Reinvigorating Student Interests in Social Studies
Keywords:social studies, history, pilot, camp, teacher action reasearch, active engagement, American history
The increase of legislation and state mandated tests has led to a decrease of instructional time for social studies. We wanted to see if active engagement could have positive impact on students’ attitude toward Social Studies. We also wanted to examine how teachers can create active engagement activities in their classroom environments that promote the learning of social studies. In this paper, we would like to share how we created a pilot History camp to see if we could answer these two specific, but related questions. Four types of data tools were used in this pilot study including pre and post student-interest surveys, exit-tickets, and end of the day student reflections. The findings indicated that the implementation of active engagement activities can have a positive impact on students’ attitudes toward social studies. We also learned how to create active learning activities that can be incorporated in the classroom and the versatility it provides to transfer to the content areas.
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