Social Studies

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Education, especially in the primary school, cannot be far removed from the immediate environment of the learner. Relevant local content should be a part of the teaching-learning process, ideally transacted through activities drawn from local resources. The components of the environment which include plants and animals, soil, water, air, humans, political and economic forces, industries, farms and cities just to mention a few. All these components of the environment have a maximum contribution to the teaching and learning of Social Studies. School stakeholders often forget how much can be learnt by children by interacting with neighbours, friends and family members, by critically observing and exploring the social reality around them while simultaneously enabling them to experience human values like freedom, mutual respect and respect for diversity. Text books should be used to open up avenues for further enquiry based on observation and exploration. It is therefore the essence of this write up to analyse the use of environment in teaching Social Studies with reference to specific topics. These topics include food, Living Together, Rules and Laws, Transport and Communication and Shelter. Key terms such as Social Studies and environment will be defined.
Defined by Preston (1955) cited in Kochhar (1998) Social Studies are the portions of History, Geography, Civics and other Social Sciences that are selected for use in teaching. According to this definition, Social Studies is seen as a subject that combines aspects from a number of the traditional and other subject areas which include inter-alia History, Geography, Civics, Anthropology, Archeology, Economics, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious and Sociology. According to Banks (1990), Social Studies is that part of the curriculum which has the primary responsibility for helping students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to participate in the civic life of their local communities,



References: Aggrarwal,J. C. (2000). Teaching of Social Studies. Banks, J. A. (1990). Teaching Strategies for Social Studies Inquiring, Valuing And Decision Making Berk, L. E. (2003). Child Development. Chinoda, A. M. (1992). Social Studies. Kim Le, R. (2000). Environmental Education Process Active Learning in Schools. Kochhar, S. K. (1998). The Teaching of Social Studies. Michaelis, J. U. (1985). Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School. Morris, G. S. (1998). Early Childhood Today. O’donoghue, R. (1995). Environment and Methods. Tien, J. (1993). Education for Evironment: Critical Curriculum Theorizing and Environmental Education

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