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A Geographical Approach to the Social Studies ELMER K. KUIXENWIDER ,Tames Monroe Junior Hlprh School, Seattle, Washington The chief purpose of school administration is the improvement of the conduct of pupils. The social studies can be a very potent agency in improving the social competence of pupils particularly when the teacher makes understanding the highest aim of the course. The contribution made by the social studies to the general aim of education would be greater if the man to nature relationships received equal emphasis with the man to man relationships. Though the relation of the activities of a large urban agglomeration to geographical factors is more complicated and more difficult to distinguish, it is no less real than the relation of the activities of small rural groups to their natural environment. The following outline adapted from Renner and White's "Geography : An Introduction to Human Ecology", gives a sweeping view of man's atcivities, An adaptation of it may- be used as the approach to any social study. A.Purpose: 1. To show the relation of the human activities of a given social study to the natural environment in order that pupils may have a more intelligent understanding of those activities and thus improve their conduct and social competence. B.The Outline: 1. Statement of the aim of education 2.Needs of man a.Existence b.Cultural 3.Activities of man that have developed from his efforts to satisfy his needs and desires a.Economic b.Social c.Political 4.The natural environment, without which 1, 2, 3 (of outline) could not exist. a.Natural elements 1.climate 2.Soil 3.relief 4.minerals 5.coast zone 6.underground waters 7.surface waters b.Organic elements 1.native plant life 2.native animal life c.Abstract elements 1.Size and area 2,location and acess The outline emphasizes the relation of the geographical elements to man's activities and the general aim of education. Such an approach should make the social studies more intelligible to the student and therefore of more practical value to him in the understanding: and solving of economic, social and political problems. füll ? ...


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