I decide I am a bit of a expert at all this searching now so I have a go at a complex search string straight up!
I like using ProQuest. It is clear and easy to use. I especially like the option to narrow the field by selecting or eliminating certain subject headings. The only downside is that you do need to know American terminology. However, American terms sometimes seem to work better than Australian phrases, for example: “social studies” links closely to the subject area, where as “history” can be used in a range of contexts. Similarly, “elementary” nearly always refers to school, whereas “primary” often refers to sources.
As I close my search I discover a really interesting article which seems to jump out at me. It is entitled Using the Storypath Approach to Make Local Government Understandable (McGuire & Cole, 2008). I am intrigued because I have just spent time in a classroom engaged in this topic. This one article leads to a whole new series of questions:
What is the Storypath approach?
What does it look like in practice?
Who is using it in their classrooms?
Was it being successful?
Below is a screencast of part of this new search.
McGuire, M. E., & Cole, B. (2008). Using the storypath approach to make local government understandable. The Social Studies,99(2), 85-90.