By David Rapaport

As a middle school teacher, I devote a great deal of time to assuring that students master a challenging set of district and state standards relating to historical facts, events, and people. Wedded to these standards are expectations that students will learn to become skilled information gatherers and processors. Students are naturally expected to analyze data, which evokes a major question pedagogically: What methods lead to greater levels of student excitement when exploring research methods in a middle school Social Studies setting?

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