Abstract 4- Volume 4, Number 3, Winter 2009

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 4, Number 3, Winter 2009



Textbooks and Primary Source Analysis

Jason C. Fitzgerald
University of Pittsburgh


In such a diverse society, some have suggested that teachers use primary source documents to increase history knowledge and build historical thinking skills. These calls come from a myriad of works that have been critical of textbooks. While these concerns may be appropriate, textbooks are still frequently used in the classroom. In an attempt to better use textbooks in light of such criticism, I propose that teachers and students analyze their textbooks as if they were primary sources. Discussion about how this analysis might be accomplished as well as a sample classroom handout is provided.

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