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A Purpose for Social Studies or what is social studies for anyhow? Bob Kizlik Updated May 5. Achieving perspective takes time, but it also clarifies, and at the same time is satisfying, which I suppose is one perk of getting older.
Although I am officially retired from teaching education courses for teachers and administrators at a fairly large public university, I have some ideas that might have resonance with people who are currently studying to be teachers.
In my career, I taught many graduate curriculum and educational leadership courses in regular college classroom settings and on the Internet. The other semesters, including summer terms. I taught an undergraduate course entitled Methods and Principles: Social Studies for Elementary and Middle Grades.
I also taught a version of the same course, but intended for students who would someday teach high school. As part of these courses, I discussed with my mainly young students why social studies is important, and what it is for. To be quite frank, most of my students had no idea how to even begin to discuss this topic except to rely on old tried and true rhetoric such as, "it helps us be better citizens" or "by understanding the past, we can avoid making the same mistakes.
And we all know about the composition of the material of which the road to hell is paved. Believe me when I say that I have read many, many of the statements by such organizations as the National Council for the Social Studies NCSS that describe why social studies is important.
If those statements meant anything at all in the REAL world, our students, after more than four decades of NCSS guidance in social studies curriculum, would surely have a better grasp of the content and would also engage in concomitant civic behavior such as voting.
Go to the NCSS web site and see what you think. There is a vast gulf between professed goals and actual results. I have come to some conclusions about this.
I have come to believe that any idea or concept that takes more than three pages or so of explanation should be broken down into two or more concepts or smaller ideas that reflect a meaningful perceived relationship.
I think Albert Einstein put this idea best when he said that "scientific theories should be able to be described so simply that a child could understand them.
The countless textbooks that appeared in my mailbox, and that were described in an endless stream of brochures that touted yet other, new approaches for learning how to teach social studies marginalized themselves by their sheer numbers and bulk.
In many ways, they remind me of the near weekly torrent of books on dieting. Harsh words indeed from a former college teacher. Let me put it directly to you then. I believe social studies should be part of the curriculum for the purpose of helping students understand human interactions that occurred in the past, are occurring now, and that are likely to occur in the future.
The reason for these understandings is they may help students develop and nurture values that will make it more likely that they will be able to determine for any situation what the right thing is and do it, especially when doing the right thing is hard to do.
It is about decency, respect, courage and honor. This is not a difficult idea to understand, but it can take a lifetime to appreciate.Social Studies Pacing Guides.
M-DCPS teachers who need to access any of the K Social Sciences Pacing Guides, Click Here. (Login with: [email protected]). Social studies is a broad category that includes important aspects of the many different parts of the humanities and social sciences; it is important for every person to have a basic understanding of key concepts that have molded modern society.
I believe social studies should be part of the curriculum for the purpose of helping students understand human interactions that occurred in the past, and occurring now, and that are likely to occur in the future.
NHPS Social Studies Overview. Social Sudies Calendar CCSSI ELA Standards. CT Social Studies Curriculum Framework. History day standards alignment. and secondary schools. Consider the following definitions offered by several educational researchers: Academic language is “the language that is used by teachers and students for the purpose of acquiring new knowledge and skills imparting new information.
The social development of students is an important and frequently cited purpose of school around the world. The following organizations, resources, and articles describe and/or promote the social development of students as an important component of school.