ERIC Number: ED437311
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Primary-Grade Students' Knowledge and Thinking about Shelter as a Cultural Universal.
Brophy, Jere; Alleman, Janet
The traditional K-3 social studies curriculum has focused on food, clothing, shelter, communication, transportation, and other cultural universals. A study was designed to provide information with respect to the topic of shelter, and in the process, to assess claims that primary grade students do not need instruction in the topic because they learn what they need to know about it through everyday living. Interviews were conducted with 216 K-3 students, stratified according to grade level, socioeconomic status (SES) level, achievement level, and gender. Analysis of responses indicated that although they understood a few things clearly, their knowledge about key aspects of shelter was quite limited, mostly tacit rather than well-articulated, frequently distorted by misconceptions, and scattered rather than well-organized into coherent networks structured around big ideas. Students did understand that shelter is a basic need, could describe some of the formal aspects of different types of homes, and shared knowledge of certain norms (for example, owning rather than renting). Large and usually statistically significant grade level effects were observed for most variables, indicating advances in accuracy and completeness of knowledge as students progressed through the K-3 range. Relationships with SES level, achievement level, and gender were much weaker and less often statistically significant. K-3 students' knowledge of shelter might be taken into account in planning instruction on the topic, and a powerful unit on shelter would differ from the trite treatments of the topic typically found in elementary social studies textbook series. (Contains 14 tables of data and 37 references. Appendixes contain interview questions, coding of responses, and drawings and pictures of diverse types of shelter.) (Author/BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A