From UBC Wiki
Contemporary Issues in Social Studies: Secondary
EDCP 333
Section: 301
Instructor: E. Wayne Ross
Office: Scarfe 2301
Office Hours: by appointment
Class Schedule: Mondays 4:30-7:00 PM
Classroom: Scarfe 201
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

General Course Information

In EDCP 333 (Topics in Social Studies: Secondary), students engage in a critical exploration of aims and content of secondary social studies curriculum. A key consideration of the course concerns teachers' roles in creating curriculum as opposed to merely delivering curriculum as conceived by the state or textbook companies. Toward that end the course focuses the ways in which social studies teachers can move beyond the limits of textbooks and ministry guidelines to engaged their students in creating critical/personally meaningful understandings on key curricular topics, including some or all of the following: (1) Democracy and Democratic Citizenship; (2) Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism; (3) First Nations/Indigenous Peoples; (4) Social Class; (5) Gender, Sexuality and the Body; (6) Globalization; (7) Environment, Sustainability, and Community; and (8) Critical Media Literacy.

For more information on the course, including the syllabus, schedule of meetings, bibliography, and readings see the EDCP 333 blog.

EDCP 333 Workshops and Wiki Project

Everyone will participate in a collaborative group project that involves: (1) leading a workshop on a social studies curriculum topic and (2) developing a wiki on the same topic.

"A wiki is a page or collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best-known wikis."[1] “Wiki wiki” means “rapidly” in the Hawaiian language. For more information on wikis: For a quick reference on how to format the Wiki just go here.


Groups will collaboratively develop and present a 90-minute workshop on an assigned topic: (1) Democracy and Democratic Citizenship; (2) Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism; (3) First Nations/Indigenous Peoples; (4) Social Class; (5) Sexuality and Gender; (6) Globalization (7) Environment, Sustainability and Community; (8) Critical Media Literacy). In the fall of 2012 we will choose 5 of the above topics for exploration.

Workshops should be informative, interactive, and engage participants in creative and critical analyses of social studies curriculum and teaching. Each group member should make significant contributions to the development and presentation of the workshop. Each group will have opportunities to meet with the instructor and prepare and plan for the presentation during scheduled class time, however, this project will also require work beyond class time. All class members are required to complete the assigned readings in advance of each workshop.

Note: Workshops should not merely be presentations of the wikis.

Group Wikis Link your group's wiki as a course subpage here

  1. Critical Media Literacy
  2. Democratic Citizenship
  3. First Nations
  4. Gender, Sexuality, The Body
  5. Globalization
  6. Race, Racism & Anti-racism
  7. Social Class
  8. Sustainability & Community

Wiki Project (Wiki how-to)

Groups will collaboratively develop (and repeatedly revise) a wiki pages on their assigned topic. Each wiki should be a useful resource for curriculum development and teaching that goes beyond BC Ministry of Education IRPs (Integrated Resource Packages)for social studies.

Wikis should include:

  • organized links to relevant teaching materials for the topic assigned, including multimedia resources such as sound, images, and video (to be embedded and/or linked to from the wiki);
  • external links and responses to professional articles that critically examine curriculum and teaching practices or provide alternative perspectives;
  • well-documented and annotated resources;
  • exemplary sample lesson plans (at least one lesson plan by each group member) and at least one collaboratively developed unit plan, which focuses on engaging students in active learning activities;
  • descriptions of “multiple ability tasks” for student learning (these may be included as part of lesson plans, but should be clearly designated);
  • analyses or critiques of widely used curriculum plans, IRPs, textbooks, videos, etc.
  • anything else that would be useful to a social studies teacher with regard to teaching or developing learning activities or curriculum materials on the topic.

Wiki pages should be linked from the main page of the EDCP 333 wiki (see above).

Individual group member’s contributions to the wiki should be demonstrable (and indicated by “signature”).

All class members are required to post comments and suggestions to the course blog for each group workshop/wiki and group members should revise the wiki in response to comments.

Work on wikis will begin early in the term (see the class schedule for dates when various drafts of the wiki are due); significant and substantive progress must be demonstrated by these dates. The final version of the wikis are expected to be complete by the last class session.

To get started see the Wiki Basics Page and the Wiki "cheatsheet" .

Multiple Ability Tasks

Multiple ability tasks (or multiple ability curricula) are a key component of what is known as complex instruction. Multiple ability tasks are designed to engage students in higher-order thinking about a big idea or central concept as part of a cooperative group learning activities. The tasks are open-ended, requiring students to work interdependently to solve problems. "Most importantly, the tasks require a wide array of intellectual abilities so that students from diverse backgrounds and different levels of academic proficiency can make meaningful contributions to the group task. Research has documented significant achievement gains in classrooms using such curricula."[2].

Typical school tasks only call for a limited range of intellectual abilities (e.g., literacy, numeracy). Tasks that require a wider range of abilities allow a wider range of group members to participate in and benefit from learning activities.

Features of a multiple ability task include:

  • more than one solution is possible;
  • a variety of skills and learning formats are used;
  • the task is challenging;
  • real-world, complex skills and concepts are involved [3]

External Links


  2. Program For Complex Instruction, Stanford University
  3. Jacobs, G. M., Power, M. A., & Loh, W. I. (2002). The teacher's sourcebook for cooperative learning: practical techniques, basic principles, and frequently asked questions. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.