Integrating Primary Sources, Artifacts, and Museum Visits into the Primary Years Programme Inquiry Curriculum in an International Baccalaureate Elementary Setting

Sarah A. Coppersmith, Kim H. Song


Questions remain about inquiry instruction, while research confirms that using primary sources can aid students’ inquiry learning processes. This study questioned: “How do second grade teachers at an International Baccalaureate Organization/IBO language immersion setting incorporate inquiry methods in instructional practices?”; “How does training in the use of primary sources, artifacts, and museum visits shape second grade teachers’ instructional practice?” A Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources grant supported this university-school social studies partnership which accessed artifacts, primary sources, and a national archives and museum. Data sources in this mixed methods study were from the SAMPI Inquiry Observation Instrument, interviews, and observations in French and Spanish language settings. Analysis revealed teachers appropriating inquiry learning via museum/archives visits and using primary sources in a study of the content areas of history and geography of the French and Spanish Colonial fur trade era, leading to subsequent integration of primary sources and learning kits in the school network’s inquiry curriculum design process.


Primary Sources, Social Studies, History, Inquiry learning; IBO/International Baccalaureate Organization, Primary Years Programme/PYP

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