The Evolution of Science and Social Studies Curriculum

With technology increasingly changing what teachers can do with their students, core curriculum concepts in both the science and social studies curriculum standards have evolved. While initial curriculum standards generally focused on what should be taught, the newer models of curriculum also investigate how teachers should educate students when teaching. After all, a teacher can cover a curriculum concept but still not teach that idea effectively.

With that notion in mind, we’ll take a look at the new science and social studies curriculum standards, their evolution, and how teachers can teach more successfully to better engage and motivate students. Using interactive methods, students are not only more likely to enjoy learning, but also increase their ability to retain new information.

C3 Inquiry Arch Social Studies Curriculum Standards

In the 1970s and the early 1980s, elementary social studies concepts were taught to students less and less, as the subject became embedded into the curriculum of other subjects, like reading stories that reflected on social studies ideas. The concept that social development was an important idea as a subject in its own right seemed to vanish slowly. However, nowadays the focus has moved to teaching social studies as its own subject, using critical thinking questions and methods that force students to think and consider problems so that they will become educated citizens.

Today social studies teaches students how to problem solve and develop into productive members of society. Within this framework, critical thinking and social development emerge as important skills, and methods of interactive learning to engage students in critical thinking make lessons more enjoyable for students. Nowadays, instead of incorporating social studies into other subjects, it’s now taught with problematic current event and historical questions that require students to collaborate and think outside the box in order to educate themselves and come up with a resolution to the situation.

Next Generation Science Standards

Unlike social studies as a subject, science was always viewed as something students needed to learn, but exactly what should be taught was a question that caused the elementary science curriculum standards to evolve. Today’s Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) focus on three concepts: science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. When students are learning science and engineering practices, one of the most important standards for learning nowadays is the concept of 3D and phenomena, which means providing students with interactive, hands-on activities. Students learn more collaborative, hands-on problem solving skills, and are usually posed with a scientific problem or an experiment they must conduct and reflect on with groups or partners to problem solve and interact.

How to Use Interactive Instruction

Since both the social studies and sciences curriculum framework standards expect students to utilize interactive strategies, either of critical thinking or inquiry to learn new skills, teachers need to utilize hands-on learning methods to promote these concepts. TCI’s curriculum for both science and social studies offers interactive, engaging hands-on learning activities combined with effective textbooks, multimedia activities, and lectures teachers can utilize to reinforce learning.

TCI’s Bring Science Alive! program meets the NGSS standards, and their interactive social studies curriculum also aligns with NCSS’s framework. Both programs help teachers provide engaging lessons to students that include online media, hands-on class investigations, an engaging test, and customizable assessments, lectures, and lesson plans for teachers.

Using TCI’s curriculum, teachers will not only save time creating their lesson plans while meeting curriculum standards but also educate their students successfully, producing foundational building blocks for the future and inspiring a lifelong love of learning.

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