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SSE3312 UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA ALL INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION TAKEN FROM “ELEMENTARY SOCIAL STUDIES” WRITTEN BY JUNE R. CHAPIN Introduction to Elementary Social Studies
What is the basic purpose of social studies? Civic (Citizenship) Education To prepare students to become responsible, thoughtful, participating citizens and to provide students with the basic skills that they need to function in our society.
What do you remember about your elementary social studies program? Current Events Research Reports Latitude/Longitude Learning About The Pilgrims On Thanksgiving Going On Field Trips Singing Patriotic Songs Reenacting Pioneer Life Drawing Neighborhood Maps Learning About The Immigrant Group From Which You Came Viewing Films
What Works Best? List 5 activities that you remember experiencing in elementary social studies… try to include pleasant and boring times. This exercise points out that your days as an elementary student years ago are influencing your image of the social studies. Your images act as a filter as you make judgments about what a good social studies program is and what methods should be used to achieve social studies goals.
Think About It… What one descriptive word best pulls together your image of the social studies? Do you think teachers teach much in the same way they were taught?
Elementary teachers often have negative attitudes toward the social studies as a result of their own school experiences, perhaps because of the following: Learning about social studies largely emphasized trivial facts. The dominant instructional tool was the textbook. Most social studies activities concentrated on large group recitation and lecture. Emotional or affective objectives were not included as part of the curriculum.
In addition, although students on a national survey looked forward to social studies and were not afraid to ask questions in social studies, they did not think social studies was as useful as math, English, and science.
Many students do not see the link between their social studies program and social participation in the classroom, school, community, nation, and the world.
Two other reasons may account for the less than enthusiastic attitude that many elementary teachers have toward the social studies: Lack of preparation Lack of interest
Many of you have taken only a few social science or history courses in college. You may feel under qualified or reluctant to tackle the sometimes controversial subject matter of the social studies. You might feel strongly that reading and math programs are basic in elementary education. However, a social studies program is basic. In fact, a good social studies program can go far toward improving students’ skills in other subjects, including reading, writing, and math!
Social studies can be taught creatively and thoughtfully! As a result of your efforts, students may find that social studies is their favorite subject. Through your social studies instruction, your students will acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and values to participate as active citizens in our society and the global community!
What Is Social Studies?
Not everyone is in agreement… Teachers don’t agree on what should be taught (content). Teachers have different understandings of what social studies is and how social studies should be presented to students. Since 9/11, with the war against terrorism and the conflict in Iraq, teachers are concerned about the teaching of patriotism and grapple with how they should teach controversial events.
National Council for the Social Studies The NCSS was established in 1921 and is the major advocate for the teaching of social studies. The NCSS along with state councils tries to influence legislation concerning social studies, such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In 1992 the NCSS adopted its integrated definition of the field… (see hand-out). The NCSS published its national standards in 1994…
NCSS Curriculum Themes/Standards 1.Culture (Anthropology) 2.Time, Continuity, and Change (History) 3.People, Places, and Environments (Geography) 4.Individual Development and Identity (Psychology) 5.Individuals, Groups, and Institutions (Sociology) 6.Power, Authority, and Governance (Political Science) 7.Production, Distribution, and Consumption (Economics) Major Concepts of the Social Sciences and History 1.Science, Technology, and Society 2.Global Connections 3.Civic Ideals and Practice Broad Based Themes
An integrated approach to social studies assumes that many issues such as health care and crime are multidisciplinary in nature. In other words, you need knowledge from several disciplines, not just one social science or history, to think intelligently about the subject.
Four Major Goals for Citizenship Education 1.To acquire knowledge from the social sciences, history, and humanities 2.To develop skills to think and to process information 3.To develop appropriate democratic values and beliefs 4.To have opportunities for citizenship/social participation
Although these goals may take several years of student learning, the schools can and should focus their social studies program on these four main social studies goals, realizing that goals are not achieved in one day, one week, or even one year.
Goals such as good health and good citizenship are pursued by individuals for decades and in a certain sense are never completely achieved.
As these goals indicate, social studies is about people and, thus, builds on an inherently high interest. Each of us is concerned about self, family, and friends, and social studies is designed to help us understand ourselves and our nearby neighbors as well as those who live halfway around the world.
Creative social studies instruction develops students who will appreciate basic American values such as equality, freedom, and respect for property and who are able to put these values into action through effective participation in the classroom, school, community, nation, and the world.
Meaningful: Connects to students’ own experiences; is significant Value-Based: Evaluates ethical issues and controversies Active: Involves students and teachers Integrative: Crosses disciplines Challenging: Uses thought- stimulating inquiry assignments
Different Approaches to Civic Education: 1.Citizenship TransmissionStudents are taught traditional knowledge and values as a framework for making decisions. 2.Social Science/HistoryStudents master social studies/history concepts generalizations, and methods. 3.Reflective InquiryStudents use knowledge and thinking to make decisions and to solve problems. 4.Social Action/JusticeStudents develop understanding and skills needed to critique and transform society; often a focus on injustice/inequality. 5.Child-CenteredStudents develop a positive self-concept and a strong sense of personal efficacy.
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