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  • ISBN: 978-1-9991413-6-3
  • Pages: 358
  • Publication year: 2021
  • Request a review copy
  • Online supplement
  • Format


  • Audience


  • Special themes

    Historical and geographical thinking
    Social responsibility

  • Type of resource

    Professional resources

  • Subject area

    Social studies

  • Targeted grade range

    Primary (K-3)
    Intermediate (4-6)

  • Language


Learning to Inquire in Social Studies: An Anthology for Elementary Teachers

Author(s): Penney Clark (Editor), Roland Case (Editor)
Publisher(s): The Critical Thinking Consortium


Note: This is the print version. To purchase the eBook version, visit this page.

A favoured choice for instructors and their students for over 25 years.

Now in its fourth edition, Learning to Inquire in Social Studies: An Anthology for Elementary Teachers brings together the work of prominent education scholars and the experiences of highly regarded teachers—the best of the theory and of the practice—in a comprehensive collection.

This new edition introduces a new title to reflect an emerging emphasis on inquiry in social studies, as well as an online supplement. The most important changes are in its contents. Although many of the topics addressed in the original collection appear in this new edition, the discussion of them has changed significantly and many new topics have emerged.

“It is a massive, stunning achievement. ...taking on the whole process of teaching and then breaking it down into packs and pieces that can be relatively easily taken away. … It is simultaneously a primer, a handbook, and a reference work.
I am dazzled.”

— Peter Seixas, professor emeritus, University of British Columbia

Learning to Inquire in Social Studies: An Anthology for Elementary Teachers - Table of Contents

Click to view Table of Contents

Defining Features

  • Balances diversity and uniformity: Offers an array of perspectives and a great breadth of expertise through multiple contributors; presents varied but complementary ideas using consistent terminology and common structures.
  • Balances the theoretical and the practical: Illustrates the applications and implications of broad principles in specific classroom contexts by situating teaching practices and strategies within their scholarly traditions and orientations, and by using theoretical considerations to problematize everyday experiences that teachers are likely to face.
  • Balances the innovative and the foundational: Adds new topics without supplanting foundational principles and areas of practice that must remain at the core of teacher preparation; augments the treatment of core ideas with the best of recent thinking and developments.

Key Revisions

This edition has been significantly revised by removing chapters that were no longer current, adding many new chapters, and extensively rewriting the remaining chapters. Notable developments in this edition include:

  • More topical and current: Added more explicit discussion of key challenges in elementary social studies, such as reconciliation, the climate emergency, social action, identity, and personal and social well-being; updated every chapter to reflect current research and recent developments in the field.
  • Broader representation: Included greater attention to teachers from primary grades to middle school and more explicit coverage of curriculum documents from across Canada.
  • User friendly: Introduced a clearer structure to the book and shortened every chapter; added an “extending the discussion” feature to reduce redundancy by redirecting readers to other parts of the book; included previews and overarching inquiry questions to guide reading of each chapter.
  • Flexible instruction: Intentionally included more chapters than instructors are likely to use to allow for substantial choice and to accommodate differing contexts and priorities; added six extended chapters each containing multiple sub-chapters that can be used with a jigsaw strategy.
  • Online supplement: Added access to more than 80 online resources including lesson plans, templates, student activity sheets, assessment materials, and bibliographies.


Roland Case is the co-founder, former executive director, and senior editor of The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC²). He was a professor of social studies education at Simon Fraser University and prior to that an elementary school teacher. He has edited or authored over 60 published books and teaching resources.

Penney Clark is a professor of social studies education at the University of British Columbia and former director of The History Education Network. She has taught elementary and secondary social studies curriculum and pedagogy courses at three universities. She has published widely in the areas of the history of social studies and history education and the history of educational publishing in Canada.


Linda Farr Darling, associate professor emerita, University of British Columbia
Ilan Danjoux, lecturer, University of Toronto, Mississauga
Lindsay Gibson, assistant professor, University of British Columbia
Garfield Gini-Newman, associate professor, teaching stream, OISE/University of Toronto
Duane Jackson, Indigenous cultural consultant
Usha James, executive director, The Critical Thinking Consortium
Shannon Moore, assistant professor, University of Manitoba
John Myers, instructor (retired), OISE/University of Toronto
Carla Peck, professor, University of Alberta
Ian Pettigrew, director, Ontario Teachers’ Federation
Alan Sears, professor emeritus, University of New Brunswick
Stefan Stipp, vice-principal, Surrey School District
Tracey Tinley, teacher, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Maria Vamvalis, doctoral candidate, OISE/University of Toronto
Andrea Webb, associate professor of teaching, University of British Columbia
Walt Werner, associate professor emeritus, University of British Columbia
Warren Woytuk, director, The Critical Thinking Consortium

What Educators Have Said About Previous Editions

“…comprehensive, well written, and nicely conceptualized… a most useful textbook for teacher education.”

— Theodore M. Christou, professor and associate dean, Queen’s University

“…the most comprehensive, accessible, educative textbook on the subject. My students have consistently called this their favourite text of any course they take.”

— Kumari Beck, associate professor Simon Fraser University

“…has been the backbone of my social studies education course for pre-service teachers, providing the overall theoretical framework for the course while at the same time providing practical tools for the classroom.”

— Wendy D. Bokhorst-Heng, associate professor, Crandall University

“…an invaluable resource with chapter after chapter of essential learning for social studies teacher candidates; this book will continue on as a valued and well-used desktop companion as they embark on their teaching careers.”

— Joan M. Chambers, assistant professor, Lakehead University

“This is the most useful and widely applicable textbook I’ve had at the Faculty of Education. Amazing.”

— student, Western University

Learning to Inquire in History, Geography, and Social Studies: An Anthology for Secondary Teachers

Related resource | Learning to Inquire in History, Geography, and Social Studies: An Anthology for Secondary Teachers

This resource includes thirty-one chapters and an extensive online supplement to present a diversity of perspectives that provide context, insight, and direction for teaching history, geography, and social studies at the secondary level. Paperback | e-Book

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