ERIC Number: ED454150
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Primary-Grade Students' Knowledge and Thinking about Family Living 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. Very little information exists about children's prior knowledge and thinking about these topics. This study was designed to provide such information with respect to the topic of family living, 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. Individual interviews were conducted with 96 K-3 students, stratified by grade level, achievement level, and gender. Students were asked to define families and talk about why most people live in families and to talk extensively about many and diverse aspects of families and family living. Findings suggest that children do not routinely acquire all, or even a significant portion, of what is worth knowing about cultural universals through everyday experiences. Furthermore, the mostly tacit knowledge that they do accumulate is limited, disconnected, and frequently distorted by naive ideas or outright misconceptions. The conclusion is that primary students stand to benefit from instruction about cultural universals, and this instruction should be part of the primary grades social studies curriculum. Contains 53 references. Appended are the family living interview and a table of distribution and correlation coefficients showing relationships of coding categories to grade level, achievement level, and gender. (Author/BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A