FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN EDUCATION
A Guide to Library Resources for Educational Policy Studies 201 and 202
Welcome! This site has been created to assist you in exploring library resources related to your EPS 201 or 202 class. Our library is one of the largest in the United States and it can be a bit overwhelming at first. We will try to make things a little easier for you, but don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Journal articles are one of the primary means of communicating research ideas. They are an important component of academic research and give you some insight into ongoing debates and scholarly conversations about your topic.
Finding articles is a two-step process:
- First, find the citation to the articles you want. You can use bibliographies or suggested readings lists, or you can search for the topic you are interested in by using one of the article databases listed below. If you get stuck, ask your professor or a librarian for help getting started.
- Next, find the actual text of the articles you want. Some of our journals are online but most of them are still available only in print format. If the journal article you are looking for is not available electronically, you will need to use the Online Library Catalog to look up the location of the journal for which you have a citation.
Which electronic resources will be useful for this class?
- Digest of Education Statistics – Available both electronically as well as in print (370.973 Un3d1) in our reference collection, the Digest of Education Statistics is the official U.S. authority for statistics on almost every aspect of education.
- Education Full Text – Education Full Text indexes and abstracts articles from English-language journals and yearbooks published in the U.S. and elsewhere. English-language books relating to education published in 1995 or later are also indexed. Abstracting coverage begins with January 1994. Abstracts describe the content and scope of the source documents. Full-text coverage begins in January 1996.
- Education Index Retrospective – This database complements Education Full Text by providing citations to articles from 1929-1983 covering some 500 periodicals. It is accessed through the same interface as Education Full Text–just check the “Education Index Retro” box in the Database Selection Area. (You can search Education Full Text simultaneously by checking its box as well.)
- ERIC – ERIC is a national education database sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Presently the largest education database in the world, ERIC contains over 1,000,000 citations covering research documents, journal articles, technical reports, program descriptions and evaluations, and curricular materials in the field of education. In addition to ERIC subject descriptors and extensive abstracts, limited full-text to selected items is available. Covers 1966-present.
- John Dewey: Collected Works (via Past Masters II) – This database is based on the 37-volume printed edition, The Collected Works of John Dewey 1882-1953, published by Southern Illinois University Press, 1967-1990 (edited by Jo Ann Boydston).
- Sociological Abstracts – This database of sociological articles can be a valuable resource for information on the social foundations of education.
Library catalogs are used for two purposes. First, if you know exactly what you are looking for – an exact title or author – you can use the catalog to locate your material. This works for book titles and journal titles. Second, you can use library catalogs to discover material that might be helpful to you by doing subject and keyword searching.
- Online Library Catalog – Look here to find books, DVDs, magazines or journals containing articles that you need, and many other resources. In addition to the 10 million volumes we have on this campus, you can connect to 86 other libraries in Illinois and request that books be sent to you.When you find something you want in the catalog, write down the following:
Location– in which library the item is kept (or libraries, if we have multiple copies)
Call Number – this number is essential for finding the item on the shelf
Status – is it available for you to check out?
- WorldCat and Interlibrary Loan – The places to verify citations for books and request books and articles you cannot find elsewhere. Ordering books and journals via interlibrary loan is free and generally fairly quick.
FINDING PRIMARY SOURCES
Primary Sources Research Guide – This guide from will assist you in finding primary sources in print and online. From the guide: “Primary resources are actual artifacts that have survived from past historical events, including letters, photographs, physical objects such as cooking utensils from the days of westward expansion, or articles of clothing. They provide firsthand evidence of historical events, and can represent a wide variety of formats that are generally not formally published (maps, audio/video recordings, posters, postcards, government documents, diaries, court records, census bureau data that is tabulated but not interpreted, etc.). Published materials can also be viewed as primary resource materials if they come from the period that is being discussed, and were written by somebody with firsthand experience of the event.”
To find newspaper articles, look at the Historical Newspapers database. Choose Major U.S. Titles and select “all the ProQuest Historical Newspapers” under the top of that category. You can limit by date to cover the time period of interest. Add a city name to one of the search boxes when you are looking for information to limit results to that city.
- African American Education Data Book (Q.378.1982996 N386A/Education Reference) – This source contains a wealth of statistical information about African American students in the American educational system. Statistics include, but are not limited to, performance on a variety of standardized tests, employment status relative to education, and level of educational attainment.
Annual Status Report, Minorities in Higher Education (378.008693 Am35a1, Education Reserves)Issued annually, this report from the American Council on Education provides statistical and narrative information about the current status of faculty, students, and administrators from underrepresented groups in higher education.
- Biographical Dictionary of American Educators (923.773 B52/Education Reference) – Compiled and written by several hundred American educators, this source contains biographical information for approximately 1,665 individuals who have established themselves as leading figures in the field of education.
- A Digest of Supreme Court Decisions Affecting Education (379.14 D5692009/Education Reference) – This ready reference source focuses on U.S. Supreme Court cases directly affecting students and staff in public and private schools from kindergarten through grade 12. The topics included in the seven chapters of the work deal with school district governance and finance, church state relationship in education, student rights and responsibilities, employee rights and responsibilities, discrimination, disability, national origin, race and sex issues, civil rights cases, special rules, and procedural parameters. A glossary, an appendix, a table of cases and an index are included.
- The Encyclopedia of Education (Q.370.3 En1932003/Education Reference) – This eight-volume encyclopedia provides detailed explanations for many of the terms and concepts related to the study of education. In addition to the general information provided by this source, its 8th volume provides detailed entries for court cases, legislation, and international agreements that have influenced the history of education.
- Greenwood Dictionary of Education (370.3 G8562011/Education Reference) – Recently updated, and containing over 3,000 terms, this source is the first comprehensive dictionary of Education created in over a quarter of a century. It is an incredibly valuable source for information on the foundations and fundamental concepts related to the field.
- Philosophy of Education: The Key Concepts (370.1 W721k2008/Education Reference) – A guide to the key terms and concepts pertaining to the history and philosophy of education. An introduction provides a survey that discusses the relevance of the subject. Over 150 concepts are described and analyzed in this book, which also contains an extensive bibliography.
Guidelines for citing electronic and print resources are available from the Undergraduate Library’s Citation Styles guide and the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library’s Style and Writing Guides.
Need help collecting and organizing your citations and producing a list of works cited? Citation management tools can help! The guide “ Citation Management Software Overview” helps users choose a citation management tool and provides links to other guides on specific options like Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote.
Ask-A-Librarian for Help with Your Research
Use our Ask-A-Librarian Service to IM, chat, email, phone or find a reference librarian.
Office: Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library, 100 Main Library
Contact a librarian to request an appointment for an in-depth Research Consultation.
Finding Your Way Around
There are over 25 departmental libraries on our campus, and sometimes it may be difficult to determine where to find the resources you need. For your class, the library that you will be using most is the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library(SSHEL). We are located in SSHEL North (Room 100) and SSHEL South (Room 101) of the Main Library building. Do no hesitate to come in and ask one of our energetic and helpful information desk assistants.
More Help Using the Library
- Resources in Education – A guide to education-related sources in the Education and Social Science Library.