One of the reasons social studies is viewed as a tough academic discipline is the result of force-fed historical dates and data. It is also one of the reasons that students think history is boring and irrelevant. Furthermore, their inability to relate to the culture and people of the past creates a what-does-this-have-to-do-with-me attitude early on in their education that directly influence their future performance. The misconception that social studies is about facts and dates is continuously supported by teachers who persist in using direct teaching and long lectures, believing that it is the most convenient way to teach students. Although lecturing is useful for presenting information, it does not provide students the opportunity to process and apply what they learn in class. Thus, a more effective teaching strategy in social studies classes, appropriate for all levels, is through role-playing. Role-playing is often overlooked by teachers because it is a student-centered learning strategy that requires teachers to be skilled in classroom management. However, there are many advantages to role-playing that can transform students' attitude and enhance their experience in learning social studies.
Direct teaching is a straightforward and time efficient approach to teach students. It is useful and appropriate when teachers need to provide students with specific dates and details. The disadvantage of direct teaching is that it does not allow students time to process and demonstrate that they comprehend what they have learned. In addition, direct teaching does not give teachers the chance to assess students knowledge and observe whether students have grasped the con...
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Duncombe, Sydney, and Michael J. Heikkinen. Role-Playing for Different Viewpoints.h Social Studies. 81.1 (Jan/Feb 1990): 33-35. 12 Feb. 2005. <http://search.epnet.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&an=9705111140>
Brien, Joseph, Jada Kohlmeier and Casey Guilfoyle. Prediction Making Within a Historical Context. Social Studies. 94.6 (Nov/Dec 2003): 271-278. 12 Feb. 2005 <http://search.epnet.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&an=12193856>
Strategies to Teach Social Studies. Social Studies Center for Educator Development. 2000. Texas Education Agency. 11 Feb. 2005. <http://www.tea.state.tx.us/ssc/downloads/toolkits/Shared%20Sections/Resources/Strateg ies/Strategies.pdf#xml=http://www.tea.state.tx.uswww.tea.state.tx.us/cgi/texis/webinator/search/xml.txt?query=SSCED&db=db&id=1838605184e9a2b0>
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