Abstract 9- Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 2008

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 2008



Designing Meaningful Instruction in History for Middle School Students through the Use of Archival Research and Primary Document Analysis as a Teaching Tool

Mark Mraz
Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania


The article chronicles the use of a Civil War soldier’s diary to teach Civil War history. The project was carried out over a two-semester period in a social studies pedagogy class. The professor and students in cooperative learning groups and whole group discussions interpreted the diary. In this unique process, they also discussed how primary sources might be used to teach middle school and high school students United States History as a dynamic process of real people and not simply facts.

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About the Author(s)…

Mark Mraz is an assistant professor of education at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. He holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction Social Studies Education from The Pennsylvania State University. Mark teaches social studies methods and foundations courses at Slippery Rock. Prior to coming to the University, He taught social studies for 29 years at the St. Mary’s Area School District in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania. Contact information: Slippery Rock University, Secondary Education/ Foundations of Education Department, 208D McKay Education Building, Slippery Rock, PA 16057; phone: (724)738-2288; email: mark.mraz@sru.edu.