Goals - Performance(s) - Criteria
In this Final Project, we are given another opportunity to reflect upon readings, research, and discussions during this past semester. This achieves another course goal and
affords us time to pull together considerable thought into a document or presentation which
meets the rubrics we developed several weeks ago.
Demonstrates solid understanding of Social Science Content
The Bibliography and Maps & Other Links documents cite numerous examples of popular WWW URLs with strong Social Studies content. Furthermore, the Lesson Plans (such as Urban Field Walk and The Milagro Bean Field War) demonstrate an understanding of geographic content (the five geographic themes, how they relate to overarching themes of geographic awareness, and Lessons connection with the national geography standards). The assessment criteria continues to evolve, adding more useful, tested links as they become available.
Demonstrates solid understanding of social studies pedagogical content knowledge
Keeping the Teacher College Scholar Practictioner Model in mind, multiple opportunities for teaching / learning are provided. These Lesson Plans plans can be easily adapted to various age groups and multiple intelligences. In these Lessons, one works towards the Teaching for Understanding model (with authentic assessment model a strong element).
Demonstrates instructional approach(es) that lead to student understanding
Lesson Plans (cited above) illustrate ways in which content can be delivered to students. Whether the material is available on the WWW, in a handout, film strip, videotape, CD-ROM, or textbook, students appreciate a variety of ways to understand the content. There are many ways to DO geography. It is the responsibility of educators, curriculum consultants, parents, school boards and citizens to work together to achieve the best mix for each student, neighborhood school, and district.
Informed by research on social studies and teaching
The reading and research is focused primarily on how children learn. A great deal of research regarding how geographic content and methodology are expressed and assimilated for students is becoming more readily available. These links, hopefully, will afford visitors to this site a better understanding of how geography fits into a larger social studies world of content and methodology.
Relates to context in which project is to be implemented
The Becoming an Advocate for Geography link offers a strong case for further implementation of geographic content, not only as intellectual thought but also as practical pathways towards improvement in teaching which will lead to greater understanding and appreciation of our world.
Clear purposes, activities, assessment
The web site documents affords opportunities for teachers and students of geography to focus on what geography is, how the national standards were developed, some activities which utilize the skills, and assessment models are also mentioned. Examples from this section can be found in links to Lesson Plans, Field Trips, and Research.
This Final Project has given me a solid foundation of understanding and appreciating the role of teaching and learning Social Studies in K-12. I have now a better handle of recent theories and research regarding student understanding of the complex world in which we live. Instructional materials and approaches continue to evolve, and this course has prepared me for multiple ways to approach a problem and to address it.