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ERIC Number: EJ773929
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
A Test of High-Order Thinking
Libresco, Andrea S.
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v20 n1 p14-17 Sep-Oct 2007
In this article, the author presents a case study of three fourth grade teachers in New York, a state that administers an elementary social studies test, constructed by teachers, that relies on the use of documents in the majority of its questions. Throughout the 2002-2003 school year, the three teachers were observed during every unit of social studies and all of their social studies staff development sessions, including test-grading and curriculum-mapping. Formal and informal interviews were conducted with the teachers, their principal, and the K-12 director for social studies. Over the course of the year, the three teachers' instruction emphasized concepts and Big Ideas; modeled and gave opportunities for critical thinking processes; and encouraged students to construct meaning and raise questions. As a result of her study of the three teachers, the author found that the imposition of a state social studies test that emphasizes documents-based instruction did not stifle any of these teachers' wise practices. Rather, these teachers extended their wise practices, translating their improved grasp of content knowledge and primary sources into effective and interesting activities for students. This case study for New York suggests that mandated, thoughtful state elementary social studies assessments, combined with a concerted effort by professional development programs to deconstruct the tests, and ongoing staff development along the lines of the lead teacher model, could foster upper-level social studies instruction and effective, inspired teaching. (Contains 5 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800: Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York