Teaching Secondary School Social Studies

By James F. High | Go to book overview
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Social learning and the individual

We live under the shadow of a gigantic question mark. Who are we? Where do we come from? Whither are we bound?

The Story of Mankind HENDRIK WILLEM VAN LOON, 1921


1. Objectives of Social Studies

American citizenship is not only national; it is participation in a complicated yet unified world. Nationalism is still the greatest single force in the association of nations, and United States citizenship demands first allegiance to our state. What the future holds in regard to this no one can tell. A closely knit world of national states is a fact, and for the future the best guess is closer articulation of those states. This, in turn, demands increasing knowledge of both our own ideals and the characteristics of the rest of the world. Without much doubt citizens' responsibilities are becoming more complex and extending over a wider base. A higher degree of sophistication is required than in any time when the United States was safely isolated between two oceans.

The current era in this country emphasizes general education and re-examination of educational objectives and philosophy. Scientists, humanists, historians and educators are striving to make sense of what is happening and of what has happened. The exigency of the moment, the terrors of the future, and the record of the past must be resolved into a tenet of action. No longer is it sufficient to rely on liberal verities of the past. Neither is it satisfactory to prepare for isolated democracy. We live in a highly cohesive and integrated world, yet one which is rent by diverse social patterns and political

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