ERIC Number: EJ1171724
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Teaching for Deeper Political Learning: A Design Experiment
Parker, Walter C.; Valencia, Sheila W.; Lo, Jane C.
Journal of Curriculum Studies, v50 n2 p252-277 2018
Is in-depth political learning possible in college-preparatory courses known for curricular breadth at an accelerated pace plus a high-stakes exam? A multidisciplinary research team conducted design-based implementation research (DBIR) for seven years across three school systems for the purpose of achieving deeper learning in an 'advanced' high school government and politics course. This article reports findings from the final year of research and development. The design centres on cyclical learning, projects (simulated political processes) and strategic use of texts as resources for learning the curriculum. Quantitative analysis shows comparable achievement to students in traditional classrooms on the high-stakes summative assessment despite the dramatic departure from test-prep instruction. Qualitative analyses focus on two of the design elements: learning from simulations and learning from text. The first allowed students to 'experience' political beliefs, institutions, and conflict, although simulated; the second required students to learn subject matter not only from simulations and teacher lectures but from texts, too. The discussion shows how these two in combination with cyclical learning required skilful attention to content selection. We conclude that when deeper learning is the goal, content selection cannot be elided or presumed, particularly with respect to the articulation of depth and breadth in curriculum and instruction.
Descriptors: United States Government (Course), Political Science, Advanced Placement Programs, College Preparation, High School Students, High Stakes Tests, Mixed Methods Research, Simulation, Experiential Learning, Reading Materials, Academic Achievement, Instructional Effectiveness, Observation, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Advanced Placement Examinations (CEEB)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A