Editor’s Notes

Rostral Column and Naval Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

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The editors of Social Studies Research and Practice are pleased to introduce a new, peer reviewed, electronic journal that focuses on providing a venue for P–16 social studies research and practice manuscripts, lesson plans, reviews, and issues related to higher-level learning outcomes. We aim to provide forums for the online dissemination of research and practice in social studies (P-16), disseminate ideas that enhance the practical aspects of social studies, further knowledge and understanding of powerful and innovative research and practice in social studies, and foster debate about the implementation of meaningful social studies research and practice.

In this inaugural issue, we have provided a venue for educators at all levels to discuss and debate issues of importance to the advancement of social studies.

The Research pieces included in this issue cover a wide range of topics of interest to classroom teachers and teacher educators. Alden Craddock’s study, entitled Differences in Gender and Civic Education in Ukraine, examines learning about democracy in Ukraine.  In Learning to Question in Kindergarten, Lynn Kelley’s action research examines kindergartener’s awareness of questions and their ability to pose appropriate questions. Jonathan Miller-Lane and two undergraduate students, Elissa Denton and Andrew May, explore secondary teachers’ thoughts about disclosure in Social Studies Teachers’ Views on Committed Impartiality and Discussion. Susan Catapano and Kim Song’s action research looks at the Kids Voting USA program and how the program can be used to teach pre-service teachers to infuse civic learning goals, social studies, and voting education into the primary classroom. In Narrating Democratic Education, Ellen Santora uses grounded theory and constant comparative analysis of electronic portfolios to explore how prospective secondary social studies teachers connect theories and practices of democratic education to give meaning to the complexity of learning how to teach in more democratic ways. 

The Practice pieces include lessons, lesson sets or mini units, and WebQuests. They also include articles that discuss ideas for deepening social studies instruction and curriculum.  Amy Lynn Roedding presents a lesson set on Revolution: In the Hearts and Minds of People. All of the lessons follow the learning cycle lesson plan format. Another lesson set, by Chad Michael Dorn and Carlos Espinosa Proaño, is entitled Propaganda and the Cold War and represents an initial study of the Cold War by tenth graders. Dorn and Espinosa also share their World War I WebQuest, Huns, Nuns, & Guns: A WebQuest. Mary Haas and several undergraduate students, Jessica Channell, Michael T. Linder, Holly Vandevander, and Angela VanSickle discuss pre-service teachers’ use of WebQuests in Developing Social Studies WebQuests with Teacher Candidates. In Working with Museums and Parks for Teacher Education, Susan Waite and Judy Leavell explore the use of local and regional museums and parks as possible sites for pre-service teacher education.

In the Technology Feature, Contributing Editors Mark Hofer and Kathleen Owings Swan discuss problems related to classroom implementation of technology-based projects.

In the Social Justice Feature, Contributing Editor Lois Christensen looks at how aesthetic education can be included in the curriculum to enhance social studies.

In the Interdisciplinary Studies Feature, Contributing Editors Tammy Cook, Juan Walker, and Elizabeth Wilson suggest that teachers’ time and efforts spent in designing interdisciplinary lessons on the front end of instruction will culminate in a stronger exhibition of synthesis from students.