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ERIC Number: EJ885683
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0093-3104
A National Perspective on the Effects of High-Stakes Testing and Standardization on Elementary Social Studies Marginalization
Fitchett, Paul G.; Heafner, Tina L.
Theory and Research in Social Education, v38 n1 p114-130 Win 2010
The purpose of this study was to explore the nationwide historic trend of elementary social studies marginalization compared to math, science, and language arts. Incorporating 17 years of data from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) Schools and Staffing Survey, the authors conducted comparative analyses to investigate differences in instructional time between elementary social studies and other core subject areas. In addition, variance of social studies instructional time was examined across grade levels and survey years. The results indicate that social studies instruction has remained a subsidiary part of K-5 curriculum over the last two decades. Moreover, between grade-level analyses shows a trend toward greater attention to social studies in intermediate grades (3-5) compared to primary grades (K-2). A significant decline in social studies instruction coincided with educational policy that places greater importance on mathematics and language arts. The authors conclude that while No Child Left Behind legislation has magnified trends in decreased instructional time for social studies, this federal mandate is not the sole reason for the decline of social studies within elementary curriculum. They argue that the marginalization of social studies is an enduring trend over the last two decades, a byproduct of an educational policy shift toward national standardization. (Contains 4 figures, 3 tables and 5 notes.)
College and University Faculty Assembly of NCSS. 8555 Sixteenth Street Suite 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001