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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.
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 “gatekeeper” of 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. Features: An approach to preparing purposeful teachers, acknowledging that teachers make daily decisions concerning what to teach and how to teach it. Replicable examples of the kinds of reflective practice that will enable teachers to animate classroom instruction and create a dynamic social studies curriculum. An analysis of how teachers adapt and shape state and district level curricula and classroom materials to fit the specific needs of their students—a model of how to develop an instructional program with suggestions for lesson planning. In-depth examinations of alternative ways of educating teachers in subject matter and teaching methods. “In this important book, Steve Thornton brings a Deweyan perspective to current problems in social studies education. He does more, however, because his analysis can be extended profitably to every subject in the curriculum.” —From the Foreword by Nel Noddings “A thoughtful and carefully documented analysis. . . . Let us hope that this book encourages a richer dialogue than the now-tedious and generally unproductive separate disciplines v. integrated social studies debate.” —Linda S. Levstik, University of Kentucky, Lexington “A refreshingly clearheaded, historically grounded, altogether enlightening analysis. This is the book I've been waiting for.” —Walter Parker, University of Washington
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!
A team of researchers from 35 states across the country developed a survey designed to create a snapshot of social studies teaching and learning in the United States. With over 12,000 responses, it is the largest survey of social studies teachers in over three decades. We asked teachers about their curricular goals, their methods of instruction, their use of technology, and the way they address the needs of English language learners and students with disabilities. We gathered demographic data too, along with inquiries about the teachers' training, their professional development experiences, and even whether they serve as coaches. The enormous data set from this project was analyzed by multiple research teams, each with its own chapter. This volume would be a valuable resource for any professor, doctoral student, or Master’s student examining the field of social studies education. It is hard to imagine a research study, topical article, or professional development session concerning social studies that would not quote findings from this book about the current status of social studies. With chapters on such key issues as the teaching of history, how teachers address religion, social studies teachers’ use of technology, and how teachers adapt their instruction for students with disabilities or for English language learners, the book’s content will immediately be relevant and useful.
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 announcement that "It's social studies time" often elicits dread from students who mistakenly view the subject as a near-death experience. And who can blame them when this fascinating subject has been stripped of the heartbreak, adventure, conflict, treachery, strategic brilliance, and spectacular foibles - in short, the humanity - that it's supposed to explain? Student apathy and rock-bottom test scores scream that it's time for a change - for unforgettable, not regrettable, social studies. It's time for Social Studies That Sticks. In Social Studies That Sticks Laurel Schmidt introduces a brain-compatible approach to integrated, standards-based instruction, using the four elements of the human learning cycle: awareness, exploration, inquiry, and action. This dynamic approach brings content and concepts to life, while sharpening skills in questioning, thinking, reading, writing, and the visual and performing arts. It promotes academic achievement, models the habits of active citizenship, tunes students' ethical antennae to social problems, and teaches tools students can use to advocate for change. Social Studies That Sticks is a comprehensive, passionate, and user-friendly guide that: identifies essential social studies themes, standards, and skills models maximum use of primary source documents, eye-witness narratives, biographies, and historical fiction describes how artifacts, objects, art, photography, and architecture can be tools for inquiry and learning explores the community of a social studies classroom tackles matters of cultural perspective, point of view, bias, and propaganda transforms current events into historical investigations maps vital steps for social-justice projects provides guidelines for essays, presentations, oral histories, personal narratives, and original historic writing outlines dozens of authentic assessments introduces theLearning Ledger for student self-assessment pinpoints archival material, hundreds of books and websites, and historical resources for research and classroom use. Whether you use Laurel Schmidt's ideas to supplement your existing curriculum or you're ready to make your current textbook ancient history, Social Studies That Sticks will transform social studies time into lessons about history and humanity that last a lifetime.
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.

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