ERIC Number: ED325412
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: 0
Perspectives on Teaching and Learning History, or "They Could Have Thrown Teapots For All I Care."
Thorton, Stephen J.; McCourt-Lewis, Anne A.
Despite a long-standing commitment to citizenship education throughout the United States, relatively few researchers have examined what civic learnings are acquired from particular topics in the curriculum such as the Revolutionary era. Researchers have largely neglected the substance of classroom life, the specific curricular context and subject matter being studied. This paper presents the results of a study that explored the relationships between civic learning and learning about the Revolutionary era. Specifically, the study considered the reactions to an elementary-level textbook chapter on the deterioration of Anglo-American relations prior to the Revolution by: a professor of history, a professor of social studies education, an elementary school teacher, a junior high social studies teacher, and two bright sixth graders. Four major topics relevant to civic education emerged for the readers' responses: (1) political values, (2) the lessons of history, (3) fair-mindedness and balance, and (4) learning history. The topics are examined in detail and the following recommendations are made: strategies such as class discussions should be more frequently employed than recitation; researchers need to examine much more closely what children now learn, and take these perspectives into account when they make suggestions for improvements in curriculum design and for more effective teaching practices; and more attention should be paid to civic learning in particular topics in the curriculum. A 38-item reference list is included, as are appendices containing the protocol for study of the text and a list of the major topics and ideas emerging from the study with related tables. (DB)
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Evaluation, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, History Instruction, History Textbooks, Learning Processes, Revolutionary War (United States), Social Studies, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, United States History
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, (Boston, MA, April 16-20, 1990).