Teaching Social Issues in the Middle Grades: A Teacher’s Guide to Using Case Studies to Promote Intelligent Inquiry provides a collection of ten cases for use in the middle grades that focus on many of the critical social issues we face today. It also includes materials to enable teachers to become more skilled in using case teaching methods. The cases and the teaching strategies are designed to “develop students’ appreciation for their roles and responsibilities in relation to social and civic affairs and help them develop the critical thinking abilities to prepare them as competent and concerned citizens."
Selma Wassermann is professor emerita in the faculty of education at Simon Fraser University. Author of more than twenty books, she is the recipient of the University Excellence in Teaching Award.
Chapter 1: What is Case Method Teaching?
Chapter 2: Teaching With Cases? It’s Not for Every Teacher
Chapter 3: Preparing to Teach with Cases
Chapter 4: An Instructional Design for Teaching with Cases
Chapter 5: The Tools of the Interactive Process
Chapter 6: Cases based on Critical Issues in the Social Studies
Chapter 7: What me? A case writer?
Chapter 8: Evaluating students in a case method classroom
Chapter 9: And finally . . .
Appendix A: Who Makes the News?
About the author
Using classroom case studies for middle school teachers and students to grasp ideas and thinking skills is a sparkling gem from Selma Wassermann.
If you are a teacher of middle years students or if you are a student in a teacher education program aiming to teach in the middle grades, then don’t walk, RUN to your nearest bookstore or online book seller to purchase this book. Selma Wasserman provides the tools you need to help your students become thoughtful, respectful, and kind human beings. If you begin teaching with cases, you WILL make a difference in the lives of your students. The path to doing this is offered in the pages within. She invites you, encourages you, and teaches you the skills you need to join the journey of so many teachers before you who have had the courage to try teaching with cases and have found deep professional satisfaction in doing so.
This book provides teachers with a clear and persuasive alternative to a "telling is teaching" format. The precise prompts found in the well-written text of this book offer teachers a clear path to using the case study method with middle school students. As is evident in the current malaise engulfing our society, schools need to help students understand current social issues and to coach them in ways of communicating with one another about diverse opinions. Teaching Social Issues in the Middle Grades leads the way.
Our young people are struggling with a world of controversy, polarization and “fake” news. Teachers who are looking for a way to help young people develop deep understanding, critical thinking and empathy will find this book an invaluable asset. Case method teaching provides a safe way to open difficult discussions about seemingly intractable issues and, in my experience, provides an outstanding tool to help build resilient, well-informed and open-minded citizens.
Selma Wasserman’s timely book provides teachers an instructional design that supports the examination and analysis of current social issues that face the middle years student from climate change, voting and democracy, human rights and immigration. Outlining the case study approach (based on quality instructional as seen at Harvard business and medical school), students learn to listen to other’s perspectives, engage in intelligent analysis, provide support and data for their position and gain clarity and deeper understandings into the complexity of society. The results of this approach foster student ownership, motivation, curiosity and builds critical thinking. Selma provides teachers with the needed tools to use an inquiry based approach including the necessary conditions, writing cases that reflect the power of story, and effective questioning and responding. Once again, Selma Wasserman provides leadership and support to teach