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ERIC Number: EJ877459
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1232
"It's Not Rocket Science!": High School Sociology Teachers' Conceptions of Sociology
DeCesare, Michael
American Sociologist, v37 n1 p51-67 Mar 2006
Since academic sociology's birth in this country, sociologists have not been shy about publicly praising and ridiculing the discipline. Though sociologists have been the primary participants in the seemingly endless debates about sociology's proper subject matter, methods, and purpose, there is another group that has also struggled over the past 95 years to formulate a conception of the discipline--high school sociology teachers. At this point, we know virtually nothing about what the thousands of high school teachers who offer sociology each year, actually think about the discipline. This paper uses questionnaire and interview data collected from high school sociology teachers to examine their thoughts on four topics: (1) sociology's strengths, (2) its weaknesses, (3) whether high school students are capable of understanding the discipline, and (4) appropriate course objectives. The results indicate that high school teachers view sociology quite differently from academic sociologists, and that their conceptions are based primarily on "textbook sociology." I conclude by discussing the far-reaching implications of teachers' current thinking about the discipline.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A