Research: Why Wait till High School? Introducing Elementary Students to Research Skills Makes Their Learning More Active and Pays off by Deepening and Improving Their Abilities over Time
Landreau, Janice, Phi Delta Kappan
A 6-year-old is sitting on his mom's lap in front of an audience of his classmates and their parents. He's about to read his report on the path of sound waves through the ear to the brain. It's his first, and he's nervous. But he's heard the older kids do this, and he knows what to do.
At first, no words come out, and he buries his head in his mom's lap. But everyone waits patiently. Gradually, a few words emerge, and he gathers courage. His mom helps, and he makes it through the whole page! As the applause reaches his ears, he beams, filled with pride.
The older children are genuinely happy for him when he makes it to the last sentence. They remember their first time reading a report. They've moved on to longer and more complex papers, but they remember.
That is an example of the excitement schools can generate when they begin teaching research skills to students in 1st grade. Unfortunately, most schools don't even consider teaching research skills until high school. Too many educators assume that these skills are appropriate only for older students, that students first need lots of practice writing sentences, then paragraphs, then five-paragraph essays. The assumption sounds quite logical, but it actually couldn't be further from the truth.
Consider the eagerness of 6-year-olds to take a trip to the library. With a little help, it takes them …
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Publication information: Article title: Research: Why Wait till High School? Introducing Elementary Students to Research Skills Makes Their Learning More Active and Pays off by Deepening and Improving Their Abilities over Time. Contributors: Landreau, Janice - Author. Journal title: Phi Delta Kappan. Volume: 92. Issue: 6 Publication date: March 2011. Page number: 55+. © 1999 Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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