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Activities to support rich learning: Assessing progression in social studies

Samantha Sasse and Bronwyn Wood

Developing activities which are effective in assessing what counts in social studies and showing progress is challenging for social-studies teachers. In this article, we explore the three dimensions of the social studies learning area which were identified in the Nature of Social Studies (NSS) scale developed by the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) 2014 study: conceptual understandings, exploring values and perspectives and active participation in society. A deeper analysis of one assessment activity (the Graffiti task) illustrates student learning across these three dimensions and provides opportunities to deepen learning through encouraging higher-order thinking.


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