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ERIC Number: ED318661
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan-19
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Proposal To Revise the Elementary Social Studies Curriculum.
Clarke, Gerry; And Others
The elementary social studies curriculum should be restructured in a way that promotes a broader study of people, places, and events that are distant in space and time. The "Expanding Horizons" framework guides social studies curriculum in New Brunswick, as well as in many other Canadian provinces and the United States. It emphasizes moving from the known to the unknown, and begins with the child's own knowledge, experience, and interests. Because of the impact of technological and social changes during this century, this approach needs to be redefined. The present curriculum does not expand children's experiences, but instead leads to stagnation. Current curricula too often focus on the familiar and fail to promote a global perspective and prepare students for later grades. Present curriculum disregards and stifles children's interest and imagination, rather than utilizing them in teaching. Although cognitive development theory sees formal historical understanding as impossible for most elementary school age children, there has been success in teaching history at this age in France, West Germany, Italy, and Great Britain. At the elementary levels, narrative, literary style instruction can be beneficial in social studies, since it more closely resembles history as children understand it. The use of literature and story telling can work toward the common goals of social studies education that are often limited by traditional textbook use. (AS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A