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ERIC Number: ED204232
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May-28
Pages: 45
Abstractor: N/A
Reading Literature as Social Inquiry.
Parsons, James B.; Dillon, David
The purpose of this paper is to refocus and expand the notion of the integration of reading, particularly literature, and social studies. The premise is that reading as a tool of inquiry can be used in the social studies classroom to develop students' abilities to inquire about social issues in the social studies. Inquiry is interpreted to include the gathering of information about a problem, analysis and clarifying of personal values as they relate to a problem, reflecting upon various solutions to the problem, and selecting/applying the most promising solution. The argument is made that literature and social studies should be used together more frequently because they exhibit many similarities with regard to nature and objectives--i.e., they both reflect values, help the reader/student learn about him/herself, and provide insights into the world. Specific ways in which reading can be used to promote social studies inquiry include providing students an opportunity to link their reading experiences with their lives and their worlds, fostering construction of meaning by students, and providing for feedback or use of understandings gained from reading rather than assuming that all comprehension occurs only while looking at the words on a page. A model is presented which relates social studies issues (for example, freedom vs. control, tradition vs. change, ethical vs. rational) to literary topics and carries students through an inquiry process. The conclusion is that reading literature related to a social studies issue can facilitate the inquiry process which culminates in the students' understanding of how to act in specific instances related to the issue. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A