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Woyshner, Christine. "Notes Toward a Historiography of the Social Studies: Recent Scholarship and Future Directions." In Research Methods in Social Studies Education: Contemporary Issues and Perspectives, edited by Keith C. Barton, 11-38. Greenwich, Connecticut: Information Age, 2006. 


The history of social studies is a relatively new area of study. This chapter describes and assesses the body of scholarship in the field of history of social studies and discusses the common interpretations as used by social studies historians. The author suggests additional lenses for historians to use when writing within the field, and continues with a historiographical review and analysis of the area in the last three decades. She states that the history of social studies is rooted in the progressive era and continues with a discussion of the history of social studies as described through a progressive lens. She continues with making a distinction between history and social studies and discusses the differences. She discusses research that has been completed on this topic in the field and illustrates the importance of knowing who the important masters of the field of the history social studies are. She states that historiography of social studies is one of contested curricular research. She has three suggestions to improve the field: that research continue to expand beyond the 20th century and the progressive-era origins of the field, call researchers to explore the multiple areas that have a stake in social studies education curriculum, and the importance of pursuing a broader social, political and economic context. 

Erika Smith