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Social Studies School Textbooks: What Does the Teacher Expect?

Student: Elena Dzyadevich

Supervisor: Elena Chernobay

Faculty: Institute of Education

Educational Programme: Evidence-based Educational Policy (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2018

The school subject ‘social studies’ was included in the curricula of Russian schools in the early 2000s, and in period of Soviet Union the subject ‘social science’ was part of the school curriculum since the 1960s. Discipline represents the integration of such social sciences as sociology, social psychology, political science, jurisprudence, economics and philosophy, and contributes to the harmonious development of the individual in the modern information society. This work considers not only the features, goals and content of teaching social studies in the context of modern Russian education, but also represents teaching of social studies in foreign countries – in Finland, Singapore and the United States. The research of Russian social studies textbooks, which are recommended for use in schools by Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, became the blueprint for empirical part of master's thesis. The research was conducted in the spring of 2017 by Institute of Education of Higher School of Economics. 1,027 social studies teachers (who teach in 5-9 grades) from 13 regions of the Russian Federation attended the survey. Teachers were asked to evaluate the textbooks methodical materials. The survey allowed to analyze condition and problems of the existing social studies academic and methodological complex. Moreover, according to the results of the questionnaire, it was possible to find out what tasks and to what extent, according to teachers’ opinion, are able to form new educational results for schoolchildren. As a result, it was possible to compose a portrait of the desired school textbook and to answer the question: ‘What kind of social studies textbook does the teacher expect?’. Keywords: teacher, school, educational process, textbook, textbooks methodical materials, academic and methodological complex, new educational results, meta-subject educational results, competences of the XXI century.

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