No plan to increase achievement and enact reform in the social studies classroom will succeed without recognizing the central importance of the teacher as the “gatekeeper” of instruction. In this book, Thornton details why teachers must develop strong skills in curriculum planning and teaching methods in order for effective instruction to occur. Thornton helps teachers to develop a vision of their practice that will build strong social studies programs and inspire students to learn.
Features: An approach to preparing purposeful teachers, acknowledging that teachers make daily decisions concerning what to teach and how to teach it. Replicable examples of the kinds of reflective practice that will enable teachers to animate classroom instruction and create a dynamic social studies curriculum. An analysis of how teachers adapt and shape state and district level curricula and classroom materials to fit the specific needs of their students—a model of how to develop an instructional program with suggestions for lesson planning. In-depth examinations of alternative ways of educating teachers in subject matter and teaching methods.
“In this important book, Steve Thornton brings a Deweyan perspective to current problems in social studies education. He does more, however, because his analysis can be extended profitably to every subject in the curriculum.”
—From the Foreword by Nel Noddings
“A thoughtful and carefully documented analysis. . . . Let us hope that this book encourages a richer dialogue than the now-tedious and generally unproductive separate disciplines v. integrated social studies debate.”
—Linda S. Levstik, University of Kentucky, Lexington
“A refreshingly clearheaded, historically grounded, altogether enlightening analysis. This is the book I've been waiting for.”
—Walter Parker, University of Washington