Implementation of Games in Primary School Social Studies Lessons

Implementation of Games in Primary School Social Studies Lessons

Polona Jančič Hegediš (Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, Slovenia) and Vlasta Hus (Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, Slovenia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2015-4.ch012

Abstract

This chapter presents the implementation of games in teaching social studies in primary schools. In Slovenia, social studies lessons combine educational goals from the fields of geography, sociology, history, ethnology, psychology, economy, politics, ethics, and ecology with the national curriculum based on the constructivist approach. Game-based learning enables an optimal learning environment for students. This chapter researches games in social studies. Results show teachers rarely use didactic games in social studies and that games are most commonly used at the beginning of lessons to achieve greater motivation and concentration of students and for more diversified classes. Most respondents' students like game-based learning in social studies and also estimate that games are not played often enough.
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Background

Social Studies

In Slovenia, social studies is a class students encounter in the fourth and fifth grades of primary school to which a total of 175 hours of class time are dedicated, 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 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, Kerin, Umek, Raztresen, & Mirt, 2011).

The curriculum for social studies includes the following content units: Me Within the Community, Family, Children's Rights, Participation in the Community, Social Questions, Spatial Orientation and Cartography, Home Town, Home Region, Traces of the Past, Slovenia – Position and Characteristics, The Country of Slovenia and Historical Development (Budnar et al. 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Constructivism: A dominant paradigm, model, or approach in the field of education.

Teaching Approach: An approach that a teacher uses for teaching.

Didactic Game: A game that is used in the learning or teaching process and always has an educational goal.

Educational Goal: A goal that a teacher predicts for students to achieve in school lessons.

Teaching Method: The method that a teacher uses in lessons. For example: explanation, didactic game, discussion, etc.

Teaching Strategy: A set of teaching forms and teaching methods used in a lesson in accordance with a lesson goal.

Constructivist Approach: A teaching approach that emphasizes the active role of the students in the educational process and his/her ability to construct new knowledge based on experience and previously acquired knowledge.

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