Editor’s Notes

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In the Spring 2008 issue of Social Studies Research and Practice, the editors continue to make bringing you the best in social studies research and practice a top priority.   It is hard to believe that the inaugural issue of the journal was published two years ago.  We continue to be pleased with the number and quality of manuscripts submitted for consideration and encourage all social studies educators to consider SSRP as a venue for your scholarly work.  We also continue to be committed to working with novice writers, researchers, and educators.

In the research section of this issue, articles include those about alternative assessments of students’ historical knowing and understanding, ethnic identity and ethnic conflicts in world politics, and elementary teachers’ decision-making in history-social science and how it is influenced by state testing, local community pressures, as well as other influences.  The action research article examines historical empathy and how perspective taking can be fostered through historical debates.

The practice section of this issue include those dealing with problem-based learning and the Internet in a high school history classroom, student-produced newspapers used to teach students about the Second World War, a discussion of a program intended to address primary barriers to the integration of women’s history in the curriculum, and a descriptive study discussing the trend of teachers spending a minimal amount of time teaching history-social science compared to reading/language arts and mathematics.

The Notable Trade Books feature includes lessons about immigration, helping students “do the right thing”, and Jackie Robinson.  The lessons use the learning cycle lesson plan format and describe the use of notable children’s literature to teach social studies concepts.

The Ready-To-Teach feature suggests that elementary educators should be taught and encouraged to integrate content area teaching with literacy strategies.  The article includes a discussion of how teachers can meet both social studies standards and reading standards while engaging students in meaningful ways.

The Social Justice feature shows how early childhood learners question and reflect about their community history and that of Harlem primarily through folk art but also in music, poetry, literature, and architecture.

Finally, the Technology feature includes discussion of the need to integrate technology into K-12 social studies classrooms and continues by introducing and providing social studies-based examples of the Moersch Levels of Technology Integration (LoTi) framework. The authors argue that LoTi levels do not coincide with teachers’ needed technology skill levels. As a result, the article offers suggestions for encouraging adjustment toward greater technology-infused social studies instructional methods based on teacher skill level.