Education 304
Social Studies in the Elementary School
When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.
-Helen Keller

Amy Camardese, Ph.D.
Old Main 301B
Phone: 724-946-7183 (Office)
330-759-1395 (Home)
E-mail: camardah@westminster.edu

Required Text: Seeing the Whole Through Social Studies
Tarry Lindquist
Heinemann, 2nd edition (2002)
ISBN 0-325-00448-X
 The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriet
Northeast Foundation for Children  (2004)
I ISBN 1-892989
Pennsylvania’s Academmic Standards Lesson Plan Book
Alvah M. Squibb Co., Inc
McKeesport, PA         
Social Studies in the Elementary School is a required course with the goal of equipping prospective elementary teachers with tools for teaching social studies to children.  This course requires that you work to develop initial ideas of social studies teaching that include methods of content selection (e.g., How do I know which knowledge and skills are the most important?), methods of teaching (e.g., Which ways of teaching best help children learn important knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values?), and be able to explain the critical role of social studies education in the school curriculum (e.g., Can social studies serve as the integrating core?).

  I love teaching and hope that you will see evidence of my enthusiasm for social studies!
The professional education program provides evidence that Elementary Education certification candidates complete a program of Elementary Education studies the same as the academic content area courses and required electives of a major in a bachelor’s degree.  The program shall require the candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental concepts of Elementary Education and competence in applying developmentally appropriate practices to meet the diverse needs of all elementary student (K-6) including: (Pa. Dept. of Education, 1/01)

 .F.  Citizenship Education instruction in accordance with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards including:Economics, communication, transportation, industrialization, technology and agriculture,
Geography including location, place, region, human and environmental interaction, world, national, state, and local history, political science, government, social organizations and civic responsibilities
Assignments related to I.F.:
Developing a unit:
* Assessments
Teaching a Pennsylvania history lesson
Developing lesson plans
.G.  Social Sciences including:
Human behavior, culture and society, family structures, prejudice, tolerance and other coping behaviors, artworks and other cultural artifa
Assignments related to I.G.:
Conducting a morning meeting
Writing a reading reaction
Developing an Instructional Activity
Course Objectives:

  • Be able to use state and NCSS standards to design lessons, units, and curriculum.
  • Describe the structure of the social sciences and citizenship education that form the base for the social studies.
  • Identify the major social science disciplines and explain the major focus and emphasis of each.
  • Identify three key curricular elements and explain their role in program development.
  • Compare and contrast attitudes toward and models of dealing with cultural diversity.
  • Create lesson plans that actively engage students in social studies.
  • Identify and give examples of six factors that influence learning style.
  • Explain how character education differs from values education.
  • Explain the function of concepts.
  • Identify the key components of a daily lesson plan.
  • Identify and explain the nature and purpose of evaluation, testing, and grading.
  • Identify the basic components of role-playing and policy-model decision-making activities.
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary source accounts.
  • Explain the distinctions between text and trade books, current events and current affairs, and field trips and tours.

Disability Policy
Students who desire some form of accommodation for a diagnosed learning disability or physical problem must inform their instructors at the beginning of each semester (within two weeks) as to the nature of the disability and type of accommodation requested.  If the disability or physical problem is diagnosed during the semester, students should inform their instructors immediately of the problem and accommodations needed.  Student with disabilities should also inform the Disabilities Coordinator in the Career Development Center, who is available to assist in evaluating the disability and to facilitate communication between the College and the student in considering special accommodations.  The type of accommodation provided will depend on the needs of the student, the circumstances of the student’s classes, and the resources of the College.  Because of limited resources, final determination of whether an accommodation can be provided will be at the discretion of the College.

Student Evaluation:  Student performance in this course will be based upon the following:
Develop a unit –   The unit will be developed over a period of several weeks during the course. You will teach your unit during the second week of practicum experience.  Detailed instructions will be provided. (100 points)
Assessments – A mid-term will be given. (100 points)
  Pennsylvania History lesson- Develop a lesson plan and teach a mini-lesson on Pennsylvania history.  You will use one of the strategies taught in class to teach your mini-lesson and the lesson will be video-taped.  You will view the video-tape and write a reflection noting your teaching strengths and area to develop. (30 points)
Morning Meeting –  Lead a morning meeting during junior block. (10 points)
Webquest- A webquest will be created and turned in as your final.(100 points)
Notable Social Studies Books – Evaluate five trade books for classroom use in your Social Studies class (25 points).
 Class Discussion-(10 points) There will be reading assignments each week from our text.  Bring your textbook to each class and come prepared to discuss some points from your readings.   This may include a powerful quote or a connection you have made to your own teaching/learning.  You will be responsible for leading discussion for one of the chapters in Seeing the Whole Through Social Studies.  
  Participation (30 points) Learning is not passive.  We will depend on each other for learning through discussion, debate, and questioning. Be prepared to actively participate in class discussions and activities.  Active participation is essential and will be evaluated in the following way:

    • Excellent – proactive participation: leading, originating, informing, challenging contributions that reflect in-depth study, thought, and analysis of the topic under consideration.  This does not mean dominating discussion or using a lot of words to say little.
    • Satisfactory  - reactive participation: supportive, follow-up contributions that are relevant and of value, but rely on the leadership and study of others, or reflect opinion rather than study, thought, and contemplation.
    • Minimally acceptable  - passive participation: present, awake, alert, attentive, but not actively involved.
    • Unsatisfactory - uninvolved: absent, present but not attentive, sleeping, irrelevant contributions that inhibit the progress of the class, discourteous, disruptive behavior.