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Historical Inquiry with Fifth Graders: An Action Research Study

Theresa M. McCormick (Auburn University)

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 1 July 2008

Issue publication date: 1 July 2008



This article describes an action research investigation in which I examined the effects that a six-week, historical, inquiry-based unit on the American Revolution had on 119 fifth-graders’ interest in studying history. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from pre- and post-survey responses and observational field notes. Results suggest that the historical, inquiry-based unit positively influenced students’ motivation and interest to study history both in and outside the classroom. Based on the findings of this study, instructional strategies that piqued students’ own questions and interests appeared to be the key to facilitating their motivation to learn history.


McCormick, T.M. (2008), "Historical Inquiry with Fifth Graders: An Action Research Study", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 119-129.



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