1 Canisius College (UNITED STATES)
2 Nichols School (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 2309-2315
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
While there has been a nationwide and statewide call for students in our schools to be able to critically read, analyze, and interpret primary source documents (National Council for the Social Studies, 1994; New York State Education Department, 1996), many teachers are not prepared to teach students how to succeed in meeting these goals. This primary source project involved a collaborative instructional effort by a team of education and history faculty members at Canisius College and two Library of Congress Fellows that teach at a local middle/high school. The team developed and implemented a primary source instructional module for pre-service childhood teacher candidates aimed at increasing pre-service candidates’ content knowledge and pedagogical skills in utilizing primary sources as an instructional tool. In addition, the team develop an advanced master’s degree course entitled, “Differentiated inquiry based instruction utilizing primary sources” to offer twice a year in our Differentiated Instruction Program. This course focuses on inquiry-based instruction utilizing primary sources for gifted students. In this course in-service teacher candidates evaluated a primary source investigation activity, created a movie from a primary source set, created a digital poster with primary sources, and adapted a LOC primary source lesson plan to differentiate instruction. The collaborative instructional team identified an action research project by which to evaluate the impact of the curricular revisions. Data collection included: pre-post survey data of pre-service candidates, focused interviews of pre-service candidates, primary source lessons created, and a final reflection.
Candidates’ reflections demonstrate the impact of the course on their own learning about the skills needed to analyze primary sources, the planning required to implement primary sources in the classroom, technological resources available to support instruction, ways to develop background knowledge, and ways to differentiate instruction based on student needs. Candidates in our pre-service teacher preparation program enrolled in the social studies methods course, benefited from the primary source instructional module. Data from our action research project provided us with information about the impact of our work. Data from the surveys indicate the following positive outcomes:
• The primary source module developed helped candidates understand what a primary source was, the skills needed to analyze primary sources, and ways to integrate primary sources into their own instruction including the complex planning process.
• Primary sources engaged the students they were teaching in the instruction because it required critical thinking
• Primary sources reinforced the historical concepts that they were trying to teach
• Primary source integration allowed them to teach across disciplines
• Primary sources provided an opportunity to incorporate technology into teaching
• Library of Congress website helped with resources to use and learn how to lesson plan

This proposed presentation is most directly related to the demonstration of exemplary practice in teacher education for pre-service teachers and professional development for in-service teachers.
Pre-service teacher experiences, In-service training and Professional development of teachers, Integration of cross-cultural studies in curriculum.