Our Journeys: Social Studies to Social Education

By White, Cameron; Marsh, Sabrina et al. | Social Studies Review, January 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

Our Journeys: Social Studies to Social Education


White, Cameron, Marsh, Sabrina, McCormack, Susan, Social Studies Review


Introduction

The journey between social studies and social education leads travelers down a potentially transformative path with "white spaces" on a map that continuously needs examination. And yes, it really is about the journey and not the destination. Family, friends, school, and life sowed the seeds long ago; the freedom of the discipline allows the forging of a new path. Learning to play the school game, learning to tell what matters, vacations to state capitals and Civil War battle sites, reading, volunteering, travels abroad ... all contribute to our journeys. But we realize that our students teach us more than we could ever teach them. We do not just teach social studies, we teach social education. When students leave our classes smiling and shaking their heads, trying to make it all make sense, we are delighted. What in this lesson connects with you we will ask at every opportunity. Students tell us, too. They want to do history and geography, economics and popular culture. They do not want to sit and have it "done to them."

Critical investigations begin with teaching traditional social studies education. We continue to debate and struggle with a journey called social education - something that has no "true" definition, which is always evolving, and is comprised of common personal themes. While we resist "defining" social education, we believe that social education emphasizes three areas of study: critical pedagogy, cultural/media studies, and social studies education - all with the potential to advance social justice. Projects and research take hold, focusing on the community, global education, international experiences, and rethinking traditional American history. Sharing personal stories illuminate the maps; our shared experiences provide the compass.

Personal Stories - Beginning the Journey

Twists and turns define our exploration into the heart of social education, requiring us to realign our internal compass and hold tight to our traveling partners. Navigating this social education journey we discover that each traveler's itinerary is an individualized process allowing for divergent teaching and learning opportunities. In this context, the "white spaces" are rough hewn educational landscapes that create exhilarating learning experiences - well worth the effort in the end in spite of the difficulties one encounters when exploring the road that is "wanting wear" (Frost, 1920) - more specifically, transformative education.

The National Council for the Social Studies (1994) explains that "democratic societies are characterized by hard which "involve personal behavior" (p. 9). In the of social studies education, we question fundamental values. Social studies scholars charge teachers with the decision - "transmission or transformation" (Stanley, 2005). White (2003) argues that "reforming, reacting improving, acquiescing, and adapting are not approaches or methods we should be using. Educators need to be thinking in terms of transformation." (p.2)

Kincheloe (2001) cautions true reform calls for a radical overhaul of the entire educational system; we attempt to blaze a trail of transformative practice through a social studies discipline. Along the way, we explore numerous concepts for transformative teaching and learning in our social studies discipline, and theories aimed at reform bombard us with confusion or indecision which weighs heavily on pedagogical choices (Ross , 200 1 ; Stanley, 2001; Evans, 2004; Kincheloe, 2001; Dewey, 1908). The substance of curricula most often rnirrors traditional values not aligned with our own thoughts and those of our students, but nonetheless, traditional social studies curricula weaves throughout our practice (Meuwissen, 2006).

Illuminating the Pathways

With tentative steps off the beaten path, we reject the prescribed "teacher-proof curriculum and work together to map out replacements. Students are most likely to participate in rigorous activities not common to textbook material, and to experience learning in collaborative groups. …

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

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

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Our Journeys: Social Studies to Social Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

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

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

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.