What does research say about elementary social studies
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What Does Research Say About Elementary Social Studies:. 1051 telephone interviews - 15 minutes Randomly selected 2, 5, 8th grade teachers

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What Does Research Say About Elementary Social Studies:

  • 1051 telephone interviews - 15 minutes

  • Randomly selected 2, 5, 8th grade teachers

    Leming, James. S, Lucien Ellington, and Mark Schug. (2006) “The State of Social Studies: A National Random Survey of Elementary and Middle School Social Studies Teachers.” Social Education. 70(6): 322-327


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Key Findings

  • Social Studies Gets Little Time in Elementary Schools

  • Social Studies Teachers Report that Schools Social Studies Low Importance Compared to Other Subjects

  • Teachers Rate Acceptance of Cultural Diversity as a More Important Rationale for Teaching Social Studies than Learning about American Heros



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Key Findings Cont’d

  • Rate “Student-centered” as Preferred Style but most recently employed “Teacher-centered” in their last social studies teaching

  • Social Studies Teacher Preparation less than Top Quality in History and Social Science Courses

  • Top Professional Development Needs:

    • Subject Matter Knowledge

    • Better Content Teaching Methods


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Key Findings Cont’d

  • Don’t Perceive Standards, Testing, and NCLB as Harmful

  • Personal Beliefs as Liberals or Conservatives Influence Their Teaching


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Basic Assumptions About Ideal Elementary Social Studies Curriculum


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More Basic Assumptions about Ideal Elementary Social Studies

  • Needs to be driven by major long-goals not coverage lists

  • Organize content around important ideas taught for understanding and application to life outside of school

  • Activities are means to accomplish major curriculum goals not self-justifying ends in themselves


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More Basic Assumptions about Ideal Elementary Social Studies

  • Integrate knowledge and skills in ways consistent with the above

  • Embed activities in the curriculum that serve different functions

  • Assess activities with an eye toward their costs as well as benefits


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Final Assumptions about Ideal Elementary Social Studies

  • The Key is the cognitive engagement potential

  • Teacher -student discourse before, during, and after experiences makes the difference in social studies



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Centering Social Studies

  • History

  • Geography

  • Civics and Moral Development


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Organizing the Curriculum for the Early Grades

  • Cultural Universals

    • Housing

    • Employment

    • Clothing

    • Family

    • Food

  • Maps and the Neighborhood

  • Historical Literature


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Upper Grades

  • Fourth Grade – U.S. and Regional Geography

  • Fifth Grade – American History (the revolution, civil war, and civil rights)

  • Sixth Grade – World Geography with an emphasis on the Environment.


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Strategies

  • Concepts for Creating Connections

  • Discussion

    • Magic Circle

    • Makah and Public Issues

    • Social Moral Decisions

    • Scored Discussions

  • Technology – Data Bases, Spreadsheets, and Webpages

  • Content Area Reading: primary source vs. texts


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Favorite Resources

  • Tom Snyder Productions

  • Social Studies Resources

  • Engaging instruction


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Review and Development

  • In groups of three to five

  • Summarize the key points

  • Expand and add ideas

  • Raise questions for clarification


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