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Teaching Social Studies That Matters: Curriculum for Active Learning


reviewed by William I. Mitchell — 2005

coverTitle: Teaching Social Studies That Matters: Curriculum for Active Learning
Author(s): Stephen J. Thornton
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807745227, Pages: 127, Year: 2005
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Thornton believes that standards-based educational reform has failed. He writes that neither teachers nor secondary students are satisfied with the social studies instruction that is currently taking place in classrooms. Evidence seems to indicate that young people perceive little relevance in much of the mandated disciplinary content. The curriculum serves as an inflexible plan to be followed by teachers instead of a manipulative tool for quality instruction. Thornton believes that politicians and education reformers see curriculum development rather than classroom instruction as a high-status activity. Thus educational reformers have focused on curriculum as the key to education improvement. The standards movement has treated disciplinary content as more important than the potential utility of the content to students. Thornton believes that reformers need to reexamine the purposes of social studies instruction. The purpose of the social studies program, the relevance of social studies content to students, and the characteristics of the... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 7, 2005, p. 1454-1457
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11759, Date Accessed: 12/14/2017 2:57:44 AM

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About the Author
  • William Mitchell
    SUNY Buffalo State College
    E-mail Author
    WILLIAM I. MITCHELL is an Associate Professor of History and Social Studies Education at SUNY’s Buffalo State College. He has 15 years experience in the secondary classroom. His work focuses on the curriculum history of the social studies and he is working on a book about the role of history in citizenship education.
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