One Community, One Nation
One Community, One Nation is a development project for an innovative new elementary social studies curriculum focused on the core concepts of community, culture, and civic participation. Funded by a generous grant from the JP Morgan-Chase Foundation and led by Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Cultural Studies Director Dr. Paul Graseck and JCPS Social Studies Specialist William Daniel, a team from JCPS is producing pilot editions of kindergarten through grade-five (K-5) units, which will be field-tested in classrooms, revised, and distributed across JCPS classrooms. During the 2010-11 school year, five schools are piloting the new third- and fourth-grade editions.
Goals of Curriculum
- Teach young people that they can make a positive difference in the world around them, and empower them to be effective, participatory citizens who enter the world with an ethic of care and service and ability for thoughtful questioning and investigation.
- Address the needs of students coming from urban environments, many of whom live in poverty and face racism, by closing the empowerment gap. Teach students the value of community and how to honor and affirm cultural diversity, convey the contributions of their culture, as well as develop the knowledge, skills, and convictions to overcome their personal circumstances and become responsible and contributing members of our democratic society.
One Community, One Nation embraces the civic mission of schools. Its foundation is the assumption that young people, if they are to become participatory citizens in our democracy, need to begin practicing the skills and habits of citizenship at the outset of their schooling.
When all K-5 editions are completed, students will learn to make sense of the content of social studies by "doing" social studies through the lens of culture and civic participation. They will learn about community through participation in community service, thereby developing a sense of responsibility as community members. No such comprehensive social studies curriculum exists for K-5. One Community, One Nation will offer to students the kind of work that makes completing it compelling, the kind of curriculum that is relevant and that speaks to the natural human inclination to solve interesting problems and puzzles. It will be unrelentingly challenging, age-appropriate, inquiry-based, and differentiated.