General Information about Teaching Social Studies for Understanding courses

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Title: Using Cognitive Flexibility Theory to Teach History

Author: Tammy Clark

Abstract: The course is meant to address the uses of Using Cognitive Flexibility Theory (CFT) in an online setting, and it can be used as well in a face-to-face (f2f) course.

Course Objective: By the end of this course, you should be able to define CFT, ill-structured domain, case-based learning and epistemic beliefs, develop a survey for your students based on epistemic beliefs and begin composition of a history course using CFT.

Tag(s): CFT, online setting, f2f, case-based learning


Title: Teaching Themed History

Author: Mark Frament

Abstract: This course is designed to offer a new organizational approach to teaching social studies.

Course Objective: Students will be able to use generative topic themes, such as the themes noted in most state curriculums, to create their instructional goals, link topics of instruction together by identifying common themes between them, and become comfortable and wise in using the theme approach by delineating when and when not to apply it and using it for supplemental instructions.

Tag(s): themed history, theme approach


Title: It's All Greek To Me!

Author: Jamilah Jones-McLea

Abstract: A 6th grade course study on Ancient Greece.

Course Objective: Students will demonstrate strong understanding of the history, geography, and culture of Ancient Greece; obtain a strong understanding towards Sparta and Athens, and the age of Pericles.

Tag(s): history, Ancient Greece


Title: 21st Century Skills and Technology in the Social Studies Classroom

Author: Kimberly Young

Abstract: Designed for current and prospective Social Studies educators, this is a course to help you reflect on your role as a 21st century educator and to expose you to new educational practices and technologies.

Course Objective: Students will understand what 21st century skills are, their relevancies to the social studies curriculum, and be able to create lesson plans that effectively teach/practice 21st century skills using technology within the context of social studies.

Tag(s): technology skills, social studies teaching, curriculum


Title: Effective Social Studies Classroom Discussion

Author: Dan Fountain

Abstract: This mini-course will educate teachers on how to ensure that effective social studies classroom discussion is taking place.

Course Objective: In a social studies classroom, the student(Classroom Teacher) will be able to summarize the limitations of the Initiate, Response, Evaluation (IRE) Model of classroom discussion, generate higher order thinking questions and pose them to their class at least 5 times a period, adopt their class's responses and create delving questions to further promote deeper understanding utilizing the Initiate, Response, Feedback (IRF) model of questioning and state the advantages of the Initiate, Response, Feedback (IRF) Model of classroom discussion.

Tag(s): social studies, classroom discussion, IRE model, IRF model


Title: US History Through Digital Storybooks

Author: Mike Porter

Abstract: The course uses digital storybooks to teach The American Journey (Glencoe/McGraw Hill 2006): Chapter 13 North and South 1820-1860, and Chapter 14 The Age of Reform 1820-1860.

Course Objective: The students need to meet curriculum objectives provided by New York State. Unit 5 Section III: Life in the New Nation, the Preindustrial Age: 1790-1860s - New York State Core Curriculum pages 59-61.

Tag(s): digital storybooks, US history


Title: Career Exploration Mini-Course

Author: Sarah Graham

Abstract: In completing this mini-course students may not know exactly what they want to do in the future but what things affect their choices, but this course will allow them to explore all of the things that may be a possibility for them in the future.

Course Objective: Learners can explain how interests, aptitudes, and skills influence career choices, give strategies for applying and interviewing for a job and list education possibilities for getting a job.

Tag(s): career exploration


Title: Slavery Unit

Author: Frank Engle

Abstract: This course will use primary sources, videos, and maps to help learners better understand how slavery helped build our young nation and how in attempting to realize our founding father's belief that "All men are created equal" the United States fought a brutal and bloody civil war.

Course Objective: Learners will gain a deeper knowledge of slavery in America and understand how conflict over slavery led to the American Civil War, understand the Missouri Compromise, create an audacity file of historical documents related to slavery in 19th century America, understand why people supported or opposed slavery based on a variety of reasons and create an editorial representing one side of the slave debate in 19th century America.

Tag(s): American history, slavery


Title: The Historical Puzzle of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Author: Scott Graham

Abstract: Unit one lays the roots for the cognitive process of Blogging which will drive the “construction of sustained communication” within the classroom. Unit two, The Arab-Israeli Conflict, is a collaborative effort among the students to investigate the content of this subject. Unit three, The Solution, is an effort to allow students the ability to synthesize the material and create new knowledge which leads to meaningful solutions for this global event.

Course Objective: Students will be able to describe and analyze the historical circumstances of the Arab-Israeli Conflict in order to come to a solution for this crisis.

Tag(s): history, Arab-Israeli conflict


Title: Designing Effective Learning Targets for US History and Government

Author: Jessica Mascle

Abstract: The purpose of this course is to clarify for teachers, students, and parents the effectiveness of learning targets and how to apply learning targets as guides to intended learning.

Course Objective: Learners will be able to come up with answers to the following questions with the knowledge of learning targets: 1) How does a teacher go about establishing learning targets for a course? 2) How do they teach them explicitly to students? 3) And how do they communicate progress towards the meeting of them?

Tag(s): learning targets


Title: Improving Geography with the Help of Google Earth

Author: Todd Lewis

Abstract: This lesson will incorporate technology into a process that is designed to improve a student’s understanding of geography and their ability to locate landmarks on a map. Students will work side-by-side in a lab environment learning the locations of various landmarks such as various cities, and other popular attractions of historical significance.

Course Objective: Students will be able to locate a specific location on a map when given it’s address and all of the States within the Continental United Stated; use Google Earth to learn more about the economy of a particular state or county and use it as a geography learning tool to increase map skills.

Tag(s): Geography teaching, Google Earth


Title: Exploring Latin American Countries and Caribbean Islands

Author: Magaly Barreto

Abstract: The idea for this project in a language class is for students in secondary school to learn about and develop an appreciation for the cultures that exist around the world.

Course Objective: By studying a Latin American country or Caribbean island, student will be able to develop a better understanding of the Spanish language and the culture that exist in these countries. The learning outcomes for this mini course relate to students developing cognitive strategies and more importantly attitude skills.

Tag(s): culture, attitude


Title: Teaching Socials Studies for Understanding

Author: Michael Flynn

Abstract: The course examines various articles that highlight key components of fostering deep understanding within students, 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.

Course Objective: Learners 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 and generate a complete lesson plan to demonstrate your understanding of effective teaching strategies.

Tag(s): social studies, teaching for understanding


Title: Design Project Theme: Using Project Based Learning to Teach The United States Constitution

Author: Lawrence Moultrie

Abstract: This mini-course was designed to help Social Studies teacher integrate project based learning and technology into their classroom.

Course Objective: At the end of the unit the learner will have an in-depth understanding of the rights that are granted to the learner in the United States Constitution. Additionally, the learner will be cognoscente of the struggle that the framers of the Constitution encountered when attempting to develop the laws that would govern the United States. The learner will enhance their communication, research and cooperative learning skills.

Tag(s): US history, social studies, US Constitution


Title: Design Project: Theme Project - Native American Indians

Author: Susan Fenstermacher

Abstract: In this theme project of Native American Indians, the project will cover the theme topics of 1) Native American Indian housing; 2) the different types of clothing used by different tribes; 3) Native American Indian crafts; 4) different legends and lore of the Native American Indians; 5) the change in culture as the white man came into the Native American Indian world.

Course Objective: The students can learn a variety of things while engaging in this topic of Native American Indians. The students can learn about the lifestyles of the Native American Indians, focusing on their different hunting techniques, their housing, how tools were made, what games the children played, the roles of the different members of the tribe, tribe colors, animals and clothing and so on.

Tag(s): Native American Indians, social studies