"How can children study when there are no books to bring home. There are no
graded papers for parents to follow-up on with your child. Sure there is a
parent portal that is recorded some of the time, but where is the
"I do not like what my daughter is learing in 7th grade Social
Studies.Buddism.I wished they'd learn something about the cities of this
state we're in Georgia"
"It's time to evaluate exactly what and how history is being taught.
Revisionist history is teaching children mistakes of the past rather than
concentrating on the remarkable events that makes the U.S. the most
desirable place on earth. Children are not learning about the sacrifices
made by our founding fathers to create our Constitution. These are the
facts that should be emphasized in teaching history."
"I teach history and love what I do. I put myself into my class everyday.
I talk in different tougues and in different ways. I try to bring stories
into my classroom to tell why something happened, not just that it did. I
have students who have said that I was their best teacher theyever had but
I also had others who disliked my class. Lucky for me more are the
former. I think we need passion in teaching history. I go with my school
to DC and last year we toured the Halocaust and as I was going with my
students I noticed there were about fifty or so adults listening to
everything I am saying about what they are seeing, they loved it ans I was
thanked afterwards. The states are telling us to only touch the subject
while getting indepth is what they students remember. I wish they would
"its a great info n i can get better scores for this when things help me i
do great n get good grades that im a gifted student "
"Good report and links to help my daughter in middle school.
"I am eighth grade and I will be taking the Ohio Achievement test in
history next week and my class had been preparing for it all year and I
feel comfortable and we do very fun stuff in history class one of my
teachers thinks that the OAT tests are stupid. But I will try my best on
the social studies test since my school hasn't been doing well on the
social studies test. Last year 49% of eighth graders passed it so ever
since October our teachers had been sacrificing every Friday since then
just to prepare for the test. When we did the practice test for the social
studies test I got a 92% on it so I should do well on it."
"As a Social Science teacher in California, and as someone who grew up
overseas in embassies and consulates, coming back to the states as a
sophomore, I can tell you that Americans are quite deficient in
understanding the place of the social sciences in our internal and
external relations. I try to remedy this using both Geography and
timelines as frameworks.
Particularly these daays, in climatic crisis worldwide, it is important to
know our place in the cycles of nature and how human activity is
disrupting natural processes. Illustrating impact on a timeline reaching
back to the Mid-Palaeolith, with the punctuations to the equilibrium of
the Agricultural Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Digital
Revolution is useful to explain the large-picture view of History.
What significance was the Roman Empire to us, or why Huns were appeased or
why the Church ran things for so long, or why resources become overly
exploited all contribute to an understanding of our immediate futures.
ANTICIPATING things is a human use of the invisible tool of TIME, only
recently acquired by sapients. One of the most glaring disinctions between
neanderthalensis and sapients is the latter's consideration of events as
transactions in time -- planning and projecting historical trajectories to
mitigate as yet unrealized hazards. The Agricultureal Revolution came
about because of human manipulation of natural resource processes. This
brought about better productivity by anticipating the results of human
intervention, agri-culture (cultivation). Planning for floods,
reservoiring of waters for times of scarcity, building granaries for
storage of surplus to be displaced in time to times of low harvest,
investing in trade for external security -- all these activities !
derive from human calendrics and forethought.
Anticipating problems leads to improvements in our systems - if there is a
perterbation, or some irritating problem that can be improved, it is the
use of time, thinking ahead, imagining that improves the human lot. Time
is a uniquely human trait. Planning in a timeframe allows for the progress
of our comfort and security.
So setting chronology as a framework for social studies allows the
incorporation of all the disparate factors which constitute an
understanding of historical events. Understanding allows for projecting
probable outcomes of important decisions we need to be making today. TIME
is the framework for understanding and wisdom."
"Some excellent points were made in the article concerning the relevance of teaching history in primary education. I remember vividly being bored in history classes in high school, and now wish I could recapture some of the offered knowledge to better round out my understanding of current events. It sometimes causes me to disengage myself from conversations I know nothing about. Learning the history of the country in which you live and the world beyond will better equip young people to become informed and active citizens."
"The problem with history classes when I was a child is they forgot to talk about all the important women who helped shape our world. My child is only 6, but my guess is it will still be up to me to teach her about the wonderful accomplishments of women. So, no, I don't want what I received years ago (I am 44 now)I want better!"
"I would have liked to hear more from Michael Yell in this article. He is truly a model social studies educator. Parents and teachers can learn a tremendous amount from him. The book he recently published for NCSS contains a wealth of information. Emphasis on the work of Diane Ravitch and E.D. Hirsch was troubling. Their work espouses such rigid, traditional beliefs regarding the teaching of social studies. The authors should have offered more balanced perspectives. However, I am pleased that Great Schools chose to write a piece covering social studies education. These disciplines have taken a back seat to math and literacy in recent years."
"I loved this article. I was just saying to my child's teacher, we're in TN, that the SS curriculumm in our school was the worst I had ever seen. The children sit with their mediocre texts and listen to it read to them by a narrator on CD! Then some worksheets and that's it. Compare this to our previous school where in 3rd grade three countries were studied in great detail, Japan, Australia, and Kenya. They looked at economics, government, education, language, culture (food, dress, traditions, celebrations), religion, the works. They also had time to learn NY state history & geography, and US government & geography. I miss that program terribly! Thank you for the recommended resources. We'll be doing a lot of filling in the blanks in our summer activities and trips."
"As a parent and an 8th grade Social Studies teacher, I am very concerned with the lack of support for Social Studies not only in my own district but across the nation. Arizona's Social Studies Standards start with kindergarten through 12th grade. The standards have 5 strands: US history, world history, civics, economics, and geography, with all 5 strands having objectives at each grade level. Unfortunately, as your article states since NCLB has no Social Studies requirements
districts have cut down Social Studies instruction (some elementary schools do not teach any Social Studies or limit it to 30 minutes a week). My students come to me with very little prior knowledge of any area of Social Studies, so instead of being able to spiral from the previous knowledge they should have been taught I am often their introduction to every unit. I do not see a change in sight, schools are so concerned with test scores that learning has suffered especially in any classes without required tests. Our children are missing out. "
"I teach 6th grade social studies and we focus on ancient civilizations. I have tried to make my students understand how important these civilizations are, but they just don't get it and to tell you the truth, they don't care. They don't see how ancient civilizations or any history relate to their lives. They have a hard time remembering facts, dates, and names. I guess for most of them 6th grade is the first time this is required because many of many students have informed me that they didn't study history last year. Most of them don't know the difference between a continent, country, and a state. I do a few(and only a few) students that do the grasp the idea and importance of ancient civilizations, but it is very rare.
Unlike my fellow teachers in my building I do try to make social studies fun. We have a lot of hands on activities and very rarely use the textbook. I definetly teach the opposite of how I grew up. I grew up reading, taking notes, and watching film strips. My students are growing up using hands on activities, projects, dvds, and discussions. "
"I feel that History, from beginning to the present, is very important. I agree that much of the information regarding government and economics can be garnered while studying history. It is a very sad fact that many students don't understand the basis of democracy and why it is so important. If you mention a historical person's name, many of them will get a glazed-over look and won't be able to answer very rudimentary questions. How can we avoid the errors of the past if our future leaders have no background? Math and reading are essential, but the children will not survive college without history, geography and economics."
"The Social Science class of our 6th grader is like that:
Since the beginning of 6th grade the teacher let the students write outline notes, page by page, chapter by chapter. 2 chapters per week are assigned including 2 questions to be answered. She doesn't correct if the answer (academically very chanllenging). She doesn't discuss the questions in class. Further the kids have to learn 'acadamic vocabulary' which is not designed for 6th graders (I don't know where she takes the words from). Further she likes to do field trips (4 by now). And projects which are designed for 8th graders. So no wonder to me, our son will not learn for the future in this class because it is overwhelming and no in-depths learning.
I should mention we are living in the Bay Area in CA and are going to leave because of the school situation (even the people over here are so proud of the schools in the district).
I should mention I contacted the teacher ('I'm preparing the kids for the High School exit exam'), principal and the district but they tell me 'there are some students who are able to do it'. So I feel my child is left behind.... but he is only overwhelmed and bored of this class especially as he is an ESL student!"