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Cultural Sensitivity in Social Studies Curricula and Diversi

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alyssa miller

on 30 January 2014

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Transcript of Cultural Sensitivity in Social Studies Curricula and Diversi

Cultural Sensitivity in Social Studies Curricula and Diversity
10 Themes in the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Through the study of culture and cultural diversity, learners understand how human beings create, learn, share, and adapt to culture, and appreciate the role of culture in shaping their lives and society, as well the lives and societies of others. In schools, this theme typically appears in units and courses dealing with geography, history, sociology, and anthropology, as well as multicultural topics across the curriculum.
Through the study of the past and its legacy, learners examine the institutions, values, and beliefs of people in the past, acquire skills in historical inquiry and interpretation, and gain an understanding of how important historical events and developments have shaped the modern world. This theme appears in courses in history, as well as in other social studies courses for which knowledge of the past is important.
This theme helps learners to develop their spatial views and perspectives of the world, to understand where people, places, and resources are located and why they are there, and to explore the relationship between human beings and the environment. In schools, this theme typically appears in courses dealing with geography and area studies, but it is also important for the study of the geographical dimension of other social studies subjects.
Personal identity is shaped by family, peers, culture, and institutional influences. Through this theme, students examine the factors that influence an individual’s personal identity, development, and actions. This theme typically appears in courses and units dealing with psychology, anthropology, and sociology.
Institutions such as families and civic, educational, governmental, and religious organizations, exert a major influence on people’s lives. This theme allows students to understand how institutions are formed, maintained, and changed, and to examine their influence. In schools, this theme typically appears in units and courses dealing with sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science, and history.
One essential component of education for citizenship is an understanding of the historical development and contemporary forms of power, authority, and governance. Through this theme, learners become familiar with the purposes and functions of government, the scope and limits of authority, and the differences between democratic and non-democratic political systems. In schools, this theme typically appears in units and courses dealing with government, history, civics, law, politics, and other social sciences.
This theme provides for the study of how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, and prepares students for the study of domestic and global economic issues. In schools, this theme typically appears in units and courses dealing with economic concepts and issues, though it is also important for the study of the economic dimension of other social studies subjects.
By exploring the relationships among science, technology, and society, students develop an understanding of past and present advances in science and technology and their impact. This theme appears in a variety of social studies courses, including history, geography, economics, civics, and government.
The realities of global interdependence require an understanding of the increasingly important and diverse global connections among world societies. This theme prepares students to study issues arising from globalization. It typically appears in units or courses dealing with geography, culture, economics, history, political science, government, and technology.
An understanding of civic ideals and practices is critical to full participation in society and is an essential component of education for citizenship. This theme enables students to learn about the rights and responsibilities of citizens of a democracy, and to appreciate the importance of active citizenship. In schools, the theme typically appears in units or courses dealing with civics, history, political science, cultural anthropology, and fields such as global studies, law-related education, and the humanities.
National curriculum standards for social studies: Executive summary. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.socialstudies.org/standards/execsummary
The developmentally appropriate interactive approach allows teachers to adapt classroom interaction to accommodate various communication types. This includes eye contact in interacting with adults, the amount of time a student considers appropriate before responding, the type of sequence used in storytelling, and sharing information in a group.
When early childhood professionals make decisions about the developmental appropriateness of practices, they rely on three types of information and knowledge: what is known about child development and learning; what is known about the strengths, interests, and needs of each individual child in the group; and knowledge of the social and cultural context in which children live. Developmentally appropriate practice is especially important in the diverse early education classroom because it encourages greater cultural sensitivity, recognizes a variety of cultural communication patterns, and allows for intervention in the natural course of teaching.
The curriculum must balance learning the common core of knowledge from the dominant culture (the English language, for example, or democratic values) with knowledge of minority cultures. To do so, the teacher must plan to connect cultural activities to concrete, daily life through hands-on experiences, rather than "visiting" other cultures on special occasions. Teaching with a multicultural perspective encourages children to understand and appreciate other cultures.
Ginger, R. (n.d.). Critical issue: Meeting the diverse needs of young children. Retrieved from http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/students/earlycld/ea400.htm
There are two key things that demonstrate how Social Studies plays a dual role in promoting diversity. First, the classroom must have respect, dignity, caring, and support for every child. This should not only be for Social Studies but it should be implemented in every classroom for every subject. Secondly, social studies is the study of contributions, traditions, and world views of people from all backgrounds, cultures, races/ethnicities, language groups, and religions. In social studies, we should create awareness and appreciation of others since it is the study of humankind. Respect should be a key factor in a classroom!
Ellis, A. K. (1977).
Teaching and learning elementary social studies.
Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Something I plan to do in my classroom when I become a teacher is have my students create a family tree that goes back as far as their Great-Grandparents. Also, have the students bring in a few things that describe their cultural background and heritage. The students will present their family trees and items to the class. The family trees will be hung up around the room as a reminder of where everyone comes from. I feel like this is a very useful method for students to learn their peers background and to gain some respect for one another.
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