ERIC Number: ED194438
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov-28
Reference Count: 0
Comments on "The NCSS Essentials of the Social Studies Statement and the Issue of Scope and Sequence". Vital Issues Session No. 12.
This paper presents comments on the recent statement "Essentials of Social Studies" which was written by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The statement gives the impression that the dominant purpose of social studies is to prepare students to be altruistic participants in public life. The major criticism of this objective is that it fails to relate these educational goals (knowledge, skills, values, and social participation identified as relevant to the social studies) to aspects of a student's present or future life other than public participation. Further, if citizenship (and the corresponding rhetoric of citizenship) were actually the sole or major goal of social studies, it could be expected that public participation goals would permeate the products by which social studies are implemented. Review of the literature (guides produced by state and local educational agencies, social studies methods textbooks, and textbooks used in the schools) indicates that this is not the case. Rather, a literature review indicated that guides and methods texts were extremely varied in emphasis on citizenship as the sole or major goal for social studies and that although social studies textbooks do sometimes state citizenship as a goal, they seldom explain the relationship of the subject matter of the text to citizenship. In addition, citizenship as a goal of social studies is seldom mentioned in classrooms. The conclusion is that proponents of citizenship education, including the authors of the NCSS statement of purpose, will better answer educational needs in the field of social studies if they tame their rhetoric, set more modest goals, and share the stage with other goals. A copy of the NCSS goal statement concludes the document. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council for the Social Studies (New Orleans, LA, November 28, 1980).