We know that both nationally and in Florida, social studies education is often lacking at the elementary level. This is NOT a new thing; generally speaking, social studies has been on the decline for decades, especially at the elementary level. The reasons for this are many and varied, but one can assume, rightly I think, that a decline in general social studies instruction could also result in a decline in civics instruction in the elementary grades. Certainly, the FJCC has recognized this as a problem. One of our goals over the coming year is to address the problem of civics instruction in the primary grades, through the development and refinement of grade-level appropriate lesson plans, professional development for teachers, collaboration with districts, and joint efforts with other state and national groups to address what is not just a Florida issue.
So, dear friends and colleagues, I put this out there for you: how would YOU address the problem of civic education at the elementary level? How can we improve instruction and learning in the primary grades without resorting to the ‘if it is tested it is taught’ model?