ERIC Number: ED218217
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Social Systems: Paradigm for a New Social Studies with a Global Perspective.
Seaberg, Dorothy I.
This paper presents a systems model for an elementary social studies program that will provide a base of understanding, human values, and skills to help children now, and later on as adult citizens, to take a humanistic global view as they make decisions. It is proposed that the social studies curriculum deal with interrelated systems--the social, economic, political, ecological, and belief systems that feed into the global system which is a networking of interrelating sub-systems. These systems should be the organizing foci for the selection of content. The paper identifies and discusses seven concepts that should be spiraled throughout the curriculum and examined in each social context: interdependence, synergy, unity, conflict, communication, accommodations, and change. The requisite skills and values of a planetary citizen are then discussed. Many of these, such as critical thinking and inquiry processes and the decision-making and participatory skills that lead to social action are already being taught. However, a set of values that overrides competition in favor of societal cooperation will be needed. And since conflict is an inevitable part of life, conflict resolution skills must also be taught. The implications of the social systems model for scope and sequence in the curriculum are then examined. The following pattern of study is suggested: grade 1, social systems in the child's immediate social world; grade 2, systems within the expanded social world of the child; grade 3, the eco-system; grade 4, the comparative societal systems; and grade 5, planetary citizens interacting in an interdependent global system. (RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (61st, Detroit, MI, November 21-24, 1981).