The UCLA Institute on Primary Resources
Holling C. Holling carving of Native American with canoe; UCLA Young Research Library Department of Special Collections
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Department of Special Collections | UES | History of the Institute | Goals of the Institute

Teachers and institute staff at the 2000 Summer Institute on Primary Resources; photo by Todd Cheney

Core Beliefs

The goals of the institute are grounded in the belief that teaching should be student-centered, where the emphasis is placed on students´ questions and inquiries; students are viewed as thinkers with emerging theories about the world; and learners actively create, interpret and reorganize knowledge in individual ways. Teachers in their capacity as guides to learning should be able to articulate specific learning outcomes.

Content

The Institute on Primary Resources teaches participating teachers to promote the development of critical thinking skills, information literacy skills and historical literacy skills by their students.

Critical thinking is the ability to define and clarify problems; to judge information related to a problem and to solve problems and draw conclusions. It includes reasoning skills, observation skills and ability to detect bias and understand points of view.

Information literacy is the ability to access, evaluate and use information from a variety of sources. It includes research, writing and communication skills.

Historical literacy includes competence in five types of historical thinking including: chronological thinking, comprehension, analysis and interpretation, research issues and analysis and decision-making.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students should:

  • Show ability to analyze primary resources in a critical manner
  • Demonstrate intellectual reasoning, reflection and research skills
  • Demonstrate historical empathy
  • Understand the meaning of time and chronology
  • Analyze cause and effect
  • Understand the reasons for continuity and change
  • Recognize history as a common memory
  • Recognize the uniqueness of special collection materials.


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