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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2008

Brian K. Lanahan and Elizabeth Anne Yeager

The threatened status of social studies instruction in elementary schools demands strong methods instruction to preserve the subject. This threatened status and other…

Abstract

The threatened status of social studies instruction in elementary schools demands strong methods instruction to preserve the subject. This threatened status and other factors create issues specific to elementary social studies methods instruction. Moreover, university-level methods instruction can be idiosyncratic due to the various educational and professional backgrounds of the instructors. This study examined individuals serving in the “dual roles” of inservice teacher and elementary social studies methods instructor. While teaching the methods, participants encountered issues related to methods students, the filling of dual roles, and the status of elementary social studies and field placements. In addition, filling these dual roles facilitated their methods instruction through their ability to relate/react to methods students’ experiences and concerns.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2010

Cheryl Mason Bolick, Reid Adams and Lara Willox

This article examines the literature related to the marginalization of social studies through the lens of elementary social studies teacher education. This study presents…

Abstract

This article examines the literature related to the marginalization of social studies through the lens of elementary social studies teacher education. This study presents the case of two different states wherein one state, Virginia, tests social studies in elementary schools and another state, North Carolina, where social studies is not tested until middle school. The data gathered from both states were originally analyzed to shed light on the question of testing's effect on teacher preparation and subsequent curriculum enactment. Data collected from the study suggest that factors such as field experiences, programs of study, and methods instruction impact teacher education in elementary social studies in more important ways than student testing.

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2015

Lisa Brown Buchanan and Elizabeth O. Crawford

The teaching of environmental sustainability was explored in five sections of an elementary social studies methods course with pre-service teachers. Using surveys and…

Abstract

The teaching of environmental sustainability was explored in five sections of an elementary social studies methods course with pre-service teachers. Using surveys and structured discussions, we identified pre-service teachers’ beliefs about environmental sustainability in response to prior experiences, course readings, films, guest lecture, and group activities (e.g., simulations). Findings suggest the subjects’ knowledge of environmental sustainability increased as a result of the course. They believed environmental sustainability is a significant global issue meriting attention in the elementary classroom; however, they felt ill prepared to teach sustainability issues to young children in developmentally appropriate ways. Finally, pre-service teachers expressed caring about improving their own consumer behaviors and sought concrete solutions from others in order to do so. Implications for elementary social studies education are discussed.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 October 2021

Ariel Cornett and Alexa M. Quinn

Using morning meeting, an evidence-based practice that is part of the responsive classroom (RC) approach, the authors (two teacher educators [TEs]) created opportunities…

1886

Abstract

Purpose

Using morning meeting, an evidence-based practice that is part of the responsive classroom (RC) approach, the authors (two teacher educators [TEs]) created opportunities for teacher candidates (TCs) to experience representations, decompositions and approximations of practice in multiple iterations of an elementary social studies methods course.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors detail how TEs can expose TCs to social studies content (e.g. the National Council for the Social Studies themes) that can be incorporated into structured, daily classroom routines, such as morning meeting.

Findings

The authors include TE-created morning meeting facilitation guides with components such as a morning message, greeting, share, group activity and theme justification. Furthermore, the authors outline TCs' reflections on planning and implementing a morning meeting with a partner in addition to their own reflections on the TCs' feedback.

Originality/value

This work has implications related to TEs and TCs in elementary social studies methods courses as well as current and future students in elementary classrooms.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Michael Alan Neel and Amy Palmeri

In both elementary schools and elementary teacher education programs, social studies is marginalized while standards require increasingly more ambitious reasoning…

1546

Abstract

Purpose

In both elementary schools and elementary teacher education programs, social studies is marginalized while standards require increasingly more ambitious reasoning, reading, and writing in social studies than has historically been documented in American elementary schools. The purpose of this paper is to explain the challenges that elementary social studies teacher educators face in preparing elementary school teachers to facilitate the kind of ambitious social studies envisioned in the NCSS’s C3 Framework and advocate an approach to successfully address these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper articulates a targeted and ambitious approach to elementary social studies teacher education. The authors describe five recommendations from the teacher education literature for supporting preservice teachers in learning disciplinary-oriented social studies teaching, recommendations that guided the redesign of the social studies methods course. The authors then highlight key aspects of the redesigned methods course and demonstrate how the authors engaged the challenges inherent in the work of elementary social studies teacher education.

Findings

Although this paper is not arranged in such a way as to substantiate empirical findings, the purpose of the paper is to demonstrate an approach to elementary social studies education aligned with extant literature on preparing teachers to engage in reform teaching practices, specifically those disciplinary oriented practices suggested in NCSS’s C3 Framework. As such, the paper should be read as a perspective on practice.

Research limitations/implications

The type of disciplinary-oriented approach described here is increasingly under investigation in secondary teacher education research and similar approaches are under investigation in elementary math and science education research. To the authors’ knowledge, the approach is novel in elementary social studies education. Furthermore, the authors believe it offers a direction for researchers interested in gaps in the literature related to practice based teacher education and disciplinary-oriented social studies teacher education.

Practical implications

The approach described here offers specific guidance and resources for teacher educators who are struggling with the challenges of the contemporary social studies education landscape and/or who wish to focus methods courses in disciplinary ways.

Social implications

Research in social studied education has demonstrated that when students are exposed to disciplinary practices in social studies, their literacy skills improve and they learn analytical skills that support their development as citizens (consumption of media, participation in public discourse, ability to discern arguments).

Originality/value

As noted above, the approach described here is novel in elementary social studies education. Combining a disciplinary approach with a practice-based frame in elementary social studies represents an opportunity for empirical research and offers new approaches to the practice of teacher education and early career professional development.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2014

Erik Jon Byker

Preparing future elementary teachers to connect social studies content and skills with technology necessitates the integration of technology into teacher preparation…

Abstract

Preparing future elementary teachers to connect social studies content and skills with technology necessitates the integration of technology into teacher preparation methods courses. Such integration hinges on the identification of pre-service teachers’ level of Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK). These three knowledge areas help shape smart uses for educational technology beyond entertainment that utilize technology in educationally profitable ways. The TPACK model is useful for identifying the knowledge required by pre-service teachers for the purpose of wedding instructional technology to social studies content and instruction. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to describe and to analyze the integration of an instructional technology lesson in an elementary social studies methods course in a large Midwestern university. The study, specifically, describes and reports on 25 pre-service teachers’ perceptions of the utilization of a social studies software technology called Timeliner. The study reports on the level of TPACK awareness of the study’s pre-service teachers and offers implications related to instructional technology integration in elementary social studies methods courses.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Deborah Lynn Morowski and Theresa M. McCormick

During field experiences, preservice teachers often are asked plan and teach a lesson and then to reflect on their teaching. The purpose of this paper is to examine the…

Abstract

Purpose

During field experiences, preservice teachers often are asked plan and teach a lesson and then to reflect on their teaching. The purpose of this paper is to examine the guided reflections of 66 preservice teachers after they planned and implemented a primary source-based lesson in an elementary classroom. The project occurred during the preservice teachers’ enrollment in a social studies methods course.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study utilized a fieldwork approach as the methodological framework. This approach provided data that allowed the researchers to develop a deeper understanding of the preservice teachers’ experiences. Data were analyzed using Bogdan and Biklen’s (1998) content unit of analysis. Descriptive and interpretive coding schemes were used to analyze data using a priori categories of successes and challenges.

Findings

The preservice teachers were able to engage in technical and practical reflection, considering strategies used in the classroom and their effects on student learning, but they were unable to reflect at the critical level, thinking about moral and ethical decisions. The themes and subthemes that many of the preservice teachers identified as successes, others identified as challenges.

Originality/value

This study highlights the importance of preservice teachers engaging with primary sources, as well as with frequent, meaningful, and ongoing field experiences. Teacher educators need to provide multiple opportunities for teacher candidates to reflect broadly and deeply on their teaching practice and student learning. Additional research needs to be conducted to assess the impact of preservice teachers use of primary sources in the elementary classroom.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 September 2021

Katherine Perrotta

The purpose of this study is to ascertain perspectives from pre-service and in-service elementary teachers about challenges they face when teaching social studies, and how…

1924

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to ascertain perspectives from pre-service and in-service elementary teachers about challenges they face when teaching social studies, and how their participation in a content-based professional development opportunity can support their preparedness for social studies instruction. Five speakers who were experts in topics such as Native American history, historical preservation, women's history and the Constitution were featured at this workshop.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study methodology with both descriptive and explanatory data collection and analysis methods, which were inclusive of surveys and focus group sessions, was implemented. The National Council for the Social Studies (2017) Powerful and Authentic Social Studies framework was applied in order to examine whether elementary in-service and pre-service teachers participation in this content-focused professional development impacted their preparedness to teach social studies.

Findings

Major findings show that content-specific professional development can support pre-service and in-service elementary teachers' preparation to teach social studies through analysis of historical topics and contemporary issues, as well as mitigate challenges with regard to limited time dedicated to social studies instruction.

Originality/value

In light of the Senate's debate on passing the Educating for Democracy Act concerning funding for civics and history education, the originality of this study highlights the continued need for scholarship on how partnerships between colleges of education, school districts and local educational agencies to provide content-focused professional development can support elementary teachers' ambitious social studies instruction, which can foster greater understandings of historical content and civic participation in democratic society.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Katherine A. O’Connor, Amy J. Good and H. Carol Greene

This teleobservation pilot study focuses on an innovative approach for the preparation of elementary social studies preservice teacher candidates through the use of…

Abstract

This teleobservation pilot study focuses on an innovative approach for the preparation of elementary social studies preservice teacher candidates through the use of interactive videoconferencing to provide observations of elementary classrooms. Preservice teacher candidates observed social studies lessons team-taught by regular classroom teachers and university professors in public school classrooms via videoconferencing equipment. Preservice teacher candidates remained on campus while another professor guided them through the social studies observation. Qualitative data were collected from preservice teacher candidates completing their social studies methods course through reflective summaries, KWL charts, and archived threaded discussions. The benefits and challenges of teleobservation are discussed along with implications and possibilities for future work. Specifically, the goals of this project included providing future social studies teachers with the following opportunities: 1) observe an elementary classroom in real-time; 2) discuss teaching as it is happening, and 3) observe university social studies professors modeling theory into practice.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2014

Cheryl Mason Bolick, Cheryl Torrez and Meghan McGlinn Manfra

A team of five researchers set out to document pre-service teachers’ experiences interviewing elementary-aged children about social studies topics. Nearly 200 pre-service…

Abstract

A team of five researchers set out to document pre-service teachers’ experiences interviewing elementary-aged children about social studies topics. Nearly 200 pre-service teachers across three universities participated in this longitudinal study. Collected data include: course readings, syllabi, and pre-service teachers’ History Through a Child’s Eye essays. Themes from the data include: pre-service teachers’ understanding of multiple perspectives, integration of digital primary sources, and development of historical evidences based upon evidences.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

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