Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Fatih Ari


The purpose of this action research was to evaluate the implementation of the National Archives DocsTeach program as a means of increasing the historical thinking of preservice teachers enrolled in a social studies methods course. In this study, six students enrolled in a social studies methods course at a regional southeastern university participated in a four-class long unit centered on the use of the National Archives DocsTeach program. The National Archives DocsTeach program is an immersive program that provides teachers with access to a national level repository of digitized primary sources and corresponding instructional resources (Chen, 2015; Ward, 2012). Prior to the unit, students completed a document-based question preassessment and a perception survey about history. Participants completed one activity within the National Archives DocsTeach program for four classes. During the activities, anecdotal observations focusing on the participants’ collaboration and engagement in the activities were collected. At the conclusion of the unit, participants completed another documentbased question to serve as a postassessment, a perception survey about history, a perception survey about the DocsTeach program, and an exit interview. The quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed to determine that the DocsTeach program had a positive impact on the participants’ historical thinking and perceptions of history. The participants’ perception of using the National Archives DocsTeach program as an instructional resource in their future classroom was also determined to be positive.