NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

Course Descriptions

Essentials of Social Studies

EDUC 600

As our schools focus on math and reading, many social studies periods have been reduced to dates, facts and places that are soon forgotten.  This course offers strategies for teaching social studies as well as strategies to improve literacy and language skills.  Whether you are looking to supplement your current curriculum, or create your own, the text will give you endless ideas to draw your students into history.  Several topics are covered including: artifacts in the classroom, first person documents, linking history to current events, and social justice.  This class will help you transform your students in to critical thinkers that are able to examine and act on social issues.


As a result of this participation in this course, students will: 

  • Identify essential social studies themes;
  • Design current event lessons that relate to the social studies curriculum;
  • Explore strategies for teaching social justice, cultural perspective, and point of view;
  • Integrate first person documents and artifacts into the classroom;
  • Develop lesson plans that will teach the essential themes and skills in the text.


The required reading is found in the text listed (enclosed with syllabus). The required text is:

Schmidt, L. (2007).  Social Studies That Sticks:  How to Bring Content and Concepts to Life.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.

Journell, W. (2007).  “Dewey and Standardization: A Philosophical Look at the Implications for Social Studies”  Social Studies Research and Practice 2(3), 301-315.

Byford, J. & Russell, W. (2007)  “The New Social Studies:  A Historical Examination of Curriculum Reform”  Social Studies Research and Practice 2(1), 38-48.