ERIC Number: ED350209
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
A Portrait of Four Social Studies Classes (With Special Attention Paid to the Identification of Teaching Techniques and Behaviors That Contribute to Student Learning).
Fraenkel, Jack R.
Recent social studies research has been lacking in qualitative examinations of life in secondary social studies classrooms. Although there have been a number of suggestions as to how instruction in high school classrooms should proceed, it is rare to find a detailed description of how students actually are taught in such classrooms. This study was intended as an attempt to document and describe as accurately as possible what does go on in some secondary level social studies classrooms, and in particular to try to identify those techniques and behaviors of teachers that are particularly effective in helping students learn. Four 11th grade U.S. History classes, located in a large urban high school (grades 9-12) on the west coast of the United States, were observed unobtrusively at least twice a week over a 4-month period. A daily log was kept in which the activities, comments, and behaviors of students and teacher were recorded. In addition, discussion flow-charts, performance checklists, and rating scales were prepared and used when appropriate. Students were given questionnaires in which they were asked to describe the frequency with which various activities were used in the classroom. Lastly, in-depth interviews, using a structured interview schedule form, were conducted with each teacher as well as a randomly selected sample of five students. This research is not intended to suggest that what goes on in the four examined classrooms is typical; rather, the intent is to convey a thorough portrait of these four particular classrooms. A 24-item list of references is included. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (April 20-24, 1992).