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Catherine Broom

This paper presents an overview of British Columbia's (B.C.) educational history, interwoven with descriptions of textbooks. Focusing on social studies textbooks, this article explores change and continuity in the history of public schooling, paying attention to whether citizens were conceptualized as active, passive, or patriotic citizens. It identifies four key periods: the establishment of public schools in B.C., the rise of the Progressivist movement in the 1930s and reaction to it, advocacy of Bruner's structure of disciplines in the 1960s, and pendulum swings in philosophic orientations in the latter part of the twentieth century. The article illustrates connections between contemporary philosophies and textbooks, and identifies continuity and change in the content and aims of the textbooks.

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Mariano González-Delgado and Manuel Ferraz-Lorenzo

This article explains the approach to mass consumption developed in social studies textbooks in the early years of the transition to democracy in Spain. It begins by examining the way in which school textbooks represented consumer society and mass media in the late 1970s. This is followed by an in-depth explanation of the reasons that led the authors of these textbooks to choose one theoretical framework over another. Above all, this article emphasizes the complexity and variety of the historical materials used to represent consumer society, and how this process of social construction is reflected in the textbook content of the time.

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Keith Crawford

This article offers a critical exploration of social studies textbooks and allied curriculum materials used in New South Wales primary schools between 1930 and 1960, and of the way in which these texts positioned, discussed, and assessed Aboriginal Australians. With reference to European commitments to Enlightenment philosophies and social Darwinian views of race and culture, the author argues that Aboriginal peoples were essentialized via a discourse of paternalism and cultural and biological inferiority. Thus othered in narratives of Australian identity and national progress, Aboriginal Australians were ascribed a role as marginalized spectators or as a primitive and disappearing anachronism.

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Kjetil Børhaug

Declining adolescent political participation means that political education has become a pressing public and political issue. In response, much attention is being paid to the way in which political education offers meaningful reasons for individual political participation. Critical textbook analysis may help us understand how political education affects participation. To what extent do textbooks explicitly present justifications for political participation? What kinds of justification are offered? This article analyzes Norwegian social studies textbooks, and concludes that justifications of adolescent political participation are central. Justifications include the individual pursuit of preferences, individual duty in a "contract" with the state, and identities. However, these justifications are also questionable, for they are generally either individualistic or avoid real political movements.

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Mehrunnisa Ahmad Ali, Nashwa Salem, Béchir Oueslati, Marie Andrew, and Lisa Quirke

Representations of Islam in Ontario's social studies textbooks portray a dehistoricized view of a religion that is disconnected from other monotheistic religions. The varied and complex socio-political and ideological locations of Muslims in historical and current contexts are reduced to simplistic, often negative depictions, either as irrational aggressors or victims of poverty and underdevelopment. More nuanced, historically grounded, and multifaceted representations are called for, in order to promote a more inclusive society in Ontario.

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Eckhardt Fuchs

The words “textbook revision” immediately conjure up certain images. We generally think of conflicts surrounding the contents of textbooks, conflicts which are debated in public and usually have an international dimension. Textbook revision generally refers to books on history, geography and social studies, occasionally also religion or biology. It generally relates to those activities aimed at correcting false or distorted interpretations in school textbooks. In addition, it involves two further aspects: improving the quality of teaching with revised textbooks, and conveying universal norms in addition to knowledge of the subject. History and social studies teaching can thus make an important contribution to peace and human rights education.

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Vita Peacock and Philip Kao

What is the relation between our own daily activity and the organizations that almost all of us are members of? This seemingly simple question has dominated the social study of organizations for over a century, and the responses to it can be very broadly parcelled out into three alternative perspectives.

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Göran Therborn and Sonia Therborn

‘Social quality’ is not a common term in Sweden and its sister notion ‘quality of life’ is used mainly with respect to the conditions of particular individuals and rarely, if ever, in social analysis. Swedish social statistics and social studies focus on ‘levels of living’ or ‘living conditions’. The perceived subjectivity connotations of ‘quality’ in this context have not been attractive. On the other hand, Swedish social research and policy evaluation have de facto been very much concerned with measuring what may properly be called qualitative dimensions of living conditions and correspondingly less interested in, for example, the possession of consumer goods.

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Ethan Lowenstein

This article seeks to build on current and emerging conceptions of teacher expertise as they relate to education for civic engagement and social awareness in the university classroom context. I explore the notion of teaching tensions between vulnerability and authority, authenticity and distance, safety and challenge, disclosure and neutrality, and social transformation as against individual agency. I argue that these tensions and the teacher decision-making processes involved in their navigation can add to university instructors' capacity to reflect on and evaluate curriculum design decisions when aiming to impact student social and civic identity development. I examine teaching tensions and their dynamic interaction through a self-study of my own teaching and of involving the students in a structured academic service-learning partnership with school pupils in a social studies methods course for pre-service teachers in the United States.

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In Defence of Social Science

U.K. 2015 – A Review of the 2015 CfSS Report 'The Business of People: The Significance of Social Science over the Next Decade'

Natali Valdez

In 1954, C. Dollard wrote an article in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology titled ‘In the Defense of Social Science’. In 1967, W. Grundy wrote another article in the journal of Social Studies with the same title. A report from the New York Times used the same title in 1985 to highlight how neglected the social sciences are in the American education system (Maeroff 1985). Most recently, in 2012 B. Maguth also draws on the same title to write an article examining the need to incorporate social sciences in STEM education. The list goes on and on; defending the social sciences across the spectrum of education has a long history in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Making a case for why the social sciences are vital and deserve recognition through funding is, unfortunately, not a novel campaign.