Monday, August 27, 2018

Casefile Investigations Fall 2018 Intro

This semester I am turning Bloom's Taxonomy upside down by assigning research casefiles to students for them to investigate. 


The goal of research is to connect data points into a narrative that moves our understanding of something.
 Example #1 of my research --- Operation Pedro Pan files*


 Remember, I found this in the archives and knew something was odd? So I investigated!!
 In 1993 I sorted the data using quantitative analysis.

 Years later when I reread my notes I saw that I missed quite a bit of story by looking at numbers.  I'm thankful I took good notes, and I hope this shows you why you should too. Document all you can while you're still investigation - names, dates and where you found the item so that other people can retrace your work.




My main research has been the Pandora's Safe project, but this summer I decided to investigate deaths of convicts in Alabama Prisons. I found a data base with 167 deaths from 1847-1867 and jotted down what I expected to find.





See? I'm not sure what I'm finding but this is interesting; 2 years for murder but 20 years for assault with intent to rape? Notice I put sticky notes to remind me of this because after a few hours of Netflix I won't remember!

 See what I'm finding??
 And the last file... notice it says "white woman" which make me wonder if there was a different level of punishment for raping a "non-white" woman? Does this all tie with the 14th Amendment? I need to keep researching and find out.


This semester students have the option of starting research with a file on a criminal, a death certificate freed slave or a page of the Census documenting Native Americans.

Most students picked "criminal" and I would hate for you guys to all research the same things, so I'm adding more options below.