Primary Source Project

Project Start Date: 

The Primary Source Project (PSP) is a timely effort being conducted by ISKME, supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to collaboratively create a slim canon of openly accessible and contextualized primary sources on OER Commons for engaging K-12 teachers and students. Materials will include both currently open sources and materials that will become open through the advocacy work of the project. Leveraging ISKME’s OER Commons infrastructure, the project will develop a prototype to support K-12 curriculum needs related to finding and using a diverse set of primary source materials that support the teaching and learning of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Math, primarily, as well as supporting literacy across the core disciplines and skills contained, for example, in the Next Generation Science Standards and comparable standards for History/Social Studies. This work will also provide use case scenarios and create policies for inclusion to guide future use and growth of the primary source collection across the curriculum, while creating support for deeper learning through the modification and dissemination of OER.

Our Role: 

With the help of the Primary Source Project's Advisory Council and Working Group (composed of curriculum specialists, teachers, and librarians), ISKME will:

  1. Create an initial “canon” or slim collection of primary source materials that can be accessed online by K-12 teachers and students, likely to be selections that support learning in the areas of literary nonfiction, math, science, and social studies.
  2. Outline accessibility and rights issues associated with selected providers of primary source materials, and create policies and use case scenarios that aim to encourage open access to primary sources for educational purposes.
  3. Create a web-based prototype using the OER Commons and Open Author infrastructure to present the collection of primary source materials in context with openly available teaching and learning materials (OER), and develop of an API to support content portability.
  4. Develop (3) exemplar “units” of study that utilize sets of primary source materials in each identified area of promise. 
  5. Disseminate the collection and related learnings in order to promote the use of primary source materials across the K-12 curriculum to support deeper learning.

Please contact Cynthia Jimes, Ph.D, Director of Research to learn more.

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