HS Students Practice Future Workplace Skills with Sir Research-a-lot


“In an age of internet-based research, my students actually enjoyed doing their required research papers this year,” said high school English teacher Greg Kguloian, who initiated the Sir Research-a-lot Fact-Finding Enterprise during 2015-2016, which he defined as an independent research and report cooperative turned that turned into a startup company for life experience. “My intention was to recreate a mock workplace to show my kids how what they learn in school can actively prepare them for college and careers,” he said.

A follow-up to his prior Lit.2 Life cross-curricular lessons, which revolved around the theme of “related and connected” and bridged both personal and American history with literature, the Sir Research-a-lot program found freshmen English students researching either the Great Depression (via John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men) or the Civil Rights Era (via “Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”), while sophomores investigated World War II (through Eli Wiesel’s “Night” and John Knowles’ “A Separate Peace”).

“These students are getting a taste of what it’s like to do relevant and appropriate research and formally present it in the MLA format,” said Kguloian. “They will need these skills to be successful in college or potential future careers. By creating our own practice place of academic business, the pupils are able to see how they too can make their own startup company, work with others and produce a valuable intellectual product. They have taken the experience of working with some literary canons and uncovered information that is related to those classic works of literature, and they have taken ownership of these discovered facts and made something productive out of their research. Although this student-centered research company is not real, the experience of working with others to create something of value really is.”