Open Access
Cameron, Chelsea
Area of Honors:
Educational Psychology
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Peggy Van Meter, Thesis Supervisor
  • Peggy Noel Van Meter, Thesis Supervisor
  • Rayne Audrey Sperling, Honors Advisor
  • Educational Psychology
  • Textbook
  • Verbal Representations
  • Nonverbal Representations
  • History Instruction
The change in history instruction has shifted from a rote memorization, lectured-based style of social studies instruction to an inquiry-based method of instruction. Inquiry methodology in history education is used to engage students in higher-order thinking skills, and to bring students closer to the practice of “doing” history has the expert historians do on a daily basis. The purpose of this study was to see what resources teachers have already available in their classroom, representations in textbooks, and how these resources can be used to support this inquiry- based history instruction. It was discovered that these resources are available in history textbooks that exist in our classrooms today. Though textbooks present some of the same representations differently within the text itself, teachers and students can use them in the manner that best meets the needs of an inquiry classroom. For example, a primary source document such as a photograph can be used in the text just to reiterate the information explained in the text by design, but students and teachers can use this photograph as a base for discussion, analysis, and interpretation, engaging students in higher-order thinking skills. Teachers could take this a step further and develop a Document-Based Question that requires the use of prior knowledge of the subject matter, interpretation, and analytical skills to answer the question posed, an activity that closely mimics the work of an expert historian. Often, we teachers feel the need to constantly “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to lesson planning an instruction. While it is important to push for innovation in our classrooms, it is difficult to do that on a daily basis. These textbook resources allow us to “work smarter, not harder” to maximize productivity in the classroom. The materials are already in our classrooms and with instruction, students and teachers can use these textbook resources in inquiry-based instruction.