[THVInstitute13] Resource Page for Promoting Historical Thinking with Place-Based Learning & Community Interaction
Resources for investigating communities
Stay up-to-date on changes to the Common Core, called the new C3 standards:
Barton, K. &Levstik, L. (2004). Teaching history for the common good. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence
Thoughtful expression of why we value historical study, with a focus on the application
of history to improve future conditions.
Davidson, J.W. & Lytle, M.H. (2004). After the fact: The art of historical detection. 5th
Boston: McGraw Hill.
Examples of proper and improper historical inquiry, based on interesting questions and
events from American history.
Duffin, M., & Associates, P. (2007).Why use place-based education in your school? Four
answers that emerge from the findings of PEEC, the Place-based Education Evaluation
Point-by-point review of the broad benefits of incorporating PBE in schools.
Jennings, N., Swindler, S., &Koliba, C. (2005). Place-based education in the standards-based
reform era--conflict or complement? American Journal of Education, 112(1),44-65.
Pre-dating the Common Core movement, this article considers many of the questions
facing educators today.
Kinloch, V. (2009).Harlem on our minds: Place, race, and literacies of urban youth. New York:
Teachers College Press.
An entire book on community-as-text. Kinloch details how she used her students’ local
community as the focus for a yearlong look at history, economics, and civics.
McGuire, M, & Cole, B. (Eds.) (2010). Making a difference: Revitalizing elementary social
studies. Washington, DC: National Council for the Social Studies.
Each chapter investigates an aspect of elementary school teaching and learning. Topics
include historic inquiry and authentic products.
VanSledright, B. A. (2002). In search of America’s past: Learning to read history in
elementaryschool. New York: Teachers College Press.
Review of challenges facing late-elementary and middle school educators who want to
engage their students in historic inquiry. Includes specific example topics from American
Wilson, R. (1997). A sense of place.Early Childhood Education Journal, 24(3), 191-194.
Consideration of how children first develop attachments and relationships with specific
places, and what those attachments mean moving forward.
Wineburg, S. (2001).Historical thinking and other unnatural acts: Charting the future of
teaching the past. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Detailed review of the challenges facing anyone who engages in historic inquiry.
Research from this book influenced the development of Stanford University’s new
History Assessments of Thinking
Resources for investigating communities
(Some) digital resources:
Once a teacher or student has identified a question to investigate, the research process can begin.
These sites all have something different to offer, from a closer look at your neighborhood (visit
your local court!) to ways that your community might connect with others around the country
(hello, Digital Archives!).
Your local county clerk, city hall, housing authority, or department of education.
o Depending on where you live and work, many of these resources will require a
physical visit, but you can find excellent information there. For example, students
in Brooklyn visited their county clerk and learned about their school’s history:
famous alums, demographic changes, even teacher criminal backgrounds!
Another class in Manhattan used housing records to track who lived in a
particular apartment building, then delve more deeply into their lives through
Library of Congress Digital Archives (www.loc.gov)
o Many of the benefits of your local museum without having to leave your desk.
The LOC offers millions of digitized, high-quality resources from American
History. The archives are easy to search and have something to offer almost every
community in the US. The Archives also offer a variety of ready-to-go lesson
templates for teachers, and different tools for working with primary source
documents. My favorite is the Primary Source Analysis Tool, because it works
equally well for historic and modern sources, whether they are photographs,
buildings, diary entries, newspapers, etc.
National Archives (www.archives.gov)
o The National Archives is similar to the LOC Digital Archives, but many of the
resources are only available if you visit in person. The education page has many
excellent resources and ideas for incorporating historic documents related to your
Historical Assessments of Thinking (https://beyondthebubble.stanford.edu/history-
o Student research and inquiry deserves feedback, and this site offers excellent
research-based ideas. Dubbed “Beyond the Bubble,” this website from Stanford
University’s History Educators Group is based on the idea that historical inquiry
warrants more than the traditional SCANTRON test. The site includes ready-to-
go assessments as well as ideas that educators can use for crafting their own
Promise Of Place (www.promiseofplace.org)
o Though not directly interested in history education, Promise of Place has a great
deal of information for anyone wanting to know more about place-based
education. The field is dominated by environmental science, but thoughtful
educators will find direct benefits.