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Social Education

Editor's Notebook

Teaching the Election Process in Ten Days

S. Kay Gandy
These creative lessons teach younger students about political parties and campaigns, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the powers of local, state, and national governments.

Who Killed William Robinson? Exploring a Nineteenth-Century Murder Online

Ruth Sandwell
This documents-based history website encourages students to take an active, detective-type role in learning about events, such as a mysterious 1868 murder.


Letter from President Millard Fillmore to the Emperor of Japan

Marvin Pinkert and Lee Ann Potter
A letter from President Fillmore plays a key role in overcoming Japan’s “closed country” policy.

Looking at the Law

Trying Beliefs: The Law of Cultural Orthodoxy and Dissent

James H. Landman
English laws that enforced cultural standards of a religious or political nature had a strong influence on America’s legal system. This legacy continues to affect certain freedoms in the United States today.


Teaching about the Electoral College

David Dulio and the staff of the National Student/Parent Mock Election
When citizens step into the voting booth on election day, they are not actually voting for their candidate, but rather choosing a group of electors. This set of classroom activities explains one distinctively American institution--the Electoral College.

How Much of the Sky? Women in American History High School Textbooks from the 1960s, 1980s and 1990s

Roger Clark, Jeffrey Allard and Timothy Mahoney
Since Janice Trecker’s classic critique in 1971 of the omission of women from history textbooks, the books have included more women, but they still need to go further.

Haiti in Crisis

Social Education Staff
The same president that American troops returned to power ten years ago is ousted after a rebel uprising. Social Education takes a look at the roots of Haiti’s most recent crisis.

Research and Practice

Beyond Guest Speakers

Diana E. Hess
Inviting politicians, lawyers, police officers or other outside resource people to participate in interactive classroom lessons engages students more deeply and helps them focus their attention on important issues.

Macro or Micro: Teaching Fifth-Grade Economics Using Handheld Computers

Mark van’t Hooft and Jan Kelly
A class of Ohio elementary students studies economics with a simulated stock market using their handheld computers.



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