Social Studies and Service-Learning: The Aleph of Democratic CitizenshipReport as inadecuate

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Canadian Social Studies, v38 n3 Spr 2004

Striking at the heart of social studies is an educational practice that restricts citizenship involvement in the promotion of a democratic society. Alberta Learning (2000) defines Social studies as "a school subject that assists students to acquire [the] basic knowledge, skills and positive attitudes needed to be responsible citizens and contributing members of society" (p. 1). Important to social studies education are the efforts students must make to bring new meaning to citizenship and community as a part of their national identity. Can social studies contribute to developing students' identity as citizens and promote an active and responsible role in Canadian society? Can education balance active involvement, and student responsibility, with the demands of curriculum, evaluation, and student uniqueness? One solution to the questions posed here is for a reform that integrates the experiential--that is, the active aspect of citizenship--with the social studies curriculum through service-learning.

Descriptors: Social Studies, Service Learning, Citizenship, Experiential Learning, Educational Practices, Student Responsibility, Citizen Participation, Role, Foreign Countries, Self Concept, Student Attitudes, Civics

University of Alberta. 347 Education South, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada. Web site:

Author: Foran, Andrew


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