Summer 2023 - EDUC 474 E100

Designs for Learning: Elementary Social Studies (4)

Class Number: 4467

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Aug 4, 2023: Thu, 5:30–9:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    EDUC 401/402 or corequisite EDUC 403.



Focuses on teaching elementary school social studies and addresses aspects of the theory and practice of social studies education.Students examine their own thinking about social studies education through critical reflection, work with the prescribed curriculum, and explore various ways to develop engaging learning experiences for children within a consistent framework using appropriate instructional materials and methods.


This course is designed for pre-service elementary school teachers to explore and examine different strategies and resources for teaching social studies in elementary school settings. We will discuss and reflect on the purpose of teaching social studies, get familiarized with the British Columbia social studies curriculum, and critically examine curricular competencies and ideologies. We will also explore strategies to use inquiry-based learning and historical thinking concepts in social studies education.

Students will be guided to seek and share resources that can be used in their classrooms and will gain an understanding of how to organize social studies units and lessons.

Essential questions we will consider throughout the term are:

What is social studies?
What is the purpose of teaching Social Studies at the elementary level?
What are my goals as a teacher?
What is my teaching philosophy?


  • Critically examine the goals, competencies and big ideas of the BC social studies curriculum;
  • Explore and get familiar with social studies inquiry processes;
  • Learn to how use historical thinking concepts to enhance teaching pratices;
  • Develop unit and lesson plans that combine curricular competencies and content in creative, thoughtful and engaging ways.


  • Reading Reflections 30%
  • Teaching Resource Guide 30%
  • Planning a Social Studies Unit 30%
  • Participation (Self-Assessment) 10%


Specific details for each assignment will be discussed in class. ALL assignments must be completed to receive a final grade for this class.

You will be expected to complete all of the required readings, satisfactorily complete all assignments, submit them on the due date, participate actively, constructively, and collaboratively in-class discussions, and attend all class sessions.

Attending class on a regular basis is of utmost importance as a substantial amount of course material will be presented each week. Several lessons will involve in-class assignments and activities to facilitate comprehension of diverse teaching methodologies and strategies. Additionally, class time will be allocated for collaborative group work. It's important to attend regularly out of consideration for your group members.



Case, R., & Clark, P. (Eds.) 2021. Learning to inquire in social studies: An anthology for elementary teachers. (4th Ed.) The Critical Thinking Consortium.
ISBN: 978-1-9991413-6-3

Available: TC2 Online Shop

BC Ministry of Education Social Studies Curriculum

Retrieved free from:

Other selected readings available online and/or through SFU’s digital library.


Ross, E. W. (Ed.). (2014). The social studies curriculum: Purposes, problems, and possibilities (4th Ed.). Albany: State University of New York Press.

ISBN: ‎ 978-0791469095


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.