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Articles: Social Studies

Teachers today have more control over how and when they receive professional development.

In just the last few months, several districts and states have eliminated tests and cut assessment time to make room for instruction and reduce stress.

Nearly 315 religions and denominations exist in the U.S. alone. (Gettyimages.com: peterhermesfurian).

The National Council for the Social Studies this past June released new guidelines for teaching religion in schools.

Maine led the nation in 2012 in becoming the first state to require that students demonstrate proficiency in academic areas to earn a high school diploma. (Gettyimages.com: qingwa).

Eighth-graders in Maine in the 2017-18 school year will be the first to adhere to proficiency-based standards.

90 PERCENT FLUENT—Most third-graders at Hilton Head Island Elementary School for the Creative Arts reach grade level in math after playing a particular game that helps build their skills.

Ten weeks before summer break each year, Jason Borrie makes a dramatic announcement to his social studies class at Northeastern Clinton Central, a high school in Northeastern Clinton CSD in upstate New York. An uncle of theirs has passed away, leaving each student $25,000 with one condition: they invest their inheritances in the stock market.

In a soon-to-be-released study of eighth-graders in seven states, results reveal that game-based learning can not only engage students, leading them to perform better on assessments, but it can be easily incorporated into lessons.

Allowing students to explore news articles that spark their curiosity can provide a bigger literacy boost than having them read nonfiction texts about random topics far removed from a youngster’s interests. 

The U.S. Department of Education has released guidance over the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, a funding initiative under ESSA. (Gettyimages.com: Macrovector)The U.S. Department of Education has released guidance over the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, a funding initiative under ESSA. (Gettyimages.com: Macrovector)

Schools that offer more comprehensive instruction, increase school safety and student health, and better integrate educational technology may be eligible for new federal funds. A new grant program from the U.S. Department of Education will reward schools that improve access to music, social studies, environmental education and computer science.

Teacher Ron Hustvedt is selling a smart product.

In his classroom at the Salk STEM Magnet School in Elk River School District in Minnesota, Hustvedt encourages his history students to buy into his brand of inquiry-based learning.

This year’s National Council of the Social Studies Outstanding Teacher of the Year at the middle school level says his students are learning about people, places, viewpoints and character, among other lessons.

Inquiry-based instruction allows teachers to translate the C3 framework for social studies standards into hands-on classroom lessons (Gettyimages.com: Henrik Jonsson)

Technology is quickly becoming a popular tool in social studies classrooms as teachers find ways to make history come alive for their students, who simultaneously learn about content and improve their technology skills.

Schools in Washington, including Marysville-Pilchuck School District, are required to educate students about the culture and history of the state’s indigenous nations.

Despite recent controversies, most K12 U.S. history textbooks now devote more space to viewpoints outside of the white-European male narrative, historians say.

“The whole approach to historiography has changed,” says Luess Sampson-Lizotte, vice president of humanities & science product development at Pearson. “It is a little broader and more inclusive of multiple perspectives of the American story.”

American history could be in trouble. Decades of reliance on contentious textbooks and rote memorization have driven students away from the subject, despite its influence on contemporary issues.

Evan Long, an NCSS presenter, will speak on the C3 Framework and brain-targeting teaching. One C3 project garnering strong interest is the New York State Toolkit, a free open source K12 social studies curriculum based around the C3 inquiry and on which Long assisted as a graduate student.

Injecting “social responsibility” lessons into social studies classrooms better prepares students to become informed citizens eager to participate in a democracy. Educators will learn about the many ways to reach this goal at this year’s National Council for the Social Studies conference.

DOGONews posts thousands of articles about current events and worldwide news that are written for—and in some cases, by—children.

Eighth-graders have made no academic progress in U.S. history, geography or civics programs over the last five years, according to the latest test results from “The Nation’s Report Card,” released this past August by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Since January, 19 states introduced legislation to require students take basic history exams. (Click to enlarge)

More states adopted legislation this term requiring high school students to pass a U.S. citizenship test in order to graduate, according to a June report from the Education Commission of the States.

Since January, 19 states introduced legislation based on the Civics Education Initiative, a project from the nonprofit Joe Foss Institute with a goal of requiring all high school students to pass a 100-question test on basic history and civic facts prior to graduation.

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