The purpose of this chapter is to present a description and a critique
of one city school system's approach to evaluating the social
studies in its elementary schools. The experience of the public schools
in Denver will be presented as a case study.
We shall judge
the supervisor, not by how much he knows himself but by the way
the teachers under his supervision teach; in other words, by the
way the teachers behave. This forces us to examine not only what
supervisors know and what teachers know but also the behavior
patterns that will produce similar behavior patterns on the part
The purpose of this chapter is to describe briefly a number of aspects
of instruction in the social studies in which research has been actively
carried on during the past generation and to suggest some of the ways
in which that research has affected educational practice.
Elementary-school texts in the nineteenth century underwent a natural development in accord with the spirit of the time and with the beginnings of the emphasis of methods of study and teaching following the inauguration of normal schools.
If college education is preparation for life, we may consider the place of geography in this preparation as the study of (a) the seat of industry and trade-economics; (b) the study of the seat of civilizationhistory, political science, and sociology; (c) the background of literature.
The rise of geography in America as a branch of higher learning has been remarkably rapid even in this age of swift change.
Our greatest advances in rural and urban studies have been in the development of effective techniques for work in definite types of studies. Geography deals with places, many with highly complex environmental settings, and equally or even more complex cultural conditions.
We might ask ourselves the question, "Do business men use geography?" If so, teachers should make more effort to have pupils realize that a knowledge of geography not only may lead to a fuller enjoyment of life, but, if properly used, may also be of great advantage in making a living.
Because of the fundamental and pervasive character of the geographic element in human affairs, fostering success when recognized and utilized, and failure when misunderstood and ignored, geography occupies a position of prime importance in education and in the conduct of human affairs.
The chief purpose of this section is to show what progress has been made and what techniques have been employed in prosecuting investigations basic in the derivation of these standards.
What place do interpretive ideas presented in geographic literature have in a curriculum designed for general education? The correct answer can be discovered only by determining objectively the relative value of the outcomes derived from various educational programs formulated in accordance with various hypotheses concerning the relations of geographic training to general training.
This chapter investigates grade placement in terms of comprehension in geography, studies of social import, statistical studies basic in selecting material for specific regional units, studies concerning types of presentation, sample experiments in the use of tools, experiments concerned with time requirements, a sample study of current opinion, and studies concerning the testing of achievement.
In an attempt to see as a whole the nature and scope of the science of teaching geography, an effort has been made to conduct as many as practicable of the numerous kinds of investigations involved rather than to concentrate intensively on a few aspects of the work.
The 'natural environment' of people in the many parts of the world may be analyzed into a moderate number of broad concepts that apply to the lives of all peoples in all parts of the world. In the same way 'human activity' may be set forth in a few broad categories readily used and appreciated by teachers and pupil. An analysis of these elements of geography is set forth in this chapter.
The relationship of geography to other subjects cannot be explained by the overlapping of fields of human knowledge, since geography is the interpretation of facts rather than a collection of facts.
The study of peoples is not the sole prerogative of geography, but a knowledge of peoples, while not the end in itself, is an important attainment to be secured by studying the subject.
Geographic training in elementary and secondary schools is valuable to the degree that it contributes something distinctive to the objectives of general education. Therefore the emphasis on geographic training as a portion of general education should be in direct proportion to the value of its distinctive contribution to such education.
Systematic geographic study, according to present practices, as summarized in the preceding chapter, begins usually in the fourth grade. Since many inquiries have been made concerning related work in the primary grades, a brief discussion of that is necessary.
The purpose of this section is to formulate specific attainments in geography for the elementary school.
In a determination of objectives, content, and teaching procedures at any given level of geographic instruction, the child's geographic background and needs are vital factors.
Regardless of what turn events may take, the junior college, representing the so-called 'underclassmen stage,' must find its place through the opportunities it provides for broad cultural studies.
This chapter is an attempt to indicate what changes in the philosophy of education mean for the subject of geography.
While the teacher conforms her daily assignments to the available time of the pupils, she attempts to integrate the lesson units in such a manner that the attention of the class is directed toward the completion of the geographic unit. The teacher, in relation to the geographic unit, can use (1) a preparatory test, or pretest, (2) instructional tests, and (3) a recapitulatory, or summary, test.
Striking conditions out of which supervisory problems in geographic education arise are: (1) the irregular and scant training of teachers themselves in modern geographic education; (2) the transition period through which the concept or definition of geography has been passing, with inevitable confusion in thinking; (3) limited equipment as to materials of true geographic quality in elementary and secondary schools and collegiate institutions; (4) difficulty encountered by teachers and supervisors in their efforts to acquire appropriate preparation in this new geographic education.
The field of teacher training covers elementary and high schools, training of teachers in service, training for supervision, and training for positions in teachers colleges.
Pupils require accurate imagery to aid in the formation of the ideas needed for geographic thinking, and require numerous ideas of regions beyond their experience. The picture is a valuable source of ideas concerning a region. It is the best substitute for the actual landscape where human activity is shown in its natural setting, and it is an original source for obtaining geographic ideas. If properly used it is an economy in effort and time.
This is an attempt to set up tentative standards for maps and their use in the study of geography.
This bibliography contains books suitable for the library of the classroom teacher and for the library of the elementary grades and junior high school.
Such a bibliography as the following can at best be but an inadequate survey of the material available to the teacher of geography or to the student of geography in a teachers college. The field is so vast and the amount of published work is so great hat only the barest indication of what there is can be given.
This survey was undertaken with a view to discovering the amount and nature of scientific work that has been done int he field of geography teaching.