Teaching Socials Studies for Understanding

                                                Title social studies welcom.jpg

Introduction

This online mini-course is developed specifically for preservice teachers at the undergraduate level who are pursuing a career in social studies adolescent education. One of the key components of education, no matter what the content area may be, is to foster the development of understanding within one's students. Too often in the everyday classroom students are subject to forty minutes of listening to their teachers lecture about past events and components of history. Think back to your experience in middle and high school, how often did this episode repeat itself? My guess is that it happened more than it should have. Students need to be engaged with social studies, they need to be given opportunities to hold history in their hands and discover how past events have played a role in shaping their lives and society. Students should be able to utilize social studies to make sense of the world around them. This mini-course is designed to break the traditional views of social studies education in regards that it is simply names and dates that happened in the past. Throughout the course, we will be examining various articles that highlight key components of fostering deep understanding within our students. We will also be examining the structure of social studies curriculum and developing classroom activities of our own that we will be able to utilize in order to promote understanding. But most importantly, we will be reflecting on the activities and our own learning process throughout this course because reflection allows one to better understand how they have reached their goal and to discover their potential.


Course Purpose: At the completion of this mini-course, you will be able to develop and analyze classroom activities that promote the development of understanding within your students.


Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this mini-course, you will be able to...

  • differentiate between "knowledge" and "understanding"
  • identify the role of "generative topics" in fostering understanding
  • extract examples of generative topics from within the NYS Social Studies Core Curriculum
  • demonstrate effective instructional strategies by developing activities for classroom instruction that foster understanding
  • generate a complete lesson plan to demonstrate your understanding of effective teaching strategies


Prerequisite Skills:

Essential Prerequisites

  • Participants will need:
    • knowledge of basic classroom procedures
    • understanding of the types of students they will be working with
    • the ability to reflect on the learning processes of adolescents

Supportive Prerequisites

  • Participants will need:
    • understanding of the NYS Social Studies Standards and Core Curriculum
    • basic instructional design abilities
    • effective classroom management skills


Learning Units

Unit One: Defining Understanding

Objectives:

  • differentiate between "knowledge" and "understanding"


Unit Two: Generative Topics in Social Studies

Objectives:

  • identify the role of "generative topics" in fostering understanding
  • extract examples of generative topics from within the NYS Social Studies Core Curriculum


Unit Three: How to Teach for Understanding

Objectives:

  • demonstrate effective strategies by developing activities for classroom instruction that foster understanding


Unit Four: Lesson Development

Objectives:

  • generate a complete lesson plan to demonstrate your understanding of effective teaching strategies


Navigation

Go to Teaching Socials Studies for Understanding Discussion Space

Return to Michael's Portfolio Page

Return to ETAP 623 Fall 2010