ERIC Number: ED134501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Status of the Social Studies in the Public Schools of the United States: Facts and Impressions of a National Survey.
Gross, Richard E.
State departments of education were surveyed to determine the status of social studies in the United States. Supplemental background data were also gathered from local school districts and previous research. The purpose of the survey was to obtain information on course offerings, enrollments, and requirements in social studies. Some limitations of the study are identified early in the report, such as incomplete response (36 state departments replied), variability of data among states, and computer limitations. Findings show that there is a declining enrollment in social studies; a lack of interest in teaching social studies in elementary schools; a relaxation of state and local requirements in the teaching of social studies; and an increase in teacher creativeness, since teachers now have more freedom to teach what they want. Although many teachers are familiar with approaches construed to be associated with the new social studies, such as inquiry, conceptual, and simulation-game approaches, there has been little resulting change in textbook selection, hiring practices, and creation of a basic social studies program. Factors most often identified in the survey as affecting the social studies include an increase in the number of courses taught other than social studies, reduced funding, specialized offerings in ethnic studies, and anarchial curriculum. Future scenarios are presented and a national social studies curriculum is recommended. Tables are included. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the National Council for Social Studies (Washington, D.C., November 4-7, 1976)