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Social Education

Social Education October 2019

October 2019 Social Education Cover


Editor's Notebook
Michael Simpson

Teaching with Documents

Forging a Path to the 19th Amendment: Understanding Women’s Suffrage
Corinne Porter, Kathleen Munn

Examining the featured nineteenth- and early twentieth-century documents from women to Congress regarding voting rights can launch a fascinating classroom lesson on women’s suffrage and the First Amendment right to petition. Secondary/High School     US History, Civics/Government
Teaching the C3 Framework

Using Inquiry and Digital Storytelling to Teach about American Enslavement: Anna, One Woman’s Quest for Freedom
Grant Scribner, Aaron Johnson

An inquiry framed around the experience of an enslaved woman, highlighted in a recent film, offers an opportunity for meaningful student engagement with the history of American enslavement.

Secondary/High School     US History
Lessons on the Law

Supreme Court Looks to New Term, With Questions
Catherine Hawke

The new Supreme Court term will involve many high-profile cases for exploration with students that deal with major issues like immigration, gun control, LGBTQ rights, and the financial future of Puerto Rico. Secondary/High School     Law-Related


Has Social Media Made it Easier to Effect Social Change?: Inquiring into Tactics for Change through Primary Sources
Daniel G. Krutka, Marie K. Heath

A close look at the contemporary role of social media in social justice struggles can prompt an engaging class discussion about tactics for social change—from the 1963 Civil Rights March to the 2017 Women’s March. Secondary/High School     US History


A Feeling for the Past: The Role of Emotion in History Education
Dave Neumann

Recognizing the role that emotions have in shaping major decisions, including political loyalties, can help students engage in difficult conversations and better understand those with whom they disagree. Secondary/High School     World History
Research & Practice

Now You Can’t Just Do Nothing: Unsettling the Settler Self within Social Studies Education
Christine Stanton

Promising practices offer educators opportunities to confront the perspective of white settler colonialism that has permeated the study of the history of Indigenous peoples.

Secondary/High School     World History
Point of View

Historical Thinking Skills: A Second Opinion
Mike Maxwell

The emphasis on historical thinking skills in history education hasn’t lived up to its potential: without useful knowledge there can be no useful thinking. Secondary/High School     World History


State Legislatures, the Census, and Redistricting: Why the 2019 Elections are Important
Social Education Staff

Although off-year elections get little attention, following the 2019 state elections with students in the classroom can launch important discussions on the role of state houses in redistricting, gerrymandering, and on political trends that might influence next year’s presidential election.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


Advocacy for Social Studies: The Need to Respond to the Updated NAEP Schedule
Tina L. Heafner

Our latest NCSS statement explains the significance of the NAEP assessment schedule changes, describes how these will affect our field, and calls our members to action to raise policymakers’ awareness of the ramifications of the updated schedule for the social studies.


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.

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