Meaningful Social Studies & Meaningful Learning Chapters 1 and 2
In your small group, answer: What is Social Studies? What is meaningful social studies? What is meaningful learning? What is the biggest hindrance in teaching social studies to elementary school aged children?
What is social studies? NCSS defines social studies as "the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. It is multidisciplinary It is personal. Students take in information and interpret it in terms of their own prior experiences and knowledge. Goal: to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good (citizenship).
Powerful Social Studies Meaningful Integrative Value Based Challenging Active
Powerful Social Studies is Constructed Students construct their own knowledge by being given the chance to make observations of, and interact with, a variety of sources and educational materials. Students conclusions are developed through the values they, their families, and community have.
Powerful Teaching/Powerful Learning The more teachers are able to use instructional activities that give students greater control of their learning activities, the more active their learning becomes. When students do social studies, they draw on thinking skills and knowledge that helps them understand their social world.
The Great Connection SS is the core to which all parts of the curriculum can be tied. Integration is important because the real world integrates all areas. SS is an interdisciplinary approach that relies heavily on the social sciences and history to achieve its goal of preparing people to be active citizens of a democracy.
The National Standards: 10 Themes I. Culture II. Time, Continuity, and Change III. People, Places, and Environment IV. Individual Development and Identity V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions VI. Power, Authority, and Governance VII. Production, Distribution, and Consumption VIII. Science, Technology, and Society IX. Global Connections X. Civic Ideals and Practices
Meaningful Learning Meaningful social studies learning is an active construction process. A network of experiences, ideas, and relationships come together to form knowledge. Learning social studies meaningfully depends on the prior knowledge of the learner, the focus of the learners attention, and the learners interaction with events, people, and objects during instruction.
Traditional Teaching Behavioral Learning Theory Teacher Guided Views knowledge as transmitted by the teacher or textbook. Uses strategies that enhance memorization and recall. Useful for recalling of facts. Does not encourage students to find meaning in what they are learning.
Constructivist Approach Encouraging students to find meaning often brings about conceptual change.
What is Conceptual Change? Conceptual change occurs when students change their concepts. Students do not give up their ideas without being convinced that the new idea is better and more useful. The constructivist approach allows students to: recall prior knowledge connect new idea to prior knowledge compare and confront prior knowledge with new idea use metacognition; think about their own thinking
The Learning Cycle Lesson The learning-cycle approach is designed to sequence the key elements of constructivist learning which allows students to: become aware of their prior knowledge compare new ideas to their prior knowledge confront their prior knowledge resolve their confrontation by constructing their new social studies idea connect the new idea to what is already known apply and transfer the new idea in novel situations
The Learning Cycle Lesson The learning-cycle lesson fosters meaningful learning. Three phases of the lesson; exploratory introduction, lesson development, expansion Each phase has a different purpose and requires different student and teacher actions. All three phases need to be completed for meaningful learning of an idea to take place. Assessment takes place at each phase. Each learning cycle builds on the previous one.
Small Group Activity Each group has been given one phase of the learning cycle lesson. Discuss and be prepared to share: what the lesson phase is designed to do the key elements of the lesson phase activites appropriate for this phase assessments useful for this phase
Reference Sunal, C. S. & Haas, M. E. (2008). Social studies for the elementary and middle school grades: A constructivist approach. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.