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Linda Symcox

Linda Symcox is a Professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education at California State University, Long Beach and Co-Director of the award-winning Urban Teaching Academy at CSULB. Professor Symcox is author of Whose History? The Struggle for National Standards in American Classrooms, (Teachers College Press, 2002), and she has published numerous articles, book chapters, and curricula in the field of history education and teacher development. She has co-edited two books: Social Justice, Peace, and Environmental Education: Transformative Standards (Routledge, 2009) and The Problem of the Canon and the Future of History Teaching (Information Age Publishing, 2009). Dr. Symcox was formerly the Associate Director of the National Center for History in the Schools (NCHS) at UCLA (1989-1996), where she served as Assistant Director of the National History Standards Project and oversaw the NCHS curriculum publishing project in U.S. and world history. In 2002-2003 Symcox served as a consultant for RAND Corporation's curriculum reform project in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar. Dr. Symcox has served as lead history education scholar for several Teaching American History Grants (TAH) in several Southern Californian school districts and as a curriculum designer for the Huntington Library in Pasadena. She is currently co-prinicpal investigator on two STEM grants focused on preservice and professional development for elementary school teachers.


PhD. in Education , Urban Schooling, University of California, Los Angeles , 1999

M.A. in U.S. and European History , University of California, Santa Barbara , 1973

B.A. in History , University of California, Los Angeles , 1970

Research Interests

Dr. Symcox's scholarly research examines the interplay between curriculum theory, policy and reform, and she teaches courses in educational history, curriculum theory, educational leadership, curriculum policy, school reform, and doctoral research. Her recent publications include an edited volume on the future of history teaching in the U.S. and Europe, an edited volume developing standards for social justice, peace, and environmental education, and an artilce entitled, "Forging New Partnerships: Collaboration Between University Professors and Classroom Teachers to Improve History Teaching, 1983-2010." Her current projects include: 1). a book project on the Civil Rights lawyer and activist, Charles Hamilton Houston, 2). a study called, "An Era of Partnership: Classroom Teachers’ Perspectives on Collaboration with University Historians to Improve History Teaching in K-12 schools, 1983-2014," 3). an experimental research study on mathematics teaching and learning in Little Lake City School District, and 4). a ten-year longitudenal study on the effects of high-school course taking patterns on completion of STEM degrees in college.

Representative Publications

  • Masunaga, H. & L Symcox, (2013). A Professional Learning Community in Mathematics Teacher Development: Lesson Study That Features Common Core State Standards, Teacher Development, and K-5 Student Learning. Research grant of $100,000 funded in September 2012 by the 100Kin10 Consortium.
  • Symcox, L. Benkin, B., Henriques, L., Straits, B., & Golez, F. (2012). Raising the Bar for STEM Education in California: Preparing Elementary Teachers in a Science-Rich Clinical Setting. Grant of $900,000 funded in April 2012 by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.
  • Symcox, L. (2012). Forging New Partnerships: Collaboration between University Professors and Classroom Teachers to Improve History Teaching, 1983-2010. The History Teacher.
  • Symcox, L., & Wilschut, A. (Eds). (2009). The Problem of the Canon and the Future of History Teaching. (NC: Information Age Publishing), 314 pages.
  • Andrzejewski, J., Baltodano, M. & Symcox, L. (Eds). (2009). Social Justice, Peace and Environmental Education: Transformative Standards. (NY:Routledge), 318 pages.
  • Symcox, L. "Gary Nash: Preeminent Scholar and Committed Educator." The History Teacher, Special Edition. Volume 42, Number 2, January 2009, pp. 29-38.
  • Symcox, L., review of What Shall We Tell the Children? International Perspectives on School History Textbooks. Edited by Stuart J. Foster and Keith A. Crawford. Teachers College Record. (October, 2006).
  • Golez, F. & L. Symcox. "Refashioning the Professional Development School through Masters Certification," in J. Neapolitan, (Ed.). Where Do We Go from Here? Issues in the Sustanability of Professional Development School Partnerships. (New York: Peter Lang, 2006).
  • Symcox, L. "Dispatches from the Culture Wars, 1994-2004," in Crocco, M. & G. Maeroff (Eds.), Social Studies and the Press: Keeping the Beast at Bay?" (Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing, 2005).
  • Symcox, L., review of Radio Goes to War: the Cultural Politics of Propaganda during World War II, by Gerd Horten, for History of Education Quarterly, Volume 45, 1, (Spring 2005).
  • Symcox, L., Thinking Historically: Critical Engagement with the Past. The Social Studies Professional, Sacramento: The California Council for the Social Studies, Spring 2004, pp. 8-11.
  • Symcox, L., review of Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools, by Jonathan Zimmerman, American Historical Review, (Vol. 108, (3), June 2003), pp.884-5.
  • Kaye, C., Isbell, L. & Symcox, L. & L.Whitney, co editors, theme issue on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Issues in Teacher Education, (Vol. 12, (1), Spring 2003
  • Symcox, L., review of Beloved Bethesda: A History of George Whitefields Home for Boys, 1740-2000, by Edward J. Cashin, History of Education Quarterly (Vol. 43 (1), Spring, 2003) pp. 118-121.
  • Symcox, L. Whose History? The Struggle for National Standards in American Classrooms. (New York: Teacher's College Press, 2002). 224 pages.
  • Symcox, L. "A Case Study in the Politics of Educational Reform in the U.S.: The Storm Over the National Standards for History, Annali di Storia Moderna e Contemporanea, Universita Cattolica di Milano, Vita e Pensiero, N. 4, 1998. pp. 479-501.
  • Symcox, L. "The Case for Primary Sources in the K-12 Classroom: The California Experience", in Gilliland-Swetland, A., Dafai, Y., and A. Maddox, Digitial Portfolio Archives in Learning: Modeling Primary Content Transformations for Science Education. Final Report to the National Science Foundation CRLT, August 1998.

Campus Leadership

  • Chair, College of Education Faculty Council

  • Co-Director, Urban Teaching Academy, 2002-present

  • Past Assistant Director, Educational Leadership Doctoral Program, K-12 Specialization, 2009-2011

  • Past Director, Graduate Program in Curriculum & Instruction, Elementary Option, 2000-2009

  • Past Co-Director, Center for Collaboration in Education, 2006-2008

Current Projects

  • Book-length manuscript on civil rights lawyer and activist, Charles Hamilton Houston. Under contract with Information Age Publishing.
  • STEM professional development project called, "Raising the Bar in STEM Education in California: Preparing Elementary Teachers in a Model, Scalable, STEM-Rich Clinical Setting." Funded with $900,000 from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
  • Mathematics professional development research project called, "A Professional Learning Community in Mathematics Teacher Development: Lesson Study that Features Common Core State Standards, Teacher Development, and K-5 Student Learning," funded with $100,000 by the 100Kin10 group.
  • Ten year longitudental study of engineering students at CSULB called, "The Growing Gap Between High-School Course-Taking Patterns and STEM Degree Requirements in College."