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Legitimacy in the Social Studies Curriculum


by Stephen J. Thornton 2001

This analysis deals with four conceptions of the social studies. Although they overlap in significant respects, each type is characterized by a distinctive curricular form and implies somewhat different methods and materials of instruction. Moreover, each type features different educational goals, as we shall see. Figure 1 can also represent the legitimacy assigned to the four conceptions. Generally, content has beaten out process; however, the consequences of alignment with an academic subject are less straightforward.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 100, No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 103 Number 7, 2001, p. 185-204
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18679, Date Accessed: 7/24/2017 10:35:55 AM

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About the Author
  • Stephen Thornton
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    STEPHEN J. THORNTON is Associate Professor of Social Studies and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
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