Bir Ö?retim Alan?’n?n Do?u?u: ABD’de Sosyal Bilgilerin Geli?imi (1893-1916) The Birth of An Academic Discipline: An Analysis of the Development of Social Studies as An Instructional Field: 1893-1916
Civics can be defined as a course of education intended for the individuals to have awareness of citizenship, to develop their patriotism and to adopt the cultural heritage and the norms of the society to which such individuals belong. The awareness of citizenship constitutes the focus of this course of education. Having become a matter of substantial debates in French schools following the revolution of 1789, the policies to ensure the awareness of citizenship and the teaching methods for civics became a matter of significant debate in the Continental Europe and the United States of America during the 19th century. Industrialization and immigration accompanied by urbanization turned the heat on the debates about how civics would be taught in schools and such debates paved the way for the development of the social studies as a field of teaching. Due to such factors as the industrialization, internal and external migrations representing an increase in the USA during the period after 1865, the population had increased substantially and the cities began to develop in parallel with this increase. During the period after the civil war, significant problems emerged as the adjustment of the black people to the new community life after being set free from slavery and the integration of the immigrants into the American community as well as such an individual’s becoming a productive citizen. Schools were considered to be an effective actor which could solve such problems. On the other hand, the necessity to question the social education, or more specifically, civic education provided within the curricula of the schools was significant. James H. Robinson questioned the history education provided in schools in the light of the emerging social sciences and pointed out an interdisciplinary and “inner circle”-oriented history education by adopting the “New History” approach. Moreover, John Dewey’s suggestions about making use of active methods in accordance with the interests of the child during the course of learning and criticism for the dominance of the textbook and a new perspective brought to civics by Thomas J. Jones profoundly influenced the development process of the social studies thanks to his studies in Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. As a result of the challenges among different approaches about ensuring the awareness of citizenship, it was resolved that civic education would be provided under the umbrella of the social studies. The object of the study in this regard is to analyze how the history-centered civics developed into the social studies between 1893 and 1916 as well as the development process of the social studies as a field of teaching in the secondary education within the context of the USA.
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