Teaching with Primary Sources

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Goals of the TPS Program

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Professional development activities under Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) progress along three program levels. K-12 educators have the option of taking workshops and courses, offered by TPS Consortium members, under all or some of these levels, depending on their interests.

Level I

Level I–Participants gain strategies for using primary sources to help students engage in learning, develop critical thinking skills and build content knowledge.

Participants:

  • Justify conclusions about whether a source is primary or secondary depending upon the time or topic under study.
  • Describe examples of the benefits of teaching with primary sources.
  • Analyze a primary source using Library of Congress tools
  • Access teaching tools and primary sources from loc.gov/teachers
  • Identify key considerations for selecting primary sources for instructional use (for example, student needs and interests, teaching goals, etc.)
  • Access primary sources and teaching resources from loc.gov for instructional use
  • Analyze primary sources in different formats
  • Analyze a set of related primary sources in order to identify multiple perspectives
  • Facilitate a primary source analysis using Library of Congress tools
  • Demonstrate how primary sources can support at least one teaching strategy (for example, literacy, inquiry-based learning, historical thinking, etc.)
  • Create a primary source-based activity that helps students engage in learning, develop critical thinking skills and construct knowledge

Level II

Participants evaluate, create and teach topic-specific, content-informed lessons that integrate primary sources from the Library of Congress and exemplify effective instructional practices.

Participants:

  • Gain a thorough understanding of effective instructional practices with emphases on inquiry-based and student-centered learning using primary sources
  • Learn to identify exemplary learning experiences
  • Create standards-based, content-informed learning experiences integrating primary sources from the Library of Congress that exemplify effective instructional practice
  • Teach, assess and reflect on their experiences using primary sources in instruction
  • Evaluate primary source-based learning experiences
  • Investigate the effects of primary source-based instruction on student learning

Level III

Experienced educators advocate the use of primary sources and help disseminate the ideas, methods and products of the TPS program.

Participants:

  • Mentor colleagues on the effective instructional uses of primary sources
  • Evaluate learning experiences for widespread dissemination and use
  • Interact and collaborate with other teachers who are using Library of Congress primary sources
  • Conduct research into the effective use of primary sources in education
  • Contribute to the use of effective practices for using primary sources in instruction by leading professional development activities

*Content created and featured in partnership with the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.

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