Diversity: Approaches to building conceptual understanding in the Social Studies classroom, pp. 2 of 14

Table 1: Issues and Concepts for the new Social Studies Syllabus (MOE, 2015)

Issue

Inquiry Focus

Key concepts

Exploring Citizenship and Governance

Working for the good of society: Whose responsibility is it?

  • Citizenship
  • Trade-offs
  • Governance

Living in a Diverse Society

Living in a diverse society:
Is harmony achievable?

  • Identity
  • Diversity
  • Harmony
  • Assimilation
  • Integration

Being Part of a Globalised World

Being part of a globalised world:
Is it necessarily good?

  • Globalisation
  • Interconnections
  • Interdependence
  • Homogenisation
  • Hybridisation
  • Trade-offs
  • Security

With the heightened emphasis placed on students’ understanding of core content or key concepts, it remains of utmost interest for the social studies teacher to revisit some of the key strategies and beliefs involved in building conceptual understanding in the classroom. This paper thus seeks to explore the various pedagogical beliefs, instructional strategies and challenges that would be applicable for the classroom teacher in the conduct of the new Social Studies syllabus. For the purpose of this paper, we will be touching on the concept of diversity to anchor our discussions.

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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