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ERIC Number: EJ1006536
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0885-985X
Teaching Literacy through Social Studies under No Child Left Behind
Pace, Judy
Journal of Social Studies Research, v36 n4 p329-358 Fall 2012
High stakes accountability has intensified the marginalization of social studies in public schools. A popular response to the dilemma between raising achievement in English Language Arts and preserving social studies is to integrate the two subjects. This qualitative case study analyzes instruction in a fifth grade urban classroom where the teacher used U.S. history lessons to teach literacy skills and strategies. I conducted weekly classroom observations over a semester; interviewed the teacher, students, and administrators; and collected pertinent documents. Although two-and-a-half hours were devoted to social studies each week, I found that lessons revolved around literacy training based on reading passages from the textbook. These lessons became increasingly routine, distancing students from history rather than supporting their understanding of it. The teacher's practice was influenced by standardized testing and professional development. This case study serves as a cautionary tale about the unintended consequences that can result when literacy and social studies are combined with the goal of raising test scores.
International Society for the Social Studies. University of Central Florida College of Education, Suite 123M P.O. Box 161250, Orlando, FL 32816. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001