Social Education

Official journal of the National Council for the Social Studies.

Articles from Vol. 64, No. 5, September

A Brief History of the Potato in Ireland
A New Food The potato probably arrived in Ireland by accident.(1) In 1588, a great fleet of ships, sent out by Spain to conquer England, was defeated by the British navy. Some of the retreating Spanish Armada tried to get home by sailing around...
A Force More Powerful a Century of Nonviolent Conflict
"WHEN PEOPLE DECIDE THEY WANT TO BE FREE ... THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN STOP THEM." DESMOND TUTU One Friday night in December 1981, Lech Walesa and other leaders of Solidarity were arrested after a meeting in Gdansk. For 16 months their free trade-union...
Balancing Campaign Finance Reform against the First Amendment
CURRENT LAWS governing campaign finance in the United States were born of the notion that the undue influence of money in the electoral process runs contrary to the nation's ideals of democracy and equal participation by all in the political process....
Democracy.gov?
THOMAS JEFFERSON, THE INTERNET, AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY When the earth moves, it's time to redraw the map. --Dick Morris ASSOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS, we use the word "democracy" frequently. In world history, we teach about Athenian...
Developing Strong Voters through Democratic Deliberation
Across Mongolia yesterday, nomads donned their best embroidered boots, wide-sashed robes and pointed ceremonial hats and rode their horses for miles across vast plains and deserts to vote. --Journalist Thomas Wagner; 1997 (1) In a recent survey...
Documents Related to the Disputed General Election of 1876
The election of 1876 between Democrat Samuel L. Tilden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes occurred at a precarious time. The end of the Civil War had brought economic expansion that unfortunately was short-lived. A devastating depression followed the...
Editor's Notebook
Both the low turnout among students old enough to vote and the results of surveys like the recent NAEP civics assessment suggest that a great deal needs to be done to inform, interest and involve our students in the civic and political life of the...
Elementary Civics and the Election Year: Exercises on the Web
TO BECOME INFORMED CITIZENS, elementary school students should have opportunities to research how their government is structured, what it does, and how citizens participate in the process. The Internet can be a great tool for locating historical and...
From County Cork to New York: The Emigration of Megan O'Rourke
(A work of historical fiction) A Glossary of Terms appears at the bottom of this narrative Dhia dhuit! My name is Megan O'Rourke. This is the story of how I came to America. In the winter of 1846 I turned thirteen. My family was Da, Mammy, my...
How Fishing in Costa Rica Landed a Voter Education Project in America
When thunderstorms grounded an aircraft carrying a fishing party near the small town of Liberia in Costa Rica some years back, it was the unexpected comment of a local taxi driver that set his American passengers to thinking anew about civic education...
In Our Own Backyard
An Interview on Elian Gonzalez's Stay in Washington, D.C., with YFU President Sally Grooms Cowal From May 25 to June 28 of this year, Elian Gonzalez and his family and friends were guests in a colonial era farmhouse located on the Rosedale estate...
Irish Curios & Cameos
Can you guess the answers to these riddles of Ireland from the hints provided on this page? Try your luck. I. William and his entire family left the tenanted farm at Ballinascarty, Ireland, in 1847, the worst year of the famine, and sailed to America....
Looking at Elections through the Cartoonist's Eye
Name a teaching methodology that enlivens lectures, prompts classroom discussion, promotes critical thinking, develops multiple talents and learning styles, helps prepare students for standardized tests ... and even provides humor? The answer: interpreting...
Presidential Character in Election 2000
ELECTION COMMENTATORS covering the presidential race have said repeatedly that this year character--not partisanship or domestic or international issues--will be at the core of voter concern. The Clinton scandal and impeachment alone make it inevitable...
Presidential Debates: Not a Spectator Sport
THE NONPARTISAN, nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. The CPD's primary purpose...
Presidential Elections in the Age of Television
Federal Hall, New York City, 1789. The president of the U.S. Senate counts the ballots returned from presidential electors in the thirteen states that constitute the new United States of America. Each elector has cast two ballots. The candidate who...
Selecting Presidential Nominees: The Evolution of the Current System and Prospects for Reform
We choose our presidents "by their telegenic smile and their willingness to utter platitudes in southwest nowheresville two years before the election." -- Arthur T. Hadley(1) These words of a contemporary political analyst reflect the outright...
The Character of Their Content
"The schools ain't what they used to be and never was." --Will Rogers Educational news accounts have been filled with reports about inadequate textbooks. Much of this criticism is prompted by yet another report from the American Textbook Council...
The Constitutional Struggle for Voting Rights in Washington, D.C
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy. --Abraham Lincoln These words of Lincoln form part of the long historical...
The Delicious, Nutritious Pratie
POTATOES HAVE A REPUTATION as a fattening food among health conscious Americans, but this is an unfair stereotype.(1) The bad rap arises from the way potatoes are usually prepared, either cooked with fat or smothered in it. French-frying sliced potatoes...
The Great Irish Famine
Foreword IN 1997, the people of Ireland and of Irish descent around the world observed the 150th anniversary of the worst year (1847) of the Great Irish Famine, a catastrophe precipitated by a fungus that first destroyed the potato harvest of 1845...
Traces of the Written Record
Two primary sources of historical information about the Great Irish Famine are newspaper articles and personal letters and diaries of the time. The Great Irish Famine occurred when the industrial revolution was young and the British Empire was near...