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Social Studies & Education

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Social educators are crucial contributors in helping shape an uncertain future. Engaging students
in social learning in schools and beyond is fundamentally the task of social studies, a field of
integrated study that draws upon history, political science and allied disciplines while seeking
new interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary ways of knowing and doing. Given the problems
and promise of global concerns immediately on the horizon, we must rise to this occasion and
champion education that is reflectively situational and robustly humanistic.

We undertake this challenge amidst a strong headwind that has reduced discourse about
education to simplistic formulations, to a series of quick-fixes that are neither efficient nor
resolving. Social educators, by their practices, can and ought lead a conversation about the
fundamentally social nature of all knowledge and the special task of schools in building this good
community.

Social studies education was founded by Teachers College faculty at the beginning of the last
century as they sought to ameliorate the social ills wrought by urbanization and industrialization
in their time. They reshaped public education in the City of New York and around the country
with child-centered pedagogy that pointed towards addressing social ills that was truly ahead of
its time. While the nature of the issues have changed since then, the steadfast and principled
commitment of our progenitors is a supplicant for the work that lies ahead.

Grand visions require hard work and thoughtful reflection to be realized. Our reserve is deep,
both in the talented and committed educators who staff our program, the enthusiastic and open
students who join our endeavor, and our storied and accomplished graduates who enact our
historic charge. We invite you, colleagues, students, community members and citizens, to join
with us in this exciting and challenging journey.