Protocol for Social Justice in Social Studies Education:
Teacher Candidates’ Interpretations of Primary Document Analysis Strategies

In this research, the team will explore teachers’ reasoning for not acknowledging or integrating progressive teaching techniques. The researchers problematize the situation by sharing their colleagues’ responses to a case study of an in-service teacher who struggled to integrate inquiry-based pedagogy while enrolled in a graduate-level methods course.

As social studies methods colleagues, we often discuss sound pedagogy for our discipline. Recent social, working class, and educational histories, as well as black, native, feminist, and ethnic histories, encompass only a few of the topic areas that have emerged to challenge the traditional historical synthesis of the late 1960s and 1970s. Seixas (1993) explores differing interpretations of history and their impact on the structure of the K-12 social studies curriculum. Instead of using lecture-based approaches, the Seixas’ research advocates using socio-dramas, field trips, constructed working models, and classrooms that are student centered. We argue that historians and social studies educators become more collaborative in their efforts to make the discipline more relevant. In short, social studies without historical perspective is meaningless. We believe that integration is best achieved by working with primary and secondary sources. Social studies teachers must provide historical context in order to engender historical understanding in their students. Our goal is to combat histlexia (Walker, 2015), a disconnect between historical learning and application, that is rampant within social studies classrooms today.

PARTNER: Augusta University


Team Biosketches