Teaching with Primary Sources
Micro-credential Library

The Teaching with Primary Sources Micro-credentials were developed by Citizen U® in conjunction with the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Partner Program and in collaboration with TPS Consortium members. The TPS micro-credentials are free for NEA members and $75 for non-members.

While you have 6 months to complete an individual TPS Micro-credential, we recommend completing it within 3 months. Additionally, educators with no foundational training in teaching inquiry with primary sources from the Library of Congress may find it helpful to begin with the Inquiry with Primary Sources micro-credential.  

We encourage all educator participants to join our Personal Learning Community. Click to join the TPS Teachers Network, then join the TPS Micro-credentials group. Educators will receive the corresponding NEA-TPS badge upon successful completion of each TPS micro-credential as well as a certificate from Citizen U certifying completion of 15 Continuing Education Units. Feel free to contact us with any questions. 

Teaching with Primary Sources

What You'll Learn

You will learn how to integrate inquiry learning with primary sources into instruction across grades and disciplines using a variety of frameworks and strategies.

Who Should Apply

  • K12 Educators
  • Education Pre-service Educators
  • Instructional Coaches
  • Content Specialists
  • Education Support Professionals
  • Aspiring Educators


Approximate hours each
Primary sources lead students naturally into inquiry, helping them to confront the complexity of the past, engage with it in a personal way, and reflect on how it relates to the present and future. In analyzing primary sources, students move from concrete observations and facts to questioning and making inferences. Because primary sources may be incomplete or lack context, each one represents a mystery that students explore further by asking questions and investigating new pieces of evidence from multiple perspectives. Along the way they work to find patterns, construct knowledge, communicate newfound understandings, reflect on the learning journey, and ready themselves to apply their learning to new contexts.
1. Inquiry with Primary Sources
Educator uses inquiry to engage learners in analysis of primary sources to promote student empathy, foster understanding of multiple perspectives, deepen content knowledge, and enhance critical thinking skills.
Key Method: Educator curates relevant and appropriate primary source sets to develop and analyze an inquiry-based primary source learning activity.

[View PDF]
2. Multidisciplinary Civics with Primary Sources
Educator uses inquiry learning with primary sources to enhance students’ civics knowledge, skills, and dispositions across one or more disciplines.
Key Method: Educator develops and analyzes a multidisciplinary civics lesson using inquiry and primary sources.

[View PDF]
3. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy with Primary Sources
Educator uses primary sources and inquiry strategies to craft culturally relevant instruction.
Key Method: Educator develops and analyzes a lesson that incorporates the three tenets of culturally relevant pedagogy with primary sources.

[View PDF]
4. Universal Design for Learning with Primary Sources
Educator uses Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with primary sources to provide multiple means of engagement, representation of information, and opportunities for action and expression to increase universal accessibility of course content and skills.
Key Method: Educator customizes and augments a primary source learning activity by employing UDL principles to increase universal accessibility.

[View PDF]