Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School


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Why Study Social Studies

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The authors share ideas to aid new leaders View Product. Cases for Middle School Educators.


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  6. Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School by Fearn, Leif; Fearn, Eric.

These 19 real-life cases paint a compelling picture of middle school education, bringing to life These 19 real-life cases paint a compelling picture of middle school education, bringing to life those theories and methods education students have encountered in textbooks. Many of these cases were developed during the Middle School Project, an experimental training program This book makes a case for its empowering employ, Curriculum or Craftsmanship: Elementary School Teachers in a. Sociologist Harry L.

Content Matters: Social Studies In The Elementary And Middle School

Gracey spent two years studying an East-Coast school system, which he calls Gracey spent two years studying an East-Coast school system, which he calls Brookview, and determined that the bureaucratic social structure of schools can have a profound and irreversibly negative effect on the creativity of teachers. Thus, elementary educators have to be prepared to value and to serve a far more diverse group of young learners and families than at any time in the past. Social studies must be a vital part of elementary curricula in order to prepare children to understand and participate effectively in an increasingly diverse world.

Our global community owes children opportunities to explore the variety and complexity of human experience through a dynamic and meaningful education. When children are grounded in democratic principles, immersed in age-appropriate democratic strategies, and engaged in meaningful inquiry, they construct the foundational skills that prepare them to participate respectfully and intelligently in a nation and world marked by globalization, interdependence, human diversity, and societal change.

The purpose of elementary school social studies is to enable students to understand, participate in, and make informed decisions about their world. Social studies content allows young learners to explain relationships with other people, to institutions, and to the environment, and equips them with knowledge and understanding of the past.

It provides them with skills for productive problem solving and decision making as well as for assessing issues and making thoughtful value judgments. Above all, it integrates these skills and understandings into a framework for responsible citizen participation locally, nationally, and globally. The teaching and learning processes within social studies are uniquely organized to develop these capacities, beginning with the youngest learners in our schools. Elementary social studies should include civic engagement, as well as knowledge from the core content areas of civics, economics, geography, and history.


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  • Social Studies and the Young Learner!
  • Skills that enhance critical thinking, socio-emotional development, prosocial skills, interpersonal interactions, and information literacy are more meaningful and useful when developed within the context of social studies. The infusion of technology into elementary social studies also prepares students as active and responsible citizens in the twenty-first century. Teaching and learning in the elementary classroom should be meaningful, integrative, value-based, challenging, and active.

    In order for social studies instruction to be meaningful, teachers must understand and meet the needs of their students.

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    At every grade level, teachers should capitalize on the diversity and natural interests of their students in the world around them. In social studies, as in any knowledge domain, learners benefit from having a variety of ways to understand a given concept. Increasingly, elementary teachers have students of diverse backgrounds and differing abilities in their classes, making differentiated instruction and culturally relevant pedagogy necessary in order to meet individual needs.

    The elementary social studies curriculum should be more than a collection of enjoyable experiences. A piecemeal approach to social studies programming can result in a disconnected conglomeration of activities and teaching methods that lack focus, coherence, and comprehensiveness. Exclusive focus on food, fun, festivals, flags, and films is not an effective framework for social studies teaching and learning.

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    Meaningful teaching requires reflective planning, instruction, and assessment around specific social studies concepts, skills, and big ideas. Social studies is integrative by nature. Powerful social studies teaching crosses disciplinary boundaries to address topics in ways that promote social understanding and civic efficacy. It also integrates knowledge, skills, and dispositions with authentic action. With teacher guidance, children can actively explore both the processes and concepts of social studies while simultaneously exploring other content areas.

    Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School
    Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School
    Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School
    Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School
    Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School Content Matters: Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School

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