In a field plagued by a lack of identity, I argue that practitioners and theorists are prevented from articulating viable perceptions of social studies' purpose, theory, and practice because they lack basic understandings of the original historical underpinnings of social studies. As found in recent literature, three origin myths of social studies have emerged that hinder needed curricular research as well as mitigate against further development of social studies as a field of study. This review identifies and provides examples of these myths. In addition, while discounting each myth, I present a review of the field's origins, as first developed in the 19th century social welfare movement and later refined by like-minded members of the National Education Association's 1916 Committee on Social Studies (Dunn, 1916).
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