The Importance Of Social Studies Education

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When the United States elected Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States in November, climate policy domestically and internationally has been trusted into a period of uncertainty. The environmental community closely watches as an administration is formed, that will certainly have a tremendous impact on the great environmental challenges that plague the world. Back in 2013 it was first reported that carbon dioxide levels had reached the 400 parts per million threshold for the first time in nearly 800,000 years. It was in October 2016 in Mauna Loa, Hawaii that carbon dioxide levels reached the same 400 parts per million level (Schwartz, 2016). However this more recent announcement point out that this threshold will be passed and …show more content…
I will not deny there can be some classrooms where incorporating this into the curriculum can be challenging, however it is not impossible. The guidelines for social studies in New York State is set by the Common Core Social Studies Framework. This framework lays out a series of themes that should be addressed in all social studies classrooms, there is a tremendous amount of focus on the concept of citizenship throughout the themes. It is under the theme of citizenship, where sustainability education can be inserted into the curriculum.
III. Social Studies Education and Citizenship
We have spent a great deal of time discussing the definition and concept of citizenship within our class and other Social Studies Education classes here at Teacher College. The common discussion in all of these classes has been, what kind of citizen are we trying to prepare. Joel Westheimer and Joseph Kahne in What Kind of Citizen?, discuss three types of citizenship that come out of social studies instruction, those are personally responsible, participatory and justice oriented. According to Westheimer and Kahne these are the types of citizenship that can effectively support democracy (Westheimer & Kahne, 2004).
One of the first types of citizenship discussed in What Kind of Citizen? Was the personally responsible citizen. Westheimer and Kahne defined a personally
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We call this kind of citizen the participatory citizen. Proponents of this vision emphasize preparing students to engage in collective, community-based efforts. Educational programs designed to support the development of participatory citizens focus on teaching students about how government and community based organizations work and about the importance of planning and participating in organized efforts to care for those in need, for example, or in efforts to guide school policies. Skills associated with such collective endeavors - such as how to run a meeting - are also viewed as important. (Westheimer & Kahne, 2004,

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