Theory & Research in Social Education

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Elementary Social Studies Education

Theory & Research in Social Education

Elementary social studies education is vital to the development of young children’s civic ideals and practices, notions of social justice, critical thinking skills, and adequate content knowledge in history, geography, economics, and civics. Likewise, the skills, attitudes, and values advanced by coherent elementary social studies programs are integral to the development of young minds toward a diverse, equitable, and just democratic society.  As advocates of strong social studies programs in PK-12 schools, social studies teacher educators and researchers recognize the role of fostering critical elementary social studies knowledge while children are young in order to continue to add to it effectively as children advance into middle and high school.

During the past decade, however, we have witnessed the disappearance of social studies from many elementary school classrooms, as evidenced by the study by Paul Fitchett and Tina Heafner in this virtual issue. AS the authors note, this marginalization is primarily due to the impact of high stakes testing’s emphasis on literacy and mathematics skills. Countering this recognition, a growing number of examples of effective and innovative social studies being taught in elementary grades have been elucidated.

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Please enjoy the following articles from Theory & Research in Social Education with free access until March 31, 2020.

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