Literature Review • Effective use of Student Participation Activities in Social Studies

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  • Effective use of Student Participation Activities in Social Studies

General Overview

Please read the instructions and rubric for the Literature Review Presentation assignment BEFORE you sign-up for a topic. You will want to select a topic wisely so you will be able to identify 5 trends in your research. Following is a list of potential topics, however, these are only suggestions and you may submit the topic of your choice for approval. Examples: Using Literature to Teach Social Studies, Effective Testing Strategies in Social Studies, Alternative Assessment in Social Studies, Strategies for Teaching ESE Students in Social Studies, Strategies for Teaching ESOL Students in Social Studies, Effective use of Student Participation Activities in Social Studies, etc.

For this assignment, you will select a topic in the general area of social studies instruction in elementary education and examine accompanying literature related to that topic to identify the latest trends and issues. Ultimately, you will compile these results into a PowerPoint presentation of around 10 slides to identify these trends.

Learning Objective

You will develop a presentation identifying general trends in elementary social studies education associated with a set of articles in the content area.

Assignment Process

  1. Below is a list of topic possibilities. Submit your topic for instructor approval by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 1.
  2. Then, employ the use of Liberty’s Library Resources (online) to identify articles in that topic area.
  3. Begin classifying and compiling articles and sub-topics into groups of information for presentation (note 5 trends).
  4. You should have scanned some 30 articles in the process, which then need to be provided as part of this assignment in an attached bibliography list.
  5. The final product should be a PowerPoint presentation consisting of:
    1. A minimum of 10, but not to exceed 20 slides.
    2. 5 trends related to your topic (a paragraph or 2 on each trend).
    3. Identification of issues with the type of research and/or writing undertaken.
    4. Identification of gaps in the research by identifying areas for further research on the trend.
    5. A bibliography submitted as a Word document of about 30 articles in APA format.

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EDUC 636 LITERATURE REVIEW PRESENTATION INSTRUCTIONS General Overview Please read the instructions and rubric for the Literature Review Presentation assignment BEFORE you sign-up for a topic. You will want to select a topic wisely so you will be able to identify 5 trends in your research. Following is a list of potential topics, however, these are only suggestions and you may submit the topic of your choice for approval. Examples: Using Literature to Teach Social Studies, Effective Testing Strategies in Social Studies, Alternative Assessment in Social Studies, Strategies for Teaching ESE Students in Social Studies, Strategies for Teaching ESOL Students in Social Studies, Effective use of Student Participation Activities in Social Studies, etc. For this assignment, you will select a topic in the general area of social studies instruction in elementary education and examine accompanying literature related to that topic to identify the latest trends and issues. Ultimately, you will compile these results into a PowerPoint presentation of around 10 slides to identify these trends. Learning Objective You will develop a presentation identifying general trends in elementary social studies education associated with a set of articles in the content area. Assignment Process 1. Below is a list of topic possibilities. Submit your topic for instructor approval by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 1. 2. Then, employ the use of Liberty’s Library Resources (online) to identify articles in that topic area. 3. Begin classifying and compiling articles and sub-topics into groups of information for presentation (note 5 trends). 4. You should have scanned some 30 articles in the process, which then need to be provided as part of this assignment in an attached bibliography list. 5. The final product should be a PowerPoint presentation consisting of: a. A minimum of 10, but not to exceed 20 slides. b. 5 trends related to your topic (a paragraph or 2 on each trend). c. Identification of issues with the type of research and/or writing undertaken. d. Identification of gaps in the research by identifying areas for further research on the trend. e. A bibliography submitted as a Word document of about 30 articles in APA format. 6. The final product is to be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 4. Page 1 of 2 EDUC 636 Possible Topics Following is a list of potential topics, however, these are only suggestions and you may submit the topic of your choice for approval. Examples: • • • • • • • Using Literature to Teach Social Studies Effective Testing Strategies in Social Studies Alternative Assessment in Social Studies Strategies for Teaching ESE Students in Social Studies Strategies for Teaching ESOL Students in Social Studies Effective use of Student Participation Activities in Social Studies Etc. Effective use of Student Participation Activities in Social Studies Page 2 of 2 Literature Review Integrated Learning in Social Studies Education Trend 1 Integrating social studies with other curriculum as a means of acquiring knowledge and problem solving Based on the literature reviewed for this assignment, there seems to be a fairly widely-held consensus (though largely anecdotal (see Research Methodology Issues)) among many education professionals that social studies, when integrated with other subjects, increases one's ability to learn more effectively across a broad range of subject matter. Nuthall (1999), for example, analyzed the learning habits of five students in an integrated science and social studies unit on Antarctica. His study concluded that the integration of these two subjects allowed students to acquire new knowledge in each of the disciplines that may not have been similarly acquired had the courses been taught separately. Educators in other areas of study have conveyed similar anecdotal results concerning their respective areas of study as well. Matheus' (2000) study on using an integrated content social studies class as a means of developing problem-solving skills also cites the validity of integrated social studies curriculum. The author concludes that the integration of social studies curriculum with other subject matter creates connecting pathways between each which can apply across disciplines and even beyond the classroom. Theodore Kaltsounis (1990) also concludes that, although there could be more research to establish the validity of this widely-held claim, integrated social studies units can indeed enhance higher-level skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Trend 1 (Cont’d) Integrating social studies with other curriculum as a means of acquiring knowledge and problem solving Research Methodology Issues: Although, as stated previously, there does indeed seem to be a consensus among educators in the affirmative, the value of integrated social studies curriculum as a means of promoting successful learning across disciplines seems to be lacking the substantive research with which to definitively validate such a claim. As Kaltsounis (1990) noted in his own research, “Although there is a considerable amount of research in the various individual subjects…there is limited research on how to integrate the various subjects in order to enhance teaching and learning in social studies.” Although such research may indeed exist elsewhere, given his limited resources and knowledge, this author was unable to locate any current evidence that this research has indeed been conducted. Knowledge Gaps: Though admittedly slightly dated, the aforementioned work by Kaltsounis concerning the interrelation between social studies and other curriculum areas is an excellent starting point for further research and investigation. The author himself states as much when he says, “There is no question that the publication of this section can assist in an effort to fill this gap.” Trend 2 The prevalence of social studies and science integration As this author perused the available literature discussing social studies integration, science seemed to be more prevalent than many other areas of study. Examples of this include the following: Nuthall (1999) authored a journal article entitled, “The Way Students Learn: Acquiring Knowledge from an Integrated Science and Social Studies Unit.” In this article, the author speaks of a study involving five students who conducted a study of Antarctica utilizing an integrated social studies/science approach. The results of this study indicate that students were able to learn a great deal more about Antarctica using the integrated approach as opposed to students who learned via the non-integrated, single-subject method. Using a three-model approach to understanding how students learn, the author was able to leverage the differences in how students learn differently from a variety of classroom activities in which they are exposed to new information. By integrating social studies and science, students were shown to possess the ability to tap into what they knew from their exposure to science in order to help them understand the new social studies information and viceversa. Kirkwood-Tucker and Bleicher (2004) also studied the effectiveness of the integration of social studies and science by examining how pre-service elementary teachers integrated the two subjects from a global perspective. The term “global perspective” is based on the authors’ interest in infusing Science, Technology, and Society (STS) curriculum into social studies curriculum as a means of teaching students about the people and places of the world in which they live (social studies) with, among other things, an awareness of the “state-of-the-planet,” and knowledge of global dynamics (science). Trend 2 (Cont’d) The prevalence of social studies and science integration In her journal article entitled “A River Runs through Science Learning,” Stanley (1995) provides an excellent example in which fourth and fifth grade students were taken beyond the classroom and taught about the history of their local community (social studies) while simultaneously learning important skills concerning ecosystem management. Many other articles citing the integration of social studies and science were noted during this author’s research. Research Methodology Issues: As stated elsewhere in this assignment, this author has had very limited exposure to all of the available research done in this area. His assertions, therefore, concerning the seeming prevalence of social studies and science integration is based purely on what he was able to glean in the time given. Knowledge Gaps: On a humorous note, as one anonymous armchair philosopher put it, “You don’t know what you don’t know until someone who knows tells you about it. That’s when you know that there is more to know than you’ll ever know.” This author believes that more research needs to be done in order to ascertain exactly how prevalent integration is in each subject area. Trend 3 Social studies and multi-discipline integration While completing another class in which the concept of subject matter integration was only briefly touched upon, this author was very interested to learn how multiple disciplines can actually be combined into a meaningful curriculum emphasizing a single subject. The examples below reflect how social studies can indeed be taught through multi-discipline integration. Koirala and Goodwin (2002) describe how middle school teachers integrated mathematics and social studies using a U.S. map to determine the respective areas of the states. In this five day assignment, in addition to learning about the states, students also learned about the concepts of ratio, percentage, and mean by examining each state in relationship to the other. They were also introduced to graphing using Microsoft Excel as they recorded the results of their studies. Thus, in a single social studies unit, students learned about social studies, math, and technology. In another journal article entitled, “Threading Mathematics into Social Studies,” Smith (1995) describes how she helps students “experience mathematics as it applies in the real world” by using popular historical literature. Some examples of the books used in this exercise were “Jumping Broom,” “Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt,” “The Patchwork Quilt,” and “Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky.” In this integration of language arts, mathematics, and social studies, the author states that there are mathematical themes subtly imbedded into the historical story lines which help students to “develop an awareness for ways in which mathematics has played an important role throughout history.” Trend 3 (Cont’d) Social studies and multi-discipline integration Another very interesting article on the integration of mathematics and social studies is “Ten Black Dots and September 11: Integrating Social Studies and Mathematics through Children’s Literature.” As the title aptly describes, in this particular example, children were able to learn valuable concepts in these three disciplines. Lockett (1996) also provides several good examples of how to prepare lessons across multidisciplinary platforms in her journal article entitled, “Reaching out to Make Connections: Engendering Efficacy through Interdisciplinary Thematic Units in the Social Studies.” Research Methodology Issues: In each of the examples cited, it must be understood that the results therein are to be considered as largely anecdotal. In other words, what may have indeed worked in what are obviously limited and controlled circumstances (including very small sampling groups) may not meet with the same level of success in every instance. While he is sure that there must be some in existence, this author was unable to find any truly comprehensive studies reflecting concrete empirical data gleaned from the employment of thorough research methods. Knowledge Gaps: Each of the authors whose articles were reviewed seemed to be quite knowledgeable in their respective areas of expertise. Trend 4 An undercurrent of dissention still exists among some educators concerning subject matter integration As Kirkwood-Tucker and Bleicher (2004) point out, “there exists great confusion in the literature as to what integration of two subject areas means.” Citing Berlin (1991), the authors indicate, “In her review of 555 articles pertaining to integration, Berlin noted that terms such as thematic, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary, among others, were used to refer to a concept akin to integration.” This lack of clarity at the very outset of the discussion on subject matter integration seems to be indicative of the larger problem of the resistance of some educators to accept integrated curriculum as a viable option. In their journal article entitled, “The Dark Side of Curriculum Integration in Social Studies,” university professors in curriculum planning and integration, Schug and Cross (1998) express the opinion that the integration of social studies with other disciplines has yielded unfortunate results in terms of meeting stated educational goals. Indeed, they consider the entire concept of integrated curriculum to be the unfortunate byproduct of the mid-20th century progressive movement in education. To make their point, the authors cite and expound on what they refer to as the “myths” surrounding integration. These eight myths include: Myth 1 – Curriculum Integration Has Much Empirical Support Myth 2 – Separate Disciplines Reduce Academic Achievement Myth 3 – Elementary Schools Do It Better Myth 4 – Integration Leads to More Time for All Subjects Myth 5 – Integration Leads to Better Curriculum Planning (Continued) Trend 4 (Cont’d) An undercurrent of dissention still exists among some educators concerning subject matter integration (Continued from previous slide) Myth 6 – Integration Results in Better Pedagogy Myth 7 – The Real World is Not Organized around Disciplines Myth 8 – Curriculum Integration Encourages Higher Levels of Thinking The authors also raise the question of whether the benefits of curriculum integration are actually worth the costs saying, “the costs of curriculum integration are high, real, and certain. The benefits of integration are low, vague, and difficult to measure.” More recently, Stern (2005), in her journal article entitled, “Debunking the Myth,” seeks to refute the idea that an integrated approach to social studies, namely history, results in a deficient content knowledge being gained by students, a claim reportedly made by the Fordham Foundation publication, “Where Did Social Studies Go Wrong?” At issue in this publication is the assertion that “the rigorous study of history through primary source documents and readings would be the answer to the lack of content knowledge of American students.” The mere fact that Stern wrote the article indicates that there is indeed an undercurrent of dissension among some educators concerning subject matter integration. Trend 4 (Cont’d) An undercurrent of dissention still exists among some educators concerning subject matter integration Research Methodology Issues: Schug and Cross (1998) relate that their research is based on their interaction with “hundreds of teachers who have done their best to follow the prescriptions of progressive leaders who advocate the integration of the school curriculum.” In this author’s opinion, the authors’ work is very compelling as it contains numerous citations indicating that extensive research has indeed been conducted in this area. Ironically, as pointed out above, they also state that the benefits of integration are “difficult to measure.” This contradiction makes this author wonder if there actually is enough research available sufficient to render a verdict on the success of integrated social studies curriculum. Stern’s (2005) refutation of the aforementioned Fordham Foundation publication, “Where Did Social Studies Go Wrong?” is also fairly deficient in true research as it is based largely on both personal conjecture and the opinions of others who agree with her. Knowledge Gaps: While each of the authors whose articles were reviewed seemed to be quite knowledgeable in their respective areas of expertise, meaningful research into the subject at hand in which empirical data is gathered and examined would no doubt replace much of the conjecture with real knowledge. Trend 5 Social Studies education is enhanced when integrated with language arts studies Social studies and language arts are very compatible disciplines and are therefore often combined in the interest of meeting various subject matter integration goals. Evidence of this particular trend was observed in several journal articles. In “The Great American Prairie: An Integrated Fifth Grade Unit,” Stange and Wyant (1999) relate how children’s literature can broaden students’ views and understanding of the past. The authors also provide a sample integrated unit which makes the literature/social studies connection through a focus on the great American prairie during the pioneer period. The authors also provide a list of other children’s literature that supports integration with social studies. In her article entitled, “An English and Social Studies Interdisciplinary Program,” Moss (1991) also provides some valuable insight concerning social studies/English integration by giving an example of a program developed by the Coconut Creek High School in Florida. In an article entitled, “Mingling ‘Fact’ with ‘Fiction’: Strategies for Integrating Literature into History and Social Studies Classrooms” (2007), authors Turk, Klein, & Dickstein offer teachers a series of strategies designed to assist them with integrating literature into their social studies classes “without losing the flavor or essence of either the literature they are using or the history they are trying to teach.” The various techniques offered can be used separately or combined depending on the particular emphasis or goal of each lesson. Trend 5 (Cont’d) Social Studies education is enhanced when integrated with language arts studies Other interesting articles dealing with the integration of language arts and social studies include Beyer, Barry, and Gilstrap’s “Integrating Writing and Social Studies, K-6,” and Madole, Fry, Phillips, and Lobaugh’s “Halliday’s Functions of Language: A Framework to Integrate Elementary-level Social Studies and Language Arts.” The former work focuses on what the authors cite as a 20 percent decline in the ability of students to analyze, interpret, and express views of written prose. This decline led to critical changes in elementary school social studies curriculum which now requires students to practice writing and analytical skills. The latter work presents the argument for integrating language arts and social studies curriculum through the use of pen pal letters and journals. Research Methodology Issues: As stated previously, each of the articles reviewed by this author contained ample evidence that the programs/approaches in question were successful. What seems to be lacking in each of them is the rigorous research that he has grown accustomed to seeing in relation to other educational issues. Granted, some of them contained impressive research, however, most did not. Knowledge Gaps: Each of the authors whose articles were reviewed seemed to be quite knowledgeable in their respective areas of expertise. EDUC 636 LITERATURE REVIEW PRESENTATION GRADING RUBRIC Criteria Content 70% Exploration of Trends Breadth of Topic Reviewed Levels of Achievement Advanced Proficient Developing 1 to 23 points The student identifies and provides supportive evidence of 3 trends in the literature explored consistent with his/her selected topic. 26 to 28 points The student identifies and provides supportive evidence of 5 trends in the literature explored consistent with his/her selected topic. 24 to 25 points The student identifies and provides supportive evidence of 4 trends in the literature explored consistent with his/her selected topic. 26 to 28 points The student effectively engages each topic, discussing all 3 of the following: what types of literature, discussions, and directions the topic is heading. 24 to 25 points The student effectively engages each topic, discussing 2 of the following: what types of literature, discussions, and directions the topic is heading. 1 to 23 points The student effectively engages each topic, discussing 1 of the following: what types of literature, discussions, and directions the topic is heading. 26 to 28 points The student selects topics for presentation from the literature reviewed and reported upon that are relevant to the 5 major trends of social studies. 24 to 25 points The student selects topics for presentation from the literature reviewed and reported upon that are relevant to the 4 major trends of social studies. 1 to 23 points The student selects topics for presentation from the literature reviewed and reported upon that are relevant to the 3 major trends of social studies. 26 to 28 points The student critically reports on methods and approaches employed by authors in the literature reviewed and presented identifying each of the following: weaknesses, assumptions, and issues. 24 to 25 points The student critically reports on methods and approaches employed by authors in the literature reviewed and presented identifying 2 of the following: weaknesses, assumptions, and issues. 1 to 23 point The student critically reports on methods and approaches employed by authors in the literature reviewed and presented identifying 1 of the following: weaknesses, assumptions, and issues. Relevancy of Topic Critique of Methods Not present 0 points The student identifies and provides supportive evidence of 2 or fewer trends in the literature explored consistent with his/her selected topic. 0 points The student does not effectively engage each topic. 0 points The student selects topics for presentation from the literature reviewed and reported upon that are relevant to the 2 or fewer major trends of social studies. 0 points The student does not critically report on the methods and approaches employed by the authors in the literature reviewed and presented. Page 1 of 2 EDUC 636 Identified Gaps 26 to 28 points The student identifies clear gaps in knowledge in the topic chosen for focus and presents resulting problems for future inquiry. Structure 30% Sources Advanced 19 to 20 points A minimum of 30 sources accompanies the review. APA Formatting 19 to 20 points Citations and references documented in current APA format with no errors. 24 to 25 points The student identifies clear gaps in knowledge in the topic chosen for focus or presents resulting problems for future inquiry. 1 to 23 point The student identifies potential, but not clear, gaps in knowledge in the topic chosen for focus and present resulting problems for future inquiry. Proficient Developing 17 to 18 points A total of 25 to 29 sources accompany the review. 17 to 18 points Citations and references documented in current APA format with 1–2 style errors. 1 to 16 point A total of 20 to 24 sources accompany the review. 1 to 16 point Citations and references documented in current APA format with 3–4 style errors. Mechanics 19 to 20 points No grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors are present. 17 to 18 points A total of 1–2 grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors are present. 1 to 16 point A total of 3–4 grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors are present. 0 points The student does not identify gaps in knowledge in the topic chosen for focus and does not present resulting problems for future inquiry. Not present 0 points Fewer than 20 sources accompany the review. 0 points Citations and or references missing. More than 4 style errors. 0 points More than 4 grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors are present. Page 2 of 2
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Running head: LITERATURE REVIEW

1

Literature Review
Institution Affiliation
Instructor’s Name
Student’s Name
Course Code
Date

LITERATURE REVIEW

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Literature Review
Effective Use of Student Participation Activities in Social Studies
Students learning behavior can be influenced by the activities that they are engaged on a
daily basis. Again, teachers contribute significantly to the learning of the student; social studies
have been an agenda that has been discussed for many years by different scholars from diverse
background and skills. The subject is offered to students by an integrative approach designed to
improve student’s competences in the field about their daily activities and relationship the
subject is taught at elementary and middle school level. It helps. However, for effective use of
student participation activities in social studies, there has been emerging trends that have
contributed to the changes and learning process. Some of these trends include:
1.

New approaches to the Selection and organization of subjects.
Social studies have been undergoing an evolution period with an aim to help in individual

competencies. Some of the skills of inquiry that have been put in place have pushed individuals
to identify new ideologies that teachers can use to establish teaching techniques. Similarly, the
methods of discovery and self-directed learning have lately been approaches that have facilitated
social studies development (Aktepe, 2014).
Students and teachers have been combining effort to enable creativity and innovation
throughout the course period. Some of the methods used in teaching involving group discussion
and individual presentation has helped students to overcome fear and share their ideas.
2.

Anthropology and psychology evolvement
Active participation of pupils in lectures affects their learning process in a positive way.

Pupils engaged in developing ideas create a more advanced opinion of their own that make the
discussion lively and discovery of new approaches. Consequently, the evolvement of psychology

LITERATURE REVIEW

3

and anthropology, they have led to a more demanding approach that pupils and teachers are
facing. Emerging issues in the relationship and social activities have led to constant conflict in
social developments. Thus pupils and teachers are expected to dig deeper and understand the
approaches to take.
Students are allowed to take courses on effective learning through participation so that
can meet the demanding needs of the course material. It upon the teachers to establish a
mechanism that suits the elementary school pupils and the middle-grade levels. Such methods
will help to know the areas that they can make changes. Individual’s differences are taken into
consideration when dealing with these issues (Demirkaya, 2004).
3.

Technology changes
Among the trends that have affected social studies is modern technology. Now pupils are

learning through computers using EBooks and soft copies. Technology advancements have made
the learning process more efficient and lively. Pupils and teachers are continually engaging even
after class to expound more on the need to make changes and improve the learning skills
(Robinson, 2008).
Technology advancement has enabled researchers to create simple and easy materials
these pupils can understand when learning. It has contributed to permanent behavioral changes
where teachers and students have established self-defined goals. The methods and strategies of
teachers are constantly changing as technology changes.
4.

Current teaching methods
Social studies teaching methods has continually been evolving and has enabled teachers

to shape the lessons with real-life events, stories, and patterns. Student’s participation gives

LITERATURE REVIEW

4

teachers an opportunity to identify their needs and material to use. Training period and materials
should be aligned according to the changing needs of the students (Deveci, 2008).
Middle school teachers should crates opportunities for their students, to create forums
where they can discuss democratic values, equality of opportunities, justice and diversity. Such
groups provide them with a chance to develop their brains and their social lives. It also helps
them to find solutions for real-world problems at an early age. Research and discussion on
current issues are has been increasing due to the present teaching trends.
5.

Exploration and explicit questions
Another emerging trend that has affected social studies students and teachers is the

exploration and precise questions. Teachers have been challenged to finds questions that interest
students which facilitate the meaningful discussions. An open approach is another teaching
technique that teachers have been using; they have helped in constructing an active debate (Saxe,
2016).
Teachers are asking questions that are intriguing to th...


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