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Local Community Studies In Social Studies Course: An Action Research

Author(s): Tuğba Selanik Ay | Handan Deveci

Journal: Journal of Social Studies Education Research
ISSN 1309-9108

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 83;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: social studies | local community studies | action research

Social Studies can be defined as “bonding process based on verification with social reality and dynamic information obtained as a result of this process”. In this context, it is essential to unify the Social Studies course with the real life and to benefit from the society in teaching-learning process in order to enable the learned information to be applied in the real life. In the Social Studies course, students should encounter with the real life itself. Thus, students can produce multidimensional alternative solutions for the cases they encounter and they can explain the best solution with justifications. Considering these arguments, it can be claimed that involving the subjects and studies related to the society and near environment in the Social Studies courses increases the effectiveness of Social Studies teaching. Local community studies, which are associated with the Social Studies program by means of a detailed and good plan, can draw students’ attention and thus permanent learning can occur. In this sense, teachers should benefit from the local community studies in the Social Studies course which reflects the real life.The aim of this study is to determine how local community studies will be applied in Social Studies course in the primary education schools. In line with this aim, the following research questions were addressed:1. How can the activities ofa. benefitting from institutions and organizations in local communitiesb. benefitting from people in local communitiesc. using Internet and library sourcesd. benefitting from special days and current eventswhich are carried out in the Social Studies course taught with local community studies, be arranged?2. Do the local community studies help the students determine the problems in their environments and find out the solutions for these problems?3. What are the students’ opinions about the Social Studies course taught with local community studies ?4. Does the Social Studies course taught with the local community studies change the students’ attitude towards the Social Studies course?The study was conducted with 13 students attending to 5/A in Eskişehir/Alpu Ertugrulgazi Primary School in the spring term of 2008-2009 academic years. Training in the present study was given to all students in the class while three students in the class were selected as the focus of the study. For this study, the local community studies were applied in the Social Studies course for 11 weeks between 23 March 2009 and 03 June 2009 within the context of “The Ones Working for the Society” and “One Country, One Flag” units. The data of the study were collected with different data collection tools, such as personal information form, video records, semi-structured interviews, document analysis, students diaries and researcher diary. The data collected from semi-structured interviews, student and researcher diaries were analyzed through descriptive analysis while video records were examined with macro and micro analyses.
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