Adventures in Relevance: Exploring Techniques for Teaching Research Projects
Take a week to explore fresh approaches to teaching research projects! Well-designed research projects allow students to pursue their curiosity, make connections amongst their interests and experiences, and think critically, making research relevant to their own lives and others’.
In this class, teachers at all levels—elementary, middle, high school—will explore possibilities for the research project, helping students to produce authentic research projects that relate the stories of engaging topics. First, we will map out options for forming research topics or questions, based on students’ interests, school or local issues, or literature. Then, we will generate activities to help students compose their research projects, such as evaluating and synthesizing sources, or analyzing materials. For instance, elementary school students may learn to craft rich research pictures by mixing sources; middle and high school students may learn to recognize confirmation biases and pro-forma arguments. We’ll also experiment with recent technologies—suitable for all ages—that that can aid students’ research work and presentation.
Our venture into research will yield new activities and mini research projects (infographics, essays, call-to-action letters, and more) to share as models with your students. Let’s gather ideas to help students investigate their own research interests, navigating sources to create new knowledge.