Editor’s Notes

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Cynthia Szymanski Sunal
The University of Alabama

Janet Smith Strickland
The University of West Georgia

The editors of Social Studies Research and Practice are excited about Volume 2, Issue 1.  In addition to existing features, practice, research, and action research, we are introducing a new Middle School Feature. This feature will be edited by Steven White from the University of Kansas. We encourage all of our middle school colleagues to submit manuscripts for consideration.

In our Practice-Lesson Plan section of the journal, we have three outstanding articles. Chick highlights the role of social studies educators in promoting democratic ideals and social action.  Mary Rouleau addresses multiple aspects of an issue campaign, including lobby products and a media/grassroots strategy. Melinda Staubs shares a learning cycle lesson plan that uses hands-on experiences to assist fifth or sixth graders in developing the important economic concept of scarcity.

The Practice-Notable Books section includes three lesson plans planned around an NCSS Notable Trade Book. Patricia Palmer presents a lesson plan that can be used with elementary students to discuss the different aspects of entrepreneurship. Theresa McCormick presents an upper-elementary lesson plan on the American Revolution and espionage. Mary Haas’ lesson plan focuses on knowledge of the Holocaust, the character traits of families, and the traits of those who conduct historical research.

The Research Feature section of the journal includes a variety of articles that make a significant addition to the existing literature. Ashley de Waal-Lucas explores how a group of middle school social studies teachers at a school, whose student population is primarily affluent and white, include multicultural content in their curriculum. Katheryn Obenchain and Bob Ives examine one social studies teacher’s experience developing and implementing an Experiential Education-Based (EE) curriculum and her reflection on the experience of putting theory and research into practice. Some of the major projects developed during the new social studies movement and discussed by Jeffry Byford and William Russell. Finally, Scott Waring looks at one way to assist students in thinking historically and making them more aware of the multiple representations that may exist of an historical event or time period.

The Social Justice Feature, edited by Lois Christensen, includes an article by Timothy Lintner.  Linter defines and situates Critical Race Theory and uses the Indian Removal Act of 1830 to illustrate how history and the historical events of “others” can be recognized and valued.

The Technology Feature, Kathleen Swan and Mark Hofer investigate the use of collaborative field placements, digital history, and an apprenticeship model of training to teach pre-service teachers about technology and elementary social studies instruction.

In the above mentioned new feature, Middle School Feature, Jason Endacott describes interactive notebooks as an instructional tool, discusses the variety of ways that interactive notebooks can be assessed, and illustrates the benefits middle school students and teachers can reap from their use in the social studies classroom.  This new feature is edited by Stephen White.