Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Committee Chair(s)

Steven P. Camicia


Steven P. Camicia


J. Spencer Clark


Ryan T. Knowles


Jeffrey D. Nokes


Courtney D. Stewart


Driven 2 Teach is a privately funded program for history teachers in the state of Utah. The program emphasizes the importance of teacher travel to educate history teachers in the places where history happened. This study investigated the program’s influence on participant gains in learning about history and how to best teach about the past, social studies professional development, teacher beliefs, and changes in instructional practices. This study utilized a case study methodology, autoethnography, and six interconnected frameworks: Professional development, experiential education, site-based learning, pedagogical content knowledge, teacher beliefs, and professional learning communities. This study helps demonstrate the effectiveness of travel as a teaching method. Data from this study were used to answer the following questions: How do history teachers perceive their pedagogical content knowledge as changing as a result of participating in the Driven 2 Teach program? How do the experiences with Driven 2 Teach differ from other professional development experiences? How do history teacher beliefs about social studies education contribute to the changes in pedagogical content knowledge and instructional practice? How do these history teachers plan on changing instructional practices based on their new pedagogical content knowledge? The results of this study show that participants’ knowledge of historical content and how to best teach that content increased significantly. This study also found that more social studies professional development is needed in the state of Utah. Teachers’ confidence levels increased because of their experience with this program in regard to teaching history and social studies skills to their students. Participants, as a result of participation with Driven 2 Teach, are more likely to teach students’ skills using social studies content rather than merely teaching social studies through rote memorization. Participants want to incorporate more hands-on learning experiences for students, and use more primary source documents in their lessons. Traveling together to historical sites and other important places with other social studies teachers enhanced the learning of all involved and increased the retention of what was learned. Participants benefited from both planned and unplanned events, and had experiences that made them realize even more, the importance of social studies education and incorporating multiple perspectives when learning about the past.