(Re)Imagining Elementary Social Studies

A Controversial Issues Reader

Edited by:
Sarah B. Shear, Penn State University-Altoona
Christina M. Tschida, East Carolina University
Elizabeth Bellows, Appalachian State University
Lisa B. Buchanan, Elon University
Elizabeth E. Saylor, University of Georgia

A volume in the series: Teaching and Learning Social Studies. Editor(s): William B. Russell, University of Central Florida.

Published 2018

The field of elementary social studies is a specific space that has historically been granted unequal value in the larger arena of social studies education and research. This reader stands out as a collection of approaches aimed specifically at teaching controversial issues in elementary social studies. This reader challenges social studies education (i.e., classrooms, teacher education programs, and research) to engage controversial issues--those topics that are politically, religiously, or are otherwise ideologically charged and make people, especially teachers, uncomfortable--in profound ways at the elementary level. This reader, meant for elementary educators, preservice teachers, and social studies teacher educators, offers an innovative vision from a new generation of social studies teacher educators and researchers fighting against the forces of neoliberalism and the marginalization of our field.

The reader is organized into three sections: 1) pushing the boundaries of how the field talks about elementary social studies, 2) elementary social studies teacher education, and 3) elementary social studies teaching and learning. Individual chapters either A) conceptually unpack a specific controversial issue (e.g. Islamophobia, Indian Boarding Schools, LGBT issues in schools) and how that issue should be/is incorporated in an elementary social studies methods courses and classrooms or B) present research on elementary preservice teachers or how elementary teachers and students engage controversial issues. This reader unpacks specific controversial issues for elementary social studies for readers to gain critical content knowledge, teaching tips, lesson ideas, and recommended resources.

Endorsement: (Re)Imagining Elementary Social Studies is a timely and powerful collection that offers the best of what social studies education could and should be. Grounded in a politics of social justice, this book should be used in all elementary social studies methods courses and schools in order to develop the kinds of teachers the world needs today.

-- Wayne Au, Professor, University of Washington Bothell, Editor, Rethinking Schools

Acknowledgements. Foreword, Jeannette Driscoll Alarcón. Elementary Social Studies as Sites of Resistance: A Letter From the Editors. PART I: PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF HOW WE TALK ABOUT ELEMENTARY SOCIAL STUDIES. Class Meeting as Critical Pedagogy: Addressing Controversial Topics and Enacting Shared Responsibility in Elementary Social Studies Education, Jeannette D. Alarcón and Elizabeth Bellows. Black Like Me: Race Pedagogy and Black Elementary Social Studies Teacher Educators, Christopher L. Busey and Amanda E. Vickery. Exposing Whiteness in the Elementary Social Studies Methods Classroom: In Pursuit of Developing Antiracist Teacher Education Candidates, Andrea M. Hawkman. Feminist Theory in Elementary Social Studies Education: Making Women an Equal Part of History, Elizabeth E. Saylor. PART II: ENGAGING ELEMENTARY PRESERVICE TEACHERS WITH CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES. Using History Labs to Examine Immigration Policy and the DREAM Act, Cara Ward. Unpacking the Paradox: Preservice Teachers’ Affirming Beliefs about LGBTQ Families and the Persistent Avoidance of LGBTQ Topics in Elementary Schools, Christina M. Tschida and Lisa Brown Buchanan. Not All Terrorists: A Teacher Educator’s Approach to Teaching Against Islamophobia and for Religious Tolerance, Noreen Naseem Rodríguez. Confronting Colonial Blindness in Citizenship Education: Recognizing Colonization, Self-Determination, and Sovereignty as Core Knowledge for Elementary Social Studies Teacher Education, Leilani Sabzalian and Sarah B. Shear. Children Should Know Where Meat Comes From: Problematizing Meat-Eating in Elementary Schools, Cory Wright-Maley. Putting Mrs. Rosa Parks Front and Center of an Elementary Methods Course, Lisa Gilbert. The Bending of History Made Straight, Brian Gibbs. Unpacking Patriotism in an Elementary Social Studies Methods Class, Sohyun An. Preparing Preservice Educators to Teach American Indian Boarding School Histories, Meredith McCoy. PART III: TEACHING CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES IN THE ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM. Mni Wiconi: Teaching the #NoDapl Movement, Native American Sovereignty, and Indigenous Knowledge in Elementary Classrooms, Dina Gilio-Whitaker. Following Dylan’s Lead: Student-led Discussion of Gender Variance in the Elementary Classroom, Anna Falkner and Andrea Clark. Using Mendez v. Westminster to Explore Mexican American Discrimination, Maribel Santiago. Hidden in History: (Re)Constructing Asian American History in Elementary Social Studies Classrooms, Noreen Naseem Rodríguez and Rosalie Ip. Teaching About Enslavement Through a Critical Analysis of Three Early Childhood Historical Fiction Texts, Jay M. Shuttleworth and Angelia Lomax. Not an Aberration of History: Genocide Education in Elementary Social Studies, Rebecca C. Christ. Author Biographies.


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