“Tiptoeing Through the Tombstones”
In the course “Primary Research through the History of Beverly”, we incorporate research into the student learning opportunity. We attempt to bridge the distance between student, teacher and scholar.
The need for this type of “student as their own historian” approach evolved as part of a national reform movement to improve social studies education. The classroom approach of critical thinking through primary research is an integral aspect of this movement. This approach has finally enabled scholars and teachers to work co-operatively in the development of a strategy that is both academically challenging and exciting.
As the study of social history has become more widely used in our classroom, it becomes increasingly more relevant for students to be able to investigate the relationship of their local community or group with the larger national or international context or perspective of events. Unfortunately, history for many students has become a dull memorization of facts. This hands on approach to primary research will hopefully make history come alive through its own investigation.
In availing opportunities for a critical thinking through primary research, we have integrated a myriad of research vehicles for intellectual investigation. One of our most popular units of study is in the field of Early American Gravestone Studies which we fondly refer to as “Tiptoeing Through the Tombstones”.
Eastman, Dean. “Tiptoeing Through the Tombstones,” Common Place, Vol 2, Issue 2 (January 2002). 2 Jan. 2002 <http://www.common-place.org/vol-02/no-02/school/>