Social Studies—A Vision of Powerful Teaching and Learning
DPS elementary teachers and the following secondary teachers have access to TCI resources online. To access these resources, follow the instructions below.
- Grade 6 Geography, © 2011
- Grade 7 World History, © 2011
- Grade 8 US History, © 2011
- Grade 9 Geography, © 2011
- Grade 10 US History, © 2008 and 2013
- Returning teachers: Log in at http://subscriptions.teachtci.com/staff/sign_in with your DPS email address and password. If you forget your password, click “Forgot your password?” to retrieve it. Then click “Add Program” for the TCI content and materials that best fits your teaching level and content area.
- New teachers: Go to http://subscriptions.teachtci.com/staff/sign_up to create an account using your DPS email address. You will immediately recieve an email from TCI with a link to verify your account. Click “Add Program” for the TCI content and materials that best fits your teaching level and content area.
The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good. Our moral imperative as educators is to see all children as precious and recognize that they will inherit a world of baffling complexity. Our responsibility is to respect and support the dignity of the individual, the health of the community, and the common good of all. This responsibility demands that we teach our students to recognize and respect the diversity that exists within the community.
Powerful teaching and learning does not happen by accident, or chance. Carefully crafted standards-based lessons must be rooted in a strong theoretical foundation and effective strategies. DPS bases its new social studies curriculum on the following approaches:
- Understanding by Design—Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe believe that teaching for deep understanding requires planning backward—first determining the big ideas students are to learn, then working backward to identify methods to reach those goals and ways to assess the effectiveness of teaching.
- Nonlinguistic Representation—Many psychologists believe that we think and remember better when we store information in both linguistic and nonlinguistic forms. Research by Robert Marzano and colleagues demonstrates that teaching with nonlinguistic activities, such as graphic organizers, mental images, and movement helps to improve students’ understanding of content.
- Multiple Intelligences—According to Howard Gardner’s revolutionary theory, every student is intelligent—just not in the same way. Because everyone learns in a different way, the best activities tap more than one kind of intelligence. Gardner has described these seven intelligences: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, body-kinesthetic, musical-rhythmic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
- Cooperative Interaction—Elizabeth Cohen’s research has led her to conclude that cooperative groupwork leads to learning gains and higher student achievement. Cohen has found that if students are trained in cooperative behaviors, placed in mixed-ability groups, and assigned roles to complete during a multiple-ability task, they tend to interact more equally. This increased student interaction leads to more learning and great content retention.
- Spiral Curriculum—Educational theorist Jerome Bruner championed the idea of the spiral curriculum, in which students learn progressively more difficult concepts through a process of step-by-step discovery. With this approach, all students can learn once a teacher has shown them how to think and discover knowledge for themselves.