The purpose of this book in bringing together these diverse areas in relation to social studies is to contribute to a renewed dialogue and excitement about social studies and its essential contribution to global citizenship for the 21st Century. Preface by George H. Richardson In the last decade there has been an explosion of research and writing in social studies education. In response to such diverse forces as globalization, accelerating ethno-cultural pluralism, a renewed interest in citizenship and the increased use of new media in classrooms, academics have produced a wealth of scholarship related to these developments. Unfortunately, during this same period of rapid growth, there have been few attempts to review recent advances in the field. The relative scarcity of good and current bibliographic work in social studies has created an urgent need for a considered and scholarly review of the available literature. For this reason alone, Social Studies for the 21st Century: A Review of Current Literature and Research is a welcome addition to social studies scholarship.
But Susan Gibson and Roberta McKay, in their wide and deep reading of the field, do much more than create a strong reading list that will be of benefit to social studies scholars and practitioners alike. Their text is a reconceptualist study that seams together discussions of content, pedagogy and philosophy in such a way that they immerse the reader in the lived world of social studies education. As such, the text is far more than an annotated bibliography - it is a form of field narrative that is a rich contribution to the discipline. The authors are certainly aware of the roots of social studies research, and references to seminal works by scholars as diverse as Ken Osborne, Cleo Cherryholmes, Walter Parker, Kieran Egan, and Jerome Bruner only help to establish a sense of continuity with the work of such contemporary specialists as Linda Levstik, Alan Sears, Peter Seixas, Carole Hahn, David Selby, and John Cogan. Of particular note in the text are the strong (and badly needed) sections on gender equity, constructivism, brain research, and new media.
Developments in these areas have had a strong impact on recent social studies scholarship and by situating all four within the context of current developments in social studies, the authors add significantly to our understanding of their impact on social studies teaching and learning. As well, the short, though well-researched, section on global education is a welcome addition because it extends the range of the field to include works that examine the impact of globalization on global education. In summary, Social Studies for the 21st Century: A Review of Current Literature and Research is a welcome and badly needed contribution to social studies scholarship that will serve quite well either as a reference work or as a fine introduction to the field of social studies itself. And, because the authors have written the text in a clear, accessible style, it is a work that will find an enthusiastic reception among academics, pre-service teachers and classroom teachers alike. George H. Richardson, PhD Associate Professor Department of Secondary Education University of Alberta
"Writers and researchers in the field of social studies education have needed a publication like Roberta McKay and Susan Gibson's international review of social studies literature for a very long time. [This work] draws together current ideas from the world of social studies writing and research and organizes these into a coherent structure.....A work like this, which identifies the nature of social studies and the issues involved in learning and teaching social issues, is long overdue. I will be recommending McKay and Gibson's work to my colleagues and students."; "[This work] is a welcome and badly needed contribution to social studies scholarship that will serve quite well either as a reference work or as a fine introduction to the field of social studies itself. And, because the authors have written the text in a clear, accessible style, it is a work that will find an enthusiastic reception among academics, pre-service teachers and classroom teachers alike." - (From the Commendatory Preface) George H. Richardson, PhD, University of Alberta"