ERIC Number: ED206526
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Justifying Social History in the Schools.
Stearns, Peter N.
This paper presents a rationale for including social history in American and European history courses at the high school level. Social history topics which can be of special interest to high school students include the history of schools, the history of leisure, the history of health practices, the needs and experiences of various vital groups in society, and the drama of conflicting views between the working classes and middle classes. A major benefit of social history is that it can be taught with an interdisciplinary focus. For example, social science methods and concerns can help students understand a variety of socio-historical issues such as changes in basic human relationships at different periods throughout history (psychology), the role of old people today and during earlier times (gerontology), and medical practices before and after the institution of medicare (the sociology of medicine). Further, a study of social history can give students and teachers useful insights as they compare what society is like today with how it got that way. Specifically, a study of social history can help students analyze present and past trends regarding issues such as crime and can help people place current crime statistics in perspective; can force students to examine fundamental assumptions about the present in relationship to the past; and can promote intelligent discussion of values. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association (Washington, DC, December 1980).