What is the process we will use to create a new social studies curriculum?


April 1, 2010 - Start at 8:15 at Heartland AEA room 15.
Next steps: continue group discussion to finish the document describing how big questions break down into grade spans

Brainstorming Important Ideas in Social Sciences - 11.20.09
What is important to know as an adult/productive citizen?
Map Skills G
Understanding their location in the world – global awareness G
Importing and exporting E
How other countries affect us H
History affecting current events – relevancy of history H
Change over time – how people change, the world changes, technology advances H
Needs and wants E
Knowing the past to prevent a repeat H
Why we vote C
How we determine our president – representation C
How our political system works C
Political parties C
Purpose of government C
Other styles of government C
How our government tries to fix our problems C
Compare ourselves to others B, E, H,
Why do we feel like it’s the best type of government C
Why we go into other countries – invasion, set up democracies, sending troops to areas H, C, E, B, G
Economics – manufacturing, farming, why was it made in China and Mexico instead of the US E
Supply and demand – gas prices E
Concept of money – salaries, wages E
Different types of money – how a dollar compares to a Euro, peso E
Deficit spending, who does the government borrow from? Printing money versus having assets E
Impact of technology E
World religions H, G, B, C, E,
Conflicts with other people – why do we have problems with some and are allies with others B
Ethnic conflict and ideology B
Tolerance and accepting diversity B
Culture and languages B
Rise and fall of empires/nations H, C
Geographical factors in the development of civilizations G
War & Conquest H, G, C, E
Population Growth/Decline, Movement & Migration - G
Power & Influence C, E, B
Interaction & Movement G
The Mathematics of Social Science - statistics, charts and graphs B, C, H, G, E
natural resources E, G
Interdependence - E, G, B, C, H

Why Start Social Studies?

Notes from our first meeting - Nov. 11, 2009
No other content area is under curriculum review in our district like social studies is. There are lots of reasons for this:

  1. Social studies is a crucial part of our district vision and student learning goals (service, responsible citizens)
  2. The Iowa Core Curriculum looks at social studies in a very different way than the traditional curriculum (concepts versus facts, civic literacy as a 21st Century skills)
  3. We have strong teacher leadership within this area that makes this work possible
  4. There is very little research out there on social studies curriculum and instruction (national standards from the early 90's) - A great way to make our mark!
  5. This content area has a lot of opportunity for cross curricular instruction - more so than any other area
  6. Our work will serve as a model for our district (and others in our state) for the student concepts and skills sets and a model for the process of creating curriculum

There is nothing that should hold you back from creating a dynamic, new curriculum that our teachers can embrace instead of "cover". You get to create. You get to think outside the box. Let me worry about the obstacles that we'll need to overcome. You get to focus on creating a curriculum that is best for our kids. Our current reality is not your guide or restraint. Pretend you know nothing of how we currently do business and brainstorm, collaborate, and create the best curriculum ever seen. There is no text book driving what you do.