Archive for August, 2008

Perception, Cognition and Worldviews – Unit Vocabulary

August 29, 2008 Leave a comment

The introductory unit ” Perception, Cognition and Worldviews” focuses on how people’s understanding of the world around them is affected by their culture, ideas and history; and, in turn, how their actions can create systemic changes that shape worldviews. The following are terms, concepts and individuals used for this unit of study ( If you don’t what some of these are, don’t panic – the whole point of education is to learn new things, not rehearse what you already know):


Perception, Perspective, Position, Philosophy, Values, Orientation, Cognition, Metacognition, Meme, Culture, Society, Rule-set, Worldview, Paradigm, Paradigm-Shift, Evolution, Cultural Evolution, Zero Sum, Non-Zero Sum, Schema, Objective, Subjective, Bias, Social Contract, Empiricism, Scientific Method, Natural Law, Revolution, Humanism, Framing, Feedback, O.O.D.A


Prehistoric, Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Scientific Revolution


Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, Montesquieu,

Charles Darwin, Thomas Kuhn, Richard Dawkins, George Lakoff, John Boyd


Welcome Back Parents!

August 22, 2008 Leave a comment

 This letter will also be given to your child next week.

Dear Parents,

I’d like to welcome you and your child to the 2008-2009 school year and to 8th grade Social Studies. We have an exciting year planned! Students will be studying primarily Modern American and World history and developing important analytical thinking and research skills, as well as participating in integrated 8th grade learning experiences ( Sixties Unit), featured speakers and field trips.

Every student will need a notebook set aside exclusively for Social Studies ( No loose leaf paper, please). This will be an important tool and daily record of classroom activities and unit concepts. We use the notebook for daily board questions, brainstorming, drawing diagrams, graphic organizers and maps, group activities, vocabulary words and lecture notes. A well kept, organized, notebook will give your child a blueprint of each unit and make preparing for tests less stressful and more successful.

Additionally, as a resource for parents and students, I have a classroom blog on which I post about class assignments, study guides, units of study, Lakeview news, timely articles on history, education or thinking, meritorious examples of student work and links to other sites. Comments from students or parents are welcome on the blog ( they are moderated) and I encourage parents to contact me via email if they have more specific questions or concerns:

In September, LJHS will be having their evening Open House, where you will have an opportunity to follow your child’s schedule, meet their instructors and hear about the curriculum and school programs in much greater detail. I look forward to seeing you then and sharing more about 8th grade Social Studies class.


Mr. Safranski


Categories: Parent information

Welcome Back New 8th Graders !

August 22, 2008 Leave a comment


It is required that you have a spiral notebook dedicated to Social Studies. My suggestion is…make it BIG !!:

You will be filling it with……

  • Lecture Notes
  • Sketches
  • Questions
  • Diagrams
  • Quotations
  • Concept Maps
  • Hand Drawn Geographic Maps
  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Short Daily Work Assigments
  • To Do Checklists
  • Cartoons
  • Instructions

And much, much, more!