Improving Student Ability in Interpreting Visual Sources through Action Research, pp. 8 of 14

This six-step criteria was used as a scaffold to help students decode different parts of the picture.

Triangle Method

The Triangle Method was another scaffold developed to help students prioritize their observations in terms of their level of importance to make a defensible historical interpretation. The students would then use several of the important aspects of the pictorial source to make a historical interpretation or message with due consideration of the historical context. This scaffold was intended to help students place the picture “back together” in a coherent manner and to derive an interpretation based on historical evidence.

Model Think Aloud

In order to reinforce student learning, a model-think-aloud approach was adopted to allow teachers to demonstrate explicitly how persuasive techniques may be used. This was done by going through an actual pictorial source with students. Using a step-by-step approach, the teachers demonstrated a way of evaluating the source using persuasive techniques, using the scaffolds of the 2 sub-skills (‘breaking’ the picture and the ‘triangle’ method).

Analysis of data and findings

Table 1 below provides a summary of the student pre-test and post-test scores on their ability to deal with pictorial sources:

Related Teaching Materials

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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