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Social Education January/February 2014

NCSS Notebook

The Revitalization of Social Studies
Stephen Armstrong

The NCSS conference, continued advocacy, and the C3 framework are essential components of our efforts to revolutionize social studies education. Secondary/High School    

Sources and Strategies

Strike up Student Interest through Song: Technology and Westward Expansion
Meg Steele

The featured photograph and works of music can launch an engaging lesson on the ways that technological advancements influenced westward expansion. Secondary/High School     US History


They Should Have Sent a Poet: Deepening Students' Understanding of History Through the Use of Poetry
Christopher Lopez

The highlighted poems offer deep insights into three wars in which America was involved. Secondary/High School     US History


Historical Fiction, the Common Core, and Disciplinary Habits of Mind
Sara L. Schwebel

Historical fiction draws students into the study of the past, enriches their understanding of events, and provides opportunities for cultivating historical analysis. Secondary/High School    

Teaching with Documents

Records of Rights: A New Exhibit at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Michael Hussey

The National Archives' latest exhibit spotlights the struggles of Americans to define rights related to citizenship, free speech, voting, and equal opportunity. Secondary/High School     US History

Looking at the Law

An Introduction to the International Court of Justice
Dan Naranjo

Studying the International Court of Justice and select cases can launch a stimulating class discussion about our increasingly interconnected world and the role of a global arbitrator. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government

Research and Practice

Achieving Authentic Pedagogy: Plan Units, Not Lessons
John Saye, the Social Studies Inquiry Research Collaborative

Authentic pedagogy engages students and spurs them to produce work that has value and impact beyond school. Secondary/High School    

Point of View

Another Look at AP
Larry Pahl

Does the College Board's AP program deserve its reputation as the gold standard for preparing high school students for college success? Secondary/High School    


Coaching Strategies for AP: Building a Successful AP European History Program
Jim Fornaciari

A former baseball coach transfers strategies for building a team-oriented winning culture on the field to promoting academic excellence in the AP European History classroom. Secondary/High School     World History

Surfing the Net

What I Learned at NCSS 2013
C. Frederick Risinger

The sessions at NCSS's annual conferences present a wealth of information. These websites offer valuable resources and lesson plans that build on some highlights of the 2013 conference. Secondary/High School    


The Making of Campaign 2012: Collision 2012 and Double Down
David Wolfford

Two recently published books offer behind-the-scenes insight into the 2012 presidential campaign and can help teachers illustrate important electoral concepts. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government

Point of View

Proposed National Standards for Financial Literacy: What's In? What's Out?
Mark H. Maier, Deborah M. Figart, Julie A. Nelson

Financial education must go beyond focusing on the choices individuals face and examine the forces that shape and constrain these choices. Secondary/High School     Economics