Why Social Studies Matters

Recent state wrangling over social studies standards, divisive as that may be, offers some indication that educators and the society at large recognize the importance social studies, which includes history, geography, and civics, among other fields. Amid cries of “whose history” and scoring political points that standards debates provoke is the recognition that students—future voters and leaders—are influenced by how they understand past and present societies, the workings of government, and cultures worldwide.

ASCD Express is looking for short, 600 to 1,000-word essays on the theme “Why Social Studies Matters.” Guidelines for submissions are here. Please send us your submissions by May 2, 2011.

We welcome articles that show how schools and classrooms are giving social studies its rightful place in well-rounded education. How are students being prepared for understanding and living in a pluralistic society founded on democratic principles? How are newcomers assimilating the ideals of America? What do students learn so that they better understand other countries and the interplay of cultures and economics? What innovations help bring real-world learning into the social studies classroom?