Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region @ Metropolitan State University of Denver

Northern Arizona University – Theodore Roosevelt Workshop

Officially titled “Through the Lens of Teddy Roosevelt: Primary Sources, Inquiry and 21st Century Learning,” the three-day workshop, held on July 17-19, was a partnership between the History Department at Northern Arizona University, and the Teaching with Primary Sources Western Region Program. The presenters were Linda Sargent Wood, Assistant Professor of History and Directory of History Education at Northern Arizona University, Peggy O’Neill-Jones, TPS Western Region Director, and long-time TPS collaborators Michelle Pearson, Stevan Kalmon, and Cynthia Stout.

The workshop focused primarily on the process of inquiry, while challenging the two dozen attendees to think about their own learning processes.  “Inquiry should be done on an everyday basis,” Peggy O’Neill-Jones, director of the TPS Western Region, said. “We decided that our focus was to make thinking transparent, and we did this by teaching educators the inquiry process by modeling it for them and making every step visible.”

Throughout the inquiry presentation, the participants also focused on the concepts of primary sources from the Library of Congress with an emphasis on Theodore Roosevelt. Using a multitude of modalities, the participants also learned about the core concepts of using primary sources in their classrooms.  These core concepts included:

  1. What primary sources are.
  2. Reasons for teaching with primary sources.
  3. How to teach with primary sources.
  4. How to access and use primary sources and related resources from the Library of Congress.

In order to teach these concepts, the presenters divided the concepts into distinct lessons:

  • Peggy O’Neill-Jones and Linda Sargent Wood introduced and explained both the Stripling Inquiry Model and our Dual Inquiry Model;
  • Michelle Pearson and Cindy Stout, incorporating the life of Theodore Roosevelt and relevant primary sources from the Library of Congress (click here, here, and here), showed how to analyze primary sources by asking “What do you observe?” “What do you think you know?” and “What do you want to find out?”;
  • In a later lesson, Stevan Kalmon and Michelle Pearson talked about constructing document-based questions as a way of focusing student inquiry;
  • and in two separate presentations, Peggy and Michelle extolled the power of incorporating technology tools to facilitate classroom learning. For a valuable list of tech tools, please visit our TPSI21 wiki here.

By the end of the workshop, participants had learned how to navigate the Library of Congress’ website, to search for and incorporate primary sources into their curriculum, and had discovered their own learning process through visible inquiry.

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