term, and this was my fall 2015 address to the NSSSA membership. It was published in our biannual newsletter/journal The NSSSA Leader.
  • Interviews

  • Lovorn, M. (2016, May 3) The Legacy of Ronald Reagan During an Election Year. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://nsssa.socialstudies.org/nsssa/ourdiscussiongroup/viewthread?GroupId=403&MID=4635&tab=digestviewer&CommunityKey=b2f8ead2-2669-4a5a-a5a5-062ddd992e14
    This was a blog I posted on the 'Connected' page of the National Social Studies Supervisors Association.
  • Papers

  • Lovorn, M., & Holaway, C. (2015). Teachers' Perceptions of Humour as a Classroom Teaching, Interaction, and Management Tool. In R. A. Mora, S. Weaver, S., & L. M. Lindo (Eds.), Examining the Educative Potential of Humour, a special edition of European Journal of Humour Research, 3(4) 24-35.
    ABSTRACT: Although research into humour in education contexts has increased sharply over the past decade, there are still relatively few studies related to its impact on specific elements of classroom dynamics such as teaching, student/teacher interaction, and classroom management. Teachers’ perceptions of the use of humour as a teaching, interaction, and management tool likely shape the educational experiences for all stakeholders. This study used online discussions to explore perceptions among K-12 teachers of the use of humour as a teaching, interaction, and management strategy in the classroom. These discourses revealed participating teachers (n = 31) have some understanding of how humour impacts teaching and learning, students’ engagement and motivation, teachers’ confidence and interaction with students, and various challenges and resistances to the use of humour in the classroom. Findings indicated that while most participating teachers could demonstrate examples of their use of humour in the classroom, few appeared to perceive humour as a structured classroom strategy. Additionally, the study revealed that while participating teachers are open to the idea of using humour in the classroom, most do not deliberately or strategically include it in the planning or implementation of their lessons. Participants’ responses consistently showed that humour “just happened” in the classroom and that it was part of a teacher’s responsibility to ensure that humour did not distract from learning activities. Participating teachers identified many more negative than positive factors that influenced their decisions about using humour in the classroom.
  • Lovorn, M. (2014). Deepening Historical Themes in the Elementary School: Four Developmentally Appropriate Ways to Engage Young Students in Historical Thinking and Historiographical Analysis. Invited article in T. Crawford [Ed.]. Common Core and the Social Studies: Focus on Elementary, 90(5). 370-374. doi: 10.1080/00094056.2014.953862.

    TOP TIER JOURNAL: This solo-author paper has been accepted for publication in the summer 2014 issue. According to Cabell's Directory, the current acceptance rate of this journal is 20%.

  • Lovorn, M. (2013). Engagement through Historiography: Empowering Students to Study their Local History. [Electronic version]. The Leader, 27(2).

    This solo-author paper was published in fall 2013. The Leader is the biannual newsletter of the National Social Studies Supervisors Association.

  • Lovorn, M., & Summers, R. (2013). An International Discourse on Culture in the Classroom: Teachers from Four Countries Share their Perspectives. International Journal of Education, 5(2), 27-38. doi: 10.5296/ije.v5i2.3097
    This paper was published in summer 2013. I am lead author, and was responsible for about 80% of the data collection and development of the manuscript. According to Cabell's Directory, the current acceptance rate of this journal is 35%.