Awakening the Sleeping Giant: A Commentary on Social Studies During the Coronavirus Pandemic


  • Brad Maguth The University of Akron


social studies, coronavirus, pandemic, COVID-19


In this essay, I highlight two ways the coronavirus pandemic to-date has influenced the teaching and learning of social studies. First, despite its marginalization and under-investment nationally, the crisis highlighted the significance of social studies by serving as a refuge for youth and families to navigate and better understand this disaster. This includes serving as a cathartic space for learners grappling with current events as they unfold. Second, curricular innovations emerged that guided informative practices. Such innovations included “Maslow Before Bloom” in this disaster, and noting the ways in which youth took informed action at home and in the community to make a difference. While in no way is the list below comprehensive or mutually exclusive (or meant to be), it does present one picture of social studies in classrooms and communities during this challenging period in our history. 

Author Biography

Brad Maguth, The University of Akron

Professor, Social Studies Education