Members of the PIH Community seek to harness the power of interactive technologies to support problem-based historical inquiry (PBHI).
The PIH approach adheres to several basic principles:
- The study of history is organized around fundamental, recurring societal questions.
- Teachers engage their students in encounters with rich, multimedia historical artifacts so that they acquire deep historical understandings about the complexity of historical interpretation.
- Multimedia technology provides more realistic encounters with history and tools for supporting student thinking about context and issues.
- Historical inquiry results in students making informed judgments about the unit question that they can defend with evidence.
PIH members have access to tools and resources specifically designed to help social studies teachers design and implement PBHI activities in their classrooms. These include:
Access to Decision Point! (DP), an Internet-based learning environment for both learners and teachers. DP features:
Access to the PIH Community resources, including:
- A content database of over 1400 historical artifacts associated with the African-American civil rights movement.
- Embedded navigation and analysis tools to guide student investigations and encourage historical thinking.
- Authoring tools that allow students to construct presentations of their understandings.
- An on-line teacher’s workspace that includes a teacher’s guide to PBHI with video of high school classes using PIH strategies.
- Authoring tools that allow teachers to use the DP architecture to construct their own multimedia activities.
- A PIH Teaching Archive with model lessons and units.
- On-line discussions moderated by experienced PBHI teachers