Exemplary Elementary Social Studies

Case Studies in Practice

Edited by:
Andrea S. Libresco, Hofstra University
Janet Alleman, Michigan State University
Sherry L. Field, University of Texas at Austin
Jeff Passe, The College of New Jersey

A volume in the series: Research in Curriculum and Instruction. Editor(s): Cheryl J. Craig, Texas A&M.

Published 2014

In many elementary classrooms, social studies has taken a back seat to English Language Arts and Mathematics in the wake of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top This volume is not another hand-wringing lament. On the contrary, the elementary educators who have contributed to this volume have a positive set of stories to tell about how social studies can play a central role in the elementary classroom, how teachers can integrate social studies knowledge and skills throughout the school day, and how this learning can carry over into children’s homes and communities.

The seven case studies in this book, one at each elementary grade level, highlight exemplary teachers in whose classrooms social studies is alive and well in this age of accountability. At the end of each case study, each teacher provides advice for elementary teachers of social studies. Our hope is that elementary teachers and prospective teachers, elementary principals, social studies supervisors, staff developers, and professors of elementary social studies methods who study the stories that we tell can be empowered to return social studies to its rightful place in the curriculum.

Social Studies in the Age of Accountability: The Two Are Not Mutually Exclusive, Jeff Passe, Amy Good, and Andrea S. Libresco. Listening to and Nurturing Interested, Passionate, and Thoughtful Sixth Graders, Andrea S. Libresco. Fostering Civic Efficacy and Action Through Fifth Graders’ Civic Zines, Roi Kawai, Stephanie Serriere, and Dana Mitra. Generating Higher Order and Meaningful Social Studies Instruction for Fourth Graders With a Documents-Based Test, a Lead Teacher, and a Community of Learners, Andrea S. Libresco. Multiple Intelligences Theory to Practice in Third Grade: Call All Children to Learn, Karon LeCompte and Kristine Kruczek Mains. Service Learning to Empower Second Graders as Change Agents, Stephanie C. Serriere. Teaching Social Studies Within a First-Grade Learning Community, Janet Alleman and Jere Brophy, and Barbara Knighton. Intentionally Incorporating Social Studies Everywhere in a Kindergarten Classroom, Jeff Passe. Common Practices of Exemplary Teachers: Implications for Our Practice, Andrea S. Libresco, Janet Alleman, and Sherry L. Field.

"Those interested in improving social studies curriculum and instruction will find rich fodder in this text. This is the kind of book which instructors of elementary social studies methods classes might assign to their students with the instruction to read the first chapter as well as just a couple others of their own choice. After reading several chapters, preservice or inservice teachers may enjoy presenting what they learned from one of the case studies and listening to colleagues analyze the other chapters in the book. Preservice and inservice teachers might benefit from writing reflections on how they could adopt some of these teachers' practices or why they are uncomfortable with some of the practices described in the case studies." Mary Beth Henning Northern Illinois University in The Journal of Social Studies Research (Read full review)