ERIC Number: ED204198
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Preparing for the New Onslaught on Social Studies.
Nelson, Murry; Singleton, H. Wells
This paper examines the controversy over the status and objectives of the social studies and suggests ways in which educators can resolve the controversy. In addition, it offers critical comments on several recent overviews of the field of social studies, including the "SPAN Report," by Irving Morrissett, Sharryl Hawke, and Douglas Superka, and "Defining the Social Studies," by Robert Barr, James Barth, and Sam Shermis. The major groups holding conflicting views which have to such a large degree fragmented the field of social studies are identified as advocates of back-to-basics, the psuedo-social science specialists, and the single-minded humanists. Arguments advanced by the first group recommend that schooling consist mainly of the basic subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic; the second group favors a heavy concentration of courses in history, geography, and civics/government; and people believing in the humanistic approach advocate basing the social studies curriculum on the humanities without proper regard for the social sciences. The conclusion is that the field of social studies will be improved if educators concentrate on a professional study of the foundations of social studies. The implication is that social studies would benefit if educators and, in particular, people who write about improving the field of social studies, would take the history of social studies into account and, specifically, if they would realize that social studies is a distinct field built on a tradition that borrows fully from social sciences and humanities. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (60th, New Orleans, LA, November 26-29, 1980).