Preparing for Citizenship: The Value of Second Order Thinking Concepts in Social Science Education
2015 (English)In: Journal of Social Science Education, ISSN 1618-5293, Vol. 14, no 1, 18-29 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Social Science as a school subject aims at making students knowledgeable in societal issues as well as preparing them for citizenship. Despite the strong position of Social Science in the Swedish school curricula, little research has been done in the field. Previous research has mainly concentrated on factual knowledge and conceptual learning, or the role of deliberation in class activities. Less research has focused on the role of disciplinary thinking and how that might promote learning to think like a social scientist while at the same time preparing students for citizenship. By using a conceptual framework from history didactics, Social Science education is in the following text explored in search of second order thinking concepts. Also, the relationship between these concepts and democratic socialisation is discussed. By focusing on one substantial case, this study tries to reach beyond the various topics commonly covered in Social Science education. The research was conducted by observing teaching in Social Science and interviewing six experienced teachers. Using this conceptual framework, ideas on how to organise, analyse, interpret and critically review discourses in society were constructed as six proposed second order thinking concepts of Social Science: social science causality, social science evidence and inference, social science abstraction, social science comparison and contrast, social science perspective taking and the evaluative dimension. The argument is that when students work scientifically they develop a way of thinking about society and they challenge their set opinions about different topics. Therefore, second order thinking concepts are important for learning Social Science and at the same time preparing students for a life as citizens.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 14, no 1, 18-29 p.
Social Science, Social Studies, Civics, Didactics, Second Order Concepts, Second Order Thinking Concepts, Citizenship Education, Civic Literacy
Research subject Subject Learning and Teaching
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113652OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-113652DiVA: diva2:786758