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Sears, Alan. "Making Room for Revolution in Social Studies Classrooms." Education Canada 49, no. 2 (2009): 5-8. 


Revolutions of all kinds are a mainstay of social studies and history classes across Canada. While revolution as subject matter is prevalent in Canadian social studies classrooms, it is unclear the degree to which what Howard Gardner calls the "cognitive revolution" has found its way into those same classrooms. This is the revolution in thinking about how people learn that began with Piaget, continued in the work of Vygotsky, Bruner, and others, and shows up today in a range of scholarship including Gardner's own work on multiple intelligences. It has profound implications for teaching and learning, but the evidence about practice in social studies classrooms around the world and in Canada indicates this may be one revolution that has not been given its due. While mathematics and science education were much quicker to take up the challenge of the cognitive revolution, the last 20 years has seen a growing body of research in the area of social education generally and history education in particular. Social studies educators are at the point now where they can begin to draw lessons from that work to inform their practice. In this article, the author explores four of those lessons: (1) the need to pay attention to the knowledge students bring with them to learning situations; (2) the need to focus on developing deep understanding rather than covering material; (3) the need to take seriously students' abilities to handle complexity; and (4) the need to recognize that good teaching is a complex and multifaceted endeavour requiring knowledge of both pedagogy and content.

Education Canada