Abstract 7- Volume 3, Number 3, Winter 2008

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 3, Number 3, Winter 2008



Inquiring about One’s Community: Conducting Community Histories with K-12 Students

Scott M. Waring
University of Central Florida


History teachers are continually seeking new ways in which they can actively involve their students and allow them to think more creatively. Creating local history projects allows students to look beyond the information on the pages of their text and forces them to look deeper into the history of their local environment. Properly constructed community and local history projects assist students in “actually doing history” and engage them in authentic activities directly related to the study of history. As educators, we need to utilize the communities in which we live, because they offer a wealth of opportunities for learning and continue to be one of the least tapped resources for social studies teaching (Martorella, 1998). Presented in this paper are methods and resources that can be used when conducting local histories in the K-12 classrooms in a manner encouraging students to engage in historical inquiry in authentic and meaningful ways.

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About the Author(s)…

Scott M. Waring is an Assistant Professor of Social Science Education at the University of Central Florida. He serves as the coordinator for the social science education program and teaches elementary and secondary courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. His research interests include the teaching and learning of history and technology integration.

Primary contact mailing address: University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, ED 123 H, Orlando, FL 32816; phone: (407) 823-1766; email: swaring@mail.ucf.edu.