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ERIC Number: EJ1002614
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
Looking for Social Studies...and Finding a Democratic Community in the Classroom
Van Meeteren, Beth Dykstra
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v25 n3 p27-31 Jan-Feb 2013
In this article, the author describes how giving first grade students voice and power motivates them to participate in the civic and community life as active, informed citizens of their classroom community. Through discussion and decision making, these students were not only reading about or listening to stories on how government provides for the needs and wants of citizens--they could actually experience the importance of their participation in determining needs and wants within the governance of their classroom. By explaining their ideas and the reasoning behind them, students began to analyze their own and others' opinions on issues that were important to them and to participate in the civic and community life as active, informed citizens of their classroom community. The author concludes that instead of ignoring social studies and allowing literacy and mathematics to drive the curriculum, embracing social studies content within classroom life facilitates honest communication and collaboration. Children develop their own reasons for wanting to investigate how the world works. They learn to read and write and reason within a process that empowers them. Most important, the experience of actively participating in a classroom community that embodies human dignity, liberty, and justice develops children's agency in becoming active and productive citizens of the country. (Contains 9 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800: Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa