The Idea of a Social Studies Education, his latest book, traces the Western Civilization philosophical tradition as the source of modern social studies education. Using the classic philosophical concept of eudemonia --- the Good Life --- as the foundation, Professor Duplass introduces the oft-used but unnamed role of “philosophical counselor” by teachers of social studies as the distinctive method by which to transmit a democratic ideology to their students.
He follows in the intellectual footstep of educators such as John Henry Newman, John Dewey, and Shirley Engle in crafting a contemporary idea of a social studies education as the means to facilitate students’ liberation at the K-12 level so they can form an authentic and autonomous personal and civic identity and further the democratic ethos necessary for today’s society. The book uniquely blends scholarship from counseling, the humanities, and social studies education. Professor Duplass brings together a range of insights to forge an analysis of modernity, democratic ideology, left-right politics, justice, identity formation, moral education, teacher education, social studies educators, and the standards movement that cannot be found in another single manuscript. He draws upon ideas stemming from Socrates to MacIntyre, Fromm to Bandura, McLuhan to Trilling, Hayek to Rawls, Marinoff to Noddings, Raths to Parker, etc. and uses anecdotal stories as a reminder of why social studies education matters. With a robust analysis of what makes social studies education unique among the teaching fields, social studies educators are encouraged to avoid the pitfalls of perceiving their field of study through the typical lens used in the other disciplines and, instead, embrace social studies as more than a subject field to be learned but as the basis for a democratic life well-lived.