ERIC Number: ED231405
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar-29
Reference Count: 0
The Social Sciences: Towards a New Approach to Teaching Them.
Bryant, Henry A.
With enrollments in the social sciences declining markedly and their educational values being deemphasized, a new approach must be taken to social sciences instruction. Social science courses are antiquated, need revision, fail to offer enough job relevance to draw most students, are taught too conservatively, and no longer enjoy a protected status. In order to improve social science instruction, the following techniques should be adopted: (1) sociology and history concepts should be integrated into natural science courses, such as environmental science and mathematics, to increase their relevance; (2) history departments should train students for careers other than teaching; (3) the educational importance of the humanities should be stressed over the present"education-for-profit" philosophy; and (4) mini-courses should be implemented. Responses to a social science survey conducted at Laney College (California) in 1981 support these conclusions. Survey responses from students taking two or more social science courses revealed that they were taking the courses because they were interested, socially concerned and aware, and enjoyed the teachers. Students enrolled mainly in math and science courses who did not take social science courses (20% of the respondents) indicated that they did not find the subject interesting. Those who did take these courses did so out of interest and to meet graduation requirements. Curriculum restructuring would encourage students to view social sciences as a necessity, rather than an interest. (DAB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Laney College CA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Community College Social Science Association (11th, Las Vegas, NV, March 28-31, 1982).