Magazine article The Elementary STEM Journal

Core Connections: Social Studies

Magazine article The Elementary STEM Journal

Core Connections: Social Studies

Article excerpt

Dear Colleagues,

Not every theme selected for an issue of Children's Technology and Engineering seems like an obvious one to connect to the teaching and learning of technology, engineering, and STEM. Perhaps it is this very type of theme that is the most important to address in the only journal written and published to help elementary teachers and administrators enhance technology and engineering education. Previous issues in the current volume (17) had themes that integrated seamlessly with technology and engineering--literacy, science, and mathematics--but this was not the case for the fourth issue with its focus on social studies. However, upon closer inspection, it turns out that technology, engineering, and social studies have much in common.

There are the obvious connections such as the history of technological advancement, inventions, and innovations. In fact, from a content perspective, there are many, many connections between social studies and technology that become apparent with a little effort. Another example is geography, geographic information systems (GIS), and related technologies. The study of culture obviously includes understanding how populations of humans change over time and meet their needs and wants. Additionally, there are many laws and legal processes such as copyright, patents, and consequences for misuse of technology that are important connections between social studies and technology. But, there are also a lot of uncommon examples that elementary teachers can draw upon to enhance technology, engineering, and STEM education by leveraging social studies.

An examination of ITEEA's Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (2000/2002/2007) alongside the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (2010) point to a great deal of related content. Some of the overlaps may surprise educators. Both sets of standards emphasize spatial reasoning. In technology, this is often through design; whereas, in social studies, this is addressed through location, perspective, and mapping. …

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