Abstract 15- Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2009

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2009




“Doing” Community Civics: Connecting Pre-Service Teaching and Social Studies Standards to Study Local Problems

John P. Broome
Patrice Preston-Grimes
University of Virginia


Given the resurgence of Americans’ interest in the national electoral process and civic issues, social studies educators have a unique opportunity to highlight citizenship education and related activities in K-12 teacher preparation programs. Especially at the elementary level, educators can support pre-service teachers’ mastery of civics content, skills, and critical thinking strategies with experiential, as well as classroom, based learning. This article describes how two educators integrated a field experience component into an elementary social studies methods course to increase students’ civic knowledge and model standards-based curriculum planning. Collaboration with local experts provided opportunities for preservice teachers to start a learning community outside of the classroom, connecting course instruction to real-life civic issues.

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About the Author(s)…

John P. Broome is a doctoral student in social studies education at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. His research interests include civic and economics education and the use of technology and media literacy in social studies instruction.

Patrice Preston-Grimes is an assistant professor in social studies education at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. She teaches graduate courses in social studies methods and cultural geography. Her research interests include civic education, African American educational history, the socio-cultural contexts of teaching and learning, and more recently, the use of technology in social studies instruction.

Primary Contact Information: University of Virginia, PO Box 400273, 405 Emmet Street South-Ruffner 253, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4273; Email: jpbroome@virginia.edu