Teaching with Primary Sources at Washington & Lee University: Humanizing History and Engaging with the Topics of Today
Kiser, Paula S.
Sources - study and teaching
Humanities - study and teaching
Humanities - sources
Education - study and teaching
Study and teaching
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A white paper about W&L humanities undergraduate faculty's teaching practices related to primary sources written as part of the Ithaka S+R project Teaching with Primary Sources.The Washington & Lee University Library conducted a series of semi-structured interviews in Fall 2019 to investigate the practices of Washington & Lee University (W&L) undergraduate instructors who teach with primary sources. The project’s scope included only interview participants from the humanities and social sciences. This local project is part of a suite of parallel studies housed at 25 institutions of higher education in the United States and United Kingdom, coordinated by Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit research and consulting service. From these interviews, the researchers identified five major themes: how faculty learned to teach with primary sources and how they disseminate knowledge on the subject; how they utilize a variety of types and formats across primary sources; how instructors find, organize, and share primary sources; how they employ primary sources to reach pedagogical goals through innovative methods of classroom praxis, including the incorporation of digital tools and methodologies; and how instructors use campus resources, specifically Special Collection & Archives and Museums at W&L. The information presented within these themes sheds light on the need for educational and outreach opportunities broadly related to improving primary source literacy; exploring a scaffolded approach to teaching with primary sources; creating a personal approach to organizing primary sources; and learning about locally available primary sources.Ithaka S+R
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