Educational Resources in
this website, for teachers of
Psychology, Sociology, History, and other Social Sciences

This page supplements the resources-and-tips you'll find in the
Sitemap for Whole-Person Education which says, "You want ideas
that will help you in general [these ideas are in the sitemap-page]
and also in a specific area you're teaching,"
as in this page and
in the analogous resource-pages for other areas.

How can our website be useful for you, as a teacher of a social science?
This page begins with Social Science in ASA and two questions — What is a social science?  Is a "social science" really a science? — before looking at links you may find educationally useful, plus Counseling for Christians (and by Christians).

        Social Science in ASA — Studying Science-and-Religion
        The American Scientific Affiliation is a fellowship of scientists — and engineers, and scholars who study science — who are Christians.  Many of the questions we find fascinating and important are about science-and-faith relationships and how these relationships develop (at the levels of individuals & groups) and how they affect us and our societies.  For many aspects of these questions, the experts are social scientists — in psychology & sociology (studying people at the levels of individuals & groups), history (helping to gather data and analyze what we know), education (it's important for individuals and societies) and other fields — and your work helps us to understand more completely and accurately, and to share our ideas more effectively in websites and journals, classrooms and media.

        What is a social science?
        According to The American Heritage Dictionary, a social science is "the study of human society and of individual relationships in and to society" and includes "sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and history."  Wikipedia lists these and adds others: linguistics, education, cultural geography, anthropology (with sub-fields of archaeology, paleontology, ethnography, and anthro that is physical, cultural, or linguistic), and more.

        Is a "social science" really a science?
        Although some skeptics say "not really," I (the editor) wrote my PhD dissertation about scientific methods, and I think it's easy to answer YES.  And, based on my personal experience as a grad student in history of science, below I describe the use of evidence-and-logic by historians: "In their logical historical method, as in logical scientific method, they use reality checks to decide whether their historical theories... are accurate, whether ‘the way they think the world was’ matches ‘the way the world really was.’ ...  Their creative-and-critical methods of analysis are interdisciplinary and eclectic;  they skillfully blend ideas from a wide range of fields (sociology, psychology, philosophy, political science, economics,...) in their search for explanations."  The same can be said for other social sciences and the scientists in these fields.
        Many scientific challenges are caused by complexity in the systems being studied by social science.  But this is also a problem in some areas of natural science.  For example, nutrition is difficult to study due to the complexities of food that contains many chemical components, which have multiple physiological effects that vary in different people, and there is a time delay in cause-and-effect, and so on.  But we shouldn't say that nutritional science (or social science) is less "scientific" than in fields studying simpler systems.  Instead, scientists who study complex systems — in natural science or social science — try to invent creative strategies for coping with complexity so they can understand more thoroughly and accurately.

        What can a social scientist use in our website?
        Topics Pages for Archaeology & Anthropology (re: Adam & Eve, Noah,...) and Psychology & Neuroscience and Studies in the History of Science & Christianity have been developed by Jack Haas, another web-editor for ASA.
        You can find papers written for the ASA journal or website by using the search-function on ASA's Homepage.  For example, a search for sociology (or Christian sociology, or other combinations) leads to some interesting papers, such as George Barger asking "Can there be a Christian sociology?";  and Dean Arnold shares his fascinating experiences (maybe similar to those of scientists in other fields?) when he asks, Why Are There So Few Christian Anthropologists? Reflections on the Tensions between Christianity and Anthropology.
        Interdisciplinary Studies usually include the perspectives of social scientists who study people, because people are deeply involved in most problems — as both actual causers and potential solvers — that we encounter when we try to be good Stewards of Life.   {worldviews}
        History of Science:  In addition to "Studies in the History..." above, we have Stories of Science (as in questions about Columbus and a flat earth, Galileo and a moving earth, Darwin and evolution) plus Science-and-Faith in the News with stories gathered by Jack Haas (for recent history) and Debates about Science (what it is and what it means, how we should do it and view it) involving historians, other social scientists (sociologists, psychologists,...), philosophers, and natural scientists.  In addition, many pages throughout the website USE historical data as a basis for thinking about (or illustrating) principles of science, or scientific methods, or science-religion relationships.  /  And historical sciences (studying the history of nature) are essential when we examine the when-and-how of the creation process.
        Psychology:  In addition to "Psychology & Neuroscience" above, and the controversial proposals in Evolutionary Psychology & Sociobiology, we plan to have more content later (so check this page again at the beginning of 2009), and currently there is other content that you may find interesting and relevant.  For example, psychology has subfields focusing on Cognitive Psychology (and thinking skills like Creative Thinking & Critical Thinking & Problem Solving) and Industrial/Organizational Psychology (with goals that include the design of strategies for improving workplace morale and productivity) and Clinical Psychology & Counseling:

        Science-and-Faith in Christian Counseling & Mentoring
        This is a BIG topic, and ASA is most likely to be useful in the area of science/religion relationships, in two ways:  1) when we ask "What are the relationships (historical, sociological, psychological, philosophical, theological,...) between science and Bible-based Christian religion?" where the goal is improved knowledge with understanding;  2) and "What are the mutual interactions between a person's faith and their views of science/religion relationships?" where the goal is improved mentoring or counseling that will help others improve their faith and their quality of life.  These two questions, plus applications — re: Appropriate Humility about the details of Creation; Science and Divine Actions (Natural and Miraculous); Bible-Based Psychology & Christian Counseling — are examined in Science-and-Religion for Understanding & Personal Faith.

a SITEMAP will help you explore the website for Whole-Person Education (with resources for Effective Education and Science-Theology Interactions, using a Multiple-Views Approach) and other parts of the ASA Website, plus TIPS FOR TEACHERS.

You're an expert in your areas, so...
if you want to help us improve our website — for example, if you have suggestions to make it better, or you've discovered a great web-resource and you tell us about it so we can share it with others — your assistance will be greatly appreciated.   How can you help?


        Historical Method is a Scientific Method
        For awhile, I (the editor) was a student in the History of Science program at Wisconsin, but I didn't feel like a historian.  During our first semester a fellow grad student began a sentence, "We historians think that...", and my internal response was "what an interesting concept, WE historians."  I wasn't a historian, but I was fascinated by the way THEY thought about things:
        First, I noticed that the methods used in history and science are similar.  In history, as in science, a scholar does "detective work" to gather observations about the situation being studied, in an attempt to develop an accurate description of what happened and (often but not always) also a credible explanation for why it happened.  In their logical historical method, as in logical scientific method, they use reality checks to decide whether their historical theories (in their descriptions and explanations of what happened and why) are accurate, whether "the way they think the world was" matches "the way the world really was."
        Second, their creative-and-critical methods of analysis are interdisciplinary and eclectic.  They skillfully blend ideas from a wide range of fields (sociology, psychology, philosophy, political science, economics,...) in their search for explanations.
        I'm not a historian — instead, I feel a stronger connection with "we scientists" and "we educators" — but I do respect (and even admire, when it's done well) the scholarly work of historians.

This website for Whole-Person Education has TWO KINDS OF LINKS:
an ITALICIZED LINK keeps you inside a page, moving you to another part of it,
 a NON-ITALICIZED LINK opens another page.  Both keep everything inside this window, 
so your browser's BACK-button will always take you back to where you were.

Here are tips-pages (to supplement
the SITEMAP described above) with
educational resources for teachers of
Biology, Chemistry, Physics plus Astronomy, Geology
  eclectic interdisciplinary studies (Environmental, Historical, etc) 
 Psychology, Sociology, History, and other Social Sciences     Education 
Mathematics and Computer Science     Engineering and Design
Science in Arts and Sports     Philosophy and Theology

plus useful ideas for teachers and students in all fields,
Science-and-Religion for Understanding and Personal Faith

This page, written by Craig Rusbult (editor of education website), is