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Social Education January/February 2006


Editor's Notebook




Social Studies: The Heart of the Curriculum

—Jeff Passe
Together, we need to stop the marginalization of the social studies.



Should Intelligent Design Be Taught in Social Studies Courses?

—Diana Hess
As policymakers look for an escape route from the controversy about teaching intelligent design as science by passing this hot potato into social studies, are they creating more problems than they can solve?



Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei: Preventing Nuclear Proliferation Peacefully

—Joanne Dufour
The Nobel Committee’s selection for the 2005 peace prize—the International Atomic Energy Agency and its chief—offers teachers an opportunity to revisit the topic of nuclear proliferation at a time when arms control efforts appear stalled.



The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Teaching with Documents)

—Kahlil Chism
The Freedmen’s Bureau was one of few agencies established to improve the lives of former slaves. Four documents highlight for students the bureau’s efforts to help African Americans acquire land, secure jobs, legalize marriages, and pursue education.



Selecting Supreme Court Justices: A Dialogue (Looking at the Law)

The nomination process of Supreme Court justices is often fraught with political tension. A panel of experts discusses the judicial nomination process, the role of interest groups, and the possibility for reform.



Seeking Truth in the Social Studies Classroom: Media Literacy, Critical Thinking and Teaching about the Middle East

—Chris Sperry
Students are bombarded daily with a torrent of media messages, many of them with historical content. By selecting the right media documents for decoding, teachers can teach core content while guiding students to think critically about these messages.



Holocaust Fatigue in Teaching Today (Research and Practice)

—Simone Schweber
Where students once viewed the Holocaust with awe, some now seem to trivialize it. The author reflects on the commodification of the Holocaust, teaching approaches, and current politics.



Educating Students about the Holocaust: A Survey of Teaching Practices

—Mary Beth Donnelly
While educators continue to value Holocaust education for raising awareness on human rights abuses and genocide, a yearlong study reveals that the range of different teaching practices and rationales is wider than many think.