Primary Source Analysis In The Classroom

Decent Essays
The instructional setting includes three eleventh grade United States History Honors classes in a large urban high-income region of Clark County School District in Nevada. The student body count for the current school year, 2014-2015, was 3,021 121 of which were enrolled in the focus classes. 28% of this population is receiving free or reduced lunch. Of the 3,021, the majority of students are Caucasian, making up 52%, with another 21% identified as being Hispanic, and 13% as African American. Class sizes range from thirty-five to forty-three students. As the focus group is an Honors level setting there are typically no at-risk or special-needs students present. The classroom is organized, well lit, equipped with forty-three individual…show more content…
All learners are presently enrolled in honors level reading or English courses in addition to the focus social studies courses. Students must also be familiar with concepts such as main idea, summarizing, outlining, cause and effect, historical time flow, and generalizations.
Prior Knowledge of Topic
All learners are students who have been educated at the honors or accelerated level for two or more years. Each student is aware and knowledgeable of the subject and expectations required of classes such as this one. Primary source analysis has been used in each of their honors level courses, regardless of subject, at least a handful of times in the past, though the sources and styles used varied widely between grade level and teacher.
Cultural Characteristics and Learning Styles
Students attend a grade nine through twelve public education high school in a more affluent region of the Las Vegas Valley. Due to this, learners are familiar with computer-supplemented and technology-supplemented instruction and use these resources on a weekly, if not daily basis. Primary source analyses are a requirement in social studies classes and they cater to a wide variety of learning styles and multiple intelligences depending on the type of source used (document, physical object,
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Many students also agree that the vocabulary present in these primary source documents and sources is difficult and beyond their grasp, not to mention that primary source analysis in general is viewed by them to be frustrating, prolonged, difficult, and boring. Despite all of this social studies classes, which require primary source analysis, are required as part of the core requirements for graduation. Even more, students enrolled in these focus classes must maintain a minimum GPA requirement in order to receive the honors diploma for participating in these honors classes. In order for the students to progress to an honors level course the following school year they must maintain a minimum of a C+ (77-79%) grade for the entire school year, or they may lose their honors
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