Deborah Byrne

Course Title - Teaching With Primary Source Documents

Intended Audience

This mini-course is intended for teacher professional development. This is a non-graded course: Participants will complete their professional development hour requirements in this course (15 PD hours) by receiving a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (completed/not completed) by participating in reflections and discussions, and creating an inquiry-based, primary source lesson plan before the end of the mini-course.

Goals/ Outcomes

  • Become familiar with the variety of primary source documents
  • Become familiar with repositories of primary source information
  • Learn how to analyze and evaluate a variety of primary source documents
  • Learn “effective instructional practices” for teaching with Primary Sources
  • Create lesson & activities that integrate/utilize primary sources

Additional Goals / Outcomes

  • Develop instructional strategies to help students examine and analyze primary sources using model lesson plans, activities, and video tutorials
  • Become familiar with online repositories of primary sources

Course Objectives

  • Given multiple resources, develop instructional strategies to help students examine and analyze primary sources using model lesson plans, activities, and video tutorials
  • Given a website with video content, observe a primary source analysis, by watching video tutorials
  • Given background articles, generate a working definition of primary sources, by writing a succinct paragraph to describe a primary source
  • Given one photograph and one map, observe details in historic photographs and maps using a magnifying glass
  • Given a three-section graphic organizer, discriminate between primary source observations, reflections and questions
  • Given a three-section graphic organizer, analyze a primary source by completing relevant sections of the graphic organizer
  • Given a completed primary source analysis graphic organizer, generate a list of resources to conduct further research
  • Given a portal of online primary source websites, demonstrate the ability to navigate online repositories of primary sources, by using hyperlinks, tabs, and similar tools
  • Given multiple websites, choose appropriate primary source materials by using online repository search functions

Course Objectives - Revised

  • Given background articles, generate a working definition of primary sources, by writing a succinct paragraph to describe a primary source
  • Given a three-section graphic organizer, discriminate between primary source observations, reflections and questions
  • Given a three-section graphic organizer, analyze a primary source by completing relevant sections of the graphic organizer
  • Given a completed primary source analysis graphic organizer, generate a list of resources to conduct further research
  • Given background materials on the subject and authentic learning opportunities, identify strategies for inquiry-based learning in a lesson plan
  • Given multi-media background materials, tutorials and lessons, generate a student lesson & activities that integrate/utilize primary sources

Needs Assessment

First and foremost, teachers need to be able to teach that which is mandated under new Common Core Learning Standards, in addition to pre-existing NYS standards

NYS Common Core Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies Grades

  • In history/social studies, for example, students need to be able to analyze, evaluate, and differentiate primary and secondary sources. Standards for K–5 reading in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are integrated into the K–5 Reading standards (CCLS for ELA p. 74)
  • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole
  • Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas
  • Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole
  • Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem
  • Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.


Also from NYS: Since 2004 – our new professional development requirement is 175 PD hours every 5 years
Providers of Professional Development are interested and committed:
  • As such, my district (Scotia-Glenville Central School District) is interested in professional development opportunities for teaching with primary sources. BOCES Model Schools program has also expressed interest in online and/or in-person primary source professional development offerings and have given me the green-light to proceed to build such an online course, based upon an in-person course that I developed.


Demand from teachers is already there:
  • Several hundred teachers apply to the Library of Congress’ Teacher’s Institute for Teaching with Primary Source Documents each summer – only 140 are chosen
  • The Library of Congress has regional hubs with three University Center partners to offer primary source courses locally to teachers in the region (Source: www.loc.gov)
  • 64% of elementary teachers and 57% of secondary teachers nation-wide report that they engage in professional development training for use of educational technology for instruction (Source: Teachers & Teaching, Education Week, www.educationweek.com, accessed 2/25/12.)


Task Analysis & Curriculum Map

General Pre-requisites for this course:

Essential:

  • Website navigation skills
  • Visual processing skills
  • Ability to read and write in English
  • Basic research skills using websites, search engines, databases, and other sources of information
  • Ability to use a computer and its peripheral devices (keyboard, mouse, etc.)

Specific pre-requisites by Unit & Curriculum Map:



Design Rationale

I chose to use a hybrid of pre-created interactive learning modules from The Library of Congress, in addition to customized screencasts that I created. The modules from the Library of Congress, are excellent and are from the foremost respository and authority on primary source documents. I also chose these modules, because they fit the learning objectives perfectly, and were free and copyright free to use. The time and expense to create interactive learning modules such as these would have been outside of the scope of this course and the technology available to us. The customized screencasts are intended to provide orientation to each Unit, in addition to providing another multi-media and critical thinkging element. Rather than a text-heavy web page, the screencast allows me to walk participants through a number of screens, as if I were there with them in person.

The participants are expected to develop a student lesson plan before the end of the course, so all development and sequencing in each unit is geared toward teaching the participants "how to" so that they can inform their instruction with best practices, strategies and resources.

Deb Byrne's Bio

Deb Byrne's Mini-Course "Teaching with Primary Source Documents"