Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) [in Social Science]


Social Science




Social sciences -- Study and teaching, International education



Physical Description

1 online resource (102 leaves ; 28 cm.)


The need for preparing our youth to live in an interdependent world on this finite planet has become urgent since the beginning of the nuclear age at the end of World War II. There is a need to extend the loyalty of the citizen tor the nation-state to human needs seen from a global view. The involvement of the United States in the international community already is extensive because of its predominant power. This involvement is not reflected in our education, either from the amount of time devoted to social studies in our schools or in the emphasis on international relations in that curriculum.

To achieve the global view which our changing society demands it is suggested that some unifying concepts be chosen which cross the various social science disciplines namely, the concepts of change (both violent and non-violent), conflict, authority or power, order, freedom and responsibility. These concepts enable the teacher, using a problem-solving approach, to raise questions which make values explicit, and provide flexibility in subject matter and range of student ability. In a global context, the following specific goals would be encouraged: overcome ethnocentrism, recognize the diversity of faces that the U.S. presents to the world, seek a transnational view based on human rights, emphasize the problem rather than the institution, and seek foreign points of view in source materials.

During the 1960s there have been 80me innovations in both subject matter and method in teaching social studies, ranging from entire school systems to single schools and classes, and there are a number of new curricula materials coming out of projects funded by both government and private sources. This thesis has l.dent1tied a number of these with the idea that the teacher who is interested in presenting a global orientation now has a growing number of tools to choose from. He need not wait to construct a new curriculum but can supplement and reorient his approach in his own classroom. However, this implies that the teacher baa a global view already. Opportunities for foreign studies are becoming widespread and, hopefully, more and more teachers will feel they are an essential part of their preparation. Unfortunately, there is very little course preparation for the global view at the college level, where the largest proportion of teachers will develop.-or not develop--an international awareness. The community at the state or local level can often be of considerable help in encouraging this kind of experience for its teachers.

It is probable that the more activist role of today’s student has been a factor in the trend toward using the inquiry, or discovery, method in the classroom. Certainly, this method has the advantage, for a global view, of using concepts which' can present controversial subject matter in an open-ended way. It uses the techniques of a scientific approach and enables the social studies to introduce more social science findings of current global concern. Discussion of values becomes an essential element. Such discussion begins with the student's experience, and by exposing him to a clash of personal beliefs there is evidence that motivation is increased and a possible shift in attitudes occurs.

The teacher who aims to teach from a global viewpoint will need help, both in keeping abreast of the current curricula and in having available the most recent findings of social science and educational research which could affect the attitudes of his students. In particular, the area of conflict studies has potential for resolving international problems. The teacher, thus, has a key role in preparing future citizens to meet the changes of a global society.


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Portland State University. School of Social Work

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