ERIC Number: ED150028
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
An Exploration of Social Studies Innovation in Secondary Schools.
Superka, Douglas P.
The research examined innovativeness among high school social studies teachers and departments. Innovativeness is interpreted to include awareness and use of certain innovative practices (e.g., inquiry, values clarification, and community-based activities) and the "new social studies" materials, teacher participation in school decision-making processes, and involvement of students in classroom decisions. It was hypothesized that researchers could identify the effect of specific factors on social studies innovation. Four sets of variables were considered: (1) individual teacher characteristics, such as age, teaching experience, tenure, and involvement in professional organizations; (2) social studies department characteristics, such as the chairperson's leadership style, the nature and frequency of department meetings, and degree of communication and cooperation among the teachers; (3) school characteristics such as size, faculty age and experience, and provision for alternative programs; and (4) school district factors, such as size, wealth, geographic location, and political climate. Data were gathered from four sources: a survey of social studies teachers, principals, and district supervisors at 10 high schools in five districts; school observation and interviews with teachers and students; census data; and a 1969 study of political climate in schools by Harmon Ziegler and Karl Johnson. Findings indicated that the two major indicators of innovation were awareness of new project materials and use of innovative phactices. The variables which were identified as having the strongest relationships with these indicators included tenure, current position, academic degree, professional memberships, and number of college courses relating to social studies teaching. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Data Analysis, Decision Making, Department Heads, Departments, Educational Development, Educational Innovation, Educational Practices, Educational Research, Evaluation, Instructional Improvement, Intellectual Disciplines, Nontraditional Education, Secondary Education, Social Studies, Student Participation, Surveys, Tables (Data), Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Participation
Social Science Education Consortium, Inc., 855 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado 80302 ($5.50, order SSEC Publication Number 213A; Index is $16.50, order SSEC Publication Number 213B)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Social Science Education Consortium, Inc., Boulder, CO.
Note: Appendix containing data on gathering information, profiles of social studies departments and high schools, and tables of innovativeness is available under separate cover