NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ794349
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
A Bad Argument for a Reasonable Position
Bain, Robert B.
Phi Delta Kappan, v89 n9 p654-659 May 2008
The author was disappointed after reading Kevin St. Jarre's article entitled "Reinventing Social Studies". Rather than reinventing social studies, this article reflects the field's major problems. It recycles stereotypical views of history teachers, confuses chronology with history, and offers a one-dimensional, single-cause explanation for how social studies got into its present sorry state. Ironically, in calling for more social science in schools, St. Jarre does not employ any of the conceptual or methodological tools of the social science disciplines. Rather, he offers an argument based on personal anecdotes and undocumented and, on occasion, incorrect assertions of fact. In this commentary, the author focuses on three areas that troubled him most: (1) the absence of evidence to support the claims; (2) the narrow, stereotypical view of history; and (3) the mono-causal explanation offered for the current state of social studies education. He also tries to build on their areas of agreement to offer a clearer picture of how discipline-based teaching might help genuinely reinvent social studies. (Contains 1 table and 13 endnotes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A