The purpose of this post is to introduced to you to an important new website that I think is very relevant to science educators. It is the Social Studies Resources Website.
I became aware of the Social Studies Resources website today when I received a newsletter from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC provided grant money to a group organized by Milwaukee Public School teacher Bob Peterson to develop a website designed to respond to criticism over the quality of social studies textbooks being considered for adoption. Peterson’s group investigated the major elementary social studies texts being considered for adoption in Milwaukee, and realized the texts failed to provide a full-picture of American history, and indeed found that the texts did not deal adequately with race, racism and anti-Semitism, class and the role of working people, gender, and the role of social movements. The group’s work resulted in the postponement of the adoption of the social studies texts. You can read Bob Peterson’s article which raised the issue with readers of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Science teachers will find a powerful connection at this new social studies website with one of the major themes that has dominated science education over the past 20 years, and that is “science for all.” In our book, The Art of Teaching Science, science for all is developed as a humanistic idea and is developed around four interdependent perspectives: global thinking, multicultural science education, gender, and exceptional students. At the Social Studies Resources site you will find major categories to topics including, but not limited to: civil rights movement, current events, geography-critical, global warming, globalization, imperialism/peace, Native Americans, women’s movement.
This is an important resource, and I hope that you will visit the site, and make use of the well-organized and very useful resources that Bob Peterson and his colleagues have created.
Tomorrow I will introduce you to another site (Rethinking Schools Online) that directly relates to the humanistic paradigm that I have been exploring in the blog, and will provide further evidence that the dominant traditional model characterizing today’s pedagogy needs to go.