The End-Purpose of Teaching Social Sciences and the Curricular Inclusion of Social Problems

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (21 September 2021) | Viewed by 44475

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Guest Editor
Department of Specific Didactics, Faculty of Education, University of Burgos, 09001 Burgos, Spain
Interests: education and citizenship in the global era; education for sustainability; gender equality and women's empowerment (goal 5: sustainable development objectives); curricular inclusion of social problems in education; anthropology and teaching of the social and human sciences; language and literature didactics; mixed methods research
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Dear Colleagues,

The most recent scientific literature on the treatment of social problems or controversial social questions in the Social Sciences classroom and their inclusion into curricula emphasizes the need to introduce students into large-scale social debates where different points of view exist, different interests are at stake, and where it is desirable that they construct their own opinions in that respect from a critical and reasoned perspective. Work with social problems permits a typology of analysis that includes the relative experience of the past and the expectations for the future in a present that is lived, and to consider the temporal relation on the basis of an analysis of changes and continuities that are observable from a comparative perspective. In the comprehension and interpretation of the historicity of the present and in planning the social future, social problems would have to represent a fundamental curricular tenant that gives relevance to the contemporaneousness of the student.

This Special Issue aims to answer the following research questions with theoretical and empirical studies:

  • What are the purposes of teaching history and social sciences at today’s schools?
  • What is the place of social thought formation and social problems in learning/teaching in Social Sciences?

Prof. Dr. Delfín Ortega-Sánchez
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • end-purposes of Social Sciences teaching
  • relevant social problems
  • social thought
  • education for democratic citizenship

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 209 KiB  
Editorial
The End-Purpose of Teaching Social Sciences and the Curricular Inclusion of Social Problems
by Delfín Ortega-Sánchez
Soc. Sci. 2022, 11(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11010012 - 29 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1556
Abstract
The most recent scientific literature on the treatment of social problems or controversial social questions in the social sciences classroom and their inclusion into curricula emphasizes the need to introduce students into large-scale social debates where different points of view exist, different interests [...] Read more.
The most recent scientific literature on the treatment of social problems or controversial social questions in the social sciences classroom and their inclusion into curricula emphasizes the need to introduce students into large-scale social debates where different points of view exist, different interests are at stake, and where it is desirable that they construct their own opinions in that respect from a critical and reasoned perspective [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

16 pages, 1469 KiB  
Article
Students’ Social Representations of Forced Migration as a Relevant Social Problem and Its Curricular Inclusion at the End of Primary School
by Roberto García-Morís, Nerea García Bugallo and Ramón Martínez-Medina
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(11), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10110423 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2182
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to assess students’ social representations of forced migration as a relevant social problem in the last year of primary education and the opportunity for its curricular inclusion. The study was carried out by means of a questionnaire, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to assess students’ social representations of forced migration as a relevant social problem in the last year of primary education and the opportunity for its curricular inclusion. The study was carried out by means of a questionnaire, filled in by 6th-year primary education groups (11–12 years old) (n = 70), in a state-supported private school in the city of A Coruña (Galicia, Spain). The questionnaire was supported by three pictures of forced migrations from the media. In this case, the children had to interpret the pictures through a series of questions that sought to investigate their representations, the causes they identify in this social problem, their opinions, and possible solutions. Finally, the opportunity for the inclusion of social problems as curriculum content was addressed. The study shows that the students are in favor of migrants, that they use concepts from the social sciences in their arguments—albeit simple ones, and that they are in favor of the curricular inclusion of social problems, in which they develop representations through different sources of information. Full article
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15 pages, 676 KiB  
Article
Educational Intervention through a Board Game for the Teaching of Mathematics to Dyslexic Greek Students
by Efstratios Malliakas, Nοelia Jiménez-Fanjul and Verónica Marín-Díaz
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(10), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10100370 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3556
Abstract
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an intervention strategy in teaching mathematics based on a board game, using the curriculum of mathematics in Greece, called Adapted Analytical Programs (A.A.P.). This research was conducted on secondary students in [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an intervention strategy in teaching mathematics based on a board game, using the curriculum of mathematics in Greece, called Adapted Analytical Programs (A.A.P.). This research was conducted on secondary students in Greek General Schools over a period of five weeks. One hundred and twenty-four 12-to-13-year-old dyslexic students participated in the study. A pre-test and a post-test with exercises in the chapter of fractions were used to assess the improvement in students’ performance. The assessment showed that this intervention strategy improved dyslexic students’ performance. Τhe results of the research indicate that integrating a board game adapted to mathematics into the secondary school curriculum could have positive effects on dyslexic students. Full article
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18 pages, 1302 KiB  
Article
School Inquiry in Secondary Education: The Experience of the Fiesta de la Historia Youth Congress in Seville
by Nicolás De-Alba-Fernández, Elisa Navarro-Medina and Noelia Pérez-Rodríguez
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(5), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10050165 - 08 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2606
Abstract
In secondary education, the focus of history teaching must be on the development of global citizenship. The present research was a study contextualized in the Fiesta de la Historia Youth Congress in Seville (Spain). A documentary analysis with a descriptive and interpretive design [...] Read more.
In secondary education, the focus of history teaching must be on the development of global citizenship. The present research was a study contextualized in the Fiesta de la Historia Youth Congress in Seville (Spain). A documentary analysis with a descriptive and interpretive design was made of 63 projects of inquiry that pupils carried out. The main objectives were to assess the incidence of the proposal in terms of participation, and to determine whether the pupils’ projects followed a logic of inquiry about socially relevant problems which favors the construction of global citizenship. The results point to a low incidence of schools participating in this initiative. The projects of inquiry analyzed present, for the most part, themes related to the historical and social heritage of the locality. The proposals are approached as problems of a specific discipline and are worked on through a method based on a pseudoscientific research process. The findings indicate the need to continue implementing initiatives based on school inquiry that allow the teaching of history to be articulated around relevant social problems, with the objective being to develop citizenship skills. Full article
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19 pages, 393 KiB  
Article
The Consensus on Citizenship Education Purposes in Teacher Education
by Marta Estellés, Francisco José Amo and Jesús Romero
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(5), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10050164 - 07 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3648
Abstract
Although education for democratic citizenship has long been a powerful rationale for social studies education, researchers still report a significant gap between this purpose and what is really taught in classrooms. Explanations of this phenomenon vary, but literature on citizenship education (CE) research [...] Read more.
Although education for democratic citizenship has long been a powerful rationale for social studies education, researchers still report a significant gap between this purpose and what is really taught in classrooms. Explanations of this phenomenon vary, but literature on citizenship education (CE) research has largely interpreted this gap as a result of (preservice) teachers’ political worldviews or lack of civic experiences. Other evidence, however, suggests that teacher socialization processes generate conventions about what is necessary, possible, and reasonable in CE that go beyond teachers’ political views and behaviors. This mixed-method study, developed at a Spanish university, aims to explore the understandings of CE shared by preservice teachers with different political ideologies and levels of civic engagement. The findings of this study have deep implications for teacher education courses aimed at fostering CE and the curricular inclusion of current social issues. Full article
12 pages, 302 KiB  
Article
Secondary School Students’ Perception of the Acquisition of Social Science Skill
by José María Álvarez-Martínez-Iglesias, Pedro Miralles-Martínez, Jesús Molina-Saorín and Francisco Javier Trigueros-Cano
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040126 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2753
Abstract
The aim of this study is to find out the relevance of the competences worked on in the area of social science, specifically in the subjects of geography and history, through the perceptions of pupils in the 4th year of compulsory secondary education [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to find out the relevance of the competences worked on in the area of social science, specifically in the subjects of geography and history, through the perceptions of pupils in the 4th year of compulsory secondary education (ESO). In order to carry out the survey, a purposive sampling was carried out in which more than 1400 4th year ESO students (in Spain) participated. In addition, using a Likert-type scale of our own creation called Evaluation of the Perception of Social Science Competences (EPECOCISO) and following a design of quantitative methodology, an exploratory factor analysis was carried out with the analysis software SPSS through the descriptive process, which allowed us to select the three factors that make up the study. Subsequently, correlations were established between factors through Pearson’s test, and between the different variables that make up each one of them with the socio-demographic variables (distinguishing between ordinal and nominal variables) through the chi-square test of independence and Cramer’s V test (nominal), as well as the linearity test, Goodman’s gamma test, and the Kruskal (ordinal) test. Finally, one of the most important conclusions of this study is that the difficulties encountered by students in the acquisition of competences is conditioned by the development of the assessment processes that are carried out. Full article
16 pages, 414 KiB  
Article
Chilean Teacher Educators’ Conceptions on the Absence of Women and Their History in Teacher Training Programmes. A Collective Case Study
by Jesús Marolla Gajardo, Jordi Castellví Mata and Rodrigo Mendonça dos Santos
Soc. Sci. 2021, 10(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10030106 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2752
Abstract
Schools must assume a clear position that considers gender perspectives and studies in their programmes’ construction as well as in discourses and practices produced and reproduced in the school context. Social sciences education is a key area that enables the creation of tools [...] Read more.
Schools must assume a clear position that considers gender perspectives and studies in their programmes’ construction as well as in discourses and practices produced and reproduced in the school context. Social sciences education is a key area that enables the creation of tools to reflect and foster social justice practices in face of violence against women. In this article, we focus on some reflections of social sciences education professors in Chile. Specifically, we discuss the limitations they face to include women and women issues in their classes. The methodology utilised is Collective Case Studies. The methodology used has a socio-constructivist approach and critical theory perspective, seeking to understand the structures of meaning around the invisibility of women and their history. Among the results, the willingness of professors to include and transform their practices towards perspectives that promote inclusion and social justice stands out. However, they have different limitations, such as excessive workload, the tradition already present in teacher education programmes, and the rigidity of the hegemonic and patriarchal structures. Full article
11 pages, 1760 KiB  
Article
Pre-Service Teachers’ Critical Digital Literacy Skills and Attitudes to Address Social Problems
by Jordi Castellví, María-Consuelo Díez-Bedmar and Antoni Santisteban
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(8), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9080134 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5362
Abstract
The emergence and expansion of social networks in the digital age has led to social transformations that have a great impact within the field of education. Teacher-training programs face the challenge of preparing future teachers to critically interpret digital media. They must succeed [...] Read more.
The emergence and expansion of social networks in the digital age has led to social transformations that have a great impact within the field of education. Teacher-training programs face the challenge of preparing future teachers to critically interpret digital media. They must succeed in this if we are to develop citizens who are well informed and reflective, which then raises the question: Are future teachers critical thinkers? This study took third- and fourth-year students of primary education (n = 322) at five Spanish universities and explored their capacity for constructing critical discourses. It examined how well they can analyze and discuss information from digital media on social problems like poverty, economic crises, social justice, and the media. Its findings reveal that future teachers have difficulty in putting together critical discourses based on information from the Internet on social problems. Those who have doubts, compare, analyze, and reason are the minority. Full article
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19 pages, 2108 KiB  
Article
Global Citizenship and Analysis of Social Facts: Results of a Study with Pre-Service Teachers
by Gustavo González-Valencia, María Ballbé and Delfín Ortega-Sánchez
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(5), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9050065 - 30 Apr 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 11549
Abstract
This article outlines how the dimensions of global citizenship education (GCE) are reflected in future secondary school teachers’ analysis of news items. The question that guided the research was: When analysing a news item with global implications, do teachers in training use the [...] Read more.
This article outlines how the dimensions of global citizenship education (GCE) are reflected in future secondary school teachers’ analysis of news items. The question that guided the research was: When analysing a news item with global implications, do teachers in training use the dimensions of the critical global citizenship education model and which critical literacy achieve? The study used a mixed methodology. Content analysis was used to analyse the information, specifically the use of codes through descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings show that the majority of future secondary school teachers tend to take a socially committed perspective, while they take a critical stance or mobilise for social justice action to a lesser extent. Full article
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17 pages, 568 KiB  
Article
The End-Purpose of Teaching History and the Curricular Inclusion of Social Problems from the Perspective of Primary Education Trainee Teachers
by Delfín Ortega-Sánchez and Joan Pagès Blanch
Soc. Sci. 2020, 9(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci9020009 - 28 Jan 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 6192
Abstract
The principal objective of the present study is to analyze the representations of Primary Education trainee teachers (n = 232) involving the end-purposes of teaching History and, in particular, their views on the didactic treatment and curricular inclusion of social problems at [...] Read more.
The principal objective of the present study is to analyze the representations of Primary Education trainee teachers (n = 232) involving the end-purposes of teaching History and, in particular, their views on the didactic treatment and curricular inclusion of social problems at this educational stage. A mixed investigation method is applied, which combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The results pointed to a predictive influence of the degree of importance attached to the didactic treatment of social problems and the frequency with which they were covered on the Degree Course, for the assessment of their explicit inclusion in the Social Sciences curriculum. Likewise, the educational potential of the social problems appeared to be unconnected to the most highly assessed end-purposes, which are related to the development of social, critical, and creative thought for participation and social intervention. Full article
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