This text frames and develops a coherent, practical, and engaging approach to teaching and learning elementary social studies. The authors combine the latest research on learning patterns, curriculum structure and presentation, and assessment with practical issues like classroom management, goal establishment, and creative lesson planning. Elementary Social Studies is organized according to four commonplaces of education—learners and learning, subject matter, teachers and teaching, and classroom environment—to help teachers create a powerful learning environment for their students. The Second Edition includes additional emphasis on issues of multiculturalism and diversity and teaching in the lower primary grades.
S. G. Grant is an associate professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Learning and Instruction at the State University of New York, Buffalo. His research interests lie at the intersection of state curriculum and assessment policies and teachers' classroom practices, with a particular emphasis in social studies.
Bruce VanSledright is a teacher educator and researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park. His interests include how teachers teach and children learn history and social studies, and how prospective teachers can be helped to become the ambitious history and social studies teachers of the future.
Note: Each chapter concludes with a Chapter Summary and Teaching Resources. I. The Commonplaces of Education: A Framework for Powerful Social Studies Teaching 1. Creating a Framework for the Social Studies Classroom Introducing the Commonplaces Looking at the Commonplaces in Interaction 2. Learners and Learning: Understanding What Students Know and How They Come to Know It Knowing and Learning About Social Studies A Constructivist View of Learning Social Studies 3. Subject Matter: A Threads Approach But There's Just Too Much Here! The Threads Approach 4. Teachers and Teaching: Working with Big Ideas Teachers and Teaching Putting It All Together with Big Ideas The Big Idea as Key to Pedagogical Action 5. Teachers and Teaching: Choosing Strategies, Curriculum Materials, and Assessment Techniques Pulling Together a Pedagogical Plan Teaching Strategies Curriculum Materials Assessment Influences on Teachers' Content and Instructional Decisions 6. The Classroom Environment: Creating a Genuine Community The Complex Nature of Social Studies Classrooms Traditional Classroom Environments The Promise of Genuine Classroom Communities II. Putting the Commonplaces into Action 7. Purposes, Goals, and Objectives for Teaching and Learning Goal Frameworks and Good Citizens Educational Goal Frameworks and the Supporting Arguments Sources for Guidance About Goals Building a Goal Framework Some Parting Thoughts About Goals 8. Unit Planning and the Commonplaces: Pulling It All Together Applying the Commonplaces Creating the Unit Plan Parting Thoughts 9. Becoming a Reflective Social Studies Teacher Defining Reflective Practice Reflectiveness in Teaching: An Illustration Reflection and the Social Context of Teaching Review of Key Themes: Some Parting Thoughts Appendix: Content Resources from Children's Literature