Friday, May 11, 2012
COLLECTION #228: Vintage Social Studies School Books
I think my school snuck social studies into our curriculum without my knowing it. I honestly don't remember a subject called "social studies" until I was in the 4th grade, when we studied California history. But obviously, social studies was a very important part of our early education. Social Studies is the study of how individuals, families, and the community interact together to form a working unit.
Younger children learned about their family, and the different home responsibilities and roles of different family members. As they got older, they learned about the school community- rules, processes, structure. Then they began to learn about the community- how business was done, the interaction of commerce, agriculture, transportation with the individual citizen and family. It's really fun to see the way things were presented in my collection of vintage social studies books. These books are from the 40s and 50s, with one 1962 edition of a late '50s book. As usual, the illustrations are what draws me in. Socially, it's interesting to see the dynamics of families (they always seemed to be portrayed as two-parent households, although some families had a grandparent living with them, and other families had an 'only child'. I don't recall ever seeing a single parent family. But this was a different time. The books were becoming more integrated, with black and native American characters, as well as the occasional Asian American.
Enjoy looking at the different pages from the books, I'll let them speak for themselves.