Theorizing mimesis across social studies contexts of mimicry, imitation, and simulation


Elementary and Early Childhood Education

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Social studies education (SSE) commonly uses copying pedagogies (e.g., simulations) to help students develop a deeper understanding of self, others, curriculum, and society. This article argues that simulations are eminently mimetic (i.e., a theoretical orientation concerned with understanding the entangled relationships between originals and copies) and abound with overlooked opportunities to engage with double logics that traverse academic disciplines. Primarily, we theorize how mimetic concepts (e.g., protean, pharmakon/Janus-faced) can be capacious in providing needed nuance and texture to simulatory approaches to SSE through the demarcation of two specific mimetic registers within simulation(s): mimicry and imitation. Through these two mimetic gestures, this article calls for a more intra-disciplinary framing of SSE, thus offering an alternative corridor for SSE educators, students, and researchers to consider how simulations are used to make sense of the more-than-human world in both historical and contemporary contexts.

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Theory and Research in Social Education

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