Primary School

Primary Social Studies Fieldwork in Children’s Localities and Beyond

"Children’s localities and beyond offer potential for young learners to connect with and understand their world. This article explores what children’s localities and the merits of doing fieldwork are. It identifies the different children’s localities and themes for fieldwork, examines the inquiry fieldwork approach and suggests how to plan such fieldwork for effective learning. The article also provides two examples of fieldwork in children’s localities based on student teachers’ fieldwork packages. "

Teaching The Enduring Understandings About Culture in Primary Social Studies

"Educating the young for multicultural understanding and social cohesion are amongst the most important goals of Social Studies. Teachers can broaden and deepen the learning of the concept of culture in order to help students to understand cultural differences and similarities across different communities and to better appreciate the diversities in their midst. This paper offers several enduring understandings about culture that can guide curricular and instructional decisions. Finally, it suggests learning activities that teachers can consider to augment the food, festival and artefacts approach that is commonly used in schools to teach about cultural diversity."

Provoking Inquiry: The Use of Primary Sources in the Primary Social Studies Classroom

"Primary sources of information are often used by teachers to spark curiosity about the past, develop multiple perspectives and foster critical thinking in students. This article focuses on how and why primary sources can be used to create inquiry-based, student-centered learning experiences in the primary social studies curriculum. It demonstrates how primary students can use the modified See, Think, Wonder approach to draw well-reasoned inferences about the past corroborated by evidence from primary sources of information."

Immigrant Teachers in Singapore Schools: Backgrounds, Integration, and Diversification

"Immigrant-background teachers make up a fragment of the teacher population in mainstream Singapore schools. Though modest in terms of number, the presence of these teachers in the Singapore teaching workforce is arguably significant in other ways. To date, little research attention has been paid to this unique group of teachers. Based on a Ministry of Education-National Institute of Education (MOE-NIE) funded study (OER 16/17 YPD), this article provides an overview of the characteristics and experiences of immigrant teachers in mainstream Singapore primary and secondary schools, with a focus on the practical challenges and value tensions they encounter in the professional settings. Findings show that immigrant teachers are generally well integrated into the Singapore education system notwithstanding certain challenges. Meanwhile, some teachers’ experiences of negotiating with value differences suggest that immigrant teachers may have the potential to add diversity to the education system, although this potential appears to be limited by the pragmatic imperative of professional integration."

So That All May Learn: Differentiating Instruction in the Primary Social Studies Classroom

"There is increasing diversity in our classrooms today. In order to manage this diversity, enable every child to learn and make sure no child falls between the cracks, we need to reconsider how we plan and enact our lessons. Our past practice of a “One size fits all” lesson may be expedient but is no longer sufficient to meet the learning needs of our students. Differentiated instruction is a recommended approach for educators who acknowledge the diverse needs of learners and who want to help all their learners achieve the required academic standards. This paper attempts to explain in simple terms what Differentiated Instruction is and to show, with examples, how it can be planned and carried out in the primary social studies classroom."

Evolution of the Primary School Social Studies Curriculum in Singapore: From ‘Moulding’ Citizens to Developing Critical Thinkers

"Most educators in democratic societies are of the view that citizenship education is crucial for the continued existence of a society. There is, however, a lack of agreement about what the goals and purposes of citizenship education should be. Most researchers agree that Social Studies is utilised for three primary purposes, viz., socialisation into the norms of society; acquisition of disciplinary concepts and processes; and the promotion of critical or reflective thinking (Ross, 2006). In Singapore, Social Studies is an important vehicle for citizenship education in Singapore. This paper examines the development of Social Studies as a subject for citizenship education in primary schools and shows that the purpose of Social Studies has for many years, focused on socialising the young into the norms of Singapore society. The primary goal has been the development of moral, law abiding and patriotic citizens. This goal has remained constant although towards the 21st century, there is recognition of a need to include the development of critical thinking in the Social Studies. This, however, is still a fledgling goal and more deliberate effort is required to achieve this. "

What is History Teaching?

"This article looks at the nature of history and how we can teach history as a discipline. It suggests several steps that teachers may want to use to teach history as an investigation as well as how to do history in the field."

Using Stories for Teaching Primary Social Studies

"Stories are often used by teachers to transmit knowledge, values and dispositions, deepen understanding and develop critical thinking in children. The power of stories and storytelling is highlighted in this article which focuses on why and how stories can be used for teaching primary social studies concepts and generalisations, how to choose suitable story books for children, and how to use some of them in the classroom. Three teaching approaches, namely, the shared book approach, the integrated biographical inquiry and storytelling are featured along with ideas of how these may be applied during lessons."

Making Cooperative Learning Work for Teaching and Learning

"This article is a continuation of the previous article entitled, “Let’s have Cooperative Learning for Lessons!” In this article, how to plan, organize and conduct productive cooperative learning in the primary social studies classroom will be featured. Suggestions on managing challenging student behaviours for successful cooperative learning and the assessment and reflection of such lessons are also highlighted."

Let’s Have Cooperative Learning for Lessons!

"One cannot assume that learning will necessarily take place just because children are doing group work. To ensure that productive learning takes place, there is a need to infuse elements of cooperative learning into the group activities. In this article, the key principles and structures of cooperative learning as well as the benefits of using cooperative learning are discussed. Some suggestions on the use of cooperative learning, together with classroom examples are also presented."

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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