Social Studies in Schools

A History of the Early Years

By David Warren Saxe

Subjects: Social Studies Education
Series: SUNY series, Theory, Research, and Practice in Social Education
Paperback : 9780791407769, 328 pages, December 1991
Hardcover : 9780791407752, 328 pages, January 1992

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Table of contents

by C. Benjamin Cox



1. Social Science, Social Education, and Social Studies:Descriptions, Definitions, and Origins

2. Beginnings of Traditional History

3. School Reform and the Committee of Seven

4. Toward Social Education Reform

5. Social Studies Comes to Influence

6. The Social Studies-Efficiency Prototype






This supplemental text is an historical account of the beginning years of the social studies. Using the 1916 Social Studies report as a base, the book outlines the issues, contexts, and individuals that were influential in the genesis of the seminal social studies prototype program.

The author explains that many of our present interests such as critical thinking, decision making, inquiry, reflective thinking, foundational studies, and cultural literacy can be found within the texts of the 1916 social studies program. Saxe also shows that the roots of the social studies program are found in the social sciences and not the traditional history curriculum. Included are chronological time lines that serve to illustrate the growth of the social studies, as well as an extensive bibliography of the primary foundational works of the social studies, including the 1916 report. These materials greatly enhance the value of Saxe's work for social studies educators and students.

David Warren Saxe is Professor-In-Charge of Social Studies Education at The Pennsylvania State University.


"This book fills a gap in the history of the field. In general there is a dearth of material on the subject and Saxe's criticism — that these works deal with individuals and not with movements — is absolutely valid. Even though I have contributed to most of them, I am quite willing to admit that research in the field is skewed and needs another sort of analysis. Thus, Saxe's book should be eagerly awaited and consumed. " — S. Samuel Shermis, Purdue University

"The book makes appropriate and important distinctions between social studies and history as fields with distinct origins, traditions, and values. The author uses a great deal of primary source material that is often overlooked by other historians. The organization of the work is logical and straightforward; his analysis is solid. I think a book like this is long overdue. " — George L. Mehaffy, San Diego State University