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. Reisman began her career in education as a classroom teacher in a small, progressive high school in New York City.

Dr. Reisman’s work has appeared in Cognition and Instruction, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Teachers College Record, Journal of Teacher Education, and Teaching and Teacher Education. Her 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. Dr. Reisman was awarded the 2015 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and the 2019 Middle States Council for the Social Studies Harry J. Carmen Award for outstanding achievement in social studies research and teaching.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Reisman’s research centers on the secondary history classroom and the prospect of designing instruction around document-based inquiry and analysis. Although she first approached this work through the lens of curriculum design, her recent work has focused more squarely on teacher interpretation, preparation, and enactment of document-based curricular materials. In particular, Reisman studies teacher education and professional development experiences that prepare teachers to facilitate document-based discussions in history. Currently, Dr. Reisman is collaborating with a group of history teacher leaders to design an instructional coaching model focused on the core practices of document-based history instruction.


Ph.D. (Curriculum & Teacher Education) Stanford University, 2011

M.A. (History) Stanford University, 2007

B.A. (History) Brown University, 1996

Areas of Expertise

Teaching and learning in history classrooms 
Teacher education and professional development 
Adolescent literacy

Selected Publications


Reisman, A., Brimsek, E., & Hollywood, C. (in press). Assessment of Historical Analysis and Argumentation (AHAA): A new measure of document-based historical thinking. Cognition and Instruction.

Jay, L., & Reisman, A. (in press). Teaching change and continuity with historical analogies. Social Studies Research and Practice.

Reisman, A., Cipparone, P., Jay, L., Monte-Sano, C., Kavanagh, S. S., McGrew, S. , & Fogo, B. (2019). Evidence of emergent practice: Teacher candidates facilitating historical discussion in their field placements. Teaching and Teacher Education, 80, 145-156.

Fogo, B., Reisman, A., & Breakstone, J. (2019). Teacher adaptation of document-based history curricula: Results from the Reading Like a Historian curriculum-use survey. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 51(1), 62-83.

Reisman, A., Kavanagh, S., Monte-Sano, C., Fogo, B., McGrew, S., Cipparone, P., and Simmons, E. (2018).  Facilitating whole-class discussions in history: A framework for preparing teacher candidates. Journal of Teacher Education, 69(3), 278-293.

Reisman, A. (2017). Integrating content and literacy in social studies: Assessing instructional materials and student work from a Common Core-aligned intervention.  Theory and Research in Social Education, 45(4), 517-554.

Reisman, A. & Fogo, B. (2016). Contributions of educative document-based curricular materials to quality of historical instruction. Teaching and Teacher Education, (59), 191-202.

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. (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. (2012).  “Text Complexity” in the history classroom:  Teaching to and beyond the Common Core.  Social Studies Review, 51(1), 24-29.

Book chapters

Bien, A., Carlson, J., Kazemi, E., Reisman, A., Scheve, M.A., & Wells, A. (2018). Taking core practices to the field. In Pam Grossman (Ed.), Teaching Core Practices in Teacher Education. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press.

Reisman, A. & McGrew, S. (2018). Reading in history education: Texts, sources, and evidence. In Scott Metzger & Lauren Harris (Eds.), International Handbook of History Teaching and Learning (Ch. 20). Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Monte-Sano, C. & Reisman, A. (2016).  Studying historical understanding. In Lyn Corno & Eric Anderman (Eds.), Handbook of Educational Psychology, 3rd Edition (Ch. 21). New York: Routledge.

Reisman, A. (2015). The difficulty of assessing disciplinary historical reading. In Kadriye Ercikan & Peter Seixas (Eds.), New Directions in Assessing Historical Thinking (Ch. 2). New York: Routledge.

Reisman, A. & Fogo, B. (2015). Teaching disciplinary history in history classes. In Martha Hougen (Ed.), Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction & Assessment, 6-12 (Ch. 11). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.