ERIC Number: ED355158
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Dec
Fifth-Graders' Ideas about the English Colonies in America Expressed before and after Studying Them within a U.S. History Course. Elementary Subjects Center Series No. 80.
Brophy, Jere; And Others
Prior to a curriculum unit on the English colonies in America taught within a U.S. history course, two classes of fifth-graders stated what they knew or believed was true about colonies and what they wanted to learn about them. After the unit, they reported what they had learned about the English colonies in North America. In addition, a stratified sample of 10 students were interviewed concerning several subtopics. By the end of the unit, students had acquired a good deal of information, although there were important gaps in the students' general knowledge (most notably, lack of knowledge about life in 16th and 17th century England that would provide a reference point for comparisons with life in the colonies) and a variety of misconceptions were developed as the students reasoned from their very limited knowledge bases (e.g., that Europeans started coming to America because Europe was overcrowded, that the colonies were all small villages surrounded by stockades, or that life in all of the colonies resembled life among the Puritans at Plymouth Plantation as it had been depicted to the students via a children's literature selection). The findings illustrate the tradeoffs involved in using children's literature selections rather than traditional textbooks as the primary representation of historical content to children. (Contains 26 references.) (Author/LBG)
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Colonial History (United States), Curriculum Research, Grade 5, Intermediate Grades, Outcomes of Education, Social Studies, United States History, Units of Study
Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, Institute for Research on Teaching, 252 Erickson Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($8).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.