One Way to Think about Teaching Social Studies

“Social scientific research is and always will be tentative and imperfect. It does not claim to transform economics, sociology, and history into exact sciences. But by patiently searching for facts and patterns and calmly analyzing the economic, social, and political mechanisms that might explain them, it can inform democratic debate and focus attention on the right questions. It can help to redefine the terms of debate and focus attention on the right questions. It can help to redefine the terms of debate, unmask certain preconceived or fraudulent notions, and subject all positions to critical scrutiny. In my view, this is the role that intellectuals, including social scientists, should play as citizens like any other but with the good fortune to have more time than others to devote themselves to study (and even to be paid for it—a signal privilege).”

Piketty, Thomas. Trans. Arthur Goldhammer. Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2014.

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