Friday, April 29, 2011

Social Studies

Upon watching Glenn Beck, I got to thinking about "Social Studies". I took Social Studies in school as a child. I have (still do...) refused to ever call it anything but History.
I think of how it was taught to me and for the most part, my teachers read the textbook verbatim and we defined vocabulary and took an open book test. Bo-ring! We also for whatever reason never finished the textbook, lucky to get up to WWII in class- WWI and WWI and all in-between were often smooshed into one week of speed-reading.

Anyways, to quote Ravitch, I wish to delve into social studies really quickly. No commentary, just the quote as it speaks for itself.
The CRSE, a branch of the Committee of Ten, had a chairman, also chairman of the Committee on Social Studies, Thomas Jesse Jones. Jones believed (and here comes the verbatim chunk of info from Ravitch....)
"Jones was one of the first to coin the term " social studies". This new filed was formed by the intersection of two congenial ideas; one was social efficiency, or teaching students the skills and attitudes necessary to fit into social order; the other was ' the new history," whose advocates believed that the content of history in the schools should be selected on the basis of "the pupil's own immediate interest" and "general social significance". Proponents of social studies believed that pupils could not possibly be interested in history unless it was directly related to the present."

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