Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 1, Number 2, Summer 2006
SOCIAL JUSTICE FEATURE:
Early Childhood Social Studies Learning for Social Justice
Lois M. Christensen
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Early childhood social studies students deserve to learn in a powerful, in-depth fashion about their interests with teachers who facilitate cognitive and affective growth. Humanistic teachers offer democratic learning experiences characterized by exploration and inquiry within a challenging and caring environment. Growth toward acceptance of all types of diversity and every classmate is featured. Through discussion about social studies topics, learners proceed to graphically represent what they learn. This powerful social studies learning is found in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The tenets, strategies, and approaches are easily transferable and modified to create powerful and exemplar early childhood social studies learning for social rights and social justice. Early childhood is the perfect place to set social justice learning in motion.
About the Author(s)…
Lois McFadyen Christensen, associate professor of elementary social studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, teaches and researches issues concerning learning elementary social studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She facilitates learning in critical pedagogy and qualitative research methods. Each summer she team-teaches a civil rights movement course accompanied by the city schools and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. She served on the PBS Advisory Board for TeacherSource. http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/. Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org, the University of Alabama in Birmingham.