ERIC Number: ED236083
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
What Should We Be Teaching in the Social Studies? Fastback 199.
Gross, Richard E.; Dynneson, Thomas L.
Fragmentation, directionlessness, and a lack of uniformity have created a crisis in social studies education. To understand how social studies reached this point, and analyze where it needs to go, it is useful to consider the evolution of the discipline in relation to significant social and intellectual periods in American history. Social studies curricula began to emphasize citizenship training as a response to the population shifts and immigration of the post-Civil War era. The growth of professional social studies organizations and increased standardization of the curriculum were a reflection of the social reforms of the 1800's through the 1930's. During these years, educational leaders proposed a variety of approaches to social studies teaching, including the civic-centered approach, the social problems approach, and the individualized approach. A "New Social Studies" emerged in the late 1950's as a by-product of the Cold War. Characterized by an "anything goes" attitude, it spawned creative innovations but also divided method, content, and ideology in the field. This lack of definition has reached a critical point with the current back to basics movement. The development of a nationalized framework of instruction is essential to correct the present situation. The necessary nationwide revisions in social studies curriculum scope and sequence require cooperation from all levels of the profession. (LP)
Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Curriculum Problems, Educational Change, Educational History, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Improvement, Sequential Approach, Social Studies, Teacher Education
Phi Delta Kappa, Eighth and Union, Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402 ($0.75, $0.60 to members, quantity discounts available).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.