ERIC Number: EJ1058150
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 132
An Opportunity to Learn US History: What NAEP Data Suggest Regarding the Opportunity Gap
Heafner, Tina L.; Fitchett, Paul G.
High School Journal, v98 n3 p226-249 Spr 2015
The purpose of this study is to determine the degree to which Opportunity to Learn (OTL), is associated with students' achievement in US History. Opportunity to Learn stems from the basic premise that there is an important relationship between the quality and frequency of classroom instruction and students' levels of academic success. The authors examine National Assessment of Educational Progress in U.S. History (NAEP-USH) assessment data in order to better understand the relationship between classroom- and student-level variables associated with historical knowledge as measured in the 12th grade. Findings document that instructional exposure (OTL) is a factor associated with learning outcomes; however, the OTL in history is not the same for all student populations. An opportunity gap is evident in these results and suggests that Black students are underserved in U.S. History. However, when controlling for poverty and other socio-economic variables, students' predictive achievement on NAEP is positively associated with instructional exposure; yet, differences were observed for some but not all strategies measured in the full model. In the aggregate and disaggregate models, instructional exposure and motivational factors associated with OTL account for a large and significant percentage of the proportional variance (r[superscript 2]) in NAEP-USH achievement. We contend that instructional exposure is significantly predictor of historical knowledge. Findings from this study indicate: 1) student and school characteristics are significant factors associated with achievement, 2) pedagogical decisions are important and can greatly impact student learning in US History, and 3) culturally congruent instructional decision-making is needed to ensure positive learning experiences for Black students.
Descriptors: United States History, History Instruction, Academic Achievement, Educational Opportunities, Correlation, Educational Quality, Social Studies, Culturally Relevant Education, Standardized Tests, High School Students, Student Characteristics, Institutional Characteristics, Grade 12, Racial Differences, African American Students, Likert Scales, Socioeconomic Status, Racial Composition, Gender Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 12
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress