Darrell p kruger illinois state university s kay gandy western kentucky university
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Darrell P. Kruger, Illinois State University S. Kay Gandy, Western Kentucky University. What Ever Happened to Social Studies in the Elementary Classroom?. The Study. Two year study Social Studies Methods courses Over 200 teacher candidates from two universities Over 2000 observations

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What Ever Happened to Social Studies in the Elementary Classroom?

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Darrell p kruger illinois state university s kay gandy western kentucky university

Darrell P. Kruger, Illinois State University

S. Kay Gandy, Western Kentucky University

What Ever Happened to Social Studies in the Elementary Classroom?


The study
The Study

  • Two year study

  • Social Studies Methods courses

  • Over 200 teacher candidates from two universities

  • Over 2000 observations

  • 10 to 15 field days per semester

  • 21 schools


Kentucky core content test blueprints by content area
Kentucky Core Content Test Blueprints by Content Area

NOTE: Illinois has completely dropped state social studies tests.


Methodology
Methodology

  • Piloted checklist

  • Instructions on how to conduct observations

  • Courses on Teaching Strategies/Assessment

  • Human-Subjects Research forms

  • Collection of Observations

  • Interview with Teacher for Contextual Factors

  • Copy of Class Schedule

  • Reflection


Limitations to study
Limitations to Study

  • Conclusions cannot be extrapolated to all schools in KY and IL, given the small sample

  • Cooperative teachers were aware that teacher candidates would be observing social studies lessons

  • KY teacher candidates observed 1 day per week; IL teacher candidates observed 3 consecutive weeks

  • Candidate responses remain subjective


Observation checklist
Observation Checklist

  • How frequently social studies was taught

  • Materials Used

  • Teaching Methods

  • Content of social studies lessons

  • Types of Assessment







Time to teach social studies
“Time” to Teach Social Studies

  • Average of 38 minutes for lessons

  • Taught 60% of field days

  • 64% listed social studies on the daily calendar

  • …it was not that the teachers did not want to teach the content, it was because there was so much pressure on them to teach reading and math that they felt like they did not have time to teach the content.





Student comments
Student Comments

  • Many days, the allotted time for social studies was spent working on portfolio pieces in the lab or reviewing science material for the CATS testing.

  • I did see science books stacked up that children used, but the only social studies books were from 1986 and sitting on shelves with dust on them.


Student comments1
Student Comments

  • The students are given the impression they do not have to learn about Social Studies unless it is test time because it is not important.

  • I tried to find ways that Social Studies was being taught on the days that I was present and the only thing that I could find was the pledge being said every day.


Questions generated by students
Questions Generated by Students

  • How can we ensure that time for social studies is mandated in the curriculum?

  • Are we preparing students to be responsible, active citizens?

  • What can we do to make sure assessment does not drive the curriculum?

  • Does a subject have to be assessed before it will be taught?


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