Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 2008
The Authors of the Harvard Social Studies Project: A Retrospective Analysis of Donald Oliver, Fred Newmann, and James Shaver
Chara Haeussler Bohan
Joseph R. Feinberg
Georgia State University
During the late twentieth century in the field of social studies education, Donald Oliver, Fred Newmann, and James Shaver were prominent leaders. Their work on the Harvard Social Studies Project was part of the New Social Studies movement popular in the 1960s and 1970s that attempted to transform the social studies curriculum nationwide. By creating materials that focused on inquiry-based learning, they aimed to make a difference in the way that social studies courses were taught in American schools. The focus of this research is an analysis of the content and impact of the Harvard Social Studies Project and an exploration of the contributions of Donald Oliver, Fred Newmann, and James Shaver to that project. Historical research methods served as the primary theoretical framework for guiding the investigation. Oliver, Newmann, and Shaver’s work on the Harvard Social Studies Project not only established all three men as influential leaders in social studies education but also laid the groundwork for their subsequent work in broader areas of education.
About the Author(s)…
Chara Haeussler Bohan is assistant professor of Social Studies Education at Georgia State University. Her research interests include the history of education, women’s studies, curriculum history, and contemporary social studies teacher education. She authored the book Go to the Sources: Lucy Maynard Salmon and the Teaching of History (2004: Peter Lang); chapters in books such as Totten and Pederson’s Addressing Social Issues in the Classroom and Beyond: The Pedagogical Efforts of Pioneers in the Field (2007: Information Age Publishing), and Woyshner, Watras, and Crocco’s Social Education in the Twentieth Century: Curriculum and Context for Citizenship (2004: Peter Lang). She has published several research articles in Theory and Research in Social Education, Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue, and Social Studies and the Young Learner. She can be reached at Georgia State University, Department of Middle Secondary and Instructional Technology, POB 3978, Atlanta, GA 30303; phone (404) 413-8402; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph R. Feinberg is an assistant professor of Social Studies Education at Georgia State University. Formerly an assistant professor at UNC Wilmington, he also taught social studies at Campbell High School in Smyrna, Georgia. His research interests include simulation games, civic education, and service-learning. He has published several journal articles and contributed chapters to recent books such as Real World Investigations for Middle and High School Social Studies published through Merrill Education/Prentice Hall and Teaching about the Islamic World published through the National Council for Geographic Education. In addition, Joe co-authored a chapter in Barbara Slater Stern’s edited forthcoming book, The New Social Studies: People, Programs, Politics and Perspectives (2008: Information Age Publishing). He can be reached at email@example.com.