Teaching Social Studies With Games

Teaching Social Studies With Games

Polona Jančič (Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia) and Vlasta Hus (Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJGBL.2018040106

Abstract

Social studies is a class students encounter in the fourth and fifth grades of primary school in Slovenia. It includes goals from the fields of geography, sociology, history, ethnology, psychology, economy, politics, ethics, aesthetics, and ecology. Among other didactic recommendations in the national curriculum for teaching, social studies include experiential learning with games. Game-based learning enables an optimal learning environment for students. The purpose of this article is to examine representation of games in social studies in primary school. The research sample consisted of 290 students of the fourth and fifth grade, 177 teachers teaching fourth and fifth grade, and 56 observed social studies lessons. Results showed that teachers rarely use didactic games in social studies. Results show that teachers rarely use game-based learning in teaching social science. Depending on the type of a game, the most commonly used one is a role-playing game. Most respondents' students like game-based learning in social studies and also estimate games are not played often enough in social studies.
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Social Studies

In Slovenia, social studies is a class students encounter in the fourth and fifth grades of primary school. A total of 175 hours of class time are dedicated to it – 70 in the fourth grade and 105 in the fifth grade. It includes goals from the fields of geography, sociology, history, ethnology, psychology, economy, politics, ethics, aesthetics, and ecology. The emphasis of classes is on learning about the relationship between the individual, society, and the natural environment.

In this course, students develop:

  • Understanding of their social, cultural, and natural environment in time and space;

  • Awareness of the interaction and the interdependence of cultural, social, natural processes, phenomena and the importance of sustainable development;

  • Social, communication, research skills and abilities in addition to knowledge that enable them to effectively perform in the environment;

  • Attitudes and values in the context of environmental, civic, and patriotic education as well as education for democracy and human rights; and cognitive, emotional, social abilities, skills and strategies involved in lifelong learning (Budnar et al., 2011).

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