Social Studies Education and a New Social Studies Movement

Bülent Tarman, ismail Acun

Abstract


The aim of this article is to analyze theoretically the need to improve Social Studies Education in Turkey in a pedagogical manner and on the basis of the intended contributions and goals of a New Social Studies Movement to the field. Social Studies Education is an important teaching discipline to equip individuals with the necessary knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to operate efficiently in a knowledge society. The New Social Studies movement of 1960s in the USA contributed to the development of Social Studies Education. This movement tried to establish a constructivist approach. They emphasized on the importance of an inquiry based approach, and rich and real life situation in the classrooms and skills such as critical thinking, reflective thinking, cooperation and collaboration in Social Studies Education. However, the movement diminished in a short while due to the lack of research to support their theoretically sound ideas, appropriate teaching resources for teachers and students and ill-equipped teachers while their ideas were and still are gaining impetus in many countries in the world. Social Studies Education is relatively new in Turkey. Social Studies Education in Turkey has weaknesses in terms of both in theoretically and practically. The quality of teaching resources and materials and teacher qualifications are not up-to-standards to carry out a constructivist Social Studies Education. A new movement has started in Turkey to improve Social Studies Education. This new Social Studies movement aims to do research in the field on the area, print books and teaching resource for both teachers and students, develop policies, hold academic meetings, publish high quality journals for both academics and practitioners, to create opportunities and gateways for networking. This article critically argues the proposed contribution of the new Social Studies movement to the field in Turkey drawing upon the experiences of the movement of 1960s in the USA.

Keywords


Constructivism; Social Studies; New Social Studies; ASSE

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