Social Studies Standards Revised; the Curriculum Will Get Final Approval in August

By Larrabee, Brandon | The Florida Times Union, June 22, 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Social Studies Standards Revised; the Curriculum Will Get Final Approval in August

Larrabee, Brandon, The Florida Times Union


When the dismal results from the sixth- and seventh-grade state-mandated social studies tests started rolling in, officials at the Georgia Department of Education were quick to look for culprits, State Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox told the State Board of Education recently.

They first considered that the company that provides the Criterion-Reference Competency Tests had erred in building or scoring the tests. That turned out not to be true, Cox said.

State officials turned their attention once again to the official curriculum, which was the result of an effort in recent years to slim down the old, bulky state guidelines.

"We thought we put out what were clear standards," Cox said. "But when you go back and you really look, and you sit side by side ... what we were telling the teachers to teach the students and the kind of test item that came up related to that standard, you're back to our problem of the old [curriculum]."

So the state asked a group of teachers to come in and revamp the standards, which gained preliminary approval from the education board earlier this month. Now online, the standards are open for public comment ahead of what is scheduled to be the board's final approval in August.


The challenge facing those tasked with overhauling the curriculum was easy to identify: Pare it down to a manageable size by removing something. Similar efforts for the original draft of the new social studies curriculum in some grades had caused controversy a few years ago when some felt critical parts of U.S. or world history were getting short shrift. Some of the changes, notably dealing with the Civil War, were undone.

Sixth- and seventh-grade social studies, though, largely deals with the culture, government, economics, geography and history of other countries around the world. So countries, and some aspects of those countries, would have to go.

"We looked at it from every angle, and we tried to narrow the focus so that we could dig down deep and allow students the opportunity to really engage in the content," said Eddie Bennett, Cobb County middle and high school social studies supervisor and executive director of the Georgia Council for the Social Studies. "Rather than trying to teach each and every country in the world, which is impossible to do, we decided to look at every region of the world and pick out particular countries. And then we wanted to study those from an historical point of view, geography, economics and government."

So sixth-graders will still have to find Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and Haiti, among others, on a map, but not Costa Rica, Bolivia or Guatemala. They will study the Zapatista guerrilla movement in Mexico, but not a drug-backed militant group in Colombia known as FARC.

Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci didn't make the new requirements - in fact, the Renaissance isn't mentioned by name in the section of the curriculum dealing with European history.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Social Studies Standards Revised; the Curriculum Will Get Final Approval in August


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?