Chapter 5 : Central Concepts in Social Studies

Report
Chapter 5 : Central Concepts in
Social Studies
Learning Topics
Systems and Structures
Interactions and Interdependence
The Environment
Globalization
Change and Continuity
Culture, Multiculturalism, and Multi-racism
Power, Governance, and Stability
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Fundamental Concepts in
Social Studies
The discipline of Social Studies is organized around a set of
fundamental concepts that represent unique perspectives
on the discipline.
Fundamental concepts that are central to Social Studies
include:
■ Systems and Structures
■ Interactions and Interdependence
■ The Environment
■ Globalization
■ Change and Continuity
■ Culture, Multiculturalism and Multi-racism
■ Power, Governance, and Stability
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Guideline Treatment of
Fundamental Concepts
Teachers need to examine guidelines closely to
determine the treatment given to fundamental
concepts and the specific concepts that are to be
taught in a jurisdiction.
Fundamental concepts may sometimes be
embedded in goal statements.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Systems and Structures
 Relates to patterns in our environment and in our
society.
Nature pattern examples:
- Growth
- geographic boundaries (e.g., lakes, rivers, mountains)
Human-made pattern examples:
- political boundaries (e.g., countries)
- social groups (e.g., clubs)
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
The Study of Systems and Structures could include…
 Social groups
 Environment
 Society
 Treaties
 Community
 Cause and effect relationships
 Humanitarianism
 NATO
 Mobility
 International agreements
 Location
 Trade
 Government
 Cooperation
 Governance
 Human Patterns
 Coalitions
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Teaching About Structures and Systems
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Use graphic organizers to show relationships in visual ways.
Use children’s literature examples and then develop generalizations from the
examples as these examples accumulate in their experiences.
Have students create models from concrete materials.
Use photo studies to help students imagine what they cannot experience first-hand.
Make comparisons.
Use the language of the discipline to identify examples of the concepts.
Teach students the difference between examples and definitions (they will often give
an example when you ask them to explain or define unless they are taught the
difference between the two).
Teach concept clarification as a study skill (See Chapter 2).
Create opportunities to make mind-body connections as you teach abstract or notyet -experienced concepts.
Move teaching from the known to the unknown, creating analogies as abstract ideas
are introduced (e.g., “This is like…”).
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Interactions and Interdependence
 When humans come into contact with other humans, with the
environment, and with ways of doing things, they adapt and
accommodate the new contacts or conflict with them.
 The forces that influence the developing relationships shape
the impact that groups and systems have on each other when
they come into contact.
 Successful contacts will result in productive interdependence.
 Unsuccessful ones will result in conflict.
 The impact of interactions can be identified and followed over
time and space.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
The Study of Interactions and Interdependence
could include…
 Environment
 Civil responsibilities
 Relationships
 Global Citizenship
 Sustainability
 Globalization
 Cause and effect
 Community
 Micro-economics
 Civic rights
 Fair trade concepts
 Ecology
 Patterns in human and natural geography
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Teaching About Interactions and
Interdependence
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Create trade and movement maps that students can develop using strings or arrows to show
how people and goods move around the globe.
Have students develop a t-chart to identify their rights and responsibilities.
Teach students how to generate criteria for a comparison.
Develop simulations to show students that some resources are depleting.
Simulate fair trade exchanges and analyze them to help students determine what fair means.
Study near and far examples of communities to show how they are structured and interact to
meet needs. Ask probing questions such as “Whose needs are met?”, “Whose needs are not
met?”, “Why?”
Connect Social Studies to Science to examine examples of micro-communities and
ecosystems.
Connect Social Studies to Language to tell stories about other communities the students have
not experienced first-hand.
Explore through field trips.
Use media and technology to create opportunities to experience through the eyes of
another.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
The Environment
 The environment needs to be understood to include both the
natural and the constructed elements of the earth and its
atmosphere in dynamic interaction with each other.
 When we structure learning experiences for young students to
engage their understanding of the environment, we must
constantly return to the idea of interaction between human activity
and its impact on the environment.
 Environmental issues cannot be adequately represented as linear
relationships but must be shown as a complex web of cause and
effect relationships.
 Students must be led to understand that human needs and wants
have an environmental price.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
The Study of the Environment could include…
 Natural systems
 Exploitation
 Human systems
 Sustainability
 Natural patterns
 Global stewardship
 Human patterns
 Urban island effects
 Economic imperative
 Ecosystems
 Pollution
 Reduction targets
 Economies
 Waste management
 Resource depletion
 Utilization patterns
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Teaching about the Environment
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Graphing activities that show per capita use of resources across cultures.
Web quests to examine and compare lifestyles.
Creation and analysis of graphics that demonstrate environmental trends and
impacts.
Cross –curricular experiences with the examination of ecosystems.
Building and studying terrariums.
Tracing transportation routes of common goods manufactured in other countries.
Differentiating between needs and wants.
Developing perspective through stories exchanged with students in other
countries (i.e., “A Day in the Life of…”) and analysis of the resources that are
needed to sustain the lifestyle as described.
An integrated curriculum approach to environmental studies may benefit
students’ understanding because they examine environmental issues from many
perspectives.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Globalization
 Transportation and communication technology has made connections
around the globe readily available and possible for many Canadians.
 While students may not have visited other countries they will all be aware
of other countries through exposure to media and through secondary
sources, such as parent trips.
 Students can be made aware of these connections by asking them to
examine the production labels on their clothing and the items in their
desks. Connecting what they have and use every day to the origin of these
items can help students understand the interrelationships that influence
every aspect of our lives in Canada.
 We cannot, however, leave the concept of globalization at the level of
trade relations.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
 Students need to understand that globalization encompasses
connections among the world’s geography and its peoples in
relation to economies, labour, conflict, peace keeping,
resource and waste management, common territories (e.g.,
oceans), political interfacing, technology, humanitarian
interaction, immigration, and space exploration.
 Technology has increased our awareness of inequities across
the globe in relation to lifestyles and resource use.
 In Social Studies, we study the environment from a global
perspective for the purpose of becoming better stewards of it.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Teaching About Globalization
 Designing integrated studies that support Social Studies through
stories about other peoples and places.
 Using sustainable and resource friendly classroom practices to
heighten students’ awareness of waste.
 Providing opportunities for students to tell classmates about their
travels to other countries.
 Using documentaries and vignettes or video clips to expose
students to living conditions in other countries.
 Developing comparisons.
 Creating management plans.
 Developing inquiry tasks that focus on “why” questions to examine
implicit and explicit values in a situation.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Change and Continuity
 It is difficult for young students to conceptualize change over
time and place outside of their immediate experience.
 Continuity may be even more difficult for students to
understand because of their lack of a long engagement with
events.
 Popular media will have created exposure to some historical
and futuristic examples that students can draw upon to help
them build generalizations. However, teachers will need to
understand the impact of media on creating conceptions,
misperceptions, and frameworks for guiding students’ abilities
to assimilate and accommodate new information about
historical events or new conceptions about space.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
 Whole generations of Canadian students grow up with certain
conceptions because of their childhood exposures to popular
media phenomena.
 For example, some students may have a romanticized view of
wildlife predators in Africa because of their childhood
experience watching movies such as “The Lion King”.
 Similar TV experiences watching a series such as “Anne of
Green Gables” may create interesting but idealized views of
both history and geography.
 The challenge for teachers of Social Studies will be to build on
and adapt these romanticized versions of change and
continuity to reflect reasonable and age appropriate reality
for young students.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
 Social Studies experiences should guide
students in their understanding that change is
manifested as differences over time.
 Continuity should be understood as
consistency, stability, and connectedness over
time and place.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Change and Continuity may include…
 Time
 Conflict
 Place
 Perspective
 Space
 Bias
 History
 Personal narrative
 Sustainability
 Human patterns
 Tradition
 Natural patterns
 Culture
 Cause and effect
 Stability
 Needs gratification
 Heritage
 Power and control
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Teaching About Change and Continuity
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Re-enactments
Pageants and simulations
Imaginative recreations and plays
Costume design and use
Heritage Fairs (See Chapter 17)
Magazine comparisons
Critical analysis of art work and photography
Comparisons
Debates related to historical or future studies issues
Readers’ Theatre
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Culture, Multi-Culturalism,
and Multi-Racism
 Culture includes the ways that we choose to express our
humanity within our Canadian population.
 Our culture is not static and is influenced by our interaction
with the environment and with each other.
 Cultural values provide a filter for our perceptions of time,
place, change, significance, and perspective.
 Culture defines our tolerance and refines our ability to
appreciate that which is different from our personal
experiences.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Culture, Multi-Culturalism and Multi-Racism
may include…
 Immigration
 Tolerance
 First Nations/ Aboriginal communities  Respect
 Customs
 Language and communication
 Ideology
 Spirituality and religion
 Education
 Family diversity
 Interracial marriage
 Inclusion
 Mobility
 Differentiation
 Migration
 Dominance
 Diversity
 Non-dominance
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Teaching About Culture, MultiCulturalism and Multi-Racism
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Investigations into the beliefs, values, customs, and lifestyles of all cultures that
make up Canadian culture
Cultural celebrations
Banquet style celebrations that explore foods of many cultures
Guest speakers who explain diverse cultures
Art work that exposes students to the symbols and spirituality of non-dominant
cultures
Character education
Teaching social skills to support group work
Cooperative learning strategies and structures
Journaling before and after multi-cultural experiences to make personal awareness
explicit
Comparisons
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Power, Tolerance, and Stability
 World stability is a Canadian value.
 We support this value through global peace keeping efforts
and through membership in the United Nations.
 Some Canadians support world organizations such as Amnesty
International and students may have opportunities to engage
these organizations in classroom studies.
 The study of power, governance, and stability in Social Studies
provides students with knowledge of the laws and rules that
we value and support across Canada and as a member of the
global community.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
The Study of Power, Governance and
Stability could include…
 Democracy
 Power relationships
 Conflict resolution
 Peace keeping
 Cooperation
 Anti-tyranny
 Justice
 Rights and responsibilities
 Security
 Anti-terrorism
 World order
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Teaching About Power, Governance, and
Stability could include…
 Simulations that include conflict and opportunities for peaceful
resolution to conflicts
 Mock parliamentary debates
 Mock elections
 Democratic classroom meetings
 Graphic representations of government decision making processes
 Community action
 Web searches about local, national, or international issues
 Projects
 Justice Circles
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Comparison…a key strategy
 Once students understand the concept of criteria that can be used to
balance a comparison (or make the comparison “fair”), teachers can begin
to move away from the relatively unsophisticated comparisons allowed by
Venn diagrams and start to teach students to organize comparisons on
comparison charts that will allow them to see the items, events, or people
being compared and the common criteria being used to structure that
comparison.
 This can be done effectively in the early primary grades but the content of
the comparison will need to reflect the language development of the
students and may require support from pictures and symbols.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
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As students develop increasing facility with completing comparison charts
that the teacher has provided, they should be challenged to develop their
own charts and to become increasingly independent with these skills that
support effective comparison:
Naming the class of items to which the things to be compared will belong
(e.g., Industries)
Generating appropriate criteria
Physically structuring a comparison chart that will guide their research and
that is large enough to serve as a recording page
Developing comparison charts using a computer
Managing files to import research information into a comparison chart
Expanding comparison charts as data becomes more complex
Using words that highlight the three elements of comparison (similarities,
differences, and cause/effect relationships); charts provide a valuable
reference (anchor) for students as they approach comparisons.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Early Efforts to Write a Comparative Essay
Opening Paragraph
1. Name the topic.
2. Name the things that will be compared (sub-topics).
3. Name the criteria that will be used for this comparison.
Body Paragraphs
4. Rename the first criterion.
5. Write comparative sentences (using the connecting words) to talk about each thing that is
being compared (sub-topic).
6. Rename the second criterion.
7. Write comparative sentences (using the connecting words) to talk about each thing that is
being compared (sub-topic).
8. Continue as per steps 4-7 for each remaining criterion.
Closing Paragraph
9. Write a paragraph that explains what was compared and what criteria were used for the
comparison.
10. Add one or more concluding sentences to the closing paragraph to explain overall conclusions
that you have come to as a result of comparing.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
Chapter Review
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The discipline of Social Studies focuses on some fundamental concepts that are
central to the nature of the discipline.
The fundamental concepts of Social Studies include systems and structures,
interactions and interdependence, the environment, globalization, change and
continuity, culture, multi-culturalism and multi-racism, and power, governance and
stability.
Understanding these fundamental concepts can support teachers’ development of
a Social Studies curriculum that promotes deep understanding.
Fundamental concepts are reflected in the topics identified for study in all
Canadian provinces and territories.
Systems and structures refer to the study of patterns in our environment and our
society.
Interactions and interdependence refer to the forces that influence developing
relationships and the impact those relationships have on interacting groups and
systems.
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Social Studies: Innovative Approaches for Teachers
 Study of the environment must include both natural and constructed
elements of the earth and its atmosphere and consider the dynamic
interaction each element may have on the other.
 Globalization encompasses connections among the world’s geography and
peoples in relation to economies, labour, conflict, peace keeping, resource
and waste management, common interests, political interfacing,
technology, humanitarian interaction, immigration, and space exploration.
 Change refers to differences over time.
 Continuity refers to consistency, stability, and connectedness over time
and place.
 Culture is the ways we choose to express our humanity.
 The study of power, governance and stability includes exposure to laws
and rules valued in Canadian society within Canada and as a member of
the global community.
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