Archives For September 2014

Social-Studies-WordleWhat should our kids know? How should they learn it? When should they learn it? These are questions that are asked repeatedly at many school board meetings. So much so, that now we have Common Core Standards. Oh, but not every state has adopted those, and some that did are dropping them. Here in Old Dominion, we have the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs). And then, there is the National Council of the Social Studies (NCSS) with their 10 themes. Yet, with all of this guidance, the issue of how to, or even whether to, teach social studies is constantly up for discussion.

The argument of teaching social studies holistically – as an integrated approach – rather than through the individual disciplines (geography, economics, civics, history, etc.) is a regular debate in many schools. And while it is true that the teaching of social studies touches on many areas of import, such as standards, basic general educational concepts, civics and citizenship, diversity, and global interdependence (just to name a few), it is also clear that all of the individual disciplines are so interconnected it becomes difficult to tell where one subject ends and another begins. Therefore, it is imperative that we teach our children about the world through a holistic approach to social studies rather than simply visiting each discipline individually. Continue Reading…