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Ignorant Activists: Social Change, “Higher Order Thinking,” and the Failure of Social Studies

In this chapter, the author examines the idea of youth critically thinking about public policy issues and shows how it has served to weaken both the practice of effective social studies education and the preparation of future citizens. In brief, the author's argument is that this use of social studies as a vehicle for promoting social change has rested on faulty assumptions about the intellectual capacities of youth and has deflected social studies leaders' attention away from the important role of developing students' understandings of important subject matter in history, geography, economics, and civics. The author conclude that this impulse has contributed to a curricular field that is in a state of crisis, lacking both solid curricula and effective pedagogy.

James S. Leming

Where Did Social Studies Go Wrong? 124-142

Resource Link: www.edexcellence.net/institute/publication/publication.cfm?id=317&pubsubid=911

James S. Leming wrote Chapter 7.

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