In Search of America's Past: Learning to Read History in Elementary School

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Teachers College Press, Apr 12, 2002 - Education - 189 pages
Bruce VanSledright shows how young students can benefit from an investigative, inquiry-based approach to the study of history, as called for by the national standards. Addressing important questions about the teaching and learning of history in today's diverse classrooms, this volume:

-- Details the results of an innovative teacher-research project, using engaging storytelling to make the classroom "come alive" for the reader

-- Provides examples and guidelines, developed from the author's own fifth-grade classroom, for teaching novices to engage in historical investigations (in contrast to memorizing details in a textbook)

-- Offers strong evidence that children do have the intellectual capacity to judge the validity, reliability, and perspective of historical documents and images

-- Wrestles with a number of issues facing history teachers who wish to embark on ambitious projects with their students that can take them against the grain of policy mandates (such as recall-based, high-stakes testing)

 

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Contents

Whither History Education?
1
Conducting Historical Investigations with FifthGraders
24
History as an Interpretive Act The Problem of Indeterminate Evidence Trails
36
The Wiles of Evidence Interpretation and Reinscription Investigating British Colonies in America
53
Source Perspective Reliability and Subtext Investigating Causes of the American Revolution
78
Acquiring Procedures and a Discourse for Investigating the Past
105
Whither History Education Revisited
138
Research Method
157
Documents and Images Used in the Two Performance Tasks
166
Documents Used for InClass Investigation of the Jamestown Starving Time
173
References
179
Index
185
About the Author
189
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Bruce VanSledright is Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and researcher on the teaching and learning of history in public schools.

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