Social Studies Today: Research and Practice (Paperback) book cover

Social Studies Today

Research and Practice

Edited by Walter C. Parker

© 2010 – Routledge

270 pages

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pub: 2009-07-29
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About the Book

Social Studies Today: Research and Practice inspires educators to think freshly and knowingly about social studies education in the early years of the twenty first century. Written by the field’s leading scholars, this collection provokes readers to consider the relationship of research and practice as they think through some of the most interesting challenges that animate social studies education today.

Contributors to this volume include luminaries like James Banks, Carole Hahn, Keith Barton, Geneva Gay, Steve Thornton, Linda Levstik, Sam Wineburg, Fred Newmann and more. Each chapter tackles a specific issue and includes discussion of topics such as teaching history, learning tolerance, assessment, globalization, children’s literature, culturally relevant pedagogy, and teaching about genocide. Walter Parker not only pulled these chapters together but also contributes two of his own---both of which are sure to be cited as key works of this era.

Accessible, compelling, and full of rich examples and illustrations, this collection showcases some of the most original thinking in the field and offers pre- and in-service teachers alike new ways to improve social studies instruction.


"…anyone with an interest in social studies research and practice will find these essays useful. Recommended."--CHOICE

"All social studies professionals and stakeholders concerned with the social studies curriculum in our schools should read this book."--Education Review

"In this decade of narrow-minded school reform, the social studies have been under relentless attack and retreat. Until now. This magnificent book puts Social Studies back where it belongs - at the center of the school curriculum. We are a social species, learning and making progress together. Read this book and you'll discover why social studies represents no-child-left-behind in the richest and most meaningful sense of those words."--Joel Westheimer, University Research Chair in Democracy and Education, University of Ottawa

"Social Studies Today is an impressive collection of readings by outstanding scholars! Strong reviews of the theoretical landscape of social education are coupled with in-depth treatments of substantive pedagogical issues. The readings are clear and concise, yet satisfyingly complex. They should contribute to provocative classroom discussions and improved practice in social education."--Gloria T. Alter, Past-President, International Assembly of Social Educators, Nation Council for the Social Studies

"Reminding us of the importance of keeping the social studies at the center of the school curricula, Walter Parker assembles prominent social studies scholars and promotes the most imperative conversations in the field. As always he attends to our primary goal of 'enlightened political engagement' by highlighting what matters--purpose, perspective, subject, globalization, and the several issues that remain essential to understanding research and practice in the social studies."--Cinthia Salinas, Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents



  1. Social studies education eC21. Walter C. Parker
  2. Part I: Purpose Matters

  3. Social Studies and the Social Order: Transmission or Transformation? William B. Stanley
  4. The Social Studies Wars, Now and Then. Ronald W. Evans
  5. Why Don't More History Teachers Engage Students in Interpretation? Keith C. Barton & Linda S. Levstik
  6. High-Stakes Testing: How Are Social Studies Teachers Responding? S. G. Grant
  7. Authentic Intellectual Work: Common Standards for Teaching Social Studies. M. Bruce King, Fred M. Newmann & Dana L. Carmichael
  8. Part II: Perspective Matters

  9. Education and Diversity. James A. Banks, Peter Cookson, Geneva Gay, Willis D. Hawley, Jacqueline Jordan Irvine, Sonia Nieto, Janet Ward Schofield, & Walter G. Stephan
  10. Isn’t Culturally Responsive Instruction Just Good Teaching? Kathryn H. Au
  11. Silence on Gays and Lesbians in Social Studies Curriculum. Stephen J. Thornton
  12. Race, Gender, and the Teaching and Learning of National History. Terrie Epstein & Jessica Shiller
  13. Part III: Subject Matters

  14. What Can Forrest Gump Tell Us about Students' Historical Understanding? Sam Wineburg, Susan Mosborg, & Dan Porat
  15. What Does It Mean To Think Historically … and How Do You Teach It? Bruce A. Van Sledright
  16. Maps and Map Learning in Social Studies. Sarah Witham Bednarz, Gillian Acheson, & Robert S. Bednarz
  17. What Do Children Know about Cultural Universals? Jere Brophy & Janet Alleman
  18. High Quality Civic Education: What Is It and Who Gets It? Joseph Kahne & Ellen Middaugh
  19. Holocaust Fatigue in Teaching Today. Simone Schweber
  20. Part IV: Global Matters

  21. How are Teachers Responding to Globalization? Merry M. Merryfield & Masataka Kasai
  22. Using Literature to Teach about Others: The Case of Shabanu. Margaret Smith Crocco
  23. The Two World Histories. Ross E. Dunn
  24. Teaching Civic Engagement in Five Societies. Carole L. Hahn
  25. Part V: Puzzles

  26. Discussion in Social Studies: Is it Worth the Trouble? Diana E. Hess
  27. What Constrains Meaningful Social Studies Teaching? Catherine Cornbleth
  28. What is the Connection between Curriculum and Instruction? Avner Segall
  29. Can Tolerance be Taught? Patricia G. Avery
  30. Epilogue

  31. Idiocy, Puberty, and Citizenship: The Road Ahead. Walter C. Parker



About the Editor

Walter C. Parker is Professor and Chair of Social Studies Education and (by courtesy) Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Social Science