NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ818506
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0889-0293
Reports from the Field: Elementary Teacher Candidates Describe the Teaching of Social Studies
Sunal, Cynthia Szymanski; Sunal, Dennis W.
International Journal of Social Education, v22 n2 p29-48 Fall 2007-2008
Recent research indicates that social studies is being de-emphasized in the elementary school, particularly in favor of greater attention to reading. Historically, there is evidence that social studies has not been a strong component of the curriculum in elementary classrooms although it often appears in state and local courses of study. In the early grades (K-3) the traditional focus has been on teaching social studies through units on the self, family, and community workers. These topics may be supported by the use of a textbook or by children's fiction. A specific social studies time frequently is found in the upper grades during which the social studies textbook traditionally serves as the major resource in the curriculum. Instructional strategies such as whole group or individual reading occur and sometimes are supported by having students fill out study guides and/or answer questions at the end of the chapter in preparation for an eventual unit or grading period examination. These traditional formats are widespread but variation exists. Some schools and teachers implement curricula and instructional strategies that are nontraditional and constructivist, as reported in manuscripts on practice published in journals such as "Social Studies Research and Practice," "Social Studies and the Young Learner," "The Social Studies," and "Social Education." Although such publications indicate that nontraditional teaching of social studies occurs along with the more common traditional forms, the concern in recent years has been with whether any form of social studies education is found at the elementary school level. This article reports a study which used teacher candidates' journals as a source of data to explore what was happening in a sample of elementary social studies classrooms, whether de-emphasis of social studies was occurring, and what effects were seen in classroom curriculum and instruction when a de-emphasis was occurring. (Contains 18 notes.)
International Journal of Social Education. Ball State University, Department of History, Muncie, IN 47306. Tel: 765-285-8700; Fax: 765-285-5612; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001