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Is WISDOM an idea that has any relevance in this day and age?  Why does this concept come up so little in current K-12 curriculum development and educational policy discussions?  If wisdom still is important, what role can social studies teachers play in propagating it (or at least inquiring about it) in 21st C. public education?  What other questions do we need to be asking?

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  • Wisdom is one of elite component of human nature. Played very important role in teaching social studies. It create inquiry, intellect, reasoning and progressive promotion of society. Society can live without inventions but not without wisdom. A prophetic message for social studies
  • Since it has been 2 months since I posted this question, I'm going to consider this enough "wait time" and reply now with my own thoughts on this subject...

    • I believe that WISDOM is as important today as the first day that the idea was understood and used by human beings.  It is at the very core, if not the central pillar of what social studies should be about .
    • If by social studies we mean the study of the social nature of human beings, then wisdom is uniquely a goal of that study, as well an object of that study.
    • Wisdom discerns equally well within the realms of social thought and action... It is a unifying lens that has powerful focus in both the universe of ideas and that of events in the material world.
    • Another way of saying this is that the fruits of wisdom can be observed and described effectively within both the realms of material culture and memetic-symbolic culture.
      • Social Science relies solely on ETIC descriptions of these realms, while Social Studies and some of the Humanities rely on EMIC descriptions of material and memetic cultures.
      • Instead of focusing on what wisdom means semantically though, I propose treating it as an observable condition in individuals and social networks, when the results of their actions exhibit what the Greeks called 'ARETE' (excellence).  Wisdom is understanding that manifests in excellent results-  and these results are often observable.
    • To me, social studies is the part of our public education curriculum where learning about human nature is encouraged and cultivated in anyone desiring to grow in deeper awareness of the universe and themselves.  And just as there are multiple dimensions of abstract thinking that adult humans can construct above their concrete thought system, so too their are multiple dimensions of understanding about the nature of wisdom in our human world today.  

    It is because of my love for exploring human nature and the nature of wisdom that I ended up becoming a social studies teacher.  I see this inquiry into wisdom and human nature as our central functioning role as educators within our society, civilization, and species.  "Social studies educators" alone in the public domain and institutional framework of 21st C. nation states, corporations and non-governmental organizations are tasked specifically with focusing the collective intelligence of our next generation (and the adult scholars who guide them) on the study and description of social networks and human nature across all human times and spaces (localities).  What could be more interesting or important?  

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