Social Studies: The Heart of the Curriculum Dynamic Social Studies Chapter 1
What factors contribute to a dynamic social studies classroom? • An example: Mrs. Holzwarth’s fourth grade state insect project
What do YOU remember about social studies? • Positives • Negatives • The challenge of seriousness/fun
What is social studies? • It is the systematic study of the social sciences in a coordinated, integrated fashion to promote civic competence. • Social Studies helps students acquire the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to make informed decisions as active citizens in a culturally diverse, democratic nation, and interdependent world.
Social Studies is…. • “Social Studies is ultimately a set of courses that enables students to understand human experiences.” From Visualizing Social Studies by Jon Lee. So what are these courses??
What are the social sciences? • Geography • History • Political Science • Anthropology • Sociology • Economics
Geography • Landforms • Climate/weather • Resources • Humans and their interactions with the environment • Maps
History • Study of the past • Change over time • Chronology and timelines
Political Science • Sometimes referred to as Civics or Government • Decision-making • Power • Structure of government
Anthropology • Ideas about race, ethnicity, gender • Culture, language • Beliefs, education, the arts, customs, traditions
Sociology • Societal institutions such as the family, government, business, schools
Economics • Scarcity/surplus • Labor/management • Taxation • Goods and services • Needs and wants • Property • Means of exchange (currency)
What is Social Studies? • According to the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. (p 15)
What are the fundamental attributes of the definition of social studies (as defined by the National Council for the Social Studies)? • primary purpose is citizenship education • integrated content from social sciences • higher order thinking skills • multicultural understandings • decision making and personal responsibility
Why is social studies important? • To prepare students for national and global citizenship “Participatory Citizenship” • Three major goals of social studies instruction: • Knowledge • Skills • Values and Beliefs
What are the components of dynamic social studies instruction? • Functional content (meaningful knowledge core) and its organization • Curriculum scope: what will be taught • Curriculum sequence: when it will be taught (order in which content will be taught) • Organizing the content scope and sequence: Expanding Environment Approach • NCSS Standards and the Standards emphasis • No Child Left Behind and it impact
What are the components of dynamic social studies instruction? • Constructivist Teaching Practices (based on theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, Dewey, and Bruner) • Child-centered approach that focuses on knowledge construction • Environment offers authentic, experience-based activities—real world relevance • Teacher as collaborator/facilitator
What are the components of dynamic social studies instruction? 3. Intrinsic Motivation (Intrinsic - Extrinsic?) • Motivation Theory • Interest • Pleasure • Competence • Self-determination • William Glasser The Quality School Belonging, Fun, Power, and Meaning • Alfie Kohn Punished by Rewards
What are the components of dynamic social studies instruction? • Cross Curricular Integration: Integrating all subjects with social studies as core concept • The “time” dilemma • Dynamic social studies brings together, or integrates, the various areas of the school curriculum into a unified program where learning experiences cut across all subjects
What are the components of dynamic social studies instruction? • Respect for diversity: important to consider needs, backgrounds, talents, interests, of ALL students • Principles • Students must have equal opportunity to reach their potentials • Students must be prepared for participation in a multicultural society and an interdependent world • The social studies program should be inclusive of the backgrounds, needs, and experiences of all students
How do teachers receive information and stay informed of current trends in social studies? • Organizations and publications • National Council for the Social Studies: Social Studies and the Young Learner • The Social Studies • North Carolina Council for the Social Studies: Tar Heel News • Conferences • National Social Studies Conference (Nov.) • North Carolina Social Studies Conference (Feb.)
Questions for Reflection and Discussion • How does the information presented in the chapter on Dynamic Social Studies help you to begin thinking about teaching social studies? • At this point, are there any statements with which you strongly agree or strongly disagree? • What are the three most important points you would want to remember?