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The power of agentic women and SOURCES

Scott M. Waring (School of Teacher Education, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA)
Carol LaVallee (Department of Social Studies, Pine View School, Osprey, Florida, USA)
Tammara Purdin (Lamarque Elementary School, North Port, Florida, USA)

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 10 September 2018




The purpose of this paper is to outline the SOURCES framework for teaching with primary sources and document why it is imperative that students utilize a variety of sources, as they become aware of the power of history and become more proficient at discussing, expressing, and persuasively defending opinions about various issues and topics from history. The focus of the inquiry investigations outlined is on the agentic power of women throughout the American history.


To initiate and cultivate historical thinking practices and working with primary sources with students at various levels of expertise, it is important to properly scaffold the learning process and allow opportunities for students to successfully build historical thinking skills. The lessons shared will demonstrate how teachers can enable students to interact with children’s literature, other resources, and to examine primary and secondary sources to think critically and historically.


Through the use of the SOURCES Framework, students are given the opportunity to learn about historical agents in an authentic manner and can find ways to serve as their own agents of change.

Social implications

Students need to understand that civic participation is a necessity of our American democracy and that women from the past and today have been and are continuing to encourage the legacy of civic participation. These women deserve to be heard and should be learned about in our social studies classroom today. Framing an inquiry about the agentic powers of women, using the SOURCES Framework, will encourage authentic inquiry, corroboration with different sources before making assertions, and the construction of evidence-based narratives. Ultimately, this will also inspire students to be their own advocates in their world around them and become active members in our greater society.


This is an original piece that documents how students can think historically, utilize sources, and think about their own agentic abilities. The SOURCES Framework has been utilized in a variety of ways and has been tested in grades K-16.



Waring, S.M., LaVallee, C. and Purdin, T. (2018), "The power of agentic women and SOURCES", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 270-278.



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