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ERIC Number: ED310046
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-28
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
What Is Known about Elementary School Social Studies?
Shaver, James P.
Studies of elementary school social studies since the late 1970s, largely from an objective-quantitative perspective, have painted a dire picture but have paid little attention to what teachers are actually doing in the classroom. Researchers have found that little instructional time is spent on social studies, that the textbooks on this subject are severely lacking, that teachers seem uncertain about what should be taught, and that students lack enthusiasm for the subject. However, one must be cautious about over generalizing. There is great variability among teachers, and social studies instruction is sometimes excellent. It is likely that surveys underestimate the amount of time devoted to social studies as materials used for language arts, reading, music, and art often incorporate social studies content and concepts. When considering priorities, without a firm foundation in reading and writing, learning in social studies is impeded, and mathematical skills are essential for functioning in modern society. Therefore attention to reading, writing, and mathematics at the expense of social studies is understandable. More research from an interpretive-qualitative perspective is needed to help construct a more meaningful characterization of what goes on in classrooms, especially what students are thinking and how they are reacting. The ultimate concern must be with student outcomes. A 51-item bibliography is included. (JB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A