Where Are You Now? (In Social Studies)

“New Biebs, not terbs.” ~Mr. Jackson

Introduction

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My social studies experience thus far has really been about perspective.  And I don’t just mean Mr. Jackson’s perspective on Justin Bieber.  Throughout socials, we have taken a look at stories from view points that I had been unfamiliar with beforehand.  Reading and discussing other angles of stories has been quite eye-opening.  It has also helped to develop my own personal perspectives and opinions on these topics.  Another theme I had that I think ties in quite well is influence.  Learning not only about events or people in history, but also their impact on the world has been really interesting.  I have especially enjoyed learning about how these subjects have made different influences on different groups of people.

Big Idea

“Emerging ideas and ideologies profoundly influence society and events.”  To me, this big idea discusses, well, ideas.  More specifically, “new” ideas.  The reason I put quotes around “new” is because it’s like how Columbus

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“discovered” the Americas.  The concepts are likely not brand new, but certain people had the ability to make the them more prominent.  The ideas I am talking about are the ones that have the ability to change how we think.  These are the thoughts that influence the world and cause a real movement.

The main example I want to use here is eminent.  All of our eminent people are eminent for a reason.  The reason being that they had the ability to influence something.  “Something” could vary from changing society’s perspective on an issue, advancing and revolutionizing technology for the better, or even drastically changing the field they work in.

However, I also want to point out that even though some people may have a “good” idea, the public may not allow this idea to shine, therefore never allowing it to make an impact.  For example, around the time of the English Civil War, King Charles I wanted to introduce a new prayer book.  The public at the time was furious and did not agree with nor let him go through with this idea.  Though Charles did make a type of impact, a new prayer book was not the reason why.

Content

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The above big idea, along with my themes of perspective and influence, work very well with the content area of revolutions.  Like I said before, there are many people in the world who can create new ideas that revolutionize our world.  During eminent we got a chance to see people such as Martin Cooper and Mark Zuckerberg changing technology, and we also learned about people such as my eminent person, Billie Holiday, make an influence on music and society’s perspective.  I found that her example not only used revolution as a content area, but also discrimination and conflict.  When it comes to Billie’s story, she was discriminated for most of her life.  Racism was a big issue at the time and unfortunately, it was a common problem she had to live through.  With any conflict as big as racism, some type of reaction will be provoked from the people.  While some may react sadly or dramatically, others, like Billie, may act proactively.  When Billie released Strange Fruit (yes, I am talking about this again, but it’s because I think it’s pretty cool), the intention was to take on racism and bring it to attention.  Though there were many different perspectives on the song from different groups of people, it clearly got the public thinking.  I see it as a movement.  Strange Fruit made quite an impact at large.  It mad a significant influence on a large group of people.

Curricular Competencies

Stars:

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“Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to: ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions.”  I am someone who likes to think about thoughts.  Through my journey in social studies so far, I have spent time analyzing other people’s thinking and ideas and have responded with my own.  I felt like I did a good job questioning and responding to a topic in my execution blog post.  I was interested in expanding on the question of whether or not execution is right.  In this post, I explained why some may think execution is an acceptable response, but also expressed my personal decision on the topic too.

 

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“Assess the significance of people, places, events, and developments, and compare varying perspectives on their historical significance at the particular times and places, and from group to group.”  A common gifted problem is that we just want to know everything (especially if we’re particularly interested in the subject).  Keeping things short and sweet is foreign to us.  When it comes to social studies, there is so much out there to learn and discuss, but sometimes we need to decide which is most important to share.  During eminent, I chose to focus on four key Billie Holiday events in my learning centre.  This way I could spend more time having discussions with people as opposed to trying to cover her whole life story.  Before creating my centre, I had to evaluate the each events’ significance to decide if it was worth highlighting.  The events I ended up choosing were the ones that I felt made the most of an impact on either Billie’s life, or the world as a whole.

 

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“Explain different perspectives on past or present people, places, issues, and events by considering prevailing norms, values, worldviews, and beliefs.”  In the introduction to this blog post, I said that a theme I had this term was perspective.  I feel like perspective was tied in quite well with the English Civil War unit.  The talk around religion had a lot to do with people’s personal values, as well as the leaders at the time.  Who the leaders were and their personal connection with the church had a large influence on people’s opinions.  Now that many powerful people are not as intertwined with the church, we have the ability to express more universal and unique perspectives on topics.

 

Wishes:

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“Assess the justification for completing historical accounts after investigating points of contention, reliability of sources, and adequacy of evidence.”  To improve this area, I plan to spend more time analyzing reading packages we recieve to better understand which points belong to which evidence.  Also, I want to have more conversations with people to practice being able to verbally explain what is happening and justify my thoughts.

 

 

 

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“Assess how prevailing conditions and the actions of individuals or groups affect events, decisions, and development.”  Again, I need to spend more time to read and fully understand the material.  In this case, I need to work on finding the connections between events and their surroundings (such as location, economics, or religion). To do this, I can practice using graphic organizers such as webs and lists to show how things connect and how one thing leads to another.

 

 

 

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“Recognize implicit and explicit ethical judgments in a variety of sources.”  Not only do I need to better analyze text fully understand what is at the surface level, but I also need to do this so I can improve my understanding of implicit information.  Explicit information is quite straightforward, I just need to spend more time analyzing it.  On the other hand with implicit, I really need to delve deeper into the reading.  I think what will help is taking more notes (as well as leaving my own thoughts) along the margins.  This will help me look for an underlying meaning behind what is being said.  This also applies to English when looking for and expanding upon underlying themes–something I would like to improve on in the class.

What does this say about me?

Overall, I feel that I am very good at coming up with my own opinions and deciding on my own personal conclusions.  However, I still need to work on going more in-depth during the research part.  I need to take more time to analyze what I am reading and find the true meaning behind it all.  Fortunately, I have another few months left to figure this all out.  To figure out a new perspective of social studies.

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