Investigating With Children in Elementary and Middle Schools, 3rd Edition
Published June 23rd 2005 by Routledge – 256 pages
Doing History: Investigating With Children in Elementary and Middle Schools, Third Edition offers a unique perspective on history instruction in the elementary and middle grades. Through case studies of teachers and students in diverse classrooms and from diverse backgrounds, the text shows children engaging in authentic historical investigations, often in the context of an integrated social studies curriculum.
The authors begin with the assumption that children can engage in valid forms of historical inquiry-collecting and analyzing data, examining the perspectives of people in the past, considering multiple interpretations, and creating evidence-based historical accounts. Vignettes in each chapter show communities of teachers and students doing history in environments rich in literature, art, writing, discussion, and debate. Teachers and students are shown working together to frame and investigate meaningful historical questions. Students write personal and family histories, analyze primary and secondary sources, examine artifacts, conduct interviews, and create interpretations through drama, narrative, and the arts.
The grounding of this book in contemporary sociocultural theory and research makes it particularly useful as a social studies methods text. In each chapter, the authors explain how the teaching demonstrated in the vignettes reflects basic principles of contemporary learning theory; thus they not only provide specific examples of successful activities, but place them in a theoretical context that allows teachers to adapt and apply them in a wide variety of settings.
*Classroom vignettes. Rather than a "cookbook" of lesson ideas, this text illustrates the possibilities (and obstacles) of meaningful teaching and learning in real classroom settings.
*Inquiry-oriented instruction. The approaches shown in the classrooms portrayed derive from current theory and research in the field of history education. This text is not a hodge-podge of activities, but a consistent and theoretically grounded illustration of meaningful history instruction.
*Diversity of perspectives. This is emphasized in two ways. First, the text helps students look at historical events and trends from multiple perspectives. Second, the classrooms illustrated throughout the book include teachers and students from a variety of backgrounds--this gives the book widespread appeal to educators in a range of settings.
*Assessment. Teachers are provided with clear guidance in using multiple forms of assessment to evaluate the specifically historical aspects of children's learning.
New in the Third Edition:
*Greater attention is given to the role of history education in preparing students for participation in a pluralist democracy.
*Connections are made between instructional activities and the aims of citizenship, reflecting the authors' view that history should contribute to deliberation over an evolving common good.
*Examples are provided of techniques for scaffolding discussion about controversial issues and for grounding that discussion in historical study.
*International comparisons are included to encourage reflection on the range of perspectives on history education across cultures.
*Bibliographies are updated to incorporate new scholarship on historical thinking and learning.
*New resources are included for children's literature that supports good teaching.
"This text provides for diverse approaches to teaching, and supports critical pedagogy, social activism, and child advocacy. It is the finest teaching resource I have found for my course."
—Lynn Nations Johnson
Western Michigan University
Contents: Preface. Past, Present, and Future: The Sociocultural Context for Studying History. It's Not Just a Mishap: The Theory Behind Disciplined Inquiry. There Aren't a Lot of "For Sure" Facts: Building Communities of Historical Inquiry. To Find Out Things We Didn't Know About Ourselves: Personal Histories. Tell Me About Yourself: Linking Children to the Past Through Family Histories. I Think Columbus Went to Hell!: Initiating Inquiry Into World History. Rats in the Hospital: Creating a History Museum. I Have No Experience With This!: Historical Inquiry in an Integrated Social Studies Setting. Why Isn't That in the Textbook?: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Historical Thinking. Oh, Good! We Get to Argue: Putting Conflict in Context. In My Opinion, It Could Happen Again: How Attitudes and Beliefs Have Changed Over Time. Nosotros La Gente: Diverse Perspectives in American History. The Arts Make Us All Part of Humankind: Cognitive Pluralism in History Teaching and Learning. Epilogue.