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Brainstorm your inquiry question
Let’s say you want to examine the following question: "How can teachers integrate place-based activities in high school classes?"
First, identify the main concepts: "place-based" + "activities" + "high school."
Next, brainstorm some synonyms or related terms for each concept:
- Place-based: experiential education, pedagogy of place, environmental education, community-based education, education for sustainability
- Activities: curriculum, lessons, practice, examples, projects
- High school: secondary school, middle school, K-12, youth, teens, adolescents, specific subjects (Social Studies, Science, English)
Note: Not all your search terms need to be synonymous with your original question. Think of both broader, narrower, and related concepts.
Develop your search strategy
Use Boolean operators to adjust and control your search:
- AND narrows your search, making it more specific: place-based AND activities
- OR broadens your search, making it more general: place-based OR environmental OR community-based
- You can also use “quotation marks” around certain terms to search them as a phrase: “place-based”
These commands can be combined into more complex searches, using parenthesis to control the order of operations: ("place-based" OR environmental OR "community-based") AND activities AND "high school"
For more, see the Power Searching and Boolean searching guide
Finding practice related sources
To find resources that are practice related (ie, about the application of ideas, theories, pedagogies), search for related methodologies or publications by practitioners.
Example methodologies: case studies, autoethnographies, applied research, or action research
Learn more about methodologies using Sage Research Methods Online.
Research not published through traditional academic means is often called "grey literature" and can be more current and more applied than scholarly sources. For more on finding and using grey literature, see Grey Literature: What it is & how to find it.
Recommended databases and journals
A comprehensive Education database, covering all levels of education from early childhood to higher education as well as multilingual education, health education and testing. Includes journals, books, conference papers, book reviews and educational tests.
A comprehensive Education database, covering education research and practice. Includes journal articles, conference papers, curriculum guides, lesson plans, theses and dissertations and more.
Find more Education databases: Go to our Databases list and Browse by subject.