Although educators disagree about the nature and the content of the social studies, such disputes are limited in the United States for two important reasons. The first is that the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) exerts a dominant influence on the way elementary and secondary schools teach the social studies and on the training that colleges of education impart to prospective teachers of the social studies. The second is that the NCSS seeks to ensure that practitioners meet standards most professionals accept as appropriate. Although NCSS maintains standards, it includes within the organization scholars who express a range of opinions. At regular intervals, these scholars meet, revise the standards, and change their recommendations for teaching to accommodate developments in the field. Because the ...

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