Volume 23, Issue 3 (1994)
Social Studies: Educational Tools for Diverse Learners
Douglas Carnine, Sam Miller, Rita Bean, Naomi Zigmund
The first section of this article presents a historical overview of social studies and the issues that have led to emerging reform efforts. The second section describes current social studies instructional practices from the perspective of the educational needs of diverse learners. The section includes a critique of the content, design, and difficulty of textbooks, although similar concerns can be raised for the full array of educational tools (e.g., textbooks, videos, software, activities). The last section describes four attributes in social studies tools that may help teachers solve some of the problems associated with current practices while trying to respond to the expectations of reform in the context of increasing diversity in American schools: (a) teaching the big ideas of social studies, (b) teaching conspicuous strategies for solving problems, (c) scaffolding the acquisition of meaningful learning, and (d) providing review that is sufficient, distributed over time, varied across contexts, and cumulative.
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