ERIC Number: ED350208
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
The Social Studies Curriculum: The Case for Its Abolition.
Roldao, Maria do Ceu; Egan, Kieran
The current social studies curriculum was invented in the United States in the early part of the 20th century. Its primary purpose was to socialize the children of the diverse social groups immigrating to the country to the norms and values of U.S. social life. Based on three main arguments, the time has come to abolish social studies as it is currently known. The structure of social studies was built on a model of students' psychological development that no one any longer accepts. The structure, particularly for the first 6 years of the program, virtually has gone unchanged since 1916, even though the ideas on which it was developed have been discredited. It is impoverishing to continue to conceive of children as "concrete" thinkers able to make best sense of the immediate contents of their social environment. The structure of social studies carries a powerful and undesirable ideological message that often is in contrast to its overt concerns with multiculturalism and valuing other cultures. The accretion of a range of socializing aims has ensured that the objectives for the social studies are all out of proportion to the means available within it to achieve them. The results of surveys of students' knowledge of the content of social studies testifies eloquently and depressingly to this. A 13-item list of references is included. (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (April 20-24, 1992).