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No plan to increase achievement and enact reform in the social studies classroom will succeed without recognizing the central importance of the teacher as the gatekeeperof instruction. In this book, Thornton details why teachers must develop strong skills in curriculum planning and teaching methods in order for effective instruction to occur. Thornton helps teachers to develop a vision of their practice that will build strong social studies programs and inspire students to learn. This book features replicable examples of the kinds of reflective practice that will enable teachers to animate classroom instruction and create a dynamic social studies curriculum and an analysis of how teachers adapt and shape state and district level curricula and classroom materials to fit the specific needs of their students, and a model of how to develop an instructional program with suggestions for lesson planning.
A critical question in social studies education is not whether teachers develop and teach units of study, but what is in the units of study teachers develop and teach. Curricular planning and instruction must focus on what we teach in the social studies classroom. It is not uncommon for students to experience fine units about the westward movement and exit the fifth grade with little or no geographic literacy. Most students leave middle school grades unable to name even one person who made a difference in the history of Indian people in the United States. After three to five years of history classes, high school students routinely self-report that history is boring. And it is the rare middle school graduate who knows how to use a free enterprise economy for his or her benefit. This book explains the content of nine areas in social studies. If teachers know what history, biographical studies, and the United States Constitution mean for instruction, they can increase the probability of better-focused content in their social studies instruction.
This practical book shows how veteran, justice-oriented social studies teachers are responding to the Common Core State Standards, focusing on how they build curriculum, support students' literacy skills, and prepare students to think and act critically within and beyond the classroom. In order to provide direct classroom-to-classroom insights, the authors draw on letters written by veteran teachers addressed to new teachers entering the field. The first section of the book introduces the three approaches teachers can take for teaching for social justice within the constraints of the Common Core State Standards (embracing, reframing, or resisting the standards). The second section analyzes specific approaches to teaching the Common Core, using teacher narratives to illustrate key processes. The final section demonstrates how teachers develop, support, and sustain their identities as justice-oriented educators in standards-driven classrooms. Each chapter includes exemplary lesson plans drawn from diverse grades and classrooms, and offers concrete recommendations to guide practice. This book: offers advice from experienced educators who have learned to successfully navigate the constraints of high-stakes testing and standards-based mandates; shares and analyzes curricular and pedagogical approaches to teaching the Common Core; and examines a range of philosophical and political stances that teachers might take as they navigate the unique demands of teaching for social justice in their own context.
This updated third edition contains new chapters on important issues—including race, gender, sexuality, and multiculturalism—affecting social studies education.
Social Studies Today: Research and Practice inspires educators to think freshly and knowingly about social studies education in the early years of the twenty first century. Written by the field’s leading scholars, this collection provokes readers to consider the relationship of research and practice as they think through some of the most interesting challenges that animate social studies education today. Contributors to this volume include luminaries like James Banks, Carole Hahn, Keith Barton, Geneva Gay, Steve Thornton, Linda Levstik, Sam Wineburg, Fred Newmann and more. Each chapter tackles a specific issue and includes discussion of topics such as teaching history, learning tolerance, assessment, globalization, children’s literature, culturally relevant pedagogy, and teaching about genocide. Walter Parker not only pulled these chapters together but also contributes two of his own---both of which are sure to be cited as key works of this era. Accessible, compelling, and full of rich examples and illustrations, this collection showcases some of the most original thinking in the field and offers pre- and in-service teachers alike new ways to improve social studies instruction.
The provocative title of this book plays on a too-familiar response from teachers and students alike. But now many teachers have begun to seek an approach to social studies that takes account of the ways children learn and that builds on their own knowledge and strengths. The authors in this book have found ways to do this. Wendy Hood writes in the Introduction that they have “. . . not only rediscovered social studies education in general, they have also found themselves exploring the many disciplines of the social sciences that combine to make social studies . . . The issues of the disciplines are visible, the content of the disciplines is visible, and the questions central to each discipline are central in these classrooms. While the studies described began in one discipline, they branched out or melted into one or more of the others.” In this contributed collection, twenty-three teachers explain their successful strategies for teaching the social studies disciplines in a whole- language context. If This Is Social Studies covers contemporary subjects (the Gulf War), traditional topics (students as historians), well-known projects (Scottish Storyline), social studies in the community, and multicultural matters. Teachers at elementary through middle and high school levels will find this book's holistic approach to social studies a refreshing departure and a source of new, practical ideas. Indeed, the diversity of ideas and styles is as broad as the book's subject!
This valuable reference overviews the past, present, and future of social studies in elementary and secondary schools. The work begins with informative introductory chapters that overview trends and themes common to all disciplines of history and the social sciences. The chapters that follow summarize and assess the development of teaching and research in particular social science disciplines. Each chapter begins with a section of reflections on the history of a discipline, followed by a section on current issues and trends, followed by a final section of projections for the future of the discipline. A final set of chapters discusses broad topics common to all social studies disciplines, such as the place of religion in the social studies curriculum, the role of writing in the social studies classroom, and the professional training of social studies teachers.
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