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ERIC Number: ED507406
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov-11
Pages: 45
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
Beliefs and Issues in Social Studies Instructional Practices: A Case Study of Alternatively Certified Elementary Teachers
Bisland, Beverly Milner; O'Connor, Evelyn A.; Malow-Iroff, Micheline S.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies (Atlanta, GA, Nov 11, 2009)
The purpose of this study is to investigate the social studies teaching beliefs and the application of these beliefs into classroom practice of a group of elementary teachers who are part of a New York City alternative certification program. The teachers in this study are working in low performing New York City schools, are typically pursuing teaching as a second career and often have undergraduate majors in the social sciences as well. Initial data for this study is extracted from a survey that the teachers completed in the second year of their two year program. Included in this survey are questions about the teachers' beliefs and practices in inquiry based constructivist teaching methodology. The survey results were compared to individual interviews and focus group discussions with selected teachers and observations of the teachers' classroom social studies teaching by their college supervisors. The authors anticipated an easier transition into teaching for a group of mature work experienced individuals than the typical transition of college graduates in their twenties with no prior full time work experience. Additionally the authors anticipated a greater ability to use the more complex teaching strategies involved in constructivist instruction than less experienced and mature teachers. One unanticipated outcome of this study is the further substantiation of recent research on the marginalization of social studies instruction in the elementary schools (Boyle-Baise et al, 2008; Doppen, Misco & Patterson, 2008: Rock et al, 2006;Vanfossen, 2005). The uniqueness of this study is that the teachers are alternatively certified second career individuals who have selected teaching as a second career. The study further substantiates that teachers are constrained in their ability to use constructivist practices, or teach social studies at all, by the emphasis in elementary school on reading and math instruction and integrated curriculum. This integration minimizes studies concepts and skills in favor of other subjects, typically reading and literacy strategies and skills. (Contains 9 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York