ERIC Number: ED303399
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Elementary Social Studies: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water?
Davis, James E.; Davis Hawke, Sharryl
The advocates for change in the elementary social studies curriculum have offered curriculum revisions without providing a convincing argument for content change. The advocates attack the "expanding environments" sequence, established in 1916 and still used today, and want to include an equal balance of history, economics, geography, and law-related and public issues in the curriculum, but the proposed alternatives including the 1983 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Scope and Sequence have been largely ignored. One reason change has not occurred in the elementary classroom is because teachers have priorities in teaching reading and mathematics. Another reason is that textbook publishers see little reason to change a format that has worked for over 70 years and that they can "customize" to meet any special demands. Some suggestions that can improve content delivery in the elementary social studies curriculum are: (1) the clarification of goals for knowledge, skills, and attitude outcomes; (2) the re-examination of depth versus coverage; (3) the implementation of student motivation and child development research into instruction; and (4) the use of the whole language approach. Finally, textbook publishers and teachers should be included in any reform process in order to assure their support. (DJC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Social Science Education Consortium, Inc. (Binghamton, NY, July 21-23, 1988).