ERIC Number: EJ784644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Reference Count: 10
Primary Sources and Inquiry Learning
Pappas, Marjorie L.
School Library Media Activities Monthly, v23 n1 p23-26 Sep 2006
In this article, the author discusses inquiry learning and primary sources. Inquiry learning puts students in the active role of investigators. Questioning, authentic and active learning, and interactivity are a few of the characteristics of inquiry learning that put the teacher and library media specialist in the role of coaches while students are engaged in collaborative research. "Inquiry learning is a dynamic process that uses questioning to actively involve students in their own learning" (Harada and Yoshina 2004, 11). Primary sources take different forms and formats, but were all created when the historical events actually occurred or shortly thereafter through the memories of people who lived during the events. Primary sources include newspapers, maps, diaries, journals, photographs, birth certificates, ship manifests, letters, speeches, memoirs, government documents, moving pictures, audio recordings, interviews, artifacts, etc. These documents and media depict historical events as the events actually occurred and, thus, are evidence for those historians who seek to tell the story of historical events. The value of using primary sources as part of the learning, therefore, is to provide opportunities for students to reach their own conclusions about historical events rather than view events through the writings of secondary source authors. Thus, these resources enable students to engage in inquiry learning through the guise of an historian. This authentic learning experience fuels their natural sense of curiosity and gives them the motivation to engage in wondering and critical thinking, significant elements of standards today. Moreover, the use of primary sources as part of inquiry learning fosters collaboration between the classroom teacher and the library media specialist, putting both educators into the role of learning coach.
Descriptors: History, Active Learning, Primary Sources, Diaries, Media Specialists, Learning Experience, Educational Opportunities, Historians, Inquiry, Teacher Role
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A