Abstract 7- Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 2008

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 2008



Historical Inquiry with Fifth Graders: An Action Research Study

Theresa M. McCormick
Auburn University


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.

Download article as PDF

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.