ERIC Number: ED236060
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
What Is Social Studies?
Thomas, Paul F.
Horizon, v21 n2 p18-20 1982-83
Because social studies lacks the cognitive elegance of mathematics, the facilities and resources accorded to science, and the cadres of experts attending the language arts, it does not receive the recognition it deserves. The wide variety of academic disciplines included in the realm of social studies makes it very difficult for today's proponents to agree on a definition. However, one can begin by deducing the purpose of social studies from Paulo Freire's dictum "education is the practice of freedom." Based on this premise, the purpose of teaching is to develop autonomous beings capable of finding their own direction and meaning in life. Since freedom entails choices and decision making, teachers must provide real and simulated opportunities for decision making and policy formation. Education should develop persons capable of autonomously knowing, feeling, striving, and acting upon what they know and value. Because social studies impinges upon all of these four spheres, its mission is central to the ultimate purpose of education. (LH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: British Columbia Teacher's Federation, Vancouver.
Identifiers: Freedom; PF Project