Teaching Social Foundations of Education: Contexts, Theories, and Issues

Teaching Social Foundations of Education: Contexts, Theories, and Issues

Teaching Social Foundations of Education: Contexts, Theories, and Issues

Teaching Social Foundations of Education: Contexts, Theories, and Issues

Synopsis

This book is a comprehensive, critical examination of the theory and pedagogy of the field of social foundations of education and its relevance and role within teacher education.

Excerpt

Is there a social foundations of education canon? The assumptions and implications of this question were addressed by a group of scholars at a panel presentation at the American Educational Studies Association Conference on November 1, 2003, in Mexico City, Mexico. The participants were Eric Bredo (University of Virginia), Wendy Kohli (Fairfield University), Joseph Newman (University of Southern Alabama), and Barbara Thayer-Bacon (University of Tennessee). The panel was moderated by Dan Butin (Gettysburg College). To posit the existence of “The List”—a comprehensive summary of what comprises the core knowledge the social foundations education field—is to unearth and investigate deeply held assumptions, beliefs, and aspirations of what the social foundations education is and should be. The very phrasing of the question, as if what constitutes the foundations field can be summarized by a listing of texts, may elicit fears a Eurocentric and logocentric rigidity. Yet all social foundations professors, every semester, must pass out a course syllabus to their students. This mundane and inescapable fact may thus be taken as the underlying impetus for this starting question. What do we teach? And why? what does this say about us as social foundations professors in specific and our field in general? The following is an edited transcription—with minor changes, additions, and deletions to enhance the flow of the text—of the panel presentation and an e-mail discussion held in the weeks prior to panel.

Dan Butin: Welcome. I want to give a brief overview of how this panel came to be before we begin. I'm at Gettysburg College; this is my third year there and I primarily teach social foundations. In teaching . . .

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