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ERIC Number: EJ1149815
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
Diffusing the Social Studies Wars: The Harvard Social Studies Project, 1957-1972
Francis, Anthony Tuf
American Educational History Journal, v41 n2 p373-392 2014
Americans seem to agree that social studies education is important for citizens in a democracy, but they have disagreed vociferously about what constitutes the social studies, who should teach it, what methods are most effective, and if different students need different curriculum or instruction. This history of conflict is called the "social studies wars," or a "story of turf wars among competing camps, each with its own leaders, philosophy, beliefs, and pedagogical practices." Though politics and battles over the social studies standards have been the source of much of this conflict, there has been much less time devoted to analyzing the actual reforms scholars and schools designed and enacted in social studies curriculum. This article attempts to move beyond the curricular skirmishes--that is, to go beyond these "social studies wars"--by analyzing the design, goals, structure, materials, and enactment of an important, well-funded and high profile social studies curriculum reform, the Harvard Social Studies Project (HSSP). This study attempts to reconstruct the history of the HSSP from its instructional "inside" rather than its political "outside." That is, it will analyze the HSSP's structure, design, and its grounding in theory and evidence. Such analysis is important because even if there were political consensus around the goals of social studies instruction, a poorly designed or narrowly conceived curriculum might fail to alter instructional practice or improve what students learn.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A