Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 2008
Historical Inquiry with Fifth Graders: An Action Research Study
Theresa M. McCormick
This article describes an action research investigation in which I examined the effects that a six-week, historical, inquiry-based unit on the American Revolution had on 119 fifth-graders’ interest in studying history. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from pre- and post-survey responses and observational field notes. Results suggest that the historical, inquiry-based unit positively influenced students’ motivation and interest to study history both in and outside the classroom. Based on the findings of this study, instructional strategies that piqued students’ own questions and interests appeared to be the key to facilitating their motivation to learn history.
About the Author(s)…
Theresa M. McCormick is an assistant professor of elementary social studies education at Auburn University. She serves as the coordinator for the elementary education program and teaches elementary courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Her research interests include the teaching and learning of history with primary sources and teacher education. Contact information is Auburn University, Department of Curriculum and Teaching, 5024 Haley Center, Auburn University, AL 36849; phone: (334) 844-6795; email: MCCORTM@auburn.edu.