EDUC 637 Teaching Social Studies in the Middle School

An analysis of trends and practices of teaching social studies in the middle school, and its contextual relationship to elementary and secondary instruction in social science. An emphasis will be made on how to transfer theory into practice through preparation of activities and materials appropriate for the elementary classroom and critical reflection on those very material and approaches. Students will plan instruction considering student-based diversity, instructional demands of the field and the best integration of other tools and disciplines.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

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Cognitive skills evolved from the need to place a heavier emphasis on content being developed in the General Studies while the technique for communicating those skills to middle-grade children has been designated as the role of the School of Education. In the area of social sciences the focus must be upon the development of cognate skills as opposed to the mere retention of facts. Current teachers must stay abreast of the latest approaches to instructional practice in middle education social studies, to include general philosophical approaches and specific tools and techniques.

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the candidate will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

There will be four Discussions in this course. The original thread to the question posed must be at least 400 words. This parameter helps to promote writing that is both thorough and yet concise enough to permit other candidates to read all the posts. Appropriate references must be made in current APA format. The candidate is allowed to use first person voice in his/her posts. There are to be at least 2 replies to other candidates’ original threads. Each interaction reply must be at least 200 words. (CLO: A, C, D, F)

Technology Portfolio Assignment

For this assignment, the candidate will identify forms and applications of technology for use in a middle school social studies classroom and will describe the general applications of these technologies, specific applied activities in the general social studies arena, and provide an evaluation. A portfolio of 10 technologies (2 uses for each of the 5 categories) is to be developed. (CLO: A, D, E)

Literature Review Assignments (2)

For these assignments, the candidate will select a topic in the general area of social studies instruction in middle grade education and examine accompanying literature related to that topic to identify the latest trends and issues. Ultimately, these results will be put into a PowerPoint presentation of 10–20 slides to identify these trends in middle school social studies education associated with a set of identified articles in the literature. (CLO: A, B, C)

Lesson Plan Assignment

Each candidate is expected to complete a standard lesson plan as part of this course. The standard lesson plan format provided must be used and all materials must be included in the final submission. (CLO: B, C, D, E)

Unit Portfolio Assignment

Each candidate will produce a unit of instruction. The plan will be given as a PowerPoint presentation with a maximum of 20 slides. The intent of this project is to help the candidate see the big picture for instructional design with regard to a specific topic. (CLO: B, C, D, E)

Strategies Portfolio Assignment

Each candidate will select 5 chapters from the Obenchain & Morris textbook and write a strategy similar to what the text teaches. (CLO: A, D, E)

Quiz: Civics Education Module

For this assignment, the candidate will complete the Civics Education module found at the Virginia Department of Education. The civics module serves as online training required for candidates seeking the elementary endorsement or the middle and/or secondary social science endorsement. The certificate of completion should be submitted by the candidate for Gate 4 licensure paperwork. (CLO: A)

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