ERIC Number: EJ775441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
High-Stakes Testing: How Are Social Studies Teachers Responding?
Grant, S. G.
Social Education, v71 n5 p250-254 Sep 2007
Although largely left out of the No Child Left Behind legislation, social studies remains a frequently tested subject on state-level standardized exams. As of 2004, 23 states conducted standards-based social studies tests, 10 of which could be considered high stakes. Where social studies will fit into the national testing picture is uncertain, but the reality of state-level testing for teachers and students is unlikely to change in the near future. What school observers "think" could or should or may happen with high-stakes testing is interesting, but research on the lived experiences of social studies teachers and their students may be more revealing. Interviews with teachers, observations of their practices, and analysis of the kinds of tasks they create, offer insights into and evidence for the autonomy and creativity teachers exhibit. All teachers are, in some sense, "reacting" to the social studies tests their state policymakers mandate. Yet, in doing so, they are also "acting" in ways that are more than defensive. Some observers conclude that teachers react defensively, by slavishly enacting changes in their content, instruction, and assessments that mirror the presumed dictates of their state exams. While some teachers are tailoring content, instruction, and assessments to state exams in this era of high-stakes testing, ambitious teachers continue to create opportunities for powerful teaching and learning. (Contains 29 endnotes.)
Descriptors: Federal Legislation, Testing, High Stakes Tests, Social Studies, State Standards, Interviews, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Educational Policy, Teacher Response, Student Evaluation, Classroom Techniques
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.socialstudies.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Researchers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001