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Social Education

Social Education September 2019

September 2019 Social Education Cover
Editor's Notebook

Editor’s Notebook September 2019
Michael J. Simpson



Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport: The Role of Social Studies in Safeguarding the Republic
Kenneth C. Davis

As another presidential election year approaches, it’s a critical time to engage in classroom discussions about democracy—what it is, what threatens it today, and how we can protect it.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government
Lessons on the Law

American Identity, Citizenship, and Law: What a National Survey of Civic Literacy Reveals
Tiffany Middleton

A new survey by the American Bar Association exposes the dire state of civic literacy in the United States.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, Law-Related


Getting Young People to Vote: Seven Tips for the Classroom
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Abby Kiesa

Engaging students in conversations about our system of government—what is and isn’t working—can ignite interest and involvement in civic activities.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government
Sources and Strategies

Encouraging Student Understanding of Negotiation and the Value of Notetaking during the 1787 Constitutional Convention
Lee Ann Potter

The two featured pages of James Madison’s handwritten notes from the Constitutional Convention can spark an engaging lesson on the different plans originally presented for structuring the U.S. government.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, US History
Teaching with Documents

Teaching the Constitution … Virtually!
Jenny Sweeney

The National Archives has several programs to help teach about the Constitution, including an online archive for accessing and downloading countless primary documents, and also virtual classroom visits from an Archives educator.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, US History
Research & Practice

What Should We Teach about Human Rights? Implications of International Research
Keith C. Barton

It is important to consider the influence of students’ social context when teaching about human rights.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government
Elementary Education

“Pinning” with Pause: Supporting Teachers’ Critical Consumption on Sites of Curriculum Sharing
Jennifer L. Gallagher, Katy M. Swalwell, M. Elizabeth Bellows

Applying specific critical literacy techniques when seeking curricular resources on Internet sharing sites can protect teachers from inadvertently implementing bad ideas disguised as “cute” lessons. PreK-Elementary    


Beyond Content or Skills: The Why, What, and How of Religious Studies Education
Justine Esta Ellis, Benjamin Pietro Marcus

Equipping students with conceptual language for discussing the complexity of religious identity better prepares them to understand the countless ways that religion intersects with public and private life. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government
Teaching the C3 Framework

Be the Change: Guiding Students to Take Informed Action
Carly Muetterties, Kathy Swan

This guided inquiry walks teachers through the steps to help students understand a societal problem, assess possible actions, and move to civic action. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


The “Forgotten” War and Its Legacy: Teaching about Korea through Inquiry
Kathy Swan, John Lee, S.G. Grant

A new set of inquiries based on the C3 Framework provides questions, tasks, and sources to launch classroom examinations of the Korean War and its many aftershocks.

Secondary/High School     US History, World History

Early Childhood in the Social Studies Context

As young children engage in their play and daily activities, they show a natural interest in the world around them. Early childhood educators may capitalize on these interests and carefully plan a variety of experiences with social studies in mind, cultivating and extending young children’s diverse skills and abilities to form and voice opinions, identify and solve problems, negotiate roles, perceive diversity and inequality, and recognize the consequences of their decisions and behaviors on others.

Subject Area: 

2018 NCSS House of Delegates Resolutions

The House of Delegates (HOD) provides a forum for the general membership of NCSS, as represented by state councils, communities, and associated groups, to bring ideas, principles, beliefs, and actions regarding social studies education to the attention of the NCSS Board of Directors. Resolutions are the framework through which the NCSS membership at-large makes recommendations to the Board. Published here are the resolutions approved by the NCSS Board of Directors at its Winter 2019.

Editor's Notebook

The contributors to this issue of Social Education offer rich ideas for the creative teaching of social studies through the arts and literature and some noteworthy articles on topics ranging from inquiry-based learning to a first-hand account of the dilemmas of a history textbook author. This issue also presents the most recent National Council for the Social Studies position statements that have been approved by the NCSS Board of Directors.


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