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Skills and Best Practices

Lesson 1: Skills and Best Practices

Questioning Skills

The article referenced below is well worth reading and worth the effort of obtaining from your school library or community library. The article points out two critical ideas about the use of questioning skills in the social studies classroom:

The Use of Questions in Teaching 
Meredith D. Gall
Review of Educational Research, Vol. 40, No. 5 (Dec., 1970) , pp. 707-721

  • The use of questions is one of the basic tools of the teacher for promoting student thinking and learning.
  • Although teachers use an abundance of questions in the classroom, there is a need for teachers to learn how to ask the right questions to get the response they are after.
  • What research says about creating and using effective questions in the classroom.

The Use of Inquiry in the Social Studies Classroom

The site below provides a research-based rationale for the use of inquiry in the social studies classroom. In addition, it provides excellent examples of strategies that encourage higher order thinking by students. For example:

http://www.ehhs.cmich.edu/~tcsrj/newbyhiggs6.pdf

  • Developing Inquiry Skills Through the Use of Case Studies
  • Inquiring About the Local Community
  • Using The Storypath Method as an Inquiry Method
  • The Place of Spacial Dynamics in the Classroom
  • Components of a WebQuests
  • Ideas for Virtual Museums
  • Citizen Action and Service Learning

The site also includes numerous references to other sites and to hard copy publications.


Using Historic Research and Interpretation Skills
in the Social Studies Classroom

The site below was developed by the Lawrence University History Department for its undergraduates has significance for both high school students and professional historians. High school students will find the following sections particularly useful:

http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/history/HistoryResearchGuides.htm

Professor Rael’s guide includes sound advice on how to go about historical research, but only in general terms and as part of a larger discussion of the skills undergraduates need for all phases of studying history. A number of sites take a more closely focused approach, teaching the basic steps of doing historical research. Two, which were created in connection with college courses on historical methods, stand out as noteworthy examples of how to do so through the use of case studies: