ERIC Number: ED195472
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Individualized Instruction in the Social Studies Through Learning Centers and Contracts. How To Do It Series, Series 2, No. 11.
Davis, Anita Price
The paper presents a rationale for individualizing instruction in social studies in elementary and secondary schools and offers suggestions to aid classroom teachers as they develop two individualized instruction techniques. These recommended approaches are learning centers (areas of classrooms set aside for special learning, review, and reinforcement activities) and learning contracts (agreements signed by teachers and students setting forth the type, amount, quality, and due date of a specific assignment). The rationale for implementing individualized instructional techniques is based on the premise that students are always unique--even in classes of supposedly homogeneously grouped students. These differences appear in a variety of ways, including ranges in achievement level, learning style, interests, and physical size and stamina. Educators have experimented with numerous teaching methods, materials, and grouping procedures to meet individual differences. Examples include one-to-one instruction, homogeneous grouping, individualized reading approach, programmed materials, nongraded classes, and team teaching. Disadvantages of these approaches included that they required too much teacher time, were not available for all grade levels, and depended on pre-service instruction which was often not available. Learning centers and contracts do not suffer from these limitations and can be particularly successful in individualizing instruction because they are applicable to many situations. Steps in planning learning centers and contracts include assessing students, selecting topics of instruction, stating the rationale, formulating objectives, developing activities and collecting materials, and preparing the contracts and centers. Instructions for implementing these steps are presented, as are evaluation methods and a sample learning contract. (DB)
Descriptors: Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Individualized Instruction, Learning Activities, Learning Centers (Classroom), Performance Contracts, Social Studies, Student Characteristics, Student Projects, Teaching Methods
National Council for the Social Studies, 3615 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20016 ($1.00 per copy, quantity discounts available).
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council for the Social Studies, Washington, DC.