News Article

Primary Researchers for Primary Sources

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Library of Congress has awarded a grant to EDC's Center for Children and Technology to serve as the Library's sole research partner for the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program. TPS helps teachers use the Library's vast collection of digitized primary source materials in their classrooms; other organizations that have received funding under this grant will develop curricular materials using the digital collection or teacher professional development for incorporating the materials into their lessons.

For the next three years, CCT will survey teaching practices of TPS organizations, study teacher and student learning, and create research briefs to guide professional development providers.

"Original materials like manuscripts, letters, and photos bring the past alive for students, giving them a strong sense of history and sparking original thinking," says Bill Tally, senior project director at CCT. "We're proud of our longtime partnership with the TPS program, and look forward to providing research to strengthen it by improving how teachers and students across the country learn to use primary sources."

The Center for Children and Technology helped pioneer the Teaching with Primary Sources program nearly 20 years ago. Since then, TPS has become the cornerstone of the Library's educational outreach in all 50 states. CCT also helped develop the American Memory Fellows Program (a TPS forerunner), as well as Picturing Modern America, a website that made the Library's archival images available to students. Over the years, CCT has continued its partnership with the Library by conducting evaluations of several of its educational programs. This research has guided the Library of Congress in defining specific goals, developing frameworks for presenting resources, and exploring how young people will make sense of their materials.