In the United States, elected leaders and the general public have become more politically polarized during the past several decades, and political scientists argue that strengthening our democracy requires civic participants to productively negotiate their differences. To explore how educators could help to foster such civic participation, we conducted a mixed-methods study to examine how students’ experiences in highly interactive government courses could affect their willingness to engage in political issues in an open-minded way.
This paper examines how teachers’ understandings of race and racism inform their use of curricular materials.
This study analyzes historical portrayals of enslavement in 21 recently published books for elementary students. Informed by critical race theory, our findings suggest elementary teachers will be presented with a more complicated set of options when selecting among historical children’s literature than previously documented by researchers.
This article explores the nature of the historical writing process by looking at the hallmark writing skills historians develop as they learn the craft.
This document-based historical study focuses on history/social studies teacher education in the decades immediately preceding and following the National Education Association’s landmark report, The Social Studies in Secondary Education, which commonly is credited with establishing social studies as a school subject. The article interrogates how teacher preparation programs contributed and/or responded (or not) to this curriculum reform and to what effect.
This article addresses the potential impact of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2009) Supreme Court ruling and the influence of the documentary form on democratic education. The author calls for critical media education to be a core tenet of democratic education in order to prepare citizens for the 21st century.
This study examines the debate between supporters of history education and supporters of social studies education that originated with the New York Times 1943 survey of college freshmen’s history knowledge. Educators, politicians, and journalists, many of whom were well-known and highly influential, joined the debate. In an exploration of the arguments and claims advanced by both sides of the debate, the study focuses on the continuing controversy over fact-based learning versus historical thinking skills and on the divisive effects of using a single test to draw conclusions about the state of education. The study concludes by calling for a negotiation by all sides in what are known today as “the history wars.”
This article examines the role that African American educators played in initiating, supporting, and sustaining the civil rights movement in the South.
This article argues that the emphasis on teaching history as a separate subject is of recent origin and is misguided for both cognitive and philosophical reasons. Rather than emphasizing the uniqueness of history, advocates of improved history education would be better served by recognizing the natural and long-standing place of history within the broader field of social studies.
Using a qualitative methodology, this study examines the relationship between a professional development effort centered on teaching history through a cultural encounters approach, and the history teaching practice of 21 teachers. Findings demonstrate that the participants’ conceptual frameworks toward history, grounded in their own professional knowledge and teaching expertise, were important factors in how they reconceptualized their views of curriculum.
This article addresses the growing diversity in religious and ethnic backgrounds among students at primary and secondary schools in Western Europe. Presented are the outcomes of international comparative anthropological (qualitative) research on multiculturalism, citizenship, and nation building in schools in Paris, Berlin, London, and Rotterdam.
This article examines social studies curriculum and instruction in two teachers' classrooms at an elementary school where instructional time for social studies was reduced in response to state testing in language arts and mathematics. Findings suggest that the institution of an accountability system meant to improve teaching and learning is instead undermining teachers' efforts to enact a thoughtful social studies curriculum in their classrooms.
This is a study of assessment of groupwork. Students are informed of evaluation criteria. As hypothesized, groups that knew the criteria used to evaluate their group product, had higher quality discussions and better group products than groups without these criteria.
This paper offers an analysis of Mead’s contributions and contradictions in two sections, one on her ethnography, the other on her legacy applied to the problems of education in the contemporary United States, particularly her rarely noticed contributions to a theory of learning.
The author presents case studies of two high school social studies teachers and influence of state-level testing on their teaching practices.
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.
This chapter focuses on social studies as taught in elementary
schools in the United States. It addresses the purposes and goals of
social studies, its evolution as a school subject, its present status, and
possible future trends.
The authors investigated middle graders’ understanding of significance in U.S. history through open-ended interviews with forty-eight students in grades five through eight. Students pointed to steadily expanding rights and opportunities as a central theme in U.S. history, but they also had difficulty incorporating some historical patterns and events into their image of progress. This study suggests that students need experience with the complexities of the past within a context that provides some framework for making critical sense out of both legitimating stories and alternative, vernacular histories.
Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) and the new social history each challenged the reigning orthodoxy in their field. The author details his own personal account of how each had much to do with the development of his own sense of what history is and how to practice his craft.
The author presents a conception of democratic citizenship and considers the implications for the renewal of citizenship education.
Responds to the New York State Commissioner of Education's paper calling for multicultural, historically accurate public school curricula. The paper emphasizes the importance of students being able to recognize the relationship between the historian's perspective and his/her shaping of the historical narrative in textbooks.
This article discusses the need to revise New York State's social studies curriculum to reflect the nation's diversity in a fair way, presenting a less biased, more realistic view of history. The curriculum should cultivate multiple perspectives, teach about common traditions, include examples of many peoples, and tell the whole story.
The author describes her experience observing a semester-long curricular unit entitled "Facing History and Ourselves" (FHAO). FHAO seeks to provide a model for teaching history in a way that helps adolescents reflect critically on social issues today.
Our purpose in this article is to explore several issues that are raised when one reflects on how budding anthropologists, historians, and political scientists, fresh from their undergraduate and teacher training, think about history. We also discuss some of the differences in teaching styles we observed while watching our four novices in their respective classrooms. Finally, we suggest some of the implications of our research for teacher education and research on teaching.
Understanding our history means knowing what the hopeful influences on the curriculum were (in terms of democratic ends) as well as the harmful influences. Students can use this knowledge to distinguish what needs strengthening from what needs to be reckoned with in the present situation. Kliebard’s book has clear methodological implications for future work in curriculum history.
The primary issues for those areas of study called the humanities
are also the central concerns of both education and contemporary
culture in the last part of the twentieth century. Put simply, what are
our efforts to educate (educere) "leading" from and toward? What
image of humanitas, of the human condition and its possibilities, are we
espousing by arranging the relations of adults and children under the
rubric of education? What kind of world do we adults understand
ourselves to inhabit; and what world do we imagine we are fashioning
by introducing its forms and meanings to our children, even as we
introduce new beings into the world as it presently is?
The humanities ought to offer young people in school a means of
fitting various pieces of knowledge into a larger view of things--to
draw upon a Latin phrase: sub specie aeternitatis. The humanities have
to do with perspective—the long haul of time; and they have to do also
with values, with a sense of what ought be as well as what is. The
humanities begin with language—the distinctive attribute of human
beings. We are the ones who become self-conscious, through words;
who begin to ask questions as well as respond to reflexes; who gaze
and wonder, then put into talk what crosses our minds. With language
comes distance, a capacity to draw back and render an account of what
is and has been taking place: history.
In many schools, in fact, the
very word "history" is hardly encountered; insofar as the subject is
taught it tends to be subsumed under "social studies."
In recent years this situation has given rise to a considerable
amount of concern among educators and parents who believe that the
decline in the rigorous study of traditional history has contributed to a
slippage in the quality of education of American youngsters.
The point of the foregoing narrative is not to depress the reader but
to avoid engendering the illusion that because a yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education is devoted to the
humanities in American schools, the humanities occupy a place having
curricular significance in the schools or that light is soon to be found at
the end of the tunnel.