America was built on democracy, a set of rules that governs the people in a state or country. Most elementary classrooms can follow this same doctrine by establishing rules and polices that guide and govern activities in that classroom.
As we stand on the precipice of change. We must address several pertinent issues that relate to the Black Lives Matter movement. Change is inevitable, and if things are to be different, a level of respect must be developed between all parties. How do we address these issues? What must we do to ensure students move progressively toward making systemic change?
History is the study of past events in human affairs and part of our daily lives. There's no way around it, we are living in a historical moment currently that will affect future generations to come.
Participatory citizenship is the act of citizens actively participating through community and political life to build a democracy that respects human rights. Currently, members and allies of the Black Lives Matter movement are partaking in their First Amendment right to protest, aiming to enact change for police reform and civil rights, which offers a unique teaching opportunity to encourage active citizenship. How can we find other ways to help our students understand the importance of becoming an active citizen today?
In these changing times, what are some of the social studies best-practices that we can apply in a remote learning environment?
Many teachers struggle to motivate their elementary students to learn, especially when teaching social studies. Students struggle to understand why learning historical facts and figures matter and find the subject content boring. In an age when connecting with history matters more than ever, how do we make our K-8 social studies classrooms challenging and exploratory?
A pedagogical shift towards teaching social studies in conjunction with other subjects, and not as an isolated topic, has slowly emerged on the horizon in public schools for the last five years. In some states, standardized state tests in social studies have been discontinued for students in 6th and 7th grades because they are considered non-essential. Teachers continue to ask why social studies content is being pushed aside for language arts, math, and other STEM-based curricula. Social studies, especially at the secondary level, is a disappearing and often thought of as less important curriculum, but it doesn’t have to be.