When “Real” is “Magical”: Supporting Teaching Innovations with Online, Archival, and Material Primary Sources from Elementary Grades through Graduate Studies

AHA Session 127
Saturday, January 8, 2011: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Room 203 (Hynes Convention Center)
Carol S. Lasser, Oberlin College
The Audience

Session Abstract

A flood of primary sources are available online.  Research suggests that students understand better and retain more of the history they are taught when they learn history from primary sources.  College faculty report that students “hate textbooks and like primary sources much better.”  Many K-12 teachers already use online primary sources both to engage students and to prepare them for mandated tests.  In colleges, faculty use new classroom technologies, setting aside stand and deliver lecture formats and demanding more student engagement.  What do these changes augur for the future teacher and future of the history profession?  How well do these new approaches pull together?  Do they contribute to a strong curriculum for the general studies student as well as train the next generation of teachers and researchers?  This panel will discuss and provide a forum for discussing current issues in teaching with primary sources from grade schools through graduate studies.

This panel approaches these questions from three perspectives—preparing K-12 teachers to teach with primary sources, a progressive curriculum using primary sources across the undergraduate years, and training graduate students to incorporate material sources into their research.  Sarah Drake-Brown will describe new designs for training pre-service teachers to teach with primary sources; Doris Malkmus will report on an analysis of current and innovative uses of online and archival primary sources to teach undergraduates; and David Jaffee will report on how he teaches graduate students to “read” material sources to answer historical questions. 

To pull these topics together, Carol Lasser, will introduce the panel and join the discussion, drawing upon her decade of experience using the Women in Social Movement’s website.  Bruce Vansledright, drawing on his background in innovative approaches to teaching history teachers will moderate a discussion focused on innovations, new methods, and coordination of a primary source curriculum from elementary through graduate studies in history.   This session will appeal to service teachers, teaching faculty, and anyone interested in expanding their use of primary sources to teach.

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