Effective Instructional Approaches
Edited By Lydiah Nganga, John Kambutu and William B. Russell III
Chapter Eighteen: Teaching Social Studies from a Human Rights Perspective: Professional Development in a Context of Globalization: Rachayita Shah, Rosanna Gatens, Dilys Schoorman, & Julie Wachtel
Rachayita Shah Rosanna Gatens Dilys Schoorman Julie Wachtel
In today’s era of standardization and accountability, social studies instruction is increasingly marginalized in public schools as teachers yield to pressures to increase curricular space for reading and math (Apple, 2000; Au, 2009; Burroughs, Groce, & Webeck, 2005; Stromquist, 2002). Even where it is still taught, the subject area is deemed boring (Loewen, 2008), because it is frequently focused on isolated and fragmented knowledge to be memorized, rather than on the study of meaningful, historical, socio-political phenomena that connect students to the society in which they live (Burroughs et al., 2005). As Gatens and Johnson (2011) note, current social issues should drive social studies curricula and should provide students with an understanding of democracy and an ethos of human rights. This chapter argues for framing social studies education as a process of conscientization (Freire, 1970/2000) about human rights, in which students and teachers become critically aware of social and political structures that variously provide access to who and what is included in curricula as well as the implications of this knowledge for civic engagement. Only when teachers are educated and supported in their efforts to integrate elements of critical pedagogy in social studies education can they transform themselves and their students in ways that contribute to justice and equality for all.
This chapter describes such an effort by examining a teacher professional development (PD) program for Florida teachers implementing state-mandated Holocaust education. The Holocaust Educators Summer Institute (HESI)...
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