When I was a young man my Sunday School teacher taught me an interesting concept in self directed learning. Her message was that I could read the Scriptures linearly, page by page like you read a book or I could use read a few verses, then look up key concepts in a concordence or topical guide, find all the related references and read them. So how does that relate to the education of the genealogy educator?
I’m glad you asked. We are a bit short of Holy Scriptures in the field of genealogy, but there are no shortage of books out there. Supposing I was interested in preparing a lecture or lesson on using the census. My first step would be to read a selection of the chapters in how-to books on census research. Then I would look for books specifically on the census and census taking. This would be followed by a search for journal articles in scholarly genealogy journals that describe how the census was used to solve problems. I tend to also search for articles in academic journals that discuss using the 19th century census for historical or demographic studies. In “Self -Directed Learning #4” I discussed how to read this material using PSQ5R. In the end I’d assemble all the notes and brainstorm ideas for the lecture. Out of one such exercise I developed four different lectures related to the 19th century census in England.
Would this work for you? It’s time to stretch yourself.
What are your thoughts?