The course Primary Research Through the History of Beverly, was taught by W. Dean Eastman at Beverly High School in Beverly, Massachusetts.
The goal of the class was not necessarily for students to learn a chronological history of their hometown; rather, Beverly’s history is used as a vehicle for understanding contexts of both the history of the nation and the world. The “primary research” aspect of the class is the focus, as students gain understanding of what it means to be historians, to conduct original research and write original papers.
This class is offered in a “history laboratory environment”, where for example students learned about archaeology through field study in a archaeological pit built on the school grounds, or used an educational archives on the school grounds to discover aspects of the public schools at particular periods in history, or even rose at dawn to meet at local cemeteries to learn about Puritan gravestones and their meaning. These and other topics that students have researched in this class are offered on this website as examples of this approach to learning history.
This hands on approach to primary research makes history come alive through its own investigation!
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