Comfortably Numb? Rethinking Social Studies for Social Justice
Social studies have traditionally occupied a unique place in the education system. A social studies classroom should be a place where students are given the opportunity to voice their opinions and pursue social topics that are relevant to them. The goal of schooling for social studies seems to remain focused on transmission of essential knowledge, skills, and values. Caring is an active response to the individual and collective power of a teaching and learning environment that fosters openness and promotes understanding through the cognitive and affective exploration and expression of the diverse beliefs, philosophies, principles, catalysts, and emotions that comprise the social studies. The caring student is no longer satisfied with social studies that simply informs. The caring student is one who embraces social studies that transforms. A transformative social justice framework needs to be the focus of social education and schools. It is high time to rethink social studies and schooling for social justice.