Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Exploring Civil Rights Using Primary Sources

After researching The Library of Congress, I discovered an article/tutorial, "Supporting Inquiry with Primary Sources."  It discussed how primary sources such as authentic images, documents, and diaries allow the learner to connect to the real world as opposed to using textbooks where interpretations of world issues are already given.  The article further stated, "Using primary sources empowers students to construct their own understanding, draw conclusions, create new knowledge, and share the knowledge with others."  I began to think about how project-based learning lends itself to the students having access to primary sources on the Internet.  Even though the students are responsible for finding an answer to a guiding question through research, they are also exposed to teacher-selected videos and documents that are relevant to furthering their inquiry and research. The students were asked to formulate questions based on what they were left wondering after analyzing documents, photos and videos of children, people of ethnicity, women, and the disabled being discriminated against, all of which involves a civil rights movement.

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