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Teaching Social Studies that Matters

Curriculum for Active Learning

Stephen Thornton

144 pages
Teachers College Press
No plan to increase achievement and enact reform in the social studies classroom will succeed without recognizing the central importance of the teacher as the “gatekeeper” of instruction. In this book, Thornton details why teachers must develop strong skills in curriculum planning and teaching methods in order for effective instruction to occur. Thornton helps teachers to develop a vision of their practice that will build strong social studies programs and inspire students to learn. Features: An approach to preparing purposeful teachers, acknowledging that teachers make daily decisions concerning what to teach and how to teach it. Replicable examples of the kinds of reflective practice that will enable teachers to animate classroom instruction and create a dynamic social studies curriculum. An analysis of how teachers adapt and shape state and district level curricula and classroom materials to fit the specific needs of their students—a model of how to develop an instructional program with suggestions for lesson planning. In-depth examinations of alternative ways of educating teachers in subject matter and teaching methods.
Author Bio
Stephen J. Thornton is Associate Professor of Social Studies and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.