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In Search of America's Past

Learning to Read History in Elementary School

Bruce VanSledright

9780807741931
208 pages
Teachers College Press
Overview
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: Conveys the results of an innovative teacher-research project, using engaging stories of VanSledright’s classroom experiences. 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strong evidence that children do have the intellectual capacity to judge the validity, reliability, and perspective of historical documents and images.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).
Author Bio
Bruce VanSledright is Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and researcher on the teaching and learning of history in public schools.