The focus of LAI 521 is teaching and learning social studies in the elementary school. We explore a variety of topics and issues related to social studies content, instruction, and assessment. Much of our conversation and work highlights questions relevant to the social studies field at large--e.g., what is/are the goal(s) of social studies? what is a viable relationship between teaching, learning, and assessment? how do we construct classrooms that reflect democratic ideals? These questions are important and play a role in every teacher's practice. But given the nature of LAI 521, our focus always returns to the classroom and to the practical issues of teaching and learning social studies.