Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2009 Issue »

    High School Research and Critical Literacy

    Social Studies With and Despite Wikipedia

    Houman Harouni
    Drawing on experiences in his social studies classroom, Houman Harouni evaluates both the challenges and possibilities of helping high school students develop critical research skills. The author describes how he used Wikipedia to design classroom activities that address issues of authorship, neutrality, and reliability in information gathering. The online encyclopedia is often lamented by teachers, scholars, and librarians, but its widespread use necessitates a new approach to teaching research. In describing the experience, Harouni concludes that teaching research skills in the contemporary context requires ongoing observations of the research strategies and practices students already employ as well as the active engagement of student interest and background knowledge.

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    Houman Harouni is a teacher with experience in both secondary and elementary school levels, in the United States and abroad. He has taught history, social studies, and mathematics, among other subjects. Harouni combines his practice with a research interest in the roles that teachers and students adopt in the classroom, and how factors such as economic class, resistance, and ideology can impact curriculum. He spends his summers in Iran, where he works as a teacher trainer, researcher, and advocate to create equitable educational opportunities for the disenfranchised Afghan refugee population.


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    Fall 2009 Issue

    Abstracts

    Suspending Damage
    A Letter to Communities
    Eve Tuck
    “They’re in My Culture, They Speak the Same Way”
    African American Language in Multiethnic High Schools
    Django Paris
    The Effects of Stereotype Threat on Standardized Mathematics Test Performance and Cognitive Processing
    Keena Arbuthnot
    High School Research and Critical Literacy
    Social Studies With and Despite Wikipedia
    Houman Harouni
    Discourse, Narrative, and National Identity
    The Case of France
    Kyle A. Greenwalt

    Book Notes

    My Most Excellent Year
    Steven Kluger

    Outliers
    Malcolm Gladwell

    Muslim American Youth
    Selcuk R. Sirin and Michelle Fine

    Chameleon
    Charles R. Smith Jr.

    Teach Freedom
    Charles Payne and Carol Sills Strickland