Abby Reisman

Assistant Professor

Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania


Professional Biography

Dr. Abby Reisman is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education in the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division. Prior to her arrival at Penn GSE, Dr. Reisman was a visiting professor at Teachers College-Columbia University, and a researcher at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing at UCLA. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University, where she directed the “Reading Like a Historian” Project in San Francisco, the first extended history curriculum intervention in urban high schools. Dr. Reisman’s 2011 dissertation won the Larry Metcalf Award from the National Council for the Social Studies, and an article that emerged from it won the 2013 William Gilbert Award from the American Historical Association. She began her career in education as a classroom teacher in a small, progressive high school in New York City. Her work has appeared in Cognition and Instruction (2012), Journal of Curriculum Studies (2012), and Teachers College Record (2015). 

Dr. Reisman was also awarded the 2015 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Reisman studies how to engage struggling adolescent readers in text-based historical inquiry. Her interests in this area include curriculum design, teacher education, pedagogy, and high-leverage instructional practices. Currently, Dr. Reisman is studying how to support middle-school teachers facilitate discussions around historical texts. Through her involvement in the Core Practice Consortium, she is also engaged in a yearlong comparative study examining pre-service social studies methods courses that emphasize practice-based teacher preparation.

Selected Publications

Reisman, A. (2015). Entering the historical problem space: Whole-class, text-based discussion in history class. Teachers College Record, 117(2), 1–44.

Reisman, A., & Fogo, B. (2014). Teaching disciplinary history in secondary history classes. In Martha Hougen (Ed.), The fundamentals of literacy assessment and instruction, 6–12. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Reisman, A. (2012). “Reading like a historian”: A document-based history curriculum intervention in urban high schools. Cognition and Instruction, 30(1), 86–112.

Reisman, A. (2012). The “document-based lesson”: Bringing disciplinary inquiry into high school history classrooms with adolescent struggling readers. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 44(2), 233–264. 

Reisman, A., & Wineburg, S. (2008). Teaching the skill of contextualizing in history. The Social Studies, 99(5), 202–207.