Gary Fertig , Ph.D


School of Teacher Education
College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
University of Northern Colorado
Campus  Box 107
270 McKee, Greeley, CO 80639
Office phone: 970-351-2440

View/Download CV

Research Interests

Research focuses on identifying and clarifying the cognitive and affective processes by which children construct meaningful interpretations of historical change and continuity. In regard to teaching and learning history, my research explores how young learners develop historical thinking skills in the process of acquiring historical content knowledge. I am interested in how children learn to engage in chronological reasoning, identify the causes and consequences of events, use historical evidence to learn about the meaning of individuals, groups, and institutions from multiple perspectives, and evaluate the historical significance of issues and events.


  • 1994, Ph.D., University of Wyoming, Curriculum & Instruction
  • 1988, B.A., University of Wyoming, Elementary Education
  • 1986, M.A., University of Wyoming, Sociology
  • 1982, B.A., University of Wyoming, Anthropology

Selected Publications:

  • Fertig, Gary (2008). Using Biography to Help Young Learners Understand the Causes of Historical Change and Continuity. The Social Studies, 99(4), 147-154.
  • Fertig, Gary & Rick Silverman (2007). Walking and Talking Geography: A Small-World Approach. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 20(2), 15-18.
  • Fertig, Gary, Jennifer Rios-Alers & Kelly Seilbach (2005). What’s Important about the Past: American Fourth Graders’ Interpretations of Historical Significance. Educational Action Research, 13(3), 435-451.
  • Fertig, Gary (2005). Teaching Elementary Students How to Interpret the Past. The Social Studies, 96(1), 2-8.
  • Fertig, Gary (2003). Using Biographies to Explore Social Justice in U.S. History. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 16(1), 9-12.
  • Fertig, Gary (2001). Hard Times and New Deals: Teaching Fifth Graders about the Great Depression. Social Education, 65(1), 34-40.
  • Fertig, Gary (1999). Developing Immigration Policy for the 21st Century. The New Zealand Journal of Social Studies, 8(2), 36-41.
  • Fertig, Gary (1997). Bicycle Technology: Group Decision Making in the Classroom. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 10(1), 22-25.
  • Fertig, Gary (1996). Investigating the Process of Culture Change from an Anthropological Perspective. The Social Studies, 87(4), 165-170.
  • Fertig, Gary (1994). Teaching Collaborative Skills to Enhance the Development of Effective Citizens. Southern Social Studies Journal, 21(1), 53-64.

Book Chapters:

  • Fertig, Gary (2009). Using Photographs to Interpret the Past. In Telling Stories with Photo Essays: A Guide for PreK-5 Teachers, by Susan Conklin Thompson and Kayenta Williams, (pp. 103-112). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, a SAGE Company.
  • Fertig, Gary (2007). Teaching History and Social Studies to Young Children. In O.N. Saracho and B. Spodek, Eds., Contemporary Perspectives on Social Learning in Early Childhood Education(pp. 199-215). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
rightcol1 rightcol 2