USF Research News

USF education professors receive Teaching with Primary Sources Grant

July 31, 2014
Dr. Ilene R. Berson

Tampa, Fla. – Dr. Ilene R. Berson, professor of early childhood education in the Department of Teaching and Learning, and Dr. Michael J. Berson, professor of social science education in the Department of Teaching and Learning, received a grant from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Eastern Regional Program. Their grant is entitled "Traversing Rough Waters: Introducing Challenging Topics with Primary Sources in Early Childhood and Primary Grades."

The mission of the TPS program is to build awareness of the Library's educational initiatives; provide content that promotes the effective educational use of the Library's resources; and offer access to and promote sustained use of the Library's educational resources. The TPS Regional program supports educational and cultural institutions throughout the United States in implementing primary source-based professional development programs for K-16 teachers and librarians by connecting them to free Library of Congress educational materials and learning opportunities.

Dr. Michael J. Berson

The project team will explore the use of primary sources to introduce challenging topics into early childhood and primary grade instruction. Primary sources from the Library of Congress will be used to seize opportunities to use visual images with young learners to foster critical literacy skills. Additionally the team will develop the skills of preservice teachers in identifying primary sources that may be used to explore cultural and historical concepts with developmentally appropriate strategies.

Ilene Berson can be reached at or (813) 974-7698.

Michael Berson can be reached at or (813) 974-7917.