ERIC Number: EJ851031
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 30
Democracy Denied: Learning to Teach History in Elementary School
Slekar, Timothy D.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v36 n1 p95-110 Win 2009
Although "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) appears to disregard the teaching of social studies, it should not be assumed that teaching and learning in these content areas is of little importance. Prior to NCLB, discussions over social studies and history standards dominated the political and cultural landscapes. The eventual conclusion from the federal government was that the social studies devalued American history. However, the sharp distinctions between those who advocate citizenship education as patriotism indoctrination and others who see the possibilities a critical approach to teaching history and social studies has for genuine democratic education still exist. This article documents how one elementary preservice teacher (Amy) learned to teach history from a patriotic indoctrination approach and how powerful and appealing this approach was, considering Amy's limited knowledge of American history. Also, this article demonstrates how this approach essentially denied Amy any opportunity to learn about the richness of social studies content and the possibilities it provides for genuine democratic discourse. The outcome is a narrative portrait of one preservice teacher and a cautious analysis of what the outcomes might mean for teacher education researchers concerned with the future of social studies and its commitment to citizenship education. The findings also suggest that there is a need for a deeper understanding of what really goes on in undergraduate social studies methods courses.
Descriptors: Preservice Teacher Education, Preservice Teachers, United States History, Methods Courses, Democracy, Citizenship Education, Social Studies, Political Socialization, Teaching Methods, Elementary School Curriculum, Interviews, Content Analysis, Knowledge Base for Teaching, History Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001