Constructivism and the New Social Studies: A Collection of Classic Inquiry Lessons (Charlotte, NC: Information Age, 2018)

Geoffrey Scheurman and Ronald Evans, Editors

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The New Social Studies refers to a flurry of academic and commercial activity during the 1960s and 1970s that resulted in the mass development and dissemination of revolutionary classroom materials and teacher resources. In science as well as social studies, a spirit of “inquiry-based teaching” filled the air during this time, resulting in the development of curricula that were both pedagogically innovative and intellectually rigorous. Constructivism and the New Social Studies contains a collection of classic lessons from some of the most successful projects of the era, providing a resource of exceptional ideas and materials that have stood the test of time.

These revealing artifacts are presented with commentaries from some of the original directors of major projects, including Edwin Fenton, Barry Beyer, and Suzanne Helburn. In addition to American and World History, groundbreaking lessons are represented in Economics, Government, Sociology, and Geography, including the Public Issues Series (Fred Newmann), The Amherst History Project (Richard Brown and Geoffrey Scheurman) and Teaching American History: The Quest for Relevancy (Allan Kownslar, Gerald Ponder, and Geneva Gay), and Man: A Course of Study (Peter Dow). With a Foreword by Jerome Bruner, the volume not only provides a resource of exceptional curriculum ideas and actual materials, it also builds a lucid bridge between the theoretical ideas of constructivism and the pedagogical principles of inquiry learning.

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The Social Studies Wars: What Should We Teach the Children? (New York: Teachers College, 2004)

The history of social studies is a story of dramatic turf wars among competing political camps. In this volume, Ronald W. Evans describes and interprets this history and the continuing battles over the purposes, content, methods, and theoretical foundations of the social studies curriculum. This fascinating volume:

* Provides balanced, in-depth coverage of the entire history of social studies education in the modern era, from the late 19th century to the present—the first book of its kind.
* Analyzes the underlying historical, societal, and cultural contexts in which the social studies curriculum has evolved over time.
* Addresses the failure of social studies to reach its potential for dynamic teaching due to a lack of consensus in the field.
* Links the ever-changing rhetoric and policy decisions to their influence on classroom practice.
* Informs all participants of both current and future negotiations, helping to clarify the meaning, direction, and purposes of social studies instruction in schools.

“Evans’ book is a fascinating tour of the competing forces that have shaped social studies curriculum in the United States. It offers one important reminder after another that what schools teach about the nature of society has always been a contested terrain. —Bill Bigelow, co-editor, Rethinking Globalization:Teaching for Justice in an Unjust World

“This history is told through the eyes of an issues-centered educator. It is MUST READING for all social studies educators.” —Anna S. Ochoa-Becker, Professor Emeritus, School of Education, Indiana University

“An engaging, timely, and important historical account. Evans’ book is perceptive and compelling, and should be essential reading for anyone interested in the history of social education.” —Wilson J. Warren, Western Michigan University

“Until now, social studies education lacked a satisfying, comprehensive curricular history… Highly recommended.” —E. Wayne Ross, University of British Columbia

The Handbook on Teaching Social Issues (Charlotte, NC: Information Age, 2007; Washington, DC: National Council for the Social Studies, 1996)

There’s no book like this one for educators interested in issues-centered teaching. More than 40 experts have contributed articles offering comprehensive coverage of the field of social issues education. In addition to a full examination of objectives and methods, contributors show how social issues can be taught as part of history, geography, the social sciences, and global and environmental studies. The challenges of assessment, curriculum, and effective teacher education are fully explored.

With its teaching ideas and useful resource section, this book is an indispensable addition to your library!

Contributors include: Shirley Engle, Anna Ochoa-Becker, Jack Nelson, Carole Hahn, Byron Massialas, Jeff Passe, Jesus Garcia, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Merry Merryfield, Patricia Avery, Sam Totten, Bill Wraga, Walter Parker, James Shaver, and many more.

Link to Issues Centered Education website: Issues Centered Education