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Social Studies, Literacy, and Social Justice in the Elementary Classroom

A Guide for Teachers

160 pages
Teachers College Press

Elementary-aged children are often positioned as not developmentally ready to learn about race, racism, and injustice. Yet, the classroom materials used in most schools misrepresent history, withhold knowledge about racial injustice, or fail to uplift stories of resilience and resistance. For almost a decade, this groundbreaking resource has been one of the most highly used textbooks in justice-oriented social studies methods courses for grades 3–8. The author has thoroughly revised her bestseller to provide additional lessons that are more deeply situated within the current context of converging pandemics—COVID-19, racism, and impending environmental catastrophe. Grounded in the daily realities of public schools, Agarwal-Rangnath shows teachers how to use primary and other sources that will offer students new ways of thinking about history while meeting language arts standards for informational text proficiency and critical thinking. Educators will also learn how to teach language arts and social studies as complementary subjects.

New for the Second Edition:

  • More concrete connections between theory and practice.
  • Additional lesson examples that are centered in today’s context of converging pandemics.
  • Reflection questions that challenge readers to think about ways to navigate curricular constraints and standardization in the classroom.
Author Bio

Ruchi Agarwal-Rangnath is an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco and faculty coordinator of the South Bay Masters of Arts and Teaching Credential program. She is a founding member and executive director of CARE-ED (California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education) and founding member and vice-president of the National Association of Multicultural Education, California Chapter. Her books include Planting the Seed of Equity: Ethnic Studies and Social Justice in the K–2 Classroom and Preparing to Teach Social Studies for Social Justice: Becoming a Renegade.