Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information An essential part of online research is the ability to critically evaluate information. This includes the ability to assess its level of accuracy, reliability, and bias. In 2012, my colleagues and I assessed 770 seventh graders in two states to study these areas, and the results definitely got our attention. Middle school students are more concerned with content relevance than with credibility They rarely attend to source features such as author, venue, or publication type to evaluate reliability and author perspective When they do refer to source features in their explanations, their judgments are often vague, superficial, and lacking in reasoned justification Other studies highlight similar shortcomings of high school and college students in these areas (see, for example, a 2016 study from Stanford). So what can you do to more explicitly teach adolescents how to evaluate the quality of online information? Dimensions of Critical Evaluation Modeling and Practice Prompting
Powerful Learning: Studies Show Deep Understanding Derives from Collaborative Methods Today's students will enter a job market that values skills and abilities far different from the traditional workplace talents that so ably served their parents and grandparents. They must be able to crisply collect, synthesize, and analyze information, then conduct targeted research and work with others to employ that newfound knowledge. In essence, students must learn how to learn, while responding to endlessly changing technologies and social, economic, and global conditions. But what types of teaching and learning will develop these skills? And, just as important, do studies exist that support their use? A growing body of research demonstrates that students learn more deeply if they have engaged in activities that require applying classroom-gathered knowledge to real-world problems. Research shows that such inquiry-based teaching is not so much about seeking the right answer but about developing inquiring minds, and it can yield significant benefits. Project-Based Pathways Good Signs
OPB American History Interactive: Thesis This interactive exercise will guide you through the process of evaluating primary sources in order to develop a thesis. INSTRUCTIONS:Using the provided primary source materials as evidence, you will consider four different hypotheses about the causes of the Civil War. The relative importance of these arguments remains a hotly debated issue among historians, so do not assume that one clear answer exists. Step 1 - Review the four hypotheses Conflicting Economic InterestsPreservation of the UnionSlaveryState's Rights Step 2 - After weighing the importance and authority of each piece of evidence provided, determine which explanations you think the evidence supports (it may be more than one) and how strongly it supports each hypothesis. Step 3 - Once you complete this process, you will rank the four proposed causes of the Civil War from the factor that is most-supported to the least-supported, creating your own thesis about this considerable historical question.
How teachers can best use TED Talks in class What happens when a teacher mixes Madame Bovary and a TED Talk? Good things, actually. Photo: iStockphoto My high school English class had just finished reading Madame Bovary, and we were all confused. That night for homework, our only assignment was to watch a TED Talk: “Why we love, why we cheat” by anthropologist Helen Fisher. I didn’t realize what my teacher was doing until class discussion the next day. “So,” my teacher said, “if Gustave Flaubert and Helen Fisher were having a conversation about love, what would they say to one another? There was a pause, and then: “I mean, the thing about love being a drug, like cocaine, seems like Emma felt love like that?” “But then what about Charles? “Well he wasn’t intense, and he wasn’t possessive. “He died for love.” “Did he die for love or for heartbreak?” “What’s the difference?” The discussion continued, back and forth. I graduated from high school in May. I wanted to find out why Ms. Her comment clarified something for me.
Fostering a Culture of Inquiry How can we apply literary elements and work with local experts to create high-quality graphic novels? How do cycles of revision improve our artwork? How might we impact voter turnout for a local municipal election? How do we deep our students' mathematical thinking? Now in its 13th year, the Calgary Science School has had a consistent focus on problem-based and inquiry-based teaching and learning. Inquiry also infuses the school's approach to professional development. "The name 'Calgary Science School' can be a bit misleading," Stephenson says. How does Calgary Science School define inquiry-based learning? Adding Value with Outreach As a Canadian charter school, Calgary Science School has a dual mission. One method of outreach is the school blog. Internally, the blog provides an institutional memory and project archive. In another outreach effort, Calgary Science School invites collaboration with other schools. U.S. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Document Analysis Worksheets Document analysis is the first step in working with primary sources. Teach your students to think through primary source documents for contextual understanding and to extract information to make informed judgments. Use these worksheets — for photos, written documents, artifacts, posters, maps, cartoons, videos, and sound recordings — to teach your students the process of document analysis. Follow this progression: The first few times you ask students to work with primary sources, and whenever you have not worked with primary sources recently, model careful document analysis using the worksheets. Don’t stop with document analysis though. Materials created by the National Archives and Records Administration are in the public domain. These worksheets were revised in February, 2017.
4 Things You Don't Know About the Jigsaw Method Say “Jigsaw” in some teaching circles and no one will bat an eyelash. It’s one of those techniques that has been with us so long, it is no longer seen as new. When considering methods to share in my collection of instructional strategies, I ignored it for a long time because I assumed most people already knew how to use it. Still, I figured it was worth including at some point. When I finally sat down to review the steps of Jigsaw, I came across a few surprises. Although Jigsaw is typically presented as just one in a number of cooperative learning strategies, its origin story has little to do with academics. Rather than take a crisis management approach to the situation, which they believed would only put a band-aid on the problem, Aronson and his colleagues wanted a solution that was more organic, something built into the structure of students’ everyday learning. For a more thorough understanding of the strategy and its history, read the Jigsaw Classroom’s Jigsaw Basics white paper.
Introduction to Inquiry Based Learning At the Calgary Science School we focus on inquiry-based learning, technology-intergration and outdoor/environmental education. We believe these three pillars come together to provide students with opportunities for authentic, meaningful and relevant learning. At the core of our program is inquiry - an approach to learning and teaching (including teacher learning) that is the foundation of all we do. Our thinking around inquiry is that it is more than just 'doing projects' but is rather nurturing a dispostion toward critical thinking, reflection and idea improvement in all learners in our building. In creating and sharing these projects, we are thankful to the Galileo Educational Network for their role in shaping much of our thinking about inquiry. On this blog you'll find a growing collection of inquiry-based projects. This document is currently in a text-only format and our next goal is to embed illustrative video throughout the document.
Best Sites for Primary Documents in US History Common Core offers an incentive for teachers to use historic documents to build literacy skills in a content area while empowering students to be the historian in the classroom. But document-based (DBQ) instruction in this context requires four key elements to be successful: The right documents. Knowing how to look at them. I've assigned my pre-service social studies methods class the task of designing some DBQs and I assembled a list of some of my favorite sources for finding historic documents in American History. A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Woman and Child ca. 1850, daguerreotype with applied color Jeremiah Gurney Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. Fighting American Creator U.S. Dial Comes to Town Bell Telephone
Questioning Toolkit Essential Questions These are questions which touch our hearts and souls. They are central to our lives. They help to define what it means to be human. Most important thought during our lives will center on such essential questions. What does it mean to be a good friend? If we were to draw a cluster diagram of the Questioning Toolkit, Essential Questions would be at the center of all the other types of questions. All the other questions and questioning skills serve the purpose of "casting light upon" or illuminating Essential Questions. Most Essential Questions are interdisciplinary in nature. Essential Questions probe the deepest issues confronting us . . . complex and baffling matters which elude simple answers: Life - Death - Marriage - Identity - Purpose - Betrayal - Honor - Integrity - Courage - Temptation - Faith - Leadership - Addiction - Invention - Inspiration. Essential Questions are at the heart of the search for Truth. Essential Questions offer the organizing focus for a unit.