Vermont History: An Inquiry Approach, Wells, Summer 2019

Course Number: EDU 5515 C47 (Graduate)
Instructor: David Wells
Location: In-person + online/independent format
Dates and Times: July 10- August 11, 2019. Workshop Sessions on July 10th & 11th at the Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier from 9:00-2:00 followed by online coursework through August 11, 2019.
Credits:  3 credits
Tuition:  $975

Note: Course payment or purchase order of $975, payable to Castleton University, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form. Please mail the check to: Financial & Registration Services, Castleton University, 62 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05753. To help us ensure that your payment is applied to the correct course, PLEASE WRITE “CFS” IN THE CHECK MEMO LINE. Thank you.

Course Description

This course begins at the Vermont Historical Society where students will take advantage of its treasure trove of historical documents and artifacts to develop an inquiry based Vermont History unit.  Students will blend together questions, sources and tasks that will bring a deeper and more engaging understanding of Vermont History to their classroom.  This course will culminate with each participant having an inquiry based Vermont History unit they can teach in their classroom.

Audience: K-12 Classroom Teachers, Administrators and Curriculum Coordinators

Course Goals

  • Provide a thorough overview of the C3 Inquiry Framework as applied to Vermont History.
  • Present the key features of inquiry based social studies lessons: questions, tasks, sources, and presenting arguments.
  • Discover unique primary and secondary sources from the Vermont Historical Society to support an inquiry based Vermont History unit
  • Support participants as they design an inquiry based Vermont History Unit.

 Course Objectives:

 Participants in this course will demonstrate their ability to do the following:

  • Know the key turning points in Vermont History from which to base an inquiry unit.
  • Develop an understanding of the C3 Framework and its Inquiry Arc
  • Identify and understand the role of questions, tasks, sources and the presentation of strong arguments in an inquiry based Social Studies Lesson.
  • Locate engaging primary and secondary Vermont History sources such as the Vermont Historical Society and individuals own local Historical Societies.
  • Demonstrate an overall understanding of an inquiry based Social Studies instruction by developing a unit that will be taught in the participant’s classroom.

Course Expectations


 Workshop Sessions:

  • Discovering the key turning points in Vermont History from which to launch an inquiry unit.
  • Learning the key concepts of the C3 Social Studies Inquiry Arc
  • Discovering engaging sources that will guide your inquiry unit

 Week Two:  Tasks that Work

Readings: Swan, Lee & Grant, chapter 6

Written Reflection

Forum Discussion: Tasks that Work

Week Three: Taking Informed Action

Readings:  Swan, Lee & Grant, chapter 9

Written Reflection

Forum Discussion:  Taking Informed Action

Week Four:  Designing your IDM

Readings: Swan, Lee & Grant, chapter 10

Forum: Posting IDM for Feedback

Week Five: Final Draft of Your IDM

Written Assignment: Final Draft of C3 Aligned, Inquiry-Based Mini-Unit

Final Project:

Classroom Action Plan: Designing a C3 Aligned, Inquiry-Based Vermont History unit to be taught in the classroom.


It is expected that participants will be highly engaged in each classroom forum discussion.  Forum discussions will demonstrate the participants’ understanding of new information learned in each week.  Weekly Written Reflections will demonstrate the participant’s ability to apply course concepts to their own instruction.    The completion of the final project will demonstrate the participant’s ability to identify key areas of instructional improvement in the participant’s classroom and concrete steps that he or she will take to improve student learning outcomes and behavior.

Required Texts

Jan Albers, Hands on the Land: A History of the Vermont Landscape, 2007

Swan, Lee & Grant, Inquiry Design Model: Building Inquiries in Social Studies, 2018

National Council for the Social Studies (2014) C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

 Web Resource:

For additional course information

David Wells
(802) 661-4049

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!