ERIC Number: ED309105
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching for Conceptual Understanding and Higher Order Applications of Social Studies Content. Elementary Subjects Center, Series No. 3.
One of seven review/synthesis papers prepared to help frame the research program of the Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, this paper describes historical developments and current issues in curriculum, instruction, and evaluation in elementary social studies, with emphasis on teaching for understanding and higher order applications of the content. Leading scholars and organizations concerned with elementary level social education have developed statements on teaching for understanding and for higher order thinking and problem solving in the social studies. It is concluded that (1) the higher order goals of instruction in social studies are comparable to those of instruction in other subjects, at least if they are described in a few basic terms (such as conceptual understanding, critical thinking, and inquiry) rather than decomposed into long lists of partial skills, but (2) values, dispositions, and appreciation and self-actualization goals need to be considered along with more conventionally described knowledge and skills goals. The emphasis on citizen education as the transcendent purpose of social studies means that the higher order goals of social studies curricula focus more on personal and civic decision making than on the knowledge generation and problem-solving paradigms pursued in the social sciences and also that there is a strong emphasis on the values and dispositions involved in preparing students to become active participants in a democratic society. (Author/PPB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.