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Practicing Teachers as Elementary Social Studies Methods Instructors: Their Beliefs about the Issues They Encounter in Preparing Preservice Elementary Teachers

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Practicing Teachers as Elementary Social Studies Methods Instructors: Their Beliefs about the Issues They Encounter in Preparing Preservice Elementary Teachers
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2008

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Pedagogy ( jstor )
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Schools ( jstor )
Social beliefs ( jstor )
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PRACTICING TEACHERS AS ELEMENTARY SOCIAL STUDIES METHODS
INSTRUCTORS: THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT THE ISSUES THEY ENCOUNTERED IN
PREPARING PRESERVICE ELEMENTARY TEACHERS















By

BRIAN K. LANAHAN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF EDUCATION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006


































Copyright 2006

by

Brian K. Lanahan



























This dissertation is dedicated to Ty Thebaut in gratitude for her example of how to live
life with your glass more than half full.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank the members of my supervisory committee, Drs. Elizabeth A. Yeager,

Diane Yendol-Hoppey, Elizabeth Bondy, Sevan Terzian, and Stephen Smith, for their

advice and assistance during this process. In particular, I thank Dr. Yeager for her

unflappable support, and I thank Dr. Yendol-Hoppey for the opportunity to teach the

elementary social studies methods course.

I am extremely grateful to my parents, Dennis Lanahan and Mary Ellen Lanahan,

for their love and support of my siblings and me throughout our education. Thanks go to

my grandparents Charles R. Thebaut, Josephine N. Thebaut, Dennis J. Lanahan Sr. and

Wanda B. Lanahan for their support of the education of all their grandchildren. I am

indebted to my brothers and sister and their spouses for their support, especially during

the last year, they are the greatest gift my mother and father ever gave me.

I appreciate the efforts of the many mentors and teachers who assisted me during

my education, inside and outside the classroom: Sr. Thomas Joseph, Mr. Leo Kindon,

Ms. Joanne Walsh, Mr. John P. Wilwol, Rev. James R. Flynn, Mr. Brian Sears, Dr. Ken

LaBrant, Dr. James Lima, Ms. Sue Hoag, Mr. Paul Nowicki, and Mr. Mike Holloway.

Dr. John Johnston deserves thanks for putting my body back together more than once.

Also, thanks go to the Panera staff, especially Sarah and Nicole.

Finally, I must say a special thank you to my mother, who taught me that the harder

you get knocked down, the higher you bounce.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ........................................ iv

LIST OF FIGURES ........................ ........................... xi

ABSTRACT.................. .................. xii

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ................... .................. .............. .... ......... .......

Introduction and Purpose of the Study .................................. .................1
Rationale for Study ...................................... .............. ..... .. ............................
Statem ent of the Research Problem .........................................................................2
Research Questions................................... ...........2
Theoretical O orientation .............................................3
Guiding Research.................... .... .....................5
Guiding Theory ................ ................... ......... .. ................ ........ .6
The Rationale for the Choice of a Qualitative Design............................... ........7
Role of the Researcher............... ............. .. ........ ............... .......... 8
M methodology ...................................... ........... .......... ... 8
Participants ................................................. .........9
D ata C collection M ethods .................................................. ...............9
Observations ......................................................... ................ 10
Data Analysis................... ...................................... 10
Study Lim stations and D elim itations.................................................................... 12
Description of Chapters ................. ...... .................................... ... ........ 12
Potential Significance of the Study.................................................................... 13

2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE .....................................................................14

Introduction...................................... ................................. ......... 14
Teacher Beliefs ............... ........... .. .............. ......... .... ........ 15
The Beliefs-to-Practice Connection .............................................. ......17
Changing Beliefs ................ ........................................... ........18
Sum m ary of Teacher B eliefs ......................... ........................................20
Portraits of Practice in Elementary Social Studies Methods Instruction....................21
Dr. Henry Merrill.................. .. .....................21
Dr. Rahima W ade ..................... .......... .......... .. ...... 24


v










Self-Portraits of the Practice of Elementary Social Studies Methods Professors.......25
D r. M arilynne B oyle-B aise ........................................ ................. 25
Dr. John Benson .............................................. ..... ...27
Dr. Omiunota Ukpokodu ........................................ ...............28
Dr. Janice M cArthur ............ ......... ........ ........ .................. ....... ... .... 30
Summary of Portraits of Practice in Elementary Social Studies Methods
Instruction .............. ................. .. ... .. ........ ......... 3 1
Issues of Social Studies M ethods Instruction........................................ .................31
Challenge #1: Negative Past Experiences with Social Studies ........................32
Challenge #2: Lack of Interest in Teaching Social Studies............................32
Challenge #3: Confusion Over the Nature of Social Studies ..............................33
Challenge #4: Conflicting Conservative Sociological Beliefs .........................34
Challenge #5: Selecting W hat to Teach ........................................ ................. 35
Challenge #6: Using the Concurrent Social Studies Field Experience ...........36
Summary of Issues of Social Studies Methods Instruction ............ .................38
Recent Research in Elementary Social Studies ................. ............................39
The Expanding Horizons Curriculum ..............................................39
Research on Effective Elementary Social Studies Practice..............................40
Five Requirements for Powerful Social Studies................ ......41
The Effects of the No Child Left Behind Act and High-Stakes Testing on
Elem entary Social Studies ........................................................ 45
Loss of instructional time ....................................................................................47
Quality ......................_. ...._.. ............. .........48
Summary of Recent Research in Elementary Social Studies ...............................48
Conclusion...................................................49

3 METHODS .................................................52

Review of the Purpose of the Study ................... .......................... ..... ...52
Statement of Problem ............... ............. ........ .... .... .... ...... 52
Research Questions............................... .....................53
Rationale for the Choice of a Qualitative Design.................................................53
Study M methodology ......................................... ...... ..... ...55
Guiding Theory ................... ... ..... ....................56
Theoretical Orientation................................... ......... 56
Role of the Researcher.... ............... ....... .. .. ................. 57
Participants ......................................... ....... ........59
Explanation of "Dual Roles" ...............................................60
Course Information................ .. ................. 61
D ata Collection M ethods ................................................ ............... 62
Interviews ........................................ .........63
Observations .................... ..... .................. 64
W written Documents........... ..... .............. 65
Data Analysis................................ .. .. .... .. ........66
Verification of Interpretation-Trustworthiness.............................................67
Credibility ...................... ...................... 67
Transferability .....................................................67









Dependability and Confirmability ............... .............................68
D description of C h apters .................................................................................. 6 8
Sum m ary of M methods ............................................... ............... 69

4 A LEX IS JOH N SON .................................................70

Introduction Inf.........ormation ..............................................................................7
Background Information .............. ....................71
Professional Experiences ............................................................................. 72
Petty Research and Development School...................................................72
Elise Elementary ..... .......... ... .. ........ .. .... ..............73
Alexis's Classroom and Instruction.................... .. ......................73
What Beliefs About Social Studies Education Do These Inservice Teachers Hold? .75
B eliefs C oncerning Teaching .................... .................. .................75
Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies....................76
Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods .....................................78
How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teachers Hold Inform Their Practice in Their
Social Studies Methods Course?...................................79
How Does Filling These Dual Roles Inform Their Beliefs About the Status of
Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum? ........................ ....................81
Information Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and
Channels of Communication............................................... ......... ..................81
Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Testing ..........82
What Do These Inservice Teachers Believe are the Issues They Encountered
W while Teaching the Methods Course? ............. ..................... ..............83
Issues Related to M ethods Students .............................................. ......84
Conservative social beliefs .............. ............................... ........... 84
Tension between content and methods............................. ..........85
Students' negative experiences with Social Studies ....................................85
Issues Related to the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Field
Placement ............... .. .. .. ... .. ... .... ........ ..86
Lack of respect and professional development for elementary Social
Studies........................... ..... ............... ........ 86
Lack of time for elementary Social Studies .............. .... ............87
Other field place ent issues ............................. ............... 88
Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles ...........................................90
Content and theoretical knowledge................. .......... .... .................90
Lim ited tim e ..............9..........................1
Credibility................................. ............ ........91
Negotiations for instructional time and freedom................................... 92
Advantages of filling dual roles ....................................................93
Themes and Summary of Findings for Alexis Johnson............................................94

5 DAN CHARLES .......................................... ........ ...............95

Introduction and Background Information.........................................................95
Professional Experiences......................................... ...............95









Owen Elementary ....................................... ........ ........ 96
M ore Cooperative School ................................. .................... ..................97
D an's Classroom and Instruction ........................................................... .. 98
What Beliefs About Social Studies Education Do These Inservice Teachers Hold? .99
B eliefs C oncerning Teaching .................... .................. .................99
Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies.....................99
Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods ...................................101
How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teachers Hold Inform Their Practice in Their
Social Studies Methods Course?......... ..........................102
How Does Filling These Dual Roles Inform Their Beliefs About the Status of
Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum? ........................ ..................104
Information Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and
Channels of Communication......... ......... ..................104
Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Testing ........106
What Do These Inservice Teachers Believe are the Issues They Encountered
W while Teaching the Methods Course? ................... ............... ............... 107
Issues Related to Methods Students ................ ............................107
Conservative social beliefs.................................................. .......... 107
Tension between content and m ethods............................ ............... 108
Students' negative experiences with Social Studies ................................109
Issues Related to the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Field
Placement .................. .. .. ..... ... .. .. .............. 109
Lack of respect and professional development for elementary Social
Studies........................... ..... .............. ........ 109
Lack of tim e for elem entary Social Studies ...............................................110
Other field place ent issues ................. ............... ..................................111
Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles ................ ........ ....... ........ ..........112
Content and theoretical knowledge........ .................. ....... ......112
L im ited tim e ......... ..... .... .................................. 113
Credibility................................. ........... ........113
Negotiations for instructional time and freedom.............................115
Advantages of filling dual roles .......................... ........ ..................115
Themes and Summary of Findings for Dan Charles ...... ...............................116

6 NORA IGLESIAS ...... ................ ..... .. ......... ................ 119

Background Information................ ................... ...............119
Professional Experiences....................................... ... ............ ...............119
Thebaut Elementary................................................ 120
Howe Elementary .............. ............ ......... ........ ..............120
Nora's Classroom and Instruction................................ ........... 121
What Beliefs About Social Studies Education Do These Inservice Teachers Hold?122
B eliefs Concerning Teaching .................... ................................. .. 122
Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies...................123
Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods ...................................124
How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teachers Hold Inform Their Practice in Their
Social Studies M ethods Course?............... ......................... ......... 125









How Does Filling These Dual Roles Inform Their Beliefs About the Status of
Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum? ........................ ..................127
Information Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and
Channels of Com munication..................................................... ................127
Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Testing ........128
What Do These Inservice Teachers Believe are the Issues They Encountered
While Teaching the Methods Course?....................................................129
Issues Related to Methods Students ...................... .................129
Liberal beliefs............................... .. .. ...... ........ 129
Content vs. methods tension and students' negative experiences............130
Student B behavior ................. ....... ... ..... ......... .................. .. ..... 131
Issues Related to the Status of Elementary Social Studies and the Field
Placem ent ............. ................... ...... .... ........ .......... ...........132
Lack of respect for the elementary Social Studies methods course........ 132
Lack of professional development in elementary Social Studies.............133
Lack of time for elementary Social Studies ..............................................133
Other field place ent issues ......................................... 133
Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles ..........................................134
Content and theoretical know ledge............................................................134
L im ited tim e .................................................................................. 135
Credibility................................. ........... ........135
Negotiations for instructional time and freedom..................136
Advantages of filling dual roles ..... ........................................136
Themes and Summary of Findings for Nora Iglesias ......................................137

7 CROSS CA SE FINDIN GS.............................................................. ............... 140

Introduction............... ............. ...... .. ....... .. .......................... .... ...... 140
What Beliefs About Social Studies Education Do These Inservice Teachers Hold?140
Beliefs Concerning Teaching ................................ ............... 140
Beliefs Concerning Social Studies ....................................... 142
Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies ..................................... 144
Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies M ethods .....................................147
Sum m ary ................. ..... ............ ... .. ........ ... .. .... .... ... .. ......... 149
How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teachers Hold Inform Their Practice in Their
Social Studies M ethods Course?................. ............................................... 152
Shared Belief-to-Practice Connections....................................................152
Individual Belief-to-Practice Connections ........................................................154
Dan ...................................................... 154
N ora ...................................... ...... ........... .155
Alexis ........................... .......... ............. ......... 156
Influence of Course M materials on B eliefs......................................................... 157
Sum m ary .................. ...... ..... ...... ..... ... .. ............................................ ...... 158
How Does Filling These Dual Roles Inform Their Beliefs About the Status of
Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum? ........................ ..................159
Information Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and
Channels of Com munication.................. ..................................................159










Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum....... 163
Summary ..................... .. .. ....... ...... .. .. ................ 166
What Do These Inservice Teachers Believe are the Issues They Encountered
While Teaching the Methods Course?.............. ......................................167
Issues Related to M ethods Students ................. ................. ......................... 167
Conservative social beliefs and liberal social beliefs...............................167
Content vs. m ethods tension............... .....................169
Students' negative experiences with Social Studies ................................171
Student behavior. ................. ....... .. ........ ....... ......... .............. 171
Issues Related to the Status of Elementary Social Studies and the Field
Placem ent ................ ................... .. .. ................. ....... .. ............ 172
Lack of professional development for elementary Social Studies ............172
Lack of time and respect for elementary Social Studies .........................174
Other field place ent issues ......................................... 175
Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles ..........................................177
Content and theoretical know ledge............................................................178
Lim ited tim e .......... ......... ......... ......................... 179
Credibility................................. ........... ........180
Negotiations for instructional time and freedom..................181
Advantages of filling dual roles ..... ........................................183
Summary ............................. ..... ............. 184

8 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................... 187

Sum m ary of the Findings of the Study ................. .............. ........................ ......187
Recommendations for Supporting and Improving Social Studies Methods
Instruction by Inservice Teachers ...................... ........................................ 188
Field Placement .......................................... ......... 188
Methods Course................ .................189
College of Education ............................ ................. ........190
Future Research ........... ..... .................... .... ........ ..................191
Research on Inservice Teachers Serving as Methods Instructors ...................191
Research on Elementary Social Studies Methods Instruction...................... 192
Research Elementary Social Studies .................................. ........... 193
Conclusion about the Status of Elementary Social Studies......................................194


APPENDIX

A PROTOCOLS ....................................... ...... ........ ........197

B SYLLABU S................... ........................................... ........ .............. 206

LIST O F R EFER EN CE S ..................................... ...................................................... ...... 224

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................................ ............... 235
















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

1-1 Ph. D. vs. Ed. D. ........................... .............. ........ .4

4-1 A lexis' classroom .......................................... .. ..............74

5-1. Dan's Classroom.......................... ....... ..............98

6-1. Nora's Classroom ............. ........ .......... ............ ....... ..... ...........121

7-1 Beliefs Concerning Teaching ................. ..............................141

7-2 Beliefs Concerning Social Studies ................................ ............... 142

7-3 Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies......................................144

7-4 Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies...................................... 148

7-5 Belief-to-Practice Connections Shared............................ .................. 152

7-6 Belief-to-Practice Connection D an.................................... ................. 154

7-7 Belief-to-Practice Connection Nora .............................. ............... 155

7-8 Belief-to-Practice Connection Alexis.................................. .... ......... 156

7-9 Channels of Communication ....................... ..................................162

7-10 Issues R elated to M ethods Students ....................................................... 167

7-12 Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles.......................... ... ......................... 178
















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education

PRACTICING TEACHERS AS ELEMENTARY SOCIAL STUDIES METHODS
INSTRUCTORS: THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT THE ISSUES THEY ENCOUNTERED IN
PREPARING PRESERVICE ELEMENTARY TEACHERS


By

Brian K. Lanahan

August 2006

Chair: Elizabeth Anne Yeager
Major Department: Teaching and Learning

Given the currently threatened status of social studies instruction in elementary

schools, there is a need for strong methods instruction. However, elementary social

studies methods instruction at the university level can be idiosyncratic and difficult to

characterize, because methods courses often are taught by teachers from a variety of

educational and professional backgrounds, including inservice teachers. The individuals

examined in this study served in the "dual roles" of inservice teachers and elementary

social studies methods instructors. The study was informed by four major areas of

literature: portraits of practice in social studies methods instruction, teaching and learning

of elementary social studies, elementary social studies methods, and teacher beliefs. Case

study methodology was employed, and the theory that teacher beliefs drive practice was

the lens used to examine the beliefs and practices of the three participants while









chronicling the issues they encountered. Observations of methods instructors, interviews,

and written documents supplied the data to complete this investigation.

Findings from this study suggest that individuals serving in these dual roles

engaged in practices based on their personal beliefs and experiences, and were privy to

unique information about the status of elementary social studies in the elementary

curriculum. These individuals also encountered issues related to methods students, the

status of elementary social studies and field placements, and filling dual roles. To further

support individuals serving in these dual roles, recommendations for supporting and

improving social studies methods instruction by inservice teachers are included.

Suggestions for further study are recommended, including research about inservice

teachers serving as methods instructors, elementary social studies methods instruction in

general, and further elementary social studies research. Finally, conclusions about the

status of elementary social studies are discussed. Overall, filling these dual roles served

to facilitate the participants' methods instruction and gave them unique insights into the

status of social studies. The ability of the participants to relate and react to the

experiences and concerns of the methods students proved to be valuable.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Introduction and Purpose of the Study

Elementary social studies methods instruction at the university level can often be

idiosyncratic and difficult to characterize (Slekar 2006). While there is generally an

agreed upon need to understand how methods courses can better prepare preservice

teachers to engage in social studies practice to meet the needs of diverse student

populations (e.g., McCall & Andringa 1997; Ukpokodu 2003), portraits of those typically

instructing these courses are rare. Elementary social studies methods courses are often

taught by teachers from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds: "Retired

(secondary) social studies teachers, retired principals, teachers with a Masters degree in

curriculum and instruction and other willing but possibly not qualified people carried the

bulk of the load" (Slekar 2006, p. 255). This observation is mirrored at the University of

Florida, where inservice teachers often serve as social studies methods instructors. A

need exists to understand the particular beliefs that fuel the methods practices of these

instructors and the issues they encounter as inservice teachers instructing a methods

course.

Rationale for Study

The teacher education experiences of classroom teachers concerning social studies

"cannot be overlooked as factors that shape teachers' knowledge and classroom

practices" (Yeager & Wilson 1997, p. 122). Despite the power that such experiences have

over teachers, little is known about how the beliefs of inservice methods instructors









influence their methods practices, and how filling these dual roles in turn influences their

beliefs about social studies at the elementary level. Nespor (1987) suggested a further

examination of such beliefs: "Little attention has been accorded to the structures and

functions of a teacher's beliefs about their roles, their students, the subject matter areas

they teach, and the schools they work in" (p. 317). While there are many powerful

portraits of how beliefs influence the instruction of social studies teachers (e.g.,

Wineburg & Wilson 1991), portraits of how beliefs affect the methods practices of

inservice teachers serving as social studies methods instructors are virtually nonexistent.

This study seeks to fill this void in the literature.

Statement of the Research Problem

Given the currently threatened status of social studies instruction in elementary

schools, there is a need for strong methods instructors. In many colleges of education, it

is common practice to employ inservice teachers to teach methods courses. A void in the

literature exists concerning the beliefs, practices, and issues encountered by these

instructors, so little is known about how to best support them as they perform their duties.

Thus, whatever new information is collected adds to the scholarship about the

practitioners who fill this role, and in the future will assist colleges of education to better

support these instructors.

Research Questions

This research study will seek to answer the following questions:

1. What beliefs about social studies education do these inservice teachers hold?
2. How do the beliefs these inservice teachers hold inform their practice in their social
studies methods course?
3. How does filling these dual roles inform their beliefs about the place of social
studies in the elementary curriculum?
4. What do these inservice teachers believe are the issues they encountered while
teaching the methods course?










Theoretical Orientation

It is customary for qualitative researchers to detail their philosophical and

epistemological assumptions, such as the choice of methodology and procedures for data

collection and analysis, because these assumptions guide all aspects of their study (Gale

1993; LeCompte & Preissle 1993). This study is built upon a constructivist framework

(Crotty 1998; Schwandt 1994). Central to constructivism is inquiry into the experiences

of individuals and a description of the world as it is felt and understood by the individuals

(Schwandt 1994). In this study, the experiences are those of the inservice methods

instructors as they understand them. These experiences form the basis for constructed

meanings of events, situations, and beliefs. This process occurs over time and is

influenced by the individual's actions, but also by personal histories and contextual

factors (Schwandt 1994). In this study, it appears that the individual inservice methods

instructors draw upon their dual roles of methods instructor and inservice teacher to form

their mental constructions, which in turn inform their methods practice.

The results of this study are reported in the tradition of dissertations to fulfill the

requirements for the Doctor of Education degree at the University of Florida. In this

tradition:

The main purpose of the study is to describe (and analyze) a particular situation or
a chronicle of events for a particular sample. A theory, or components of a theory,
may be used to generate descriptive categories, but advancement or testing of the
theory is less important than documenting the event for this specific sample.
(University of Florida 1983)

For other requirements for an Ed. D. dissertation see figure 1-1. Therefore, the intent of

the study is to determine how the instructors' beliefs about elementary social studies











influence how they perform their role as "curricular- instructional gatekeepers" while

serving as methods instructors (Thornton 1991, p. 237).


PPLD. E dD.
1. Gu ding questions for the study are The main purpose of the study is to describe
formulated in association with theoretical (and analyze e) a particular situation or a
constructs. For e ample, the main purpose of chronical of events for a particular sample. A
the study maybe testing application of a tiwor, or components of a theory, may be
particular theory or rimpettiln dziLcxies used to generate descriptive categories- but
Failure to be able to m eairTTuLflld, p .'lE dw advancement or testing of the theory is less
diosen theory to the data collected would important than d:-Uiir eLaui ithe event for this
result in abortion of the study If new theory is specific sample.
developed its need is justified by pointing out
inadequacies in previous theories.
2. The literature revi ew is focused heavily on the The liteature review may be focused more on
theory, and empirical studies in which studies of similar events, similar iemirul
researchers have tested that theory perhaps in and or similar samples to tho se in This
different settings with different samples, particular study
3. Questions or %hpotheses hraE guide the data Questions or I.p po&heses dtit guide the data
analyses must be generated around variables analysis may be generated from either a
that play prominent roles in the "guiding theoretical perspective or a practical
theor. perspective to yield information useful to
decision-makers in this or similar :ea[ii

4. Primary target audience for the study is the The primary target audience for the studyis
community of scholars who do research on primarily educational decision-makers. who
the theory chosen to guide the study work with the tpe of group studied
5. Data will be analyzed and reported around An-- Iiterertir tfhem es that arise from the
themes that have direct bearing on the data are likelyto be reported i C die, have
theoretical focus of the study. implicate ons for educational practice.
Organization and presentation of results are Orgarization and presentation of results may
primarily relatedto Lnidaliri? -ieore6ii-al be based on themes corresponding direc-rl, o
constructs rather than the surface structure of content and structure of documents or
documents reviewed or data collection interview protocals.
instruments.
7. Data are analyzed using methods learned in Data may be analyzed using methods learned
the PhD. qualitative track. (For ampl e in the E dD. qualititative track (For e amp e.
etrhilraplh histori- ography, or educational case studies and contet analyses ofinterview
criticism m etods are more comm on case protocals are common).
study methods that do not permit indepth
analysis .are unusual)
S. Discussion of results must include a section Di session of results must include a sect on
on how the present findings e:: tend dwe body dealing with implications for practice.
of know edge supporting or failing to support
the zuidii'n theory

Figure 1-1 Ph. D. vs. Ed. D.

Also, within this tradition, questionsos or hypotheses that guide the data analysis

may be generated from either a theoretical perspective or a practical perspective to yield









information useful to decision-makers in this or similar settings" (University of Florida

1983). Given that the intention of this dissertation is to understand the beliefs and

practices of inservice teachers who serve as social studies methods instructors, the

questions and hypotheses that guide this study are guided by a practical perspective to

generate data that will facilitate the improvement of instruction by individuals in similar

situations.

Guiding Research

This study draws upon four major areas of research as the basis for the literature

review in Chapter 2: the literature regarding portraits of practice in social studies methods

instruction (e.g., Slekar 2006), the teaching and learning of elementary social studies

(e.g., Barton & Levstik 2004) and elementary social studies methods (e.g., Owens 1997),

and teacher beliefs (e.g., Pajares 1992). A brief description of each area literature follows

examples from each of the areas of literature to be discussed in Chapter 2.

In a recent work, Slekar (2006) detailed the connections between the beliefs and

resultant practices of an elementary social studies methods professor. Slekar found that

the professor believed the goal of social studies education was transmission of the

American cultural heritage (see Martorella 1994). This belief about social studies

education informed the professor's beliefs about social studies methods instruction. The

professor in question stated that the main job of elementary social studies teachers was to

serve as "knowledge conveyors," a belief that served as the basis of his methods

instruction. In 2004, Barton and Levstik published an extensive discussion of the teaching

and learning of history at the elementary level, Teaching History for the Common Good.

In their book, Barton and Levstik discuss the multitude of positions, perspectives, and

stances that are adhered to for the teaching of history at the elementary level. Illustrative









of the absence of consensus in history and social studies education is Barton and

Levstik's statement about the central concern of history education: "We cannot answer

the question, 'What kind of education prepares students for participatory democracy?'

because, quite frankly, no one knows" (p. 35). Given the lack of definitive answers to

important questions such as this, teachers often rely on their beliefs to inform their

instructional practices.

Also important to understanding the practices of teachers, methods instructors

included, is Barton and Levstik's suggestion: "To understand why teachers engage in the

practices they do, perhaps we need to turn to the socially situated purposes that guide

their actions" (p. 244). In the case of the inservice instructors in this study, the

consideration of "socially situated purposes" aids in understanding the basis of their

particular beliefs and resultant practices. While the literature focused exclusively on

elementary social studies methods is not as extensive as the literature focused on

elementary social studies education or teacher beliefs, a number of works exist that are

important to this study. One such work is Owens' 1997 article, "The Challenges of

Teaching Social Studies Methods to Preservice Elementary Teachers," in which Owens

describes six issues specific to methods instruction of elementary social studies. Chapter

2 also details the literature concerning teacher beliefs, which serves as the theoretical lens

for this study and is briefly described below.

Guiding Theory

The theory that teacher beliefs drive practice has been applied to many educational

situations (e.g., Armento 1996; Brownell, Yeager, Rennels & Riley 1997; Clark &

Peterson 1986; Cuban 1984; Cuban 1986; Fang 1996; Goodlad 1984; Leming 1989;

Onosko 1989; Pajares 1992; Sarason 1996; Shulman 1987; Thornton 1991; Wilson 2000;









Wilson, Konopak & Readance 1994). This theory holds promise for understanding

teacher practices: "Educators are now beginning to realize that teachers (preservice

teachers, beginning, or experienced) do hold implicit theories about students, the subjects

they teach, and their teaching responsibilities" (Fang 1996, p. 51). The theory that beliefs

drive practice has been applied more often to preservice (e.g., Armento 1996) and

inservice teachers (e.g., Shulman 1987). Recently, the effects of teacher beliefs on

practices have been applied to the beliefs and resultant practices of an elementary social

studies methods professor (Slekar 2006). The present study extends this theory to the

beliefs and practices of inservice teachers serving as social studies methods instructors.

The Rationale for the Choice of a Qualitative Design

The choice of a qualitative design is based on Patton's (1990) assertion that the

intent of qualitative research is to "provide perspective rather than truth, empirical

assessment of local decision makers' theories of action rather than generation and

verification of universal theories, and context-bound explorations rather than

generalizations" (p. 491). In this study, the local decision makers are the inservice

instructors; the study explores their beliefs concerning their social studies methods

instruction. Important to this study is a design that facilitates a depth of understanding

over breadth: "Qualitative methods permit the evaluation researcher to study selected

issues in depth and detail" (Patton 1990, p. 165). The study employs a qualitative

approach to create a rich description of each participant's beliefs in order to understand

his or her practices (Lincoln & Guba 1985). The complexity of teacher beliefs makes it

difficult to study them well using quantitative methodology (Nespor 1987).









Role of the Researcher

As the researcher in this study, I have the advantage of having focused on social

studies instruction in my own work as an elementary teacher and during my doctoral

studies. Moreover, I hold the advantage of being a fellow instructor of the same social

studies methods course taught by the study participants. The role of the researcher in any

qualitative study is to capture the reality and/or contexts the research subject inhabits.

The researcher should become the human instrument for data collection and

interpretation by having a theoretical sensitivity that creates an awareness of the

subtleties of the data being collected and analyzed (Lincoln & Guba 1985). This

theoretical sensitivity is demonstrated by the researcher's insights and ability to derive

meaning from the data. In the case of this study, my theoretical sensitivity is based on my

experiences as an elementary social studies teacher, my knowledge of the professional

literature concerning elementary social studies, and my concurrent experience of teaching

the same methods course.

Methodology

This study employs case study methodology to investigate three different

participants and "seeks out both what is common and what is particular about the case"

(Stake 1994, p. 238) through the analysis of multiple sources of data such as interviews,

observations, and document analysis (Patton 1990; Stake 1994; Yin 1994). Case studies

allow for an intensive, holistic, and in-depth investigation of each teacher as a unit

(Feagin, Orum & Sjoberg 1991; Merriam 1998; Stake 1994). Finally, Merriam's (1998)

contention that a case study is more focused on process than on outcome, and more on

context than on specific variables, is important for the current study because of the

complex and unique nature of teacher beliefs and their influence on teaching practices.









Participants

I selected participants as a result of criterion sampling "to review and study all

cases that meet some predetermined criterion of importance" (Patton 1990, p. 176). The

participants meet two criteria: They are inservice teachers, and they instruct an

elementary social studies methods course. I gained access to the participants by

approaching each of them in the context of our shared role as elementary social studies

methods instructors and inviting them to take part in the study. I secured institutional

permission through the Institutional Review Board of the University of Florida and the

Research and Evaluation Department of the School Board of Alachua County. The

participants are all inservice elementary teachers under the age of 35, with at least five

years of teaching experience, who instruct a section of Social Studies for Diverse

Learners (SSE 4312) at the University of Florida.

Data Collection Methods

Data sources include interviews, observations of social studies methods instruction,

and document analysis. This approach is based on Patton's (1990) belief that

qualitativeie methods consist of three kinds of data collection: (1) in-depth, open-ended

interviews; (2) direct observation; and (3) written documents" (p. 10). All of these

sources are used in this study to create a comprehensive description of the participants

and their beliefs. The use of multiple data sources is also based on Yin's (1994)

suggestion to use multiple sources of data when constructing case studies in order to

increase the reliability of the data and provide multiple examples of the participants'

approach to the topics of interest. Finally, interviews allow the participants to explain and

describe their beliefs about methods instruction and the issues they encountered during









the process, as well as provide a frame of reference for the observations of methods

instructors.

A large proportion of the data analyzed in this study is generated from at least two

interviews with each participant lasting approximately 60-90 minutes, based on Patton's

(1990) belief that "[d]irect quotations are the basic source of raw data in qualitative

inquiry" (p. 24). The first interview provides data about the participant's personal and

professional background and his or her beliefs about teaching. The second and any

follow-up interviews are based on information from previous interviews and

observations. The interviews are semi-structured based on Patton's (1990) interview

guide approach, in which the format, topics, and issues are covered in a specified outline

form and the interviewer determines the order and the wording of each question. The

interview guide approach allows for adjustments to the particularities of each interview

and/or participant. Interviews are audio taped and transcribed. The interview questions

reflect the major areas of interest in this study.

Observations

Data collection includes five to six three-hour observations of social studies

methods instruction for each participant. During the observations, I positioned myself in

the back of the classroom to make my presence as unobtrusive as possible. All

observations conclude with an informal conversation with the instructor to provide him or

her with the opportunity to discuss the class just completed. During each observation, I

took extensive field notes to describe the events that take place during the class.

Data Analysis

Data analysis occurs as a process of "examining, categorizing, tabulating, or

otherwise recombining the evidence" (Yin 1994, p. 102). It proceeds in order to generate









useable information about the areas of interest of the study, and it occurs in ihil/i-case and

cross-case to ensure high-quality accessible data while generating documentation of the

analysis, as well as retention of the data and the associated analysis after the study is

completed (Huberman & Miles 1994). Also, data reduction "makes sense of massive

amounts of data, reduces the volume of information, and identifies significant patterns"

(Patton 1990, p. 371). The data in this study need to be reduced to a salient and

manageable set in order to be properly analyzed. Several qualitative researchers have

stated that analysis should be an ongoing process starting at the beginning of the study

and not reserved for the end (e.g., Merriam 1998; Stake 1995). Based on this belief the

data reductions in the following order:

* Free coding after the first round of interviews; then data analysis and development
of codes to be used as a starting point to analyze instructional observation data

* Codes verified by a second coder

* Data analysis after all observations are completed using the previously generated
codes, adjustments of codes as necessary after this analysis, and then use of codes
to analyze the teacher-provided documents and the final interview data

* Analysis of data to identify the emerging themes across the data (Lincoln & Guba
1985) and verification of analysis by the research auditor

* Reduction of the data set on the basis of the identified themes in order to draw
conclusions (Patton, 1990)

* Presentation of conclusions to participants for verification

* Verification of interpretation

In order to keep the interpretations, reductions, and resulting conclusions closely

linked to the data, I incorporate a series of verification steps into the process. Two

experienced researchers supervise the study in order to create investigator triangulation

(Denzin, 1984), which is especially important in light of the difficulty of understanding









the complex interactions of the two roles that each of the participants performs and the

influence of these roles on instruction. I also perform member checking throughout the

project, including the verification of findings, conclusion, and final presentation. The

chair of my doctoral committee serves as research auditor (Cutcliffe & McKenna 2004).

Study Limitations and Delimitations

The proposed study is restricted to three elementary teachers in the Alachua County

area who also instruct a section of Social Studies for Diverse Learners at the University

of Florida. The study is limited by the amount of access granted by the teachers to their

instruction and their teaching philosophy.

Description of Chapters

This dissertation uses a traditional format. Chapter 1 introduces the purpose of the

study, the research questions, and the background of the problem. Chapter 2 reviews the

literature regarding portraits of practice in social studies methods instruction (e.g., Slekar

2006), the teaching and learning of elementary social studies (e.g., Barton & Levstik

2004) and elementary social studies methods (e.g., Owens 1997), and teacher beliefs

(e.g., Pajares 1992). Chapter 3 describes the methods, including information about each

of the participants and their settings, the sampling rationale, the research design, and the

process used to analyze the data. Chapters 4-6 describe each participant and the ii i/hill-

case findings related to each particular participant. Chapter 7 presents the cross-case

findings and conclusions of the study. Chapter 8 summarizes the findings, makes

recommendations to support social studies methods instruction by inservice teachers,

suggests directions for further research, and provides conclusions about the status of

elementary social studies.









Potential Significance of the Study

The study may advance our knowledge of how to utilize social studies methods

instructors from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds to teach a methods

course effectively. In addition, by addressing the issues the participants recognize, this

study informs us about the specific supports inservice teachers need in order to be

effective. The results from this study also fill a particular void in the literature:

Is what Merrill (a methods instructor) did more common in social studies methods
courses than I wish to believe? However, I cannot really answer that question
because the literature lacks descriptive accounts of social educators engaged in the
practice of teaching and learning in social studies methods courses. (Slekar 2006, p.
255)

This study provides such accounts.














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Introduction

This review of the literature addresses four major areas of research related to the

beliefs, practices, and issues encountered while serving as elementary social studies

methods instructors. These four areas include: teacher beliefs, portraits of the practice of

elementary social studies methods professors, the issues of elementary social studies

methods, and finally, research in elementary social studies. In keeping with the

dissertation guidelines for the Ed.D. degree, this review consists of literature "focused

more on studies of similar events, similar settings, and/or similar samples to those in this

particular study" (University of Florida 1983).

The review of the literature on teacher beliefs describes how a teacher's personal

beliefs about teaching and learning have a profound effect on his or her relationships with

students, curriculum, and instruction. This body of research provides insight into the

relationship between the beliefs and instructional practices of the participants in this

study. The literature concerning portraits of the practice of elementary social studies

methods professors reveals the paucity of such scholarship and the unique ways their

beliefs influence practices within the context of an elementary social studies methods

course. An examination of the closely related research on elementary social studies

methods reveals the specific issues related to teaching social studies methods in the

current high-stakes environment, where social studies is not currently included in

accountability systems and is thus less of an instructional priority. Finally, a survey of the









literature on elementary social studies leads to a discussion of a possible revision of the

elementary curriculum and the influence of the No Child Left Behind Act and high-stakes

testing on elementary social studies.

Teacher Beliefs

The literature concerning teacher beliefs provides a lens through which I examine

the research participants. Following is a description of the body of literature that

examines how the specific beliefs teachers hold influence and, at times, dictate their

instructional practices. In the context of this study, the beliefs held by these inservice

teachers are especially interesting because of the influence of their dual roles, the

ambiguous nature of social studies in general, and the currently imperiled status of

elementary social studies. In their positions as methods instructors, they are introduced to

a variety of strategies and social studies theories through various instructional materials

that influence their beliefs about elementary social studies instruction. In their positions

as inservice elementary teachers, they are able to 'road test' the knowledge they have

gained through the methods course and judge the effectiveness and practicality of these

strategies and theories. Given the unique and powerful relationship of these dual roles on

the participants' beliefs, it is imperative not only to label these beliefs, but also to

understand their effects on methods instruction. Challenging the participants' beliefs will

be a whole array of outside factors that can influence their methods instruction. These

outside factors include the expectations and biases of their methods students, the

expectations of the course's supervising professor, the imperiled status of elementary

social studies, the restrictions and boundaries of the methods course, and the culture of

university, among other things.









The background of a teacher is important to consider due to its effect on beliefs

about teaching (Fang 1996; Nespor 1987). In the case of these instructors, each has a

unique personal, educational, and professional background that has served to form his or

her beliefs about teaching and learning in general, and social studies in particular. These

beliefs must be examined: "To understand teaching from teachers' perspectives, we have

to understand the beliefs with which they define their work" (Nespor 1987, p. 323). As

Sturtevant (1996) stated, "We must learn far more about the beliefs, attitudes, and

perspectives of teachers in the educational process" (p. 251). This examination is

especially important for social studies teachers. Given the many dilemmas they face in

the current educational climate, beliefs are often the basis for making instructional

decisions when there are no clear-cut choices because beliefs help in "distinguishing

between better and worse courses of action, rather than right and wrong ones..."

(Hargreaves 1995, p. 15). These dilemmas have been exacerbated by the impact of high

stakes testing as teachers are faced with decreasing instructional time for social studies.

In general, teachers and their beliefs are typically conservative in general (Cuban

1984; Cuban 1993; Goodlad 1990; Lortie 1975; Owens 1997; Sarason 1996).

Conservative instructional beliefs are often formed early in teachers' lives when they

themselves are students (Calderhead 1991; Lortie 1975; Sugrue 1997; Wideen, Mayer-

Smith & Moon 1998). In addition to this "apprenticeship of observation," many other

factors, such as socioeconomic status, type of school attended, and parental and societal

influence, can inform a teacher's beliefs (Wilson, Readence & Konopak 2002). These

more conservative instructional beliefs have endured largely because the people typically

attracted to the teaching profession were once successful students in schools with









traditional instructional methods, and thus, they form beliefs based on these experiences

(Fehn & Koeppen 1998; Slekar 1998). These beliefs extend to all areas of education,

including curriculum, teaching, learning, and often extend in to the social realm (Pajares

1992).

The Beliefs-to-Practice Connection

Numerous studies have suggested teacher beliefs form the basis for instructional

decisions (e.g., Armento 1996; Brownell, Yeager, Rennels & Riley 1997; Clark &

Peterson 1986; Cuban 1984; Cuban 1986; Fang 1996; Goodlad 1984; Leming 1989;

Onosko 1989; Pajares 1992; Sarason 1996; Shulman 1987; Thornton 1991; Wilson 2000;

Wilson, Konopak & Readance 1994). This situation is especially important for

understanding the practices of the instructors in this study because of the autonomy that

university level instructors often enjoy. Yet, while the beliefs-to-practice connection has

been implicitly understood for decades, the research community has not explored it in

depth because of the difficulty of examining beliefs with quantitative methods (Pajares

1992). Reflecting a 'coming of age' of the beliefs-to-practice research, Fang (1996)

stated:

Educators are now beginning to realize that teachers (preservice teachers,
beginning, or experienced) do hold implicit theories about students, the subjects
they teach and their teaching responsibilities, and that these implicit theories
influence teachers' reactions to teacher education and their teaching practice. (p.
51)

Despite the inextricable connection between beliefs and practices, teachers sometimes

have conflicting beliefs that lead to contradictory instructional decisions (Cornett 1990).

These contradictions often appear as a mismatch between the content taught and the

methods used to deliver the content. For example, a teacher may have a strong belief in

teaching the principles of democratic participation, yet may favor instructional methods









that are didactic and authoritarian. Beliefs are also constrained by other factors that may

be imposed upon teachers for example, they may experience tension between their

expressed belief in preparing students for positive social interactions and the pressure to

cover content (Cornett 1990). In situations like this, the teacher is responding to an

external pressure that creates a mismatch between beliefs and practices.

The reality that practices do not always follow beliefs extends to preservice

teachers. Often, education students arrive at their first field placement full of exciting and

innovative teaching ideas, and then see their actions constrained by the institutional

expectations in the field placement (Armento 1996; Owens 1997; Wilson & Yeager

1997); thus, there is a disconnect between what they have been learning in their teacher

education program and the unique challenges of a real classroom (Henning & Yendol-

Hoppey 2004). This disconnect in social studies is described by Leming (1992) as the

'two cultures' of the academy and the classroom. Often, preservice teachers end up

conforming to the more conservative instructional practices and expectations of their

mentor teachers (Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Owens 1997; Wilson, Konopak &

Readance 1994; Wilson & Yeager 1997), and this desire to conform creates difficulties in

fulfilling the 'theory to practice' promise of a concurrent field placement (Yendol-

Hoppey & Tilford 2004). Moreover, when preservice teachers begin their first year of

teaching, inconsistencies between their stated beliefs and actual practices may continue if

there is no opportunity to address the discrepancy (Mallette & Readence 1999; Wilson

2000).

Changing Beliefs

Within the educational research community, a certain level of disagreement exists

regarding the difficulty of changing teacher beliefs. Much of the research on the









possibility of changing beliefs has focused on the beliefs of preservice teachers. Some

researchers believe that it is possible to influence preservice teachers' beliefs during a

teacher education program (Angell 1996; Featherstone 1992; Guyton 2000; Johnston

1990), while other researchers believe it is difficult to change preservice teachers' beliefs

at all (Lortie 1975; Pajares 1992; Richardson 1996), particularly in the area of social

studies (Virta 2002). It may be that the degree to which preservice teachers change their

instructional beliefs depends upon the extent to which the new ideas they encounter

conform to their previous beliefs (Angell 1996). Nonetheless, simply having preservice

teachers discuss and express their beliefs is insufficient for change:

While reflection is central to teacher development, the mirror of reflection does not
capture all there is to see in a teacher. It tends to miss what lies deep inside
teachers, what motivates them most about their work, and it is this motivation to
achieve a precise purpose that also influences their instructional practices.
(Hargreaves 1995, p. 21)

When preservice teachers leave their teacher education programs, researchers have noted,

their first year of work can profoundly change their beliefs (Featherstone 1992;

Hargreaves 1995). In such cases, the strain of understanding and performing their new

roles as classroom teachers is a strong enough force to influence previously firm beliefs.

When teachers do settle into their roles as "curricular-instructional gatekeepers"

(Thornton 1991, p. 237), they often resist changes to their instructional beliefs and

practices, especially in light of specific educational reforms or mandates that regularly

come down the pike. Moreover, if teachers are denied input into these reform initiatives,

their instructional beliefs are not likely to change to reflect the imposed reforms (Cuban

1986). Thus, teachers will always retain some control over instruction in their classrooms

(Hargreaves 1995). This fact is important in understanding the beliefs and practices of









the methods instructors in this study in relation to externally imposed pressures that

influence social studies instruction at the elementary level.

Finally, as noted earlier, Pajares (1992) has argued that beliefs are shaped in

childhood and often endure throughout one's career. Pajares also claimed that beliefs

may change when individuals experience a change in authority. His claim is especially

important to this study because of the "change in authority" experienced by inservice

teachers as they move into the role of methods instructor.

Teachers in various subject areas have differing beliefs and justify their

instructional decisions based on those beliefs (Readence, Kile & Mallette 1998); social

studies teachers are no different (Leming 1991; Wilson 2000). One of the difficulties in

determining teacher beliefs about social studies is the ongoing debate still taking place

- over what exactly should be taught (Brophy & Alleman, in press; Thornton 2005). Yet

it is also important to note that, no matter how the current debate over what should be

taught is resolved (if ever), social studies teachers continue to exert a great deal of control

over what actually happens in their classrooms (Thornton 1991).

Summary of Teacher Beliefs

Research on teacher beliefs has examined the enduring nature of these beliefs

(Lortie 1975) and their powerful influence on instructional practice (Pajares 1992). Some

researchers have noted inconsistencies between the stated beliefs of teachers and their

actual instructional practices (Cornett 1990). Most often, these inconsistencies relate to

external constraints imposed on teachers. There also has been much debate about whether

teacher beliefs can really change. Some researchers have reported it is possible to change

beliefs (Guyton 2000), while others have noted that beliefs are formed early in life and

are very resistant to change (Richardson 1996). Finally, the research on beliefs of social









studies teachers shows their similarity to those of other subject area teachers (Leming

1991), and that social studies teachers do indeed use these beliefs to make instructional

decisions (Thornton 1991).

Portraits of Practice in Elementary Social Studies Methods Instruction

Shulman (1987) observed, "One of the frustrations of teaching as an occupation

and profession is its extensive individual and collective amnesia, the consistency with

which the best creations of its practitioners are lost to both the contemporary and future

peers" (p. 11). While significant portraits of practice exist in elementary social studies

methods literature, they are rare; fortunately, two recent portraits of practice have been

added. In order to analyze and organize the information in these portraits, I have applied

four conceptual categories: beliefs about teaching at the elementary school level,

including instructional traditions and the nature of teachers; beliefs about the nature and

purpose of social studies as a school subject; beliefs about teaching elementary social

studies; and beliefs about teaching social studies methods to preservice teachers.

Dr. Henry Merrill

Slekar (2006) analyzed the beliefs and practices of Dr. Henry Merrill, while

arguing the beliefs and practices of social studies methods professors are "largely absent

from the research literature" (2006, p.244), and that this absence leaves important

questions unanswered: "How does a methods professor view social studies subject

matter? How does a methods professor view teaching and learning? What are the

underlying beliefs that guide the social studies methods professor?" (2006, p. 244).

Slekar also points out elementary social studies methods courses are taught by instructors

from a wide range of professional and philosophical backgrounds; thus, "the idea of

'common practice' in these courses may not be too common" (2006, p. 241).









As a former elementary principal, Merrill held particular beliefs concerning

teaching and learning at the elementary level. Merrill believed his methods students

came to his course with "negative thoughts about this course already. ." stemming from

their experiences as students (2006, p. 246). Merrill thought elementary teachers had too

many other responsibilities and argued that this burden often led to "poor content being

taught" (2006, p. 250). Based on this belief, Merrill required his students to plan their

lessons based on Hirsch's Core Knowledge because "it gives you the materials and what

to teach" (2006, p.250), stating, "They (teachers) could just concern themselves with

weaving Core Knowledge into engaging lessons that elementary children would find

enjoyable" (2006, p. 251). These beliefs connected to Merrill's beliefs about social

studies and social studies teaching.

Merrill also held specific beliefs concerning the nature and purpose of social

studies, adhering to a "philosophy of social studies education with particular attention

paid to his passionate belief in the American story as the core" (2006, p. 241). For

Merrill, the stories of America's past formed "our common" heritage and were part of his

vision of history as "transmission of the cultural heritage" (Martorella 1994). Merrill

believed it was important for children to learn about historical figures through instruction

like his 'Monument Man' lesson, where students created a monument to important

historical figures using strips of paper with quotations and important facts. Consistent

with his "cultural heritage" vision, Merrill did not "introduce his students to what some

social educators might view as common practice-historical thinking, participatory

democracy, and multiculturalism" (2006, p. 241). By ignoring these skills and focusing









solely on the "grand narrative," Merrill intended to provide an exclusively celebratory

history to elementary children.

For Merrill, the main job of elementary teachers was to serve as 'knowledge

conveyors,' not historians. Merrill stated that elementary students should have "exposure

to deep content" that was "made enjoyable" by including "gimmicks" (2006, p. 247) and

other devices to ensure the content was fun for elementary students. This "deep content"

was to be organized around Hirsch's Core Knowledge: "... I think this is a great

curriculum to teach in the elementary school" (2006, p. 250).

Merrill wanted his preservice teachers to re-explore history content as students.

Consequently, he taught lessons to his methods students that were "exciting activities and

enjoyable experiences with history subject matter" (2006, p. 254). Merrill argued his

methods students should acquire a large fund of historical knowledge through a survey

course, based on the Core Knowledge curriculum. Merrill employed a three-step

approach to support his vision: He used the works of Diane Ravitch to explain what was

wrong with the elementary curriculum; he used Hirsch's Core Knowledge curriculum and

Cultural Literacy theory to argue for a history curriculum; and he introduced Joy Hakim's

history text as a teaching resource.

Slekar argues that more methods professors need to create "self-portraits" in the

action-based research tradition to improve methods practice (2006, p. 256). He

concludes:

The social studies professoriate consists of scholars from large research
universities, practitioners from colleges at liberal arts institutions, research
practitioners from state teaching universities, adjunct faculty from hidden comers
of higher education. We need to ask questions about each of these populations. We
need to know who they are. We need to know why they are engaged in the social









studies endeavor, and we need to know why and how they teach as they do (p.
256).

Dr. Rahima Wade

Misco (2005) reviewed the beliefs and practices of Dr. Rahima Wade through a

lens of moral education, revealing how her strong beliefs in civic participation influenced

her social studies methods course. Wade is a nationally recognized scholar on the

preparation of elementary social studies teachers to teach for social justice and civic

engagement through service learning.

Wade believed that preservice teachers often had very limited knowledge

backgrounds and needed structured experiences to broaden their understanding of social

problems and to give them a working knowledge of the issues. With regard to social

studies specifically, Wade's beliefs are in almost direct contrast to the "transmission of

the cultural heritage" (Martorella 1994) vision of Merrill. Wade adhered to a "reflective

inquiry" and "informed social criticism" vision of social studies (Martorella 1994). To

support her vision, Wade introduced students to her "Toward the Common Good"

curriculum model for elementary social studies, which focuses on developing

understanding concerning "issues of conflict, democracy, human rights, and

interdependence" to promote the "common good" by teaching skills of "discussion,

decisions, and details" (Misco 2005, p. 538). Part of Wade's curriculum included

discussions about what Misco labeled "closed and grey areas," which require students to

practice dealing with decisions having no clear-cut answers (p. 542). These acquired

skills were part of Wade's focus on helping elementary students understand multiple

perspectives on complex civic issues.









Wade advocated problem-solving instruction, which included discussion and

deliberation at weekly class meetings where elementary students could voice concerns

and find commonalities. Wade also advocated introducing elementary students to the

idea of the "common good" with an examination of free trade "through role-playing the

perspectives of different institutions, participants, and stakeholders involved" (p. 539).

Another instructional activity favored by Wade was a more structured form of

deliberation where students assembled a "top-ten" list covering students' opinions on a

contentious topic. In addition, Wade believed in having her methods students actively

participate in the instruction they were to deliver to elementary students. To experience

democratic deliberation, Wade's methods students deliberated the use of scarce resources

and took field trips to investigate the sources of trash in their community.

Self-Portraits of the Practice of Elementary Social Studies Methods Professors

A number of self-portraits created by various elementary social studies methods

professors are important to the current study. While none of these pieces of scholarship

was created exclusively to be expository self-portraits, they still illustrate the direct

connection between the individual beliefs and practices of these professors and their

approach to methods instruction. I have applied the same conceptual categories to these

self-portraits.

Dr. Marilynne Boyle-Baise

Boyle-Baise described her beliefs and practices in a 2003 article titled, "Doing

Democracy in Social Studies Methods." Her beliefs concerning the nature of teaching

and learning at the elementary level were rooted in Paley's (1992) book, "You Can't Say

You Can't Play" (1992). Like Paley, Boyle-Baise promoted a classroom culture where

students "learn to care for others and to connect across difference" (Boyle-Baise 2003, p.









61). In addition, Boyle-Baise thought most preservice teachers did not believe that

"doing democracy" was part of theirjob as teachers. Their concept of "making a

difference" mostly included helping elementary students improve their behavior and

perform better in school. Boyle-Baise sought to expand the responsibilities of her

methods students to include 'doing democracy'.

Boyle-Baise conceptualized social studies as "reflective inquiry" and "informed

social criticism" (Martorella 1994), in which the principles of democracy serve as the

foundation. This vision of social studies directly connects to Boyle-Baise's belief that

social studies should create a citizen who is "a reformer: critical, socially conscious,

comfortable with dissent, and ready for activism" with a "justice-oriented, difference-

sensitive stance" (Boyle-Baise 2003, p. 51). This approach aims to create citizens

prepared for participatory democracy.

Boyle-Baise believed elementary children should receive instruction that allows

them to:

investigate, deliberate, serve, and act; using deliberation to identify, mull over, and
critique causes of inequities; providing opportunities to serve with and learn from
members of disenfranchised communities; and grappling with issues of injustice,
pondering their redress, planning for, and possibly acting for, social change. (2003,
p. 59)

To teach these skills, Boyle-Baise advocated particular instructional activities such as the

creation of a "cooperative biography" where students chronicled the life of "an

outstanding citizen" (p. 61). This activity integrated history, geography and civic study,

and required students to work together and make democratic decisions concerning the

book's content.

Boyle-Baise also discussed her beliefs about social studies methods instruction,

saying that "the social studies methods course is an appropriate place to practice and









reflect upon doing democracy" (p. 50). In addition to doing democracy in a methods

course, Boyle-Baise stated, "[w]e can locate social justice and change at the center of our

agenda" (p. 53). Boyle-Baise admitted that some instructional activities traditionally

considered part of a methods course may need to be eliminated in order to meet the goals

of the course: "In a tightly packed methods course, adding service learning usually means

deleting something else... the inclusion of service learning will likely displace the

teaching of an original, thematic unit of study..." (p. 60). Difficult instructional choices

such as these highlight a challenging dilemma facing methods instructors who have

strong beliefs that displace traditional methods practice. This situation also illustrates

Hargreaves's (1995) claim that when faced with a dilemma and no clear-cut choices,

teachers will often use their own beliefs to make their decisions.

Dr. John Benson

In a somewhat narrower and more focused work, Benson's (1998) article "Using an

Inquiry Approach with Preservice Teachers to Explain the Process of Facts, Concepts,

and Generalizations" described his beliefs based on the work of Banks (1990) and the

resultant practices related to promoting the understanding and use of generalizations by

preservice teachers for instruction. Benson believed that the typical preservice teacher

only has experience with elementary social studies instruction focused on memorization

of facts, especially memorizing such things as the states and capitals.

Benson conceptualized social studies as "social science" (Martorella 1994) by

actively engaging his methods students in the creation of generalizations. Benson

explained how the typical states-and-capitals activity does not teach any "concepts" or

"generalizations," or even ensure understanding of what a "state" or a "capital" is.

Concerning social studies instruction, Benson stated that "teachers need to have the









blueprint of the knowledge pyramid in mind as we plan our lessons" (Benson 1998, p.

227). Benson argued that facts can be interesting, but they need to be presented in a

manner in which children can build a higher level of conceptual understanding that can

then be applied to other situations.

Benson contended that preservice teachers have a difficult time grasping teaching

for generalizations and seeing the "big picture" when planning instruction. To model

teaching for generalizations, Benson engaged his preservice students in creating a unit

where students worked with facts to develop concepts and create generalizations based on

those concepts. To help his students see the "big picture," Benson engaged them in

"building their own pyramids of knowledge... .to think of the big picture in planning their

social studies units and lessons" (Benson 1998, p. 227). Benson's attention to these issues

illustrates one of the issues faced by methods professors described later in this chapter.

Dr. Omiunota Ukpokodu

Ukpokodu's (2003) article, "The Challenges of Teaching a Social Studies Methods

Course from a Transformative and Social Reconstructionist Framework," drew upon the

works of McLaren (1989) and Ladson-Billings (1991) "to develop preservice teachers'

skills for teaching from a critical pedagogy" (Ukpokodu 2003, p. 78). Ukpokodu's

approach often put her at odds with her typically socially conservative (e.g., Owens 1997)

preservice teachers from middle-class European-American backgrounds. Ukpokodu

expressed the belief that preservice teachers need to "develop an appreciation for human

interdependency, learn to construct a pluralist perspective and a sense of collective

responsibility, and commit to promoting a just and peaceful solution to global concerns"

(p. 75). Ukpokodu argued that preservice teachers bring biases, misconceptions, and

stereotypes to their work, which creates resistance to a transformative social studies









methods course. To overcome these biases, Ukpokodu showed videos such as "500

Nations," including the video's discussion of the events at Wounded Knee, to

demonstrate the concept of multiple perspectives on a historical event.

Ukpokodu's vision of social studies was "informed social criticism" (Martorella

1994). She relied on multicultural knowledge and understanding to reach the stated goals

of social studies (NCSS 1994), unlike the civic skills approach of Wade and Boyle-Baise.

Like Wade (2003), Ukpokodu was critical of the elementary social studies curriculum,

and she argued that it failed to educate a great majority of students, including preservice

teachers, about their identities, roles, and responsibilities in a participatory democracy.

But unlike Benson, Ukpokodu did not discuss her beliefs about actual social studies

instruction at length, only mentioning the need to teach elementary students to discuss

controversial issues in an effective and civil manner, and advocating for the use of books

such as This Is My House by Arthur Dorros (1996) to teach the NCSS theme of "people,

places, and environment."

Ukpokodu taught her methods course from a "transformative and social

reconstructionist perspective" with a desire to "[expand] the curriculum to include people

of color, women, unsung heroes, children, and global perspectives" (2003, p. 75). The

course aimed to help preservice teachers develop the skills for using critical pedagogy

with the use of "open inquiry, exploration of social issues, study of human conditions,

social justice, and activism" (p. 75). In order to overcome multicultural illiteracy,

Ukpokodu required her students to research the personalities, roles, contributions, and

perspectives of diverse individuals from American history using Takaki's (2003) A

Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America and similar books.









Dr. Janice McArthur

McArthur's (2004) article, "Involving Preservice Teachers in Social Studies

Content Standards: Thoughts of a Methods Professor," focuses specifically on instructing

preservice teachers how to use standards. McArthur's goal for her methods instruction

was "to convince preservice teachers to use standards as a foundation for improving the

quality of social studies education and to develop their positive attitude toward social

studies content" (2004, 82).

Concerning teaching in general, McArthur believed, based on federal mandates, the

choice of teachers is not whether to include standards, but how to do so. McArthur stated

that most preservice teachers hold the limited view that elementary social studies is based

on the content and skills found in textbooks, and on memorization. Professing her faith

in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), McArthur stated the crafters of the act

"embraced increased teacher accountability with the intent of advancing student learning"

(p. 79).

Interestingly, McArthur did not discuss her beliefs about the purpose and nature of

social studies. Perhaps indicative of the current educational climate, McArthur presented

a vision of social studies as "standards based," a concept not included in Martorella's

(1994) descriptive typology of the five most prevalent visions of social studies

instruction. Moreover, McArthur did not mention any particular instructional methods for

elementary social studies, only discussing the importance of using scientifically proven

instructional methods.

McArthur also approached methods instruction with a strong advocacy of the No

Child Left Behind Act, claiming it has "a well-documented record of success" (2004, p.

79) and a reliance on "standards based" instruction. McArthur believed preservice









teachers should understand the concept of standards early in their teacher preparation

programs. Based on this belief, her social studies methods course concentrated on

teaching the required standards with "appropriate preparation for planning and teaching"

(2004, p. 80).

Summary of Portraits of Practice in Elementary Social Studies Methods Instruction

Portraits of practices in elementary social studies methods instruction are rare, but

"eminently educative" (Slekar 2006, p. 255). Portraits of the practices of two very

different and thoughtful methods professors were featured in this section. Both Dr. Henry

Merrill and Dr. Rahima Wade made explicit connections between their beliefs and

instructional practices. Also reviewed were self-portraits of the beliefs and practices of

four other methods instructors. Dr. Marilynne Boyle-Baise and Dr. Omiunota Ukpokodu

both described methods instruction with the aim of social justice, the former using

democracy as the vehicle, and the latter using multicultural knowledge and competency.

Dr. John Benson presented a model of methods instruction to provide his students with

the skills and knowledge to teach social studies using generalizations. Finally, the social

studies vision of Dr. Janice McArthur demonstrated the growing power and influence of

'standards based' instruction and its ability to dictate instructional practices of methods

professors. These portraits suggest that beliefs do indeed influence practices in

elementary social studies methods courses.

Issues of Social Studies Methods Instruction

To understand the issues of teaching an elementary social studies methods course,

it is helpful to look at Owens' (1997) study of instruction at seven institutions of higher

education in South Florida, where he identified six specific issues to elementary social

studies methods instruction. While explaining these issues, Owens (1997) observed it is









especially important, "when generalists in elementary education may be teaching social

studies methods.. .the generalists must be aware of the challenges that come with the

territory" (p. 113). What follows will be a discussion of these issues, guided by Owens'

(1997) six challenges as a framework.

Challenge #1: Negative Past Experiences with Social Studies

The first challenge for elementary social studies methods instructors is how to

overcome the negative perceptions held by many preservice elementary teachers of social

studies in general (Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Owens 1997). In Owens' (1997)

study, more than two-fifths of the preservice teachers described their own past social

studies courses as boring, a perception formulated during their "apprenticeship of

observation," (Lortie 1975, p. 65), when instruction generally emphasized textbooks and

rote memorization (e.g., Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; McArthur 2004). Attempts to

overcome these negative experiences have at times met with little success. This is doubly

unfortunate, as teachers can communicate their own dislike of the subject and reproduce

the poor instruction they themselves once received (Chapin & Messick 1999; Turner

1999), continuing a vicious cycle that can only serve to weaken the future of the subject.

Challenge #2: Lack of Interest in Teaching Social Studies

The second challenge awaiting methods instructors is the belief that other subjects

in the curriculum are more desirable to teach than social studies. In Owens (1997) study,

33.2% of the preservice teachers surveyed reported their interest level for teaching social

studies as "low." This finding has been supported by many methods professors (Benson

1998; McArthur 2004, Slekar 2006). This challenge leads to an even greater one: how

can the preservice teachers get excited about the varied possibilities for social studies









instruction when they lack interest in the field itself (McArthur 2004; Owens 1997;

Slekar 2006; Wade 2003)?

Challenge #3: Confusion Over the Nature of Social Studies

The third challenge awaiting methods instructors is confusion over the definition of

social studies: "How can preservice elementary teachers adequately understand the

multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of social studies if they believe social

studies is one of the academic disciplines in the social sciences" (Owens 1997, p. 114)? In

a situation where preservice teachers are unable to articulate the correct definition of

social studies, there is little hope they will be able to deliver effective instruction. This

situation is not entirely the fault of the preservice teacher. The history of social studies is

full of conflicting views about its nature and definition (e.g., Barr, Barth & Shermis 1977;

Brophy & Alleman, in press; Thornton 2005). This creates a 'moving target' for

preservice teachers to understand.

Practicing teachers, curriculum specialists and school administrators, whose views

concerning the field of social studies have the most immediate impact on students, are

sometimes at odds with the definition proposed by the National Council of the Social

Studies (NCSS). While NCSS has determined that effective social studies instruction

should "prepare young people to identify, understand, and work to solve problems facing

our diverse nation in an increasingly interdependent world" (NCSS, p. 159), many

practitioners have interpreted the field far differently. For example, Thornton (2001) has

argued that many view social studies instruction as a method to inculcate specific values

within a child, whether those values are patriotism, idealism and free enterprise or

cultural pluralism, environmentalism and community service. Even elementary social

studies methods professors have struggled with a definition of the field, with some









emphasizing "facts, concepts and generalizations" (Benson 1998), while others approach

methods courses with a "multicultural social reconstructionist approach" (Ukpokodu

2003). At whatever level, the nature and purpose of social studies is assuredly going to

be determined, not by a relatively faceless organization, but by the instructor in the

classroom (Thornton 1991).

Challenge #4: Conflicting Conservative Sociological Beliefs

The fourth challenge is to persuade preservice elementary teachers to adopt and

teach the social studies goal of working to improve society (Owens 1997). Often,

preservice teachers will agree with liberal and egalitarian ideals, but then disagree on

specific, contentious social issues related to reaching that ideal. Most preservice teachers

come from rural areas, small towns or suburban communities, with little experience or

knowledge of diverse cultures, and many prefer to teach children who are similar to

themselves and have little interest in multicultural ideals (e.g., Henning & Yendol-

Hoppey 2004; McCall & Andringa 1997; Owens 1997; Ukpokodu 2003). These

preservice teachers bring biases, misconceptions and stereotypes that contribute to their

negative disposition toward teaching minority children (McCall & Andringa 1997;

Ukpokodu 2003), and are difficult to change (Parajes 1992). This is of particular interest

for this study. Owens details how often methods professors hold significantly more

liberal social beliefs than the preservice teachers they instruct. Confirming that beliefs

inform practices, the methods professors often instruct from the more liberal "reflective

inquiry" or "informed social criticism" (see Martorella 1994) perspective, which is often

at odds with the "far more conservative" social beliefs of a typical preservice teacher (p.

116). When preservice teachers hold conservative social beliefs they often do not feel the

need to teach with the goal of social change, which put them at odds with the goal social









studies: "prepare young people to identify, understand, and work to solve problems

facing our diverse nation in an increasingly interdependent world" (NCSS, 1994, p. 159).

While conservative beliefs are the norm occasionally preservice teachers hold more

liberal social beliefs that are more aligned goals of social studies. More liberal social

beliefs often led teacher to question the status quo and teach for social change. There is

hope, as Angell (1998) determined it was difficult, but possible, to change the

"traditional" instructional beliefs of preservice teachers during a social studies methods

course. Slekar (1998) drew a similar conclusion, attributing the difficulty to

disagreement between the experiences of preservice teachers during their "apprenticeship

of observation."

Challenge #5: Selecting What to Teach

The fifth challenge relates to the continuing expansion of the number of topics

deemed pertinent to social studies education at the preservice level (Owens 1997). As

content demands increase, so does pressure on instructors to prepare preservice

elementary teachers to teach this new content adequately. Currently, methods courses are

overburdened with too many demands, begging the question, "How should teachers be

educated to tend the curricular-instructional gate?" (Thornton 2001, p. 72). This burden

also relates to the fact that elementary social studies teachers are lacking in content

knowledge (Chapin and Messick 1999; Fritzer & Kumar 2002; Owens 1997; Parker &

Jarolimek 1997; Thornton 2001; Ukpokodu 2003; Slekar 2006). Consider, for example,

that elementary teachers scored only 54 percent correct on a basic test of chronological

events in American history (Fritzer & Kumar 2002). Based on such findings, teachers'

subject matter knowledge has become a central concern of some educational research in









determining the depth and breadth of knowledge teachers must know to teach elementary

students (Thornton 2001).

The content problem is also related to the "liberal arts component of teacher

education and...to methods in the professional education component.... [T]his separation

of subject matter and method in the education of social studies teachers, although

conventional, poses problems" (Thornton 2001, p. 77). In this traditional division of

studies, it is assumed that preservice teachers have learned the necessary content during

the liberal arts component of their education. However, this is often not the case, shifting

some content obligations to the methods course. Social studies methods teachers cannot

cover all the content knowledge in their methods courses, and yet, they cannot assume

adequate content knowledge of their preservice teachers (Fritzer & Kumar 2002)

resulting in a true "Catch 22".

Despite the documented lack of content knowledge of preservice teachers, a widely

held belief (e.g., Fresch 2003; Morin 1996, Thornton 2001) exists that methods courses

should retain a singular focus on social studies methods, such as "inquiry, immersion,

small group discussion, and problem solving, cooperative learning, simulation, role

playing, storytelling, guided fantasy, modeling, demonstration, historical investigation,

research, creating, and reflecting" (Fresch 2003, p. 70). The best solution is most likely a

balanced approach covering a "thorough education of teachers in the subject matters of

the curriculum, methods, and their interrelationships" (Thornton 2001, p. 78), achieved

with a thoughtful alignment of social studies prerequisites and methods instruction.

Challenge #6: Using the Concurrent Social Studies Field Experience

The sixth and final challenge awaiting methods instructors is the difficulty of

utilizing a concurrent field placement effectively (Owens 1997). This is associated with









the reality that almost all the instructional strategies suggested in most elementary social

studies methods courses, such as role-playing, simulation and inquiry projects, are active

and social learning experiences that are often at odds with the more 'traditional' teaching

styles of cooperating teachers. In certain cases, cooperating teachers actively discourage

the use of more progressive teaching methods and require students to employ traditional

methods (Yeager & Wilson 1997). Despite the reluctance of many cooperating teachers

to support the innovative practices introduced to preservice teachers in methods courses,

there is an agreed-upon need for a concurrent field placement for elementary social

studies methods students (e.g., Fresch 2003; Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Morin

1996; Owens 1997). Despite the unfortunate disconnect between what is taught in a

methods course and what is practiced within the placement, research has shown the field

placement is beneficial for both elementary students and preservice teachers (Kelleher &

Cramm 1996; Leming 1989; Morin 1996; Owens 1997); as Fresch states, "The ability of

the preservice teachers to make connections between the course on campus and the

teaching in the field enabled them to provide challenging and enriching experiences for

the children" (2003, p. 75). Further adding to the challenge of concurrent field

placements are school settings where social studies is not tested or part of an

accountability scheme-social studies is often given only 30 minutes a week or is

nonexistent-making what is learned in a methods course impossible to see in classroom

practice (Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004). To address

this challenge, colleges of education need to monitor field placements to ensure that

preservice teachers have an opportunity to witness social studies instruction and are

allowed to utilize the social studies strategies they have learned (Owens 1997).









Summary of Issues of Social Studies Methods Instruction

In summary, there are a number of issues specific to elementary social studies

methods instruction. The first is related to the preservice teachers' negative past

experiences with social studies as students during their "apprenticeship of observation"

(Lortie 1975). If their perceptions based on these experiences are not changed, preservice

teachers will communicate and reproduce the poor instruction they received when they

become classroom teachers (Chapin & Messick 1999; Turner 1999). The current

challenge of a lack of interest in teaching social studies creates further challenges for

methods professors (Benson 1998; McArthur 2004; Slekar 2006). Another challenge is

the longstanding confusion and debate over the nature of social studies (Thornton 2005).

This situation makes for difficulty when preservice teachers are unable to articulate the

definition of social studies (Owens 1997). The generally conservative social beliefs of

preservice teachers also are a challenge, as those who choose to become teachers often

have conservative social beliefs (Goodlad 1990; Lortie 1975), and this inhibits them from

fully embracing the more progressive views that characterize social studies (NCSS 1994).

The lack of content knowledge among preservice elementary teachers (Fritzer &

Kumar 2002) creates yet another challenge for methods instructors as they select a

curriculum. When methods students are content-deficient, methods instructors must use

their own judgment to determine the workable instructional balance of "content" to

"methods" (Thornton 2001). The final challenge is how best to capitalize on the

concurrent field placement when the cooperating teacher limits the instructional freedom

of the preservice teacher (Owens 1997), or the preservice teacher is placed in an

environment where social studies instruction is nonexistent or extremely limited (Yendol-

Hoppey & Tilford 2004).









Recent Research in Elementary Social Studies

The Expanding Horizons Curriculum

The standard curriculum for elementary social studies (since 1934) has been

slightly differing versions of Paul Hanna's expanding horizons/environments curriculum

(EH) (Thornton 2001; Turner 1999; Wade 2002). In the last few years, EH has been

critiqued for, among other things, a lack of content at the first three grade levels and a

lack of exposure to other countries until middle school (e.g., Fritzer & Kumar 2002),

prompting some more conservative critics to advocate for including only history in the

social studies curriculum (Ravitch 1987). However, as Barton and Levstik (2004) have

pointed out, definitive answers in social studies education, especially on critical

questions, are not easily decided and often result in endless debate. As a result, EH has

been the subject of a number of critiques over the years, but the curriculum has proven to

be quite durable (Wade 2003).

Most recently, in response to the 'history only' critics, Brophy and Alleman (in

press) suggest a reconceptualization of the elementary social studies curriculum based on

cultural universals. They seek not to abandon the EH curriculum completely; rather, they

favor "retaining most of the same topics, but developing them more coherently and

shifting emphasis from the expanding communities sequence to introducing students to

the fundamentals of the human condition..." (in press). Brophy and Alleman's

reconceptualization rejects some of the recent calls (Ravitch 1987) to abandon a

pandisciplinary approach and replace it with a history emphasis, disputing point by point

the arguments put forth by the history-only advocates. For example, Brophy and Alleman

especially reject the notion that children need "fanciful" heroes to emulate. These

advocates for a "cultural universal" conception of the field of social studies describe a









curriculum model that focuses on "...human activities involved in pursuing needs and

wants related to cultural universals.....because teaching students about how their own and

other societies have addressed these purposes provides a sound basis for developing

fundamental understandings about the human condition..." (in press). Also of particular

interest to this study are the critiques and alternatives to EH provided by one of the

methods professors profiled in the "portraits of practice" section of this chapter. Based on

a review of the literature concerning EH, Wade (2002) summarized the three major

critiques of EH as: "(1) the nature of children's life experiences and learning in modem

society; (2) the nature of the EH curriculum; and (3) the present state of elementary social

studies" (p. 117). In light of these critiques, Wade (2002) proposed the "Toward the

Common Good" curriculum, with the goal of helping students learn about and address the

problems and needs of a contemporary and diverse world.

Research on Effective Elementary Social Studies Practice

In 1987, Lee Shulman broke new ground with his article, "Knowledge and

Teaching: Foundations for the New Reform." Shulman called for the documentation of

the "wisdom of practice" of teaching. While arguing many effective teachers kept their

knowledge in their classrooms, Shulman also called for extensive and contextualized case

studies of effective teachers and their practices. To understand these case studies,

Shulman described the seven categories of knowledge for effective teaching of them

"pedagogical content knowledge," or "the blending of content and pedagogy into an

understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented,

and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and presented for

instruction" (Shulman, 1987, p. 8), is often perceived as indispensable. Case studies

based on the observation of expert teachers are central in modeling pedagogical content









knowledge. Building on the work of Shulman, O.L. Davis called for "educational

practitioners and researchers to undertake, write, and publish case studies of wise

practices" (Davis 1997, p. 3). By doing so, social studies methods instructors will be

provided with a model for new teachers to emulate, and perhaps develop an

understanding of what it means to be an effective educator within social studies.

In October 2000, the journal Social Education devoted almost an entire issue to

"wise practice in challenging classrooms." In this issue, the wise practices of teachers

working in challenging settings were documented, an idea that Yeager and Davis (2005)

slightly modified and explored in their book, Wise social studies teaching in an age of

high-stakes testing: Essays on classroom practices and possibilities. In 1994, the

National Council of Social Studies issued "Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum

Standards for Social Studies," which listed five requirements for powerful social studies

teaching and learning. The following section will summarize those five requirements and

provide examples of "powerful social studies" by drawing on examples from Yeager and

Davis's (2005) book.

Five Requirements for Powerful Social Studies

The first requirement is that instruction should be meaningful to both teacher and

students. The course material must meet the objectives of the teacher, and the content

must be useful to students in and out of class. Effective teaching will consist of

meaningful learning activities and assessments focused on the central ideas of the

instruction. The effective teacher will "construct, together with her students, based on

their needs and interests" the content to be learned (Barton, 2005, p. 28). One method,

which makes instruction meaningful, is for teachers to capitalize on students' interests

about a particular subtopic. For example, during a unit on Florida history, students









revealed a curiosity about the identities and roles of loyalists and patriots during the

American Revolution. In an effort to make the lesson relevant and meaningful, the

teacher seized upon this interest and had his students explore those identities and roles to

satisfy their curiosity and encourage a greater understanding of Florida history (Yendol-

Hoppey, Jacobs & Tilford 2005). By encouraging students to explore their interests

within a broad but defined area, the instruction was both meaningful and memorable.

The second requirement for powerful social studies teaching and learning is

integrative instruction. Effective instruction will integrate a wide range of content and

instructional approaches and whenever possible, the most effective teachers will be

capable of incorporating the use of technology to expand the variety of sources students

can draw upon (Libresco 2005). There are two types of integration: integration across the

disciplines in the field of social studies, and integration across school subjects. The

former shows students how all the disciplines within social studies interact: "If students

are to understand how the social world operates, they cannot study history or geography

or economics or any of the other components of social studies in isolation" (Barton 2005,

p. 23). To this end, teachers are required to use skills from all areas of social studies to

ensure students have complete understanding of the content.

Given today's overloaded curriculum, "integration across subject areas is a

practical necessity" (Barton 2005, p. 26). If teachers are to deliver powerful instruction,

they must "learn how to integrate" social studies instruction into other subjects (Libresco

2005, p. 37). Integration across subject areas is not only efficient, but pedagogically

sound: "How would students learn the content if not through text, visual images, and the

collection of data? How would they construct their understanding if not through









speaking, writing, drawing, and other such displays" (Barton 2005, p. 25)? These

questions must be answered if students are to be exposed to effective social studies

instruction.

The third requirement for powerful social studies teaching and learning is value-

based instruction. Effective instruction will raise ethical questions about content, with the

aim of fostering student concern for the common good (McBee 1995). This instruction

will highlight the implications of controversial content and challenge students to make

value-based decisions (Hess 2005). To this end, teachers must be aware of their personal

opinions and seek out sources to provide a balanced presentation of information. By

raising ethical questions and controversial issues that "challenge students to think beyond

the boundaries of their own community" teachers "open students' eyes to the perspectives

and values of others..." (Foster and Hoge 2000, p. 368), teachers can accomplish two

important tasks: "to encourage students to realize that they can effect change and to open

students' minds to the beliefs of others" (Foster & Hoge 2000, p. 369). The teacher

should also encourage students to act upon their beliefs and remind students that taking

action in the name of their beliefs is part of the "socio-political protest" history of

America (Foster & Hoge 2000, p. 368).

The fourth requirement is instruction must be challenging. Effective instruction will

have ambitious goals and standards. The teacher is responsible to ensure students meet

those goals and standards. Moreover, instruction should compel students to think

creatively and critically, suggest solutions, and take positions on public issues. Teachers

should challenge the beliefs and the academic skills of their students, and teachers should

expect their students to "work with a variety of sources, encounter varying perspectives









and conflicting opinions, develop conclusions and arguments based on evidence, and

collaborate with others as part of a learning community" (Barton 2005, p. 19). Through

careful questioning about their beliefs, students are pushed to go beyond their own

experiences and examine their own prejudices and misinformation (Foster & Hoge 2000).

The final requirement is instruction to be active for both teacher and students. The

teacher must design and adjust the curriculum to reach the instructional goals in such a

way that students must actively construct their knowledge. Such activities involve

making decisions and solving problems, and "they provide students the chance to pursue

their own interests, as well as to relate new learning to previous knowledge and

experience" (Barton 2005, p. 14). Moreover, by actively constructing their own

knowledge, students build their own interpretations, "to create something, to put things

back together, to 'transform,' self-consciously, the data in front of them" (Bryom 1998, p.

2). Such interpretations must be based on the available evidence and held up to

inspection.

In order to strengthen their own teaching, educators must be able to adapt a lesson

in progress to meet the students' needs and reach the objective of the lesson, according to

the "specific contexts and clues" of each unique classroom (Foster & Hoge 2000, p. 370).

Teachers also need to be active outside of the classroom by continually interrogating their

own instruction (Barton 2005). This reflection comes in the form of thinking "long and

hard about why she teaches and what she teaches" (Libresco 2005, p. 37). What better

method to develop within students the ability to think reflectively and critically than by

having educators ensure that they practice such thinking themselves?









The Effects of the No Child Left Behind Act and High-Stakes Testing on
Elementary Social Studies

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the resultant focus on high-stakes

testing is exacerbating, rather than solving, educational problems (Neill 2004; Neill

Guisbond & Schaeffer 2004; Von Zasrtow, & Janc 2004; Wade 2002; Yeager 2005).

NCLB is built on four principles: "accountability for results, more choices for parents,

greater local control and flexibility, and an emphasis on doing what works based on

scientific research" (U.S. Department of Education 2004). NCLB mandates an

accountability model to be used by America's public schools by attaching sanctions for

states that did not comply with its policies (Guthrie & Springer 2004). Under its

provisions, performance standards are used as benchmarks for improvements that must

show 'adequate yearly progress' (AYP). All schools must show continual progress

towards meeting their AYP goals or face consequences, such as allowing students to

leave the school in favor of a more successful school, or the replacement of existing

teachers and administrators (Guthrie & Springer 2004).

In her article, "Staying Alive: Social Studies in Elementary Schools," Angela

Pascopella (2005) describes the harsh reality concerning social studies and the impact of

high-stakes testing: "It's a crisis. Social studies, particularly in the elementary grades, has

been pushed to the back burner in schools" (p. 30). Because measurements of social

studies achievement are not included in the NLCB accountability system, social studies is

in sharp decline, prompting some to initiate nationwide discussions of how to salvage

social studies in the school curriculum (Howard 2003). The severity of the situation is

such that "members of visiting accreditation teams have heard administrators and faculty

proudly announce that they do not teach any social studies or science in elementary









school because they focus all their attention and energy on reading and math" (Fritzer &

Kumar 2002, p. 51).

In the state of Florida, the high-stakes testing program is the Florida

Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). The data generated by the FCAT is used to

assess schools under the No Child Left Behind Act. The Florida Department of Education

explains that FCAT is "part of Florida's overall plan to increase student achievement by

implementing higher standards. The FCAT, administered to students in Grades 3-11,

contains two basic components: criterion-referenced tests, measuring selected

benchmarks in Mathematics, Reading, Science, and Writing from the Sunshine State

Standards; and norm-referenced tests in Reading and Mathematics, measuring individual

student performance against national norms (Florida Department of Education 2006). As

a result, social studies achievement is not assessed on the FCAT. While almost every

state has its own set of elementary social studies standards (Buckles, Schug, & Watts

2001) and moreoe than half of the states (not Florida) have statewide assessments in

social studies" (Chapin & Messick 1999, p. 11). Mirroring national trends, social studies

has nearly disappeared from the curriculum in many schools in Florida (Fritzer & Kumar

2002; Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Neill & Guisbond 2005; Yendol-Hoppey &

Tilford 2004; Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004).

There is hope, however. In cases where social studies instruction is "blocked" and

children change classrooms for social studies, actual instruction is more likely to occur

(Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004). In addition, professional development schools are

more likely to emphasize the untested subjects because of their focus on teacher

preparation in all subjects (Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004). Despite the efforts of many,









the prognosis from the elementary social studies community for the subject's long-term

health is 'fair.' If there is not a concerted and organized effort that prognosis could

become 'terminal.'

Accountability-driven assessment also has had two major effects on teaching and

learning in elementary schools: less time for social studies instruction and a diminished

quality of the overall educational experience. All the focus remains on assessment testing,

in spite of the fact that evidence indicates that a focus on tests actually decreases student

motivation and increases the proportion of students who leave school early (Amrein &

Berliner 2003).

Loss of instructional time

Instructional time for social studies is shrinking. As previously discussed, under the

weight of the No Child Left Behind Act, schools must demonstrate "adequate yearly

progress" in the assessed subjects. As a result, "schools nationwide have scaled back on

P.E., health, social studies, and foreign language classes to devote more time and

resources to reading, writing, math, and science-courses tested under the federal law

and used to evaluate schools" (NEA 2004, p. 26). Not surprisingly, this situation has led

to increased tension in the elementary school over the teaching of social studies: "The test

is the curriculum, and instruction is controlled by the imperative to raise test scores"

(Neill & Guisbond 2005, p. 31). When social studies is not assessed, instructional time

shrinks and social studies teachers end up at odds with administrators who "are

demanding more reading and math instruction" (Knighton 2003, p. 293). Moreover, this

situation is heightened in schools with poor test scores, "where nearly half of the

principals report moderate or large decreases in social studies instruction" (NEA 2004, p.









27). As a result, the actual amount of time devoted to social studies instruction ends up

being determined by administrators.

Quality

The greatest effect of the loss of social studies and other areas not assessed on high-

stakes assessments is a drop in the level of quality of students' experiences with the

subject. In response to the pressure to raise test scores, teachers have reported "a sacrifice

in the quality of their teaching and students' experiences in the classroom" (Neill &

Guisbond 2005, p. 31). The result is a decline of quality instruction within elementary

social studies. As is often the case, state standards offer a narrow curriculum that

"revolves around memorized random information that turns the subject into a travesty"

(Neill & Guisbond 2005, p. 31). Finally, and most tragically, teachers are required to

teach testing skills from expensive commercially produced materials "as early as the

second grade" (Knighton 2003, p. 291). Surely, the influence of high-stakes testing has

produced a situation where powerful social studies instruction is becoming increasingly

difficult, if not impossible (Yeager 2005). This only serves to reinforce the perception

among students that social studies is "worthless," ensuring that Owens's (1997) second

challenge, integral to creating effective social studies teachers, may never be overcome.

Summary of Recent Research in Elementary Social Studies

There has been considerable important recent research relevant to this study.

Critiques of the "Expanding Horizons" curriculum have grown louder in the last few

decades, calling for teaching a more history-based elementary social studies curriculum.

As a result, proponents of retaining a pandisciplinary approach (e.g., Brophy and

Alleman, in press; Wade 2003) have offered their own curriculum revisions that promote









problem-solving skills and global awareness. There also has been research on effective

social studies practice in elementary teaching.

Much of the recent scholarship on effective social studies practice has grown out

of Shulman's (1987) work titled, "Knowledge and teaching: foundations for the new

reform," in which he called for the documentation of the "wisdom of practice" of

effective teachers. Shulman's ideas have been applied to social studies instruction and

have resulted in a number of pieces of scholarship that capture effective social studies

practices. This scholarship, in combination with the 1994 (NCSS) statement

"Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies," provided

illustrative examples of the five requirements for effective practice. Finally, the negative

effects of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on elementary social studies were

discussed. Overall, NCLB has reduced both the quality and frequency of social studies in

elementary schools, ultimately influencing perceptions of the field among both students

and preservice teachers.

Conclusion

To understand the beliefs of these inservice teachers who serve as elementary social

studies methods instructors, I reviewed the literature concerning teacher beliefs. The

research on teacher beliefs suggests a strong beliefs-to-practice connection exists as

teachers perform their duties. This connection means the particular beliefs teachers hold

often heavily influence their instructional practices; thus, knowledge of these beliefs is

necessary to understanding and improving instructional practices. At times, there are

inconsistencies in the beliefs and practices of teachers, stemming most often from

conflicting beliefs they hold or external pressures mandating practices inconsistent with

those beliefs. There is a certain level of disagreement among researchers about the









difficulty of changing teacher's beliefs about social studies instruction, but there exists a

general agreement that a teacher's attitudes toward the field are formed early in life,

during the time they are first exposed to social studies as young students. The

instructional beliefs of social studies teachers, like all other teachers, tend to be rather

conservative, and enable the teacher to retain ultimate control over what happens in his or

her classroom.

To understand the practices of elementary social studies methods professors, I

examined research literature concerning methods instruction by examining the relevant

portraits of practice in the field. These portraits revealed unique perspectives concerning

social studies instruction while serving to highlight the individual issues faced and

solutions developed by elementary social studies methods instructors. Consider, for

example, the portraits of two very different methods professors, which revealed two

thoughtful and highly organized examples of methods instruction, both of which

exhibited a strong belief to practice connection. In addition, four distinct self-portraits

also suggested a strong beliefs-to-practice connection among four methods professors

who adhered to four distinct visions of social studies education.

I reviewed the research literature concerning elementary social studies methods

instruction and elementary social studies to understand the issues associated with

teaching an elementary social studies methods course. I used Owens' (1997) six

challenges as an organizational structure and supported or illustrated each one by

examining the literature. While all six issues are important to understanding the situation,

two issues stood out as particularly interesting because how they have been exacerbated

by the current focus on high-stakes testing. The "lack of interest in teaching social









studies" and "using the concurrent social studies field experience" issues have been

compounded in recent years because of the increasing focus on other subject areas now

stressed as part of testing accountability systems. These accountability systems also have

served to create negative perceptions of social studies.

I also surveyed the literature concerning recent research in elementary social

studies to understand the relevant topics currently under review. The pandisciplinary

'Expanding Horizons' curriculum has proven durable, despite the perpetual debate about

its effectiveness and appropriateness. Most recently, 'Expanding Horizons' has been

criticized by some conservative historians who seek to replace it with a history-based

curriculum. This recent round of criticism has spurred advocacy of pandisciplinary social

studies and the putting forth of alternative models of social studies that retain at least

parts of the 'Expanding Horizons' curriculum. To capture the 'wisdom of practice' of

effective social studies instruction, some recent research has focused on recording the

practices of effective teachers. Finally, I reviewed recent research regarding the effects of

the No Child Left Behind Act and high-stakes testing on elementary social studies. This

review revealed the negative effect this legislation and its resultant accountability

schemes are having on elementary social studies due to its untested status.














CHAPTER 3
METHODS

Review of the Purpose of the Study

As detailed in Chapter 2, there is a paucity of literature reviewing the beliefs and

practices of elementary social studies methods professors at the university level. Of the

few existing quality portraits, all the professors cited the 1994 NCSS position statements

concerning the aims of social studies as validation for the basis of their methods

instruction. However, their practices varied greatly and depended mostly on their

personal beliefs about social studies education. There is a total lack of portraits of

inservice teachers serving as methods instructors (Slekar 2006). At the university where

the study was completed during the spring 2006 semester, four of the five elementary

social studies methods sections were taught by inservice teachers and the fifth was taught

by the researcher. Based on a need to understand the beliefs, practices, and issues of these

instructors, this study was designed to capture portraits of three of these instructors.

Statement of Problem

Given the currently threatened status of social studies instruction in elementary

schools, there is a need for strong methods instructors. In many colleges of education, it

is common practice to employ inservice teachers to teach methods courses. A void in the

literature exists concerning the beliefs, practices and issues encountered by these

instructors, so little is known about how to best support them as they perform their duties.

Thus, whatever new information is collected adds to the scholarship about the









practitioners who fill this role, and in the future will assist colleges of education to better

support these instructors.

Research Questions

This research study sought answers to the following questions:

1. What beliefs about social studies education do these inservice teachers hold?
2. How do the beliefs these inservice teachers hold inform their practice in their social
studies methods course?
3. How does filling these dual roles inform their beliefs about the status of social
studies in the elementary curriculum?
4. What do these inservice teachers believe are the issues they encountered while
teaching the methods course?


Question one addresses the participants' beliefs concerning teaching in general,

social studies, teaching social studies, and teaching social studies methods. Question two

addresses their belief-to-practice connections noted in the data and confirmed by the

participants. Question three addresses the information the participants have about the

status of elementary social studies, how they come by that information in each of their

roles, and what beliefs they have about the status of elementary social studies and testing.

Finally, question four comprised the majority of the findings and focused on the issues

related to methods students, the status of elementary social studies and the field

placement, and issues related to filling dual roles.

Rationale for the Choice of a Qualitative Design

Babbie (1983) defined qualitative research as "the non-numerical examination and

interpretation of observation for the purpose of discovering underlying meanings and

patterns of relationships" (p. 537). A qualitative design was selected for a number of

reasons. The study was exploratory, while the beliefs and practices of elementary social

studies methods professors have been chronicled, the beliefs and practices of other









educators who instruct elementary social studies methods courses remain unrecorded.

Because the study was exploratory, a qualitative design was selected to allow for a

flexible yet rigorous inquiry; such flexibility is difficult with a quantitative design

(Lincoln & Guba 1985). The choice of a qualitative design also was based on Patton's

(1990) assertion that the intent of qualitative research is to "provide perspective rather

than truth, empirical assessment of local decision makers' theories of action rather than

generation and verification of universal theories, and context-bound explorations rather

than generalizations" (p. 491). This study required a design that facilitated depth of

understanding over breadth (Creswell 1998): "Qualitative methods permit the evaluation

researcher to study selected issues in depth and detail" (Patton 1990, p. 165). For depth

and detail, a rich description of each participant's beliefs was created to better understand

his or her practices (Lincoln & Guba 1985). A "rich description" is possible with a

qualitative design that uses interviews and observations to understand teachers' beliefs

and the context in which those beliefs are enacted (Cornett 1990; Pajares 1992).The

underlying beliefs were specific to each teacher, and it was necessary to understand these

beliefs while looking through the lens of an inservice teacher working as a methods

instructor. Moreover, a qualitative approach accounts for the context in which the

phenomenon of interest takes place (Creswell 1994; Lincoln & Guba 1985; Patton 1990).

A consideration of context is especially important for this study, given the many external

factors discussed in Chapter 2, which affect how these instructors perform their duties.

Like all qualitative studies, this research did not intend to present a definitive "truth" of

the given situation; the intention was to elicit reflection by the reader to create an

opportunity to learn about the situation under examination (Stake 1995).









Study Methodology

The study employed a case study methodology. The choice of case studies is

consistent with the dissertation requirements for the Doctor of Education degree: "Data

may be analyzed using methods.. .For example, case studies and content analyses of

interview protocols are common" (University of Florida 1983). The study included three

participants and sought to uncover "both what is common and what is particular about the

case" (Stake 1994, p. 238) through the analysis of multiple data sources, such as

interviews, observations, and document analysis (Patton 1990; Stake 1994; Yin 1994).

Feagin, Orum, and Sjoberg (1991) defined a case study as "an in-depth, multi-faceted

investigation, using qualitative research methods" (p. 2). For this study, a case was

defined as a "single bounded system or an instance..." (Merriam 1988, p. 153); each

participant served as a specific case. Case studies allowed an intensive, holistic, and in-

depth investigation of each teacher as a unit (Feagin et al. 1991; Merriam 1998; Stake

1995). Merriam's (1998) contention that a case study is more focused on process and

context was important for this study because of the complex and unique nature of the

teachers' beliefs and teaching practices (Nespor 1987). Perhaps the most important factor

in the selection of a case study methodology was the Feagin et al. (1991) statement that

case studies explore in detail the how and why of specific situations. Yin (1994) added

that case studies are not only suitable for answering how, but also what.

Regarding qualitative research, Marshall and Rossman have noted that "there is no

such thing as a perfectly designed study" and case studies are no exception to this rule

(1999, p. 42). Case studies have a number of limitations; chiefly, a case is one instance of

a "single bounded system or an instance..." and not representative of a certain population

(Merriam 1988, p. 153). Moreover, case studies rely on descriptive information provided









by researchers and participants, leaving room for the loss of important details and

differing perceptions. Finally, much of the interpretation in case studies is based on the

recollection of past events, and therefore is susceptible to problems inherent to memory.

Guiding Theory

This study was guided by the theory that teachers' beliefs drive their practice (e.g.,

Armento 1996; Brownell, Yeager, Rennels & Riley 1997; Clark & Peterson 1986; Cuban

1984; Cuban 1986; Fang 1996; Goodlad 1984; Leming 1989; Onosko 1989; Pajares

1992; Sarason 1996; Shulman 1987; Thornton 1991; Wilson 2000; Wilson, Konopak &

Readance 1994). Specifically, Pajares (1992) stated that "the beliefs teachers hold

influence their perceptions and judgments, which, in turn, affect their behavior in the

classroom" (p. 307). This theory was applied to understanding participants' practices

based on Fang's (1996) statement that "educators are now beginning to realize that

teachers (preservice, beginning, or experienced) do hold implicit theories about students,

the subjects they teach, and their teaching responsibilities" (p. 51). The theory that beliefs

drive practice has been applied most often to preservice (e.g., Armento 1996) and

inservice teachers (e.g., Pajares 1992). In Chapter 2, the effect of teachers' beliefs on

their practices is illustrated by the stated beliefs and the resultant practices of elementary

social studies methods professor Dr. Merrill (Slekar 2006). The current study extended

this theory to the beliefs and practices of inservice teachers serving as social studies

methods instructors.

Theoretical Orientation

It is customary for qualitative researchers to detail their philosophical and

epistemological assumptions regarding methodology, procedures for data collection, and

analysis (Gale 1993; LeCompte & Preissle 1993). This study was based on a









constructivist framework (Crotty 1998; Schwandt 1994). Constructivism is not a strictly

dictated set of beliefs or procedures, but a general descriptor of a family of methods and

philosophies to provide researchers with a general direction, and merely suggests

"directions along which to look," rather than "provide descriptions of what to see"

(Schwandt 1994, p. 221).

Constructivism views each individual as the central agent in creating his or her own

understanding of the world through experience (Crotty 1998). Central to constructivism is

an inquiry into individuals' experiences and a description of the world as felt and

understood by the individuals (Schwandt 1994). In the case of this study, the experiences

were those of the inservice methods instructors as they felt and understood them. These

experiences formed the basis of constructed meanings of events, situations, and beliefs.

This process occurs over time and was influenced by the individuals' actions, personal

histories, and contextual factors (Schwandt, 1994).

Role of the Researcher

The role of the researcher in this qualitative study was to capture the reality and

contexts that the research subjects inhabited. As the researcher, I attempted to become the

human instrument for data collection and interpretation while being aware of the

subtleties of the data collected and analyzed (Lincoln & Guba 1985). This theoretical

sensitivity was demonstrated by my insight and ability to derive meaning from the data.

Lincoln and Guba (1985) believe humans are the "instrument of choice" for qualitative

research because they are able to respond to environmental cues, interact with the given

situation, collect information at multiple levels simultaneously, perceive situations

holistically, process data upon receipt, request verification of data, and explore

unexpected occurrences. Included in any qualitative study is a brief biography of the









researcher: "Interpretive research begins and ends with the biography and self of the

researcher" (Denzin 1989, p. 12).

I began my teaching career working with poor and minority students as part of

Teach for America. I was drawn to Teach for America because of its social justice

agenda. During my two years with Teach for America, I worked in the inner city of

Houston, Texas, in a school where more than 95 percent of the students qualified for Title

I funding. During the 1998-1999 school year, I taught a fifth grade ESOL class,

composed mostly of students transitioning to full-time English instruction after exiting a

bilingual education program. During the 1999-2000 school year, I taught a third grade

bilingual class, with Spanish as the language of instruction.

During the 2000-2001 school year, I attended the University of California at Santa

Barbara and earned a Masters of Education degree in Elementary Education. My masters'

thesis was an action research project involving ESOL students and mathematics

instruction. I also completed ESOL coursework and professional development to support

second language learners during their acquisition of the English language. During the

2001-2002 school year, I relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, and taught second grade

ESOL to an extremely diverse class with a number of students from Eastern Europe and

Central Africa. During the 2002-2003 school year, I again taught second grade ESOL

while emphasizing social studies instruction as a means by which to connect to my

diverse student population.

As the researcher in this study, I had the advantage of focusing on social studies

instruction in my own work as an elementary teacher and during my doctoral studies. I

also held the advantage of being an instructor of the same social studies methods course









taught by the study participants. As a full-time doctoral student, I had the luxury of

almost a singular focus on this study. This was beneficial for a case study approach

because, as Merriam states, "case study investigators immerse themselves in the totality

of the case..." (Merriam 1988, p. 60). In this study, my theoretical sensitivity was based

on my experiences as an elementary social studies teacher, my knowledge of the

professional literature concerning elementary social studies, and my concurrent

experience of teaching the same methods course.

Along with the advantages of my previous experiences were a few disadvantages

that surfaced in the form of bias. The acknowledgement and understanding of a

researcher's bias are important in a qualitative study because, according to Miles and

Huberman (1994), "there is a strong and often unconscious tendency for researchers to

notice supporting instances and ignore ones that don't fit their pre-established

conclusions" (p. 263). While my personal philosophy concerning social studies education

is still evolving, I do hold a number of beliefs about what I think is effective social

studies instruction. For example, I favor social studies instruction that attempts to connect

to the lives and perspectives of minority students. I also have a strong conviction that

social studies instruction should be designed to allow students to make their own

interpretations of both historical and contemporary events and issues.

Participants

The unit of analysis was one instructor and the context he or she inhabited

(Merriam, 1998). Participants were selected as a result of criterion sampling "...to review

and study all cases that meet some predetermined criterion of importance" (Patton 1990,

p. 176). Participants selected for the study met two criteria: They were inservice teachers,

and they instructed an elementary social studies methods course. Participants were









approached in the context of our shared role as elementary social studies methods

instructors and invited to participate in the study. Institutional permission was secured

through the Institutional Review Board of the University of Florida and the Research and

Evaluation Department of the School Board of Alachua County. The three participants

were inservice elementary teachers under the age of 35 with at least five years of teaching

experience who instructed a section of Social Studies for Diverse Learners at the

University of Florida. Two of the participants were female and one was male. Two of the

participants taught fourth grade; one taught first grade. All were White/European

American and from middle-class backgrounds. For one participant, this was the first

experience with any university level instruction; another had taught the social studies

methods course during the previous semester, while the third had previous experience

teaching the social studies methods course, along with a methods course in literacy. To

ensure confidentiality, each participant assumed a pseudonym for use in the final report.

A full description of each participant and his or her settings can be found in Chapters 4-

6.

Explanation of "Dual Roles"

'Dual roles' signifies the participants served concurrently as inservice teachers and

methods instructors. Traditionally, elementary methods courses are taught by professors

and graduate students trained in the specific discipline. In larger teacher education

programs, there are multiple sections of the same methods course needing an instructor.

Few advanced graduate students specialize in elementary social studies, thus creating the

need to recruit advanced graduate students who are "generalists" or who specialize in

other disciplines. In situations when there are no advanced graduate students available,

inservice teachers with a master's degree in education are recruited. Among the









participants, Dan and Alexis were part-time advanced graduate students specializing in

literacy and also serving as inservice teachers. Nora was an inservice teacher with a

master's degree in Special Education. Furthermore, all three participants were teachers at

the field placement site of roughly half of their methods students.

Course Information

Because this course often is taught by instructors without specialized elementary

social studies training, a suggested syllabus and course materials have been developed to

facilitate instruction. Each instructor was given the freedom to instruct the course as they

wished, within the guidelines established by the supervising professor, Dr. Young. The

participants taught "Social Studies for Diverse Learners," which served as the singular

social studies methods course in the teacher education program. The course focus in the

provided syllabus states, "Throughout the social studies methods course you will learn

how to use the tools of inquiry as a teacher in a social studies classroom. Inquiry is a

'questioning' stance that good teachers assume as professionals who plan for, carry out,

and study the impact of their instruction" (See appendix B). While the course closely

aligns to the "reflective inquiry" vision of social studies, it incorporates elements of

"social science" and "informed social criticism" into the provided syllabus as well

(Martorella 1994). The "Key Tasks" represent a social science vision: "The content

exploration should result in the prospective teacher presenting the following: an enduring

understanding (generalization) supported by a synthesis of content from a variety of

resources, and identification of related standards" (See appendix B). James Loewen's

Lies My Teacher Told Me, which the students read and then presented a chapter,

represents an "informed social criticism" vision. The course does not focus exclusively









on these three visions; it presents all five competing visions of elementary social studies

as described by Martorella (1994) in detail during the first class.

The syllabus describes a suggested culminating assignment, the social studies

integrated teaching project, as "a mini-unit integrating social studies and another content

area. This mini-unit will be a culmination of all that we learned this semester and consist

of three Pathwise lessons" (See appendix B). As the first unit that the methods students

plan and actually teach, this assignment is quite challenging. During the final two classes,

the methods students make ten-minute presentations on their units by sharing their lesson

plans and providing student work samples.

Data Collection Methods

Data were collected through interviews and observations of social studies methods

instruction. This approach was based on Patton's (1990) belief that qualitative methods

require three types of data collection: in-depth, open-ended interviews of the participants;

direct observations of actions in their context; and collection of written documents. The

use of multiple sources of data enhanced the credibility of the findings. That is, each type

of data collected affords an opportunity to create an understanding of the topics being

analyzed; this, in turn, provides more credible findings. The use of multiple data sources

also was based on Yin's (1994) suggestion to use multiple sources when constructing

case studies in order to increase the reliability by providing multiple examples of the

participants' approach to the topics of interest.

Data was collected in the following sequence. The first interview of all the

participants was conducted following an initial observation all the participants. After the

first interview five to six observations were conducted of each of the participants. After

completion of the observations a interview was conducted with all of the participants.











Interviews

Patton (1990) stated that "qualitative interviewing begins with the assumption that

the perspective of others is meaningful, knowable, and able to be made explicit" (p. 278).

In this study, interviews made instructors' perspectives explicit by giving participants an

opportunity to explain themselves and their situations (Spradley 1979). Interviewing was

"a powerful way to gain insight into educational issues through understanding the

experience of the individuals whose lives constitute education" (Seidman 1991, p. 7).

Much of the data was generated from interviews based on Patton's (1990) statement:

"The raw data of interviews are the actual quotations spoken by interviewees. There is no

substitute for these data" (p. 347). Two interviews lasting approximately 60-90 minutes

each were conducted with each participant. The first was a background interview to

gather data about the participant's personal and professional background, beliefs about

teaching, and the major areas of interest in the study (See appendix A). The questions for

the first protocol originated from my own personal experiences as a methods instruction,

my initial observations of all the participants and the relevant recent research. In addition

three articles in particular informed the creation of the first protocol. Owens (1997)

provided information about the challenges of elementary social studies. Yendol-Hoppey

and Tilford (2004) shed light on the contextual issues facing elementary social studies

methods instruction and the lack of professional development focused on elementary

social studies. Thornton (2005) highlight the 'content versus methods' tension found in

all elementary social studies methods courses.

The questions for the second interview were developed using the following steps:

First, the transcripts from the first interview were reviewed for missing data and to









determine areas in need of clarification, verification, or extension. Next, methods

instruction observation field notes were reviewed to determine actions, events, or

statements in need of clarification, verification, or explanation. Finally, a general protocol

was developed for use with all participants, and individuals protocols were developed for

each individual participant (See Appendix A). Included in both of these protocols were

specific examples of actions, events, or statements used as text for the participants'

responses, in order to gain deeper access to their beliefs and insights. Included in these

examples were statements made by a participant or students during the previous

interviews or observations, and presented to all the participants to add further depth to the

data. Moreover, some comments made by methods students during class that were

unknown to the participants at the time were made known to them, in order to provide

another perspective to which the participants could respond.

All interviews were semi-structured based on Patton's (1990) interview guide

approach in which the format, topics, and issues were covered in a specified outline form,

and the interviewer determined the order and the wording of each question. The interview

guide allowed for adjustments of each interview and participant. All interviews were

recorded and transcribed by the researcher, and reviewed by the participant for accuracy

(Lincoln & Guba 1985).

Observations

In order to collect data and gain greater insight into comments made during the

initial interview, I conducted observations based on Patton's (1990) statement that in

addition to interviews, "the description of events observed remains the essence of

qualitative inquiry" (p. 392). During the observations, I paid special attention to how the

participants' beliefs about social studies surfaced during methods instruction, including









belief statements and actions representing or related to new or previously stated beliefs.

Also during the observations, I paid close attention to events, actions, or statements that

represented an issue encountered during the participants' methods instruction for future

verification.

Data collection included five to six three-hour observations of social studies

methods instruction for each participant. These observations were conducted as direct

observations (Patton 1990). Direct observation differs from participant observation in

that, as a direct observer, I did not become a participant in the instruction and attempted

to be as unobtrusive as possible. In this study, direct observation was the only type of

observation possible, given that each instructor was responsible for the section he or she

taught. Moreover, my participation might have distorted the data. All observations

concluded with a conversation with the instructors to give them an opportunity to discuss

the class. During each observation, I took extensive field notes to describe the events that

took place and comments made during class.

Written Documents

Written documents were examined to provide further data related to the participants

(Patton, 1990). Access to written documents in this study was limited. The participants

were asked to provide any documents they felt would shed light on their methods

instruction. They had no documents to offer. The majority of the data generated by

written documents was from the provided syllabus, which each participant slightly

adapted to reflect the logistical particularities of his or her section, such as contact

information and class days (See appendix A). Nonetheless, the example syllabus did

provide insights into the suggested structure and focus of the course. In addition, the

books and readings suggested by the provided syllabus were used as sources of data.









Data Analysis

Data analysis was a process of "examining, categorizing, tabulating, or otherwise

recombining the evidence" (Yin 1994, p. 102). Data analysis occurred within and across

cases and was "aimed at ensuring (a) high-quality, accessible data; (b) documentation of

just what analysis were carried out; and (c) retention of data and association analysis after

the study is complete" (Huberman & Miles 1994, p. 27). Data reduction was used to

"make sense of massive amounts of data, reduce the volume of information and identify

significant patterns..." (Patton 1990, p. 371). Several qualitative researchers have stated

that analysis should be an ongoing process starting at the beginning of the study (e.g.,

Merriam 1998; Stake 1995); thus, analysis was an ongoing process.

Data reduction proceeded in the following order: Following the first round of

interviews, free coding was completed, data were analyzed, and codes were developed

and used as a starting point to analyze instructional observation data. These initial codes

were based on the main research questions of the study to be consistent with the tradition

of dissertations for the Doctor of Education degree, where "results are based on themes

corresponding directly to content and structure of documents or interview protocols"

(University of Florida 1983). After all observations were completed, the data were

analyzed using the previously generated codes. To better represent and organize the data,

codes were adjusted after analysis of the observation data and used to analyze the final

interview data. All data were analyzed to identify the emerging themes across the data

(Lincoln & Guba 1985). The data set was reduced to data related only to the identified

themes in order to draw conclusions (Patton 1990). These conclusions were presented to

the participants for verification.









Verification of Interpretation-Trustworthiness

To establish trustworthiness, this study considered one central question: "How can

an inquirer persuade his or her audiences that the findings of an inquiry are worth paying

attention to, worth taking account of?" (Lincoln & Guba 1985, p. 301). Lincoln and Guba

(1985) listed four criteria to establish trustworthiness: credibility, transferability,

dependability, and confirmability.

Credibility

To increase credibility, Stake (1995) stated it is "better to give the reader a good

look at the researcher" (p. 95). Lincoln and Guba (1985) recommend a number of

strategies to increase the probability that findings and interpretations of a qualitative

inquiry will be credible, including peer debriefing and member checking. Peer debriefing

is defined as "a process of exposing oneself to a disinterested peer in a manner paralleling

an analytic session and for the purpose of exploring aspects of the inquiry that might

otherwise remain only implicit within the inquirer's mind" (Lincoln and Guba 1985, p.

308). Member checking was important to ensure the researcher "represented those

multiple constructions adequately; that is, that the reconstructions that have been arrived

at via the inquiry are credible to the constructors of the original multiple realities"

(Lincoln & Guba 1985, p. 296). Member checking also improved the quality of the

findings by "regularly providing) critical observations and interpretations" (Stake 1995,

p. 115). I performed member checking throughout the project, including during the

verification of findings, conclusion, and final presentation.

Transferability

External validity and generalizability, in the quantitative sense, are not relevant to

qualitative research, so Lincoln and Guba (1985) suggested the use of the term









"transferability" (p. 288) to discuss similar notions for the results obtained from a

qualitative inquiry. Results from a qualitative inquiry are specific to the context in which

they are studied, which limits the possibility of external validity (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

Transferability is determined by the readers and their interest "in making a transfer to

reach a conclusion about whether transfer can be contemplated as a possibility" (Lincoln

& Guba, 1985, p. 316). Transferability in this sense depends on the presentation of "solid

descriptive data" or "thick description" (Patton, 1990) in order to determine the "degree

of similarity between sending and receiving contexts" (Lincoln & Guba 1985, p. 297).

Dependability and Confirmability

Dependability and confirmability both were established with one "properly

managed" (Lincoln & Guba 1985) research audit. To establish dependability, the auditor

reviewed the entire process through each stage of inquiry, including all methodology. The

auditor then established that the research process was correctly and consistently applied

to the research questions being considered, after which the findings were confirmed

(Lincoln & Guba 1985).

Description of Chapters

This dissertation adopted a traditional format. Chapter 1 introduced the purpose of

the study, the research questions, and the background of the problem. Chapter 2 reviewed

the literature regarding portraits of practice in social studies (e.g., Slekar 2006), teacher

beliefs (e.g., Pajares 1992), the teaching and learning of elementary social studies (e.g.,

Barton & Levstik 2004), and elementary social studies methods (e.g., Owens 1997).

Chapter 3 described the methodology, the sampling rationale, the research design, and the

process used to analyze the data. Chapters 4-6 describe each participant and the ii i/hill-

case findings related to each particular participant. Chapter 7 presents the cross-case









findings and conclusions of the study. Chapter 8 summarizes the findings, makes

recommendations to support social studies methods instruction by inservice teachers,

suggests directions for further research, and provides conclusions about the status of

elementary social studies.

Summary of Methods

This study is an inquiry into inservice teachers' beliefs, practices and issues

encountered while they serve as elementary social studies methods instructors. The

rationale for the choice of a qualitative design was based primarily on a desire to create

in-depth and holistic portraits of the participants. Specifically, the study employed a case

study methodology and each participant served as an individual case. The theory that a

teacher's beliefs influence his or her instructional practices guided the study.

Theoretically, the study was based on a constructivist framework and the associated

notion that individuals create their own understanding of the world through their

experiences. In this study, the role of the researcher was to serve as the human instrument

for data collection and analysis. The participants for this study were selected to fulfill

criteria of being inservice teachers and elementary social studies methods instructors. All

of the participants taught the same elementary social studies methods course, more or less

based on a provided syllabus and suggested lessons and activities described in this

chapter. Data were collected through interviews and observations, and analyzed through

coding procedures in order to organize and reduce the data. Verification of interpretation

and the findings was carried out to enhance credibility, transferability, dependability, and

confirmability.














CHAPTER 4
ALEXIS JOHNSON

Introduction

Chapter 1 served as an introduction to the research questions and an overview of

how the study was to be conducted. Chapter 2 was a review of the literature relevant to

the research questions. Chapter 3 offered an explanation of the research methods used to

conduct the study. The purpose of chapters 4-6 is to present the case findings for each

participant. As previously noted, the results of this study are reported to fulfill the

requirements for the Doctor of Education degree at the University of Florida (University

of Florida, 1983). To be consistent with this tradition, the results reported in this chapter

were organized in a manner to inform educational professionals in any subject area,

particularly elementary social studies methods instructors. The findings in chapters 4-6

are organized by research questions:

1. What beliefs about social studies education do these inservice teachers hold?
2. How do the beliefs these inservice teachers hold inform their practice in their social
studies methods course?
3. How does filling these dual roles inform their beliefs about the status of social
studies in the elementary curriculum?
4. What do these inservice teachers believe are the issues they encountered while
teaching the methods course?

Following this chapter are chapters 5 and 6, the ii i/hil/- case findings related to

these research questions for two other participants. These chapters also are organized by

the research questions. Chapter 7 presents the cross-case findings of the study. Chapter 8

summarizes the findings, makes recommendations for support of social studies methods

instruction by inservice teachers, suggests directions for further research, and provides









conclusions about the status of elementary social studies. Following are the findings for

Alexis Johnson.

Background Information

Alexis, a fifth year teacher in her late 20s, taught first grade at the K-12 laboratory

school affiliated with a large state-supported "research one" university that offered the

social studies methods course. Alexis was also a doctoral student in curriculum and

instruction at the university, focusing on reading and literacy and also on professional

development of teachers.

The only memory of elementary social studies Alexis had was memorizing the

states and capitals in fourth grade. In high school, Alexis was especially interested in

contemporary history and civics. After earning an A.A. at a community college, Alexis

earned both her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Education

degree with a specialization in Reading and Literacy from the university where she now

instructs the methods course. During her teacher education program, Alexis took one

social studies methods course taught by a dynamic instructor whom she described as

"very inspiring to me" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). This instructor focused on using

social studies to integrate all academic subject areas, and Alexis used the unit she created

during the course as an example for her methods students.

Recently Alexis became a National Board-certified elementary teacher and was

very active in professional development activities. She attended the Florida Technology

Conference and the International Reading Association National Conference, and

presented at the National Association of Laboratory Schools Conference. During the

semester in which the study took place, Alexis was instructing the methods course for a









second time, having also done so the previous semester. She also expressed an interest in

teaching a literacy course in the future.

Professional Experiences

Alexis began her teaching career in an adjoining county, where she taught at a

small rural school that served a mostly White population from low socioeconomic

backgrounds. During her five years there, she taught first grade exclusively and was

provided a prescribed curriculum in every subject area, including social studies.

However, during this time, Alexis maintained control over her classroom in her role as

"curricular-instructional gatekeeper" (Thornton 1991) stating, "I would just close my

door and do what I wanted" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06).

Petty Research and Development School

Alexis has taught the last two years at Petty Research and Development School, which

functions as a part of the university's College of Education and is not administered by the

local county School Board. As a laboratory school, this K-12 institution serves students

from all parts of the county, and the school population intentionally reflected the race,

gender, and socioeconomic characteristics of the state as a whole. The school's web site

explains the role of a laboratory school: "to serve as a vehicle for research,

demonstration, and evaluation regarding teaching and learning while utilizing the

resources available on a state university campus" (Petty 2006). Alexis's classes were

non-tracked, and the teachers, as employees of the university, were expected to

experiment with innovative teaching methods.

At dismissal time, the school's diversity was obvious as children of different ages,

socioeconomic, and cultural groups mix easily. While the school has a number of

portable classrooms connected by walkways, the campus visually appeared well









organized and overall radiates a positive learning environment. Alexis enjoyed teaching

at Petty: "The way I teach now is the way I've always dreamed of teaching and never had

the opportunity to in a county setting and in a district setting" (Alexis, Interview,

3/14/06). Alexis believed Petty was not "as concerned with high stakes testing as some

other places are" and was more focused on "having kids be very well rounded" (Alexis,

Interview, 3/14/06). Alexis served as the elementary math coordinator at Petty and

participated in the Florida Reading Initiative.

Elise Elementary

The methods students in Alexis's class comprised interns from Petty Research and

Development School, as well as from Elise Elementary, which is located in a small,

predominantly middle class town close to the university and serves a mostly White

population with a small percentage of African American and Hispanic students. The

school's web site noted its status as an "A" school the two previous years and proudly

proclaims its affiliation with the university:

Elise Elementary is a partner with the University. We host pre-service teachers
each semester and provide them a place to learn and grow. They help us by
providing extra helping hands in our classroom and help our teachers grow and
improve in their skills. Welcome! (Elise 2006)

Alexis's Classroom and Instruction

Alexis's classroom seemed typical of many first grade classrooms, stuffed with

learning resources and lined with printed material on every possible surface, while

maintaining a cramped, yet organized appearance. The room was configured with tables

to seat four to five students, a specially carpeted area large enough for the entire class to

congregate and many bookcases containing learning materials. Alexis had a positive

rapport with students during methods instruction. Her sense of humor was evident, with









comments such as, "Are you really that blonde?"(Alexis, Class, 3/07/06). Also evident

was her tremendous patience and professionalism when confronted with a rude student


Figure 4-1 Alexis' classroom

while attempting to set up for class (Alexis, Class, 4/4/06). Overall, she projected a very

knowledgeable and confident persona.

Alexis's teaching style was a mix of teacher-led discussion and activities, or group

activities that took place at the student tables. During the lecture, students often accessed

Alexis's knowledge as an experienced teacher; during table discussions, Alexis would

circulate and quietly listen to the various conversations and then offer her comments,

which she often prefaced with "in my opinion." The methods students were very attentive

and gave the impression they respected and liked Alexis. Overall, Alexis's instruction

appeared organized, informed, and effective.









What Beliefs About Social Studies Education Do These Inservice Teachers Hold?

As discussed in Chapter 2, teachers' beliefs about the subjects and students they

teach greatly influence their instruction. These beliefs are important to consider because

of the variety of definitions regarding what constitutes social studies and the currently

imperiled status of social studies education. The word "belief," like many words, has a

somewhat variable and subjective meaning. This is especially true in the context of

"teacher belief' research, as noted by Pajares: "It will not be possible for researchers to

come to grips with teachers' beliefs, however, without first deciding what they wish

'belief to mean. ." (1992, p. 308). This study used a definition of the term 'belief

similar to that of Dewey (1933). Dewey defined 'belief as:

...something beyond itself by which its value is tested; it makes an assertion about
some matter of fact or some principle or law [and] covers all the matters of which
we have no sure knowledge and yet which we are sufficiently confident of to act
upon...and also the matter that we now accept as certainly true, as knowledge, but
which nevertheless may be questioned in the future. (p.6)

The findings for this question are organized into three sections: beliefs about

teaching, beliefs about social studies and teaching social studies, and beliefs about

teaching social studies methods. This organization extends to the findings for the same

research question in Chapters 5 and 6.

Beliefs Concerning Teaching

Alexis Johnson expressed a number of beliefs about teaching in general. When

asked to define teaching, Alexis responded, "Teaching by definition, I think, is showing

someone how to do something..." (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). This belief was evident

during Alexis's methods instruction, particularly when working with students to craft a

generalization for their units. Alexis expressed her belief in the importance of teaching

with the goal of creating lifelong learners, "...essentially what I'm trying to do is get kids









to be lifelong learners" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Alexis expressed her belief in

sharing power in both the elementary classroom-"Your kids should have a voice in your

classroom" (Alexis, Class, 4/4/06)-and during methods instruction-"I think we should

give the methods students more voice..." (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). This belief is

consistent with chapter 2, "Respecting Children," in Wolk's (1998) A Democratic

Classroom, a reading in the syllabus. Alexis discussed her belief in teaching a well-

rounded child: "I believe in teaching the whole child and not just material. I don't teach

material. I teach kids" (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). In order to meet the needs of each

child, Alexis believed "it is my job to always find a way to reach every child no matter

where they are in whatever subject area that I happen to be teaching them in or

instructing them in" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). A similar sentiment is also found in A

Democratic Classroom, where Wolk offered his "ten things I believe about children";

number two is "children grow and develop differently" (p. 14).

Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies

The basis for her elementary social studies practice was Alexis's belief that "social

studies is everything that's happening around us all the time. It's our social world and I

think it's the study of people and life" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). While not explicitly

related to the "cultural universals" curriculum promoted in Brophy and Alleman's book

Powerful Social Studiesfor Elementary Students, a reading in the syllabus, Alexis's

remarks do resemble Brophy and Alleman's definition of cultural universals as "basic

needs and social experiences found in all societies, past and present" (1996, p. 13).

Concerning social studies teaching in general, Alexis expressed her belief in the

power of innovative instructional practices (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). This was evident

in the practices she shared with her methods students: "Did I tell you guys about using









my smart board to use Google Earth to 'fly' to Egypt and the Nile..." (Alexis, Class

4/11/06). The key to understanding Alexis's approach was her fervent belief in teaching

for "understanding" rather than teaching for "coverage." She explains: "We're teaching

for real understanding. Am I teaching kids to memorize the states and capitals? Or am I

teaching kids to understand that land is divided up in different ways? That's a bad

example, but that's it" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). This belief emanated from the social

studies methods instruction Alexis received as a teacher education student. Her methods

course was taught by an innovative instructor who "encouraged us to write units that

had... generalizations to create understanding rather than coverage" (Alexis, Interview,

3/14/06). Teaching for generalizations focuses on how the facts are related and using

those concepts to build generalizations that can be applied to similar situations (Benson,

1998). Teaching for generalizations was the goal of the instructional unit and a "Key

Task" in the suggested syllabus:

Students will demonstrate subject matter expertise by synthesizing social science
content and developing an enduring understanding for an assigned social studies
topic to a named grade. The content exploration should result in the prospective
teacher presenting the following: an enduring understanding (generalization)
supported by a synthesis of content from a variety of resources, and identification
of related standards. (See appendix B)

Alexis also expressed her belief in integrating social studies into other subject areas

to give students multiple experiences with the same content: "I definitely think that

integration is key. When you can integrate social studies into math, or economics

... there's just tons of ways that I think it could be integrated to improve understanding"

(Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Integration of social studies into other subject areas also

was a requirement of the teaching unit to be completed by the methods students: "Each









partnership will be required to complete a mini-unit integrating social studies and another

content area" (See appendix B).

Alexis also believed in delivering instruction that was both critical and balanced:

"When we talk to kids, we need to talk about the fact that all people have parts that are

not good" (Alexis, Class, 3/07/06). The book Lies My Teacher Told Me presented a

critical view of history aimed at providing a more balanced portrayal of American

history. The book was a reading in the suggested syllabus and provoked some of the most

interesting and revealing dialogue of the semester (Alexis, Class, 3/07/06). A critical and

balanced presentation of social studies also connected to Alexis's belief in the need for

civics instruction: "teaching kids how to make decisions and teaching kids how to survive

in a community ..." (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). This sentiment is also conveyed in A

Democratic Classroom, which devotes an entire chapter to "Classroom as Community"

(Wolk 1998). The tension between teaching students to be both critical and constructive

citizens presented a challenge to Alexis: "How do we teach kids about things that are not

that good and still teach for civic participation?" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06).

Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods

An extension of her belief in the importance of teaching elementary social studies

for "real understanding" was Alexis's main goal for methods instruction: "The main thing

I want them to understand... is to stop worrying about coverage of facts and to teach the

bigger idea" (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Her goal was also reflected in the "Key Tasks"

in the suggested syllabus (See appendix B). Alexis strongly conveyed her belief in the

ubiquitous nature of social studies when told by her methods students that they would not

be able to include social studies because of FCAT pressure: "I tell them that there's no

way not to include social studies in their instruction" (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Alexis









also believed in the importance of her methods students seeing her as a credible teacher

who walks her own walk: "I think it's very important for them to see me as a teacher first

and foremost. I am a teacher of students and this is what I do every day, and I want

them.. .to believe what I say" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Finally, she believed in the

importance of exposing her methods students to the same type of active instruction that

she advocated for elementary students: "When I set up the centers where they're actually

engaging in different ways to use social studies experiences...I feel like they get a feel

for how powerful this kind of instruction is" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06).

How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teachers Hold Inform Their Practice in Their
Social Studies Methods Course?

Based on their beliefs, all teachers make decisions daily about the material they

teach and the type of instruction they provide (Richardson 1996; Thornton 1991; Wilson

Konopak & Readance 1994). The findings in this section provide specific examples of

belief-to-practice connections related to teaching an elementary social studies methods

course. During the final interviews, connections between the beliefs and practices

recorded during observations or the first interview were discussed and my associations

verified by the participants.

Alexis voiced strong beliefs about the importance of teachers researching the

content they want to teach and resisting the pressure to "cover" material from a textbook:

"I never want to turn out a teacher that feels like they need to rely on something else to

provide the instruction, rather than themselves" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). This belief

is supported in Brophy and Alleman's book and was the basis of the "Content Info"

assignments in Alexis's syllabus (See appendix B). Based on this belief, Alexis









constantly reminded her students, "...you have to really prepare for the units you're

going to teach and you need to know your content..." (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06).

In order to capitalize on her dual roles, Alexis believed "it's important for them to

see me teaching because what it actually shows is that I walk the walk" (Alexis,

Interview, 3/14/06). To allow her methods students to see how she instructs her

elementary students, Alexis showed video of her teaching:

Here it is in reality. Here's what.. .I'm telling you is important instruction. Here's
what it looks like in my classroom. It's not a public video. It's not perfect student;
it's not perfect kid; it's not perfect me. It's just reality. And I think that it's
important for them to see what I'm talking about in action. (Alexis, Interview,
3/14/06)

In addition, the use of video provided examples of Alexis's often stated belief,

"everything happens in social studies... my end-of-the-year video were the highlights of

our year; 70 percent of it is of social studies events that have happened in our classroom.

So I feel like it just makes concrete what I'm trying to tell them" (Alexis, Interview,

3/14/06).

Another of Alexis's beliefs was the importance of having other subject areas

integrated into social studies in meaningful ways: "Amazing things that can be done

because everything is integrated into social studies..." (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). One

way this belief was communicated to the methods students "is with the reading strategies

(in the provided course materials) so they have to apply reading strategies to their own

content area of reading" (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Alexis engaged her methods

students in conversations about what meaningful integration would look like (Alexis,

Class, 2/28/06). She explained the lesson: "We worked through some ideas of what

would meaningful integration look like? So, throwing out an example, having a









discussion about that... is that really math that you're integrating or is that just junk..."

(Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06).

How Does Filling These Dual Roles Inform Their Beliefs About the Status of Social
Studies in the Elementary Curriculum?

The participants in this study had access to a unique perspective on the status of

social studies in the elementary curriculum. With connections to both of the "two

cultures" of social studies education (Leming 1989), they were able to see how

elementary social studies was being presented to preservice teachers in a social studies

methods course; they also saw the realities of classrooms and schools and were privy to

information unlike anyone else in the social studies teaching profession. The findings in

this section focus on three issues: what information the participants had access to about

elementary social studies, how they received this information, and, most importantly,

their opinions about the status of social studies based on information and experiences in

both roles.

Information Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Channels of
Communication

Alexis had access to exclusive information about the status of elementary social

studies at Petty Research and Development School and Elise Elementary. While

discussing how filling these dual roles informed her beliefs about the status of social

studies in the elementary curriculum, Alexis lamented, "I think that it has definitely made

me see how important it is, and how much it isn't happening" (Alexis, Interview,

3/14/06).

When asked how she came by information about the status of social studies at Elise

Elementary, Alexis reported, "only through the (methods) students and the university

supervisor..." (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Even with this limited knowledge, Alexis









assessed the differences between the two schools: "I think teaching social studies

'traditionally' happens more at Elise" (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Based on her

knowledge of both schools, Alexis knew that "...in a lot of schools social studies is

integrated into the reading block" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Alexis's fellow teachers at

Petty often asked her for clarification of the course's requirements: ".. .a teacher here

whose (methods) students I had was constantly asking me 'What is it you're really

expecting of them?"' (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06) The cooperating teachers' questions

gave Alexis information about the kind of social studies instruction the cooperating

teacher offered in her classroom. Referring to this cooperating teacher, Alexis reported,

"She did not really understand what the (methods) students were doing, which gave me

an idea of what she was really doing in her classroom..." (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06).

She explained as a methods instructor, she had a window into many classrooms at Petty:

"I have insights into a lot of different classrooms around here" (Alexis, Interview,

5/10/06). Alexis knew social studies was indeed being taught in a majority of classrooms

at Petty, but felt the quality of instruction was not always the highest (Alexis, Interview,

5/10/06).

Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Testing

Alexis also made astute comments about a possible disconnect between what the

methods students were learning about teaching social studies and what they would be

able to retain working in schools that do not support social studies instruction: "I think to

myself, 'Okay, here they are. They're not teachers yet. Here we're teaching them all this

really hip stuff; are they going to forget it?"' (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Concerning the

amount of actual social studies instruction going on in most public schools, Alexis









reported, "It's quite appalling, actually....and it makes me wonder what we can really do"

(Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06).

Despite the relatively elevated status of social studies at Petty, Alexis was acutely

aware of the secondary status of social studies in other schools statewide. Asked what she

believed was necessary to raise the status of social studies instruction in the state of

Florida, Alexis was frank: "What is it going to take?.. .It's going to have to be tested on

the FCAT, and I think that's the most horrible thing they could do..." (Alexis, Interview,

5/10/06). Alexis's concerns about social studies being added to the FCAT were based on

her belief that "true understanding of generalizations and true understanding of people in

social studies can't really be assessed a whole lot on a written test" (Alexis, Interview,

3/14/06). She also believed there was a need for accountability, but was concerned with

the current "snapshot" approach: "I think that we have to have accountability, but I have

a problem with so much being hinged on one test" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06).

What Do These Inservice Teachers Believe are the Issues They Encountered While
Teaching the Methods Course?

As noted by Owens (1997), teaching an elementary social studies methods course is

accompanied by a number of particular issues, each of which creates an opportunity for

improvement. In order to examine the issues encountered by an inservice teacher serving

as a methods instructor, I have organized the findings related to this research question

into the following three categories: issues related to students, issues related to the status

of elementary social studies and the field placement, and issues related to dual roles. In

addition, there are issues faced by the participants were particular to inservice teachers

serving as methods instructors and there were issues any person could encounter while

instructing an elementary social studies methods course. The issues related to methods









students and the issues related to the status of elementary social studies and the field

placement are endemic to the instruction of any elementary methods course and the

issues related to filling dual roles are issues specifically related to participants. The

organization of these findings extends to chapters 5 and 6.

Issues Related to Methods Students

The issues discussed in this section are those most closely related to the methods

students themselves and how those students influence elementary social studies methods

instruction.

Conservative social beliefs

Teachers tend to come from White/European American backgrounds and to have

traditional and conservative social beliefs (e.g., Cuban, 1984) that may inhibit their

ability to embrace the social studies goal of promoting social progress. That goal was

summarized by NCSS in 1979: "to engage students in analyzing and attempting to

resolve the social issues confronting them" (267). Similarly, these students' conservative

social beliefs favor the status quo. These findings were supported by the students in

Alexis's class. When asked if her students held more liberal or more conservative social

beliefs, Alexis reported, "more conservative. I tend to have some liberal beliefs and that

can be very difficult for them (methods students)... .They seem to view their beliefs as

reality..." (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Alexis's students' traditional and conservative

social beliefs surfaced during the discussion about the book Lies My Teacher Told Me by

James Loewen. In the discussion, one student flippantly stated, "Do you... [think] she

would really teach her kids this stuff, like all the Indians died. .go home and have a

feast?" (Alexis, Class, 3/07/06). The other students at the table also were very doubtful

about the truthfulness of the book. Later, during class discussion, the same student asked









Alexis, "How do you teach this, with all the bad stuff?" To which Alexis responded,

"What do I teach? I do not teach Thanksgiving day...I teach a unit about immigration"

(Alexis, Class, 3/07/06). During the final interview, Alexis reflected on these comments:

"It just shows how ingrained those beliefs are and how difficult it is to change beliefs..."

(Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Interestingly, this class of students began the semester by

asking "how do we not teach just 'white man's history"' (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06).

The students' previous experiences apparently served as a filter that inhibited them from

learning new ways of thinking about certain historical events and figures. Angell (1998)

noted a similar difficulty in changing the beliefs of preservice teachers concerning the

teaching and learning of social studies.

Tension between content and methods

While discussing possible solutions to the tension between content and methods,

Alexis highlighted another complication: "I don't know how much more we can add onto

the (teacher education) program. I don't know that one class in anything is sufficient

knowledge to prepare teachers" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). In an attempt to overcome

this challenge, Alexis often reminded her students to do their own research on the topics

they teach because "you will never know everything you need to know about American

History" (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06).

Students' negative experiences with Social Studies

Other issues discussed in chapter 2 included methods students' negative previous

experiences and dislike of social studies (Cuban 1991; Downey & Levstik 1991; Levstik

1996, Owens 1997), and the widespread lack of social studies historical content

knowledge among elementary social studies methods students (Fritzer & Kumar 2002).

This lack of content knowledge extends to all the other disciplines that are parts of social









studies, such as geography and economics. This lack of knowledge creates an inherent

tension in instructing an elementary social studies methods course. Methods instructors

must convey how to teach social studies, as well as the content of the disciplines that

make up social studies.

Students' past negative experiences with social studies were evident in Alexis's

course when many students reported having boring social studies instruction in

elementary school (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06). Many of these negative experiences were the

result of "social studies teaching that generally was not the most powerful, and they

remember having to memorize the states and capitals" (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06).

Issues Related to the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Field Placement

As noted by Yendol-Hoppey and Tilford (2004), field placements can complicate

methods instruction because of both the varieties of instruction and, in some cases, the

lack of instruction provided to students.

Lack of respect and professional development for elementary Social Studies

When asked if she believed her students approached this class with the same

amount of respect as they approached methods courses for the assessed areas, Alexis

responded, "I would say probably the first couple of classes, and I would say especially

the group that I have this semester didn't really" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). However,

she believed that the group's approach to the course improved during the semester,

saying, "halfway through the semester they definitely put as much importance on it as

they do some other subjects" (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). This initial lack of respect was

at least partially, if not totally, related to the untested status of elementary social studies.

"We were talking about the democratic community, A Democratic Classroom, the book.

One of them was concerned that taking time to do extended projects would detract from









'real learning' that they needed to show on the FCAT" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). After

this comment, Alexis engaged the class in a serious discussion about what "real learning"

was. Alexis believed that the students' level of respect for the course and elementary

social studies improved as a result of her efforts: "I don't want to say my pressure, but

my pressure on them to see this as something equally as valuable as anything else that

they're doing... .My enthusiasm for it, I hope, impressed them" (Alexis, Interview,

3/14/06).

Alexis also noted that the lack of professional development opportunities was a

challenge: "I can't think of any professional development experience I've had in social

studies, ever" (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). When asked why she believed there was a

lack of professional development for social studies, Alexis frankly reported, "...my first

response is that I think that because it's not tested on FCAT, nobody cares about it. I also

think that social studies is seen as not as important as the other subject areas" (Alexis,

Interview, 3/14/06). While not directly related to methods instruction, this lack of

professional development may lower the overall quality of social studies instruction

witnessed by the methods students in their placements.

Lack of time for elementary Social Studies

Due to FCAT pressure, many cooperating teachers gave the methods students

limited time to teach their units. During unit presentation, the students made many

comments about their limited instructional time, such as, "We only had thirty minutes

and this was taught during...reading time...." (Alexis, Class 4/11/06). However, a few

students reported that their teacher did provide them with an acceptable amount of

instructional time: "We had a very good teacher; she was very flexible; she gave us lots

of time" (Alexis, Class 4/11/06). Despite ever-present FCAT pressure, Alexis believed




Full Text

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PRACTICING TEACHERS AS ELEMENTARY SOCI AL STUDIES METHODS INSTRUCTORS: THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT THE ISSUES THEY ENCOUNTERED IN PREPARING PRESERVICE ELEMENTARY TEACHERS By BRIAN K. LANAHAN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Brian K. Lanahan

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This dissertation is dedicated to Ty Thebaut in gratitude for her example of how to live life with your glass more than half full.

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank the members of my supervisory committee, Drs. Elizabeth A. Yeager, Diane Yendol-Hoppey, Elizabeth Bondy, Sevan Terzian, and Stephen Smith, for their advice and assistance du ring this process. In particul ar, I thank Dr. Yeager for her unflappable support, and I thank Dr. Yendol-H oppey for the opportunity to teach the elementary social studies methods course. I am extremely grateful to my parents, Dennis Lanahan and Mary Ellen Lanahan, for their love and support of my siblings a nd me throughout our education. Thanks go to my grandparents Charles R. Thebaut, Josephi ne N. Thebaut, Dennis J. Lanahan Sr. and Wanda B. Lanahan for their support of the education of all thei r grandchildren. I am indebted to my brothers and sister and their spouses for th eir support, especially during the last year, they are the greatest gift my mother and father ever gave me. I appreciate the efforts of the many ment ors and teachers who assisted me during my education, inside and outside the cl assroom: Sr. Thomas Joseph, Mr. Leo Kindon, Ms. Joanne Walsh, Mr. John P. Wilwol, Rev. James R. Flynn, Mr. Brian Sears, Dr. Ken LaBrant, Dr. James Lima, Ms. Sue Hoag, Mr Paul Nowicki, and Mr. Mike Holloway. Dr. John Johnston deserves thanks for putting my body back together more than once. Also, thanks go to the Panera staff, especially Sarah and Nicole. Finally, I must say a special thank you to my mother, who taught me that the harder you get knocked down, the higher you bounce.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF FIGURES...........................................................................................................xi ABSTRACT......................................................................................................................x ii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Introduction and Purpose of the Study.........................................................................1 Rationale for Study.......................................................................................................1 Statement of the Research Problem..............................................................................2 Research Questions.......................................................................................................2 Theoretical Orientation.................................................................................................3 Guiding Research..........................................................................................................5 Guiding Theory.............................................................................................................6 The Rationale for the Choice of a Qualitative Design..................................................7 Role of the Researcher..................................................................................................8 Methodology.................................................................................................................8 Participants................................................................................................................... 9 Data Collection Methods..............................................................................................9 Observations...............................................................................................................10 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................10 Study Limitations and Delimitations..........................................................................12 Description of Chapters..............................................................................................12 Potential Significance of the Study.............................................................................13 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE............................................................................14 Introduction.................................................................................................................14 Teacher Beliefs...........................................................................................................15 The Beliefs-to-Practice Connection....................................................................17 Changing Beliefs.................................................................................................18 Summary of Teacher Beliefs......................................................................................20 Portraits of Practice in Elementary Social Studies Methods Instruction....................21 Dr. Henry Merrill.................................................................................................21 Dr. Rahima Wade................................................................................................24

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vi Self-Portraits of the Practice of Elemen tary Social Studies Methods Professors.......25 Dr. Marilynne Boyle-Baise.................................................................................25 Dr. John Benson..................................................................................................27 Dr. Omiunota Ukpokodu.....................................................................................28 Dr. Janice McArthur............................................................................................30 Summary of Portraits of Practice in Elementary Social Studies Methods Instruction..............................................................................................................31 Issues of Social Studies Methods Instruction.............................................................31 Challenge #1: Negative Past Expe riences with Social Studies...........................32 Challenge #2: Lack of Interest in Teaching Social Studies.................................32 Challenge #3: Confusion Over the Nature of Social Studies..............................33 Challenge #4: Conflicting Conser vative Sociological Beliefs............................34 Challenge #5: Selecting What to Teach..............................................................35 Challenge #6: Using the Concurrent Social Studies Field Experience...............36 Summary of Issues of Social Studies Methods Instruction........................................38 Recent Research in Elementary Social Studies..........................................................39 The Expanding Horizons Curriculum.................................................................39 Research on Effective Elementary Social Studies Practice.................................40 Five Requirements for Powerful Social Studies..................................................41 The Effects of the No Child Left Be hind Act and High-Stakes Testing on Elementary Social Studies...............................................................................45 Loss of instructional time.............................................................................47 Quality..........................................................................................................48 Summary of Recent Research in Elementary Social Studies.....................................48 Conclusion..................................................................................................................49 3 METHODS.................................................................................................................52 Review of the Purpose of the Study...........................................................................52 Statement of Problem.................................................................................................52 Research Questions.....................................................................................................53 Rationale for the Choice of a Qualitative Design.......................................................53 Study Methodology....................................................................................................55 Guiding Theory...........................................................................................................56 Theoretical Orientation...............................................................................................56 Role of the Researcher................................................................................................57 Participants.................................................................................................................59 Explanation of Dual Roles......................................................................................60 Course Information.....................................................................................................61 Data Collection Methods............................................................................................62 Interviews............................................................................................................63 Observations........................................................................................................64 Written Documents..............................................................................................65 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................66 Verification of InterpretationTrustworthiness........................................................67 Credibility............................................................................................................67 Transferability.....................................................................................................67

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vii Dependability and Confirmability.......................................................................68 Description of Chapters.......................................................................................68 Summary of Methods..........................................................................................69 4 ALEXIS JOHNSON...................................................................................................70 Introduction.................................................................................................................70 Background Information.....................................................................................71 Professional Experiences.....................................................................................72 Petty Research and Development School............................................................72 Elise Elementary..................................................................................................73 Alexiss Classroom and Instruction.....................................................................73 What Beliefs About Social Studies Educa tion Do These Inservice Teachers Hold?.75 Beliefs Concerning Teaching..............................................................................75 Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies........................76 Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods.......................................78 How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teacher s Hold Inform Their Practice in Their Social Studies Methods Course?............................................................................79 How Does Filling These Dual Roles Info rm Their Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum?......................................................81 Information Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Channels of Communication............................................................................81 Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Testing..........82 What Do These Inservice Teachers Belie ve are the Issues They Encountered While Teaching the Methods Course?...................................................................83 Issues Related to Methods Students....................................................................84 Conservative social beliefs...........................................................................84 Tension between content and methods.........................................................85 Students negative experiences with Social Studies....................................85 Issues Related to the Status of El ementary Social Studies and Field Placement.........................................................................................................86 Lack of respect and professional de velopment for elementary Social Studies.....................................................................................................86 Lack of time for elementary Social Studies.................................................87 Other field placement issues........................................................................88 Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles...................................................................90 Content and theore tical knowledge..............................................................90 Limited time.................................................................................................91 Credibility.....................................................................................................91 Negotiations for instructional time and freedom..........................................92 Advantages of filling dual roles...................................................................93 Themes and Summary of Findi ngs for Alexis Johnson..............................................94 5 DAN CHARLES........................................................................................................95 Introduction and Background Information.................................................................95 Professional Experiences.....................................................................................95

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viii Owen Elementary................................................................................................96 More Cooperative School....................................................................................97 Dans Classroom and Instruction........................................................................98 What Beliefs About Social Studies Educa tion Do These Inservice Teachers Hold?.99 Beliefs Concerning Teaching..............................................................................99 Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies........................99 Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods.....................................101 How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teacher s Hold Inform Their Practice in Their Social Studies Methods Course?..........................................................................102 How Does Filling These Dual Roles Info rm Their Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum?....................................................104 Information Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Channels of Communication..........................................................................104 Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Testing........106 What Do These Inservice Teachers Belie ve are the Issues They Encountered While Teaching the Methods Course?.................................................................107 Issues Related to Methods Students..................................................................107 Conservative social beliefs.........................................................................107 Tension between content and methods.......................................................108 Students negative experiences with Social Studies..................................109 Issues Related to the Status of El ementary Social Studies and Field Placement.......................................................................................................109 Lack of respect and professional de velopment for elementary Social Studies...................................................................................................109 Lack of time for elementary Social Studies...............................................110 Other field placement issues......................................................................111 Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles.................................................................112 Content and theore tical knowledge............................................................112 Limited time...............................................................................................113 Credibility...................................................................................................113 Negotiations for instructional time and freedom........................................115 Advantages of filling dual roles.................................................................115 Themes and Summary of Fi ndings for Dan Charles................................................116 6 NORA IGLESIAS....................................................................................................119 Background Information...........................................................................................119 Professional Experiences...................................................................................119 Thebaut Elementary...........................................................................................120 Howe Elementary..............................................................................................120 Noras Classroom and Instruction.....................................................................121 What Beliefs About Social Studies Education Do These Inservice Teachers Hold?122 Beliefs Concerning Teaching............................................................................122 Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies......................123 Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods.....................................124 How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teacher s Hold Inform Their Practice in Their Social Studies Methods Course?..........................................................................125

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ix How Does Filling These Dual Roles Info rm Their Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum?....................................................127 Information Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Channels of Communication..........................................................................127 Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Testing........128 What Do These Inservice Teachers Belie ve are the Issues They Encountered While Teaching the Methods Course?................................................................129 Issues Related to Methods Students..................................................................129 Liberal beliefs.............................................................................................129 Content vs. methods tension and students negative experiences..............130 Student Behavior........................................................................................131 Issues Related to the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and the Field Placement.......................................................................................................132 Lack of respect for the elementary Social Studies methods course...........132 Lack of professional development in elementary Social Studies...............133 Lack of time for elementary Social Studies...............................................133 Other field placement issues......................................................................133 Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles.................................................................134 Content and theore tical knowledge............................................................134 Limited time...............................................................................................135 Credibility...................................................................................................135 Negotiations for instructional time and freedom........................................136 Advantages of filling dual roles.................................................................136 Themes and Summary of Fi ndings for Nora Iglesias...............................................137 7 CROSS CASE FINDINGS.......................................................................................140 Introduction...............................................................................................................140 What Beliefs About Social Studies Educa tion Do These Inservice Teachers Hold?140 Beliefs Concerning Teaching............................................................................140 Beliefs Concerning Social Studies....................................................................142 Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies....................................................144 Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods.....................................147 Summary...................................................................................................................149 How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teacher s Hold Inform Their Practice in Their Social Studies Methods Course?..........................................................................152 Shared Belief-to-Practice Connections..............................................................152 Individual Belief-toPractice Connections........................................................154 Dan.............................................................................................................154 Nora............................................................................................................155 Alexis.........................................................................................................156 Influence of Course Materials on Beliefs..........................................................157 Summary...................................................................................................................158 How Does Filling These Dual Roles Info rm Their Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum?....................................................159 Information Concerning the Status of Elementary Social Studies and Channels of Communication..........................................................................159

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x Beliefs About the Status of Social St udies in the Elementary Curriculum.......163 Summary...................................................................................................................166 What Do These Inservice Teachers Belie ve are the Issues They Encountered While Teaching the Methods Course?................................................................167 Issues Related to Methods Students..................................................................167 Conservative social beliefs and liberal social beliefs.................................167 Content vs. methods tension.......................................................................169 Students negative experiences with Social Studies..................................171 Student behavior.........................................................................................171 Issues Related to the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and the Field Placement.......................................................................................................172 Lack of professional development for elementary Social Studies.............172 Lack of time and respect for elementary Social Studies............................174 Other field placement issues......................................................................175 Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles.................................................................177 Content and theore tical knowledge............................................................178 Limited time...............................................................................................179 Credibility...................................................................................................180 Negotiations for instructional time and freedom........................................181 Advantages of filling dual roles.................................................................183 Summary...................................................................................................................184 8 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS.....................................................187 Summary of the Findings of the Study.....................................................................187 Recommendations for Supporting and Improving Social Studies Methods Instruction by In service Teachers........................................................................188 Field Placement.................................................................................................188 Methods Course.................................................................................................189 College of Education.........................................................................................190 Future Research........................................................................................................191 Research on Inservice Teachers Serving as Methods Instructors.....................191 Research on Elementary Social Studies Methods Instruction...........................192 Research Elementary Social Studies.................................................................193 Conclusion about the Status of Elementary Social Studies......................................194 APPENDIX A PROTOCOLS...........................................................................................................197 B SYLLABUS..............................................................................................................206 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................224 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................235

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xi LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Ph. D. vs. Ed. D........................................................................................................... ..4 4-1 AlexisÂ’ classroom........................................................................................................74 5-1. DanÂ’s Classroom.........................................................................................................98 6-1. NoraÂ’s Classroom.....................................................................................................121 7-1 Beliefs Concerning Teaching....................................................................................141 7-2 Beliefs Concerni ng Social Studies............................................................................142 7-3 Beliefs Concerning T eaching Social Studies.............................................................144 7-4 Beliefs Concerning T eaching Social Studies.............................................................148 7-5 Belief-to-Practice Connections Shared......................................................................152 7-6 Belief-to-Practice Connection Dan............................................................................154 7-7 Belief-to-Practice Connection Nora..........................................................................155 7-8 Belief-to-Practice Connection Alexis........................................................................156 7-9 Channels of Communication.....................................................................................162 7-10 Issues Related to Methods Students........................................................................167 7-12 Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles........................................................................178

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xii Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education PRACTICING TEACHERS AS ELEMENTARY SOCI AL STUDIES METHODS INSTRUCTORS: THEIR BELIEFS ABOUT THE ISSUES THEY ENCOUNTERED IN PREPARING PRESERVICE ELEMENTARY TEACHERS By Brian K. Lanahan August 2006 Chair: Elizabeth Anne Yeager Major Department: Teaching and Learning Given the currently threatened status of social studies instruction in elementary schools, there is a need for strong methods instruction. However, elementary social studies methods instruction at the university level can be idiosyncratic and difficult to characterize, because methods courses often are taught by teachers from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, incl uding inservice teachers. The individuals examined in this study served in the dual roles of inservice teachers and elementary social studies methods instructors. The st udy was informed by four major areas of literature: portraits of practice in social st udies methods instructi on, teaching and learning of elementary social studies, elementary soci al studies methods, and teacher beliefs. Case study methodology was employed, and the theory that teacher beliefs drive practice was the lens used to examine the beliefs and practices of the three participants while

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xiii chronicling the issues they encountered. Observ ations of methods inst ructors, interviews, and written documents supplied the data to complete this investigation. Findings from this study suggest that individuals serving in these dual roles engaged in practices based on their personal beliefs and experiences, and were privy to unique information about the status of elem entary social studies in the elementary curriculum. These individuals also encounter ed issues related to methods students, the status of elementary social studies and field placements, and filling dual roles. To further support individuals serving in these dual roles, recommendations for supporting and improving social studies methods instruc tion by inservice teachers are included. Suggestions for further study are recomme nded, including research about inservice teachers serving as methods instructors, elemen tary social studies methods instruction in general, and further elementary social studi es research. Finally, conclusions about the status of elementary social studies are disc ussed. Overall, filling these dual roles served to facilitate the participants Â’ methods instruction and gave them unique insights into the status of social studies. The ability of th e participants to relate and react to the experiences and concerns of the met hods students proved to be valuable.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Introduction and Purpose of the Study Elementary social studies methods instruc tion at the university level can often be idiosyncratic and difficult to characterize (Slekar 2006). While there is generally an agreed upon need to understand how met hods courses can better prepare preservice teachers to engage in social studies pract ice to meet the needs of diverse student populations (e.g., McCall & Andringa 1997; Ukpokodu 2003), portraits of those typically instructing these courses are rare. Elementary social studies methods courses are often taught by teachers from a variety of educat ional and professional backgrounds: “Retired (secondary) social studies teachers, retired pr incipals, teachers with a Masters degree in curriculum and instruction and other willing bu t possibly not qualified people carried the bulk of the load” (Slekar 2006, p. 255). This obser vation is mirrored at the University of Florida, where inservice teach ers often serve as social st udies methods instructors. A need exists to understand the particular belie fs that fuel the methods practices of these instructors and the issues th ey encounter as inservice te achers instructing a methods course. Rationale for Study The teacher education experiences of clas sroom teachers concerning social studies “cannot be overlooked as factors that shape teachers’ knowledge and classroom practices” (Yeager & Wilson 1997, p. 122). Despite the power that such experiences have over teachers, little is known about how the beliefs of inservice methods instructors

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2 influence their methods practices, and how fillin g these dual roles in turn influences their beliefs about social studies at the elementa ry level. Nespor (1987) suggested a further examination of such beliefs: “Little attention has been acco rded to the structures and functions of a teacher’s beliefs about their ro les, their students, the subject matter areas they teach, and the schools they work in” (p. 317). While there are many powerful portraits of how beliefs influence the inst ruction of social studies teachers (e.g., Wineburg & Wilson 1991), portraits of how be liefs affect the methods practices of inservice teachers serving as social studies methods instruct ors are virtually nonexistent. This study seeks to fill this void in the literature. Statement of the Research Problem Given the currently threatened status of social studies instruction in elementary schools, there is a need for strong methods in structors. In many colleges of education, it is common practice to employ inservice teacher s to teach methods courses. A void in the literature exists concerning the beliefs, practices, and issues encountered by these instructors, so little is known about how to best support them as they perform their duties. Thus, whatever new information is collected adds to the scholarship about the practitioners who fill this role, and in the future will assist colleges of education to better support these instructors. Research Questions This research study will seek to answer the following questions: 1. What beliefs about social studies educa tion do these inservic e teachers hold? 2. How do the beliefs these inservice teachers ho ld inform their practice in their social studies methods course? 3. How does filling these dual roles inform their beliefs about the place of social studies in the elementary curriculum? 4. What do these inservice teach ers believe are the issues they encountered while teaching the methods course?

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3 Theoretical Orientation It is customary for qualitative research ers to detail their philosophical and epistemological assumptions, such as the c hoice of methodology and procedures for data collection and analysis, because these assumptions guide all aspects of their study (Gale 1993; LeCompte & Preissle 1993). This study is built upon a constructivist framework (Crotty 1998; Schwandt 1994). Ce ntral to constructivism is i nquiry into the experiences of individuals and a descripti on of the world as it is felt and understood by the individuals (Schwandt 1994). In this st udy, the experiences are those of the inservice methods instructors as they understand them. These e xperiences form the basis for constructed meanings of events, situations, and belie fs. This process occurs over time and is influenced by the individualÂ’s actions, but also by personal histories and contextual factors (Schwandt 1994). In this study, it appears that the individual inservice methods instructors draw upon their dual ro les of methods instructor and inservice teacher to form their mental constructions, which in turn inform their methods practice. The results of this study are reported in th e tradition of dissertations to fulfill the requirements for the Doctor of Education degree at the University of Florida. In this tradition: The main purpose of the study is to describe (and analyze) a particular situation or a chronicle of events for a particular sample. A theory, or components of a theory, may be used to generate descriptive cate gories, but advancemen t or testing of the theory is less important than documenting the event for this specific sample. (University of Florida 1983) For other requirements for an Ed. D. disserta tion see figure 1-1. Therefore, the intent of the study is to determine how the instructorsÂ’ beliefs about elementary social studies

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4 influence how they perform their role as “cu rricularinstructional gatekeepers” while serving as methods instruct ors (Thornton 1991, p. 237). Figure 1-1 Ph. D. vs. Ed. D. Also, within this tradition, “[q]uestions or hypotheses that guide the data analysis may be generated from either a theoretical pe rspective or a practical perspective to yield

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5 information useful to decision-makers in this or similar settings” (University of Florida 1983). Given that the intention of this di ssertation is to unders tand the beliefs and practices of inservice teache rs who serve as social studies methods instructors, the questions and hypotheses that guide this study are guided by a practical perspective to generate data that will facilitate the improve ment of instruction by individuals in similar situations. Guiding Research This study draws upon four major areas of re search as the basis for the literature review in Chapter 2: the literature regarding por traits of practice in social studies methods instruction (e.g., Slekar 2006), the teaching and learning of elementary social studies (e.g., Barton & Levstik 2004) and elementary social studies methods (e.g., Owens 1997), and teacher beliefs (e.g., Pajares 1992). A brie f description of each area literature follows examples from each of the areas of literature to be discussed in Chapter 2. In a recent work, Slekar (2006) detailed the connections between the beliefs and resultant practices of an elementary social studies methods professo r. Slekar found that the professor believed the goal of social studies education was transmission of the American cultural heritage (see Martorella 1994). This belief about social studies education informed the professor’s beliefs a bout social studies me thods instruction. The professor in question stated that the main job of elementary social st udies teachers was to serve as “knowledge conveyors,” a belief th at served as the basis of his methods instruction. In 2004, Barton and Levstik published an extensive discussion of the teaching and learning of history at the elementary level, Teaching History for the Common Good In their book, Barton and Levstik discuss the multitude of positions, perspectives, and stances that are adhered to for the teaching of history at the el ementary level. Illustrative

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6 of the absence of consensus in history a nd social studies educ ation is Barton and Levstik’s statement about the central concer n of history educati on: “We cannot answer the question, ‘What kind of education prepar es students for participatory democracy?’ because, quite frankly, no one knows” (p. 35). Given the lack of definitive answers to important questions such as this, teachers often rely on their beliefs to inform their instructional practices. Also important to understanding the practi ces of teachers, methods instructors included, is Barton and Levstik’s suggestion: “To understand why teachers engage in the practices they do, perhaps we need to turn to the socially situated purposes that guide their actions” (p. 244). In the case of the inservice instructors in this study, the consideration of “socially situated purposes ” aids in understanding the basis of their particular beliefs and resultant practices. While the literature focused exclusively on elementary social studies me thods is not as extensive as the literature focused on elementary social studies education or teache r beliefs, a number of works exist that are important to this study. One such work is Owens’ 1997 article, “The Challenges of Teaching Social Studies Methods to Preser vice Elementary Teachers,” in which Owens describes six issues specific to methods inst ruction of elementary social studies. Chapter 2 also details the literature concerning teacher beliefs, which serves as the theoretical lens for this study and is briefly described below. Guiding Theory The theory that teacher beliefs drive pract ice has been applied to many educational situations (e.g., Armento 1996; Brownell, Yeager, Rennels & Riley 1997; Clark & Peterson 1986; Cuban 1984; Cuban 1986; Fang 1996; Goodlad 1984; Leming 1989; Onosko 1989; Pajares 1992; Sarason 1996; Shulman 1987; Thornton 1991; Wilson 2000;

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7 Wilson, Konopak & Readance 1994). This theory holds promise for understanding teacher practices: “Educators are now beginni ng to realize that teachers (preservice teachers, beginning, or experienced) do hold implic it theories about students, the subjects they teach, and their teaching responsibilities” (Fang 1996, p. 51). The theory that beliefs drive practice has been applied more of ten to preservice (e.g., Armento 1996) and inservice teachers (e.g., Shulman 1987). R ecently, the effects of teacher beliefs on practices have been applied to the beliefs and resultant practices of an elementary social studies methods professor (Sle kar 2006). The present study ex tends this theory to the beliefs and practices of inservice teachers serv ing as social studies methods instructors. The Rationale for the Choice of a Qualitative Design The choice of a qualitative design is based on Patton’s (1990) assertion that the intent of qualitative research is to “provi de perspective rather than truth, empirical assessment of local decision makers’ theori es of action rather than generation and verification of universal th eories, and context-bound e xplorations rather than generalizations” (p. 491). In this study, the local decisi on makers are the inservice instructors; the study explores their beliefs concerning th eir social studies methods instruction. Important to this study is a desi gn that facilitates a depth of understanding over breadth: “Qualitative methods permit th e evaluation researcher to study selected issues in depth and detail” (Patton 19 90, p. 165). The study employs a qualitative approach to create a rich description of each participant’s beliefs in order to understand his or her practices (Lincoln & Guba 1985). The complexity of teacher beliefs makes it difficult to study them well using qua ntitative methodology (Nespor 1987).

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8 Role of the Researcher As the researcher in this study, I have th e advantage of having focused on social studies instruction in my own work as an elementary teacher and during my doctoral studies. Moreover, I hold the advantage of be ing a fellow instructor of the same social studies methods course taught by the study partic ipants. The role of th e researcher in any qualitative study is to capture the reality and/or contexts th e research subject inhabits. The researcher should become the huma n instrument for data collection and interpretation by having a theoretical sensit ivity that creates an awareness of the subtleties of the data bein g collected and analyzed (L incoln & Guba 1985). This theoretical sensitivity is demonstrated by the researcher’s insights and ability to derive meaning from the data. In the case of this st udy, my theoretical sensit ivity is based on my experiences as an elementary social studies teacher, my knowledge of the professional literature concerning elementary social studies and my concurrent experience of teaching the same methods course. Methodology This study employs case study methodology to investigate three different participants and “seeks out both what is comm on and what is particular about the case” (Stake 1994, p. 238) through the analysis of multip le sources of data such as interviews, observations, and document analysis (Patton 1990; Stake 1994; Yin 1994). Case studies allow for an intensive, holistic, and in-dep th investigation of e ach teacher as a unit (Feagin, Orum & Sjoberg 1991; Merriam 1998; Stake 1994). Finally, Merriam’s (1998) contention that a case study is more focuse d on process than on outcome, and more on context than on specific variables, is impor tant for the current study because of the complex and unique nature of teacher beliefs and their influence on teaching practices.

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9 Participants I selected participants as a result of criterion sampling “to review and study all cases that meet some predetermined crit erion of importance” (Patton 1990, p. 176). The participants meet two criteria: They are inservice teachers, and they instruct an elementary social studies methods course I gained access to the participants by approaching each of them in the context of our shared role as elementary social studies methods instructors and inviting them to take part in the study. I secured institutional permission through the Institutional Review Boar d of the University of Florida and the Research and Evaluation Department of the School Board of Alachua County. The participants are all in service elementary teachers under th e age of 35, with at least five years of teaching experience, who instruct a section of Social Studies for Diverse Learners (SSE 4312) at the University of Florida. Data Collection Methods Data sources include interviews, observations of social studies methods instruction, and document analysis. This approach is based on Patton’s (1990) belief that “[q]ualitative methods consist of three kinds of data collection: (1) in-depth, open-ended interviews; (2) direct obser vation; and (3) written documents” (p. 10). All of these sources are used in this study to create a co mprehensive description of the participants and their beliefs. The use of multiple da ta sources is also based on Yin’s (1994) suggestion to use multiple sources of data when constructing case studies in order to increase the reliability of the data and provide multiple examples of the participants’ approach to the topics of interest. Finally, in terviews allow the participants to explain and describe their beliefs about methods instruc tion and the issues th ey encountered during

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10 the process, as well as provide a frame of reference for the observations of methods instructors. A large proportion of the data analyzed in this study is generated from at least two interviews with each participant lasting approximately 60-90 minutes, based on Patton’s (1990) belief that “[d]irect quotations are th e basic source of raw data in qualitative inquiry” (p. 24). The first interview provides data about the participant’s personal and professional background and his or her beli efs about teaching. The second and any follow-up interviews are based on inform ation from previous interviews and observations. The interviews are semi-str uctured based on Patton’s (1990) interview guide approach, in which the format, topics, a nd issues are covered in a specified outline form and the interviewer determines the order and the wording of each question. The interview guide approach allows for adjustme nts to the particulariti es of each interview and/or participant. Interviews are audio ta ped and transcribed. The interview questions reflect the major areas of interest in this study. Observations Data collection includes five to six th ree-hour observations of social studies methods instruction for each participant. Du ring the observations, I positioned myself in the back of the classroom to make my presence as unobtrusive as possible. All observations conclude with an informal convers ation with the instruct or to provide him or her with the opportunity to di scuss the class just complete d. During each observation, I took extensive field notes to describe the ev ents that take place during the class. Data Analysis Data analysis occurs as a process of “examining, categorizing, tabulating, or otherwise recombining the evidence” (Yin 1994, p. 102). It proceeds in order to generate

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11 useable information about the areas of interest of the study, and it occurs within-case and cross-case to ensure high-quality accessible da ta while generating documentation of the analysis, as well as retention of the data a nd the associated analys is after the study is completed (Huberman & Miles 1994). Also, data reduction “makes sense of massive amounts of data, reduces the volume of info rmation, and identifies significant patterns” (Patton 1990, p. 371). The data in this study need to be reduced to a salient and manageable set in order to be properly an alyzed. Several qualitative researchers have stated that analysis should be an ongoing pr ocess starting at the beginning of the study and not reserved for the end (e.g., Merriam 1998; Stake 1995). Based on this belief the data reductions in the following order: Free coding after the first r ound of interviews; then data analysis and development of codes to be used as a starting point to analyze inst ructional observation data Codes verified by a second coder Data analysis after all observations are completed using the previously generated codes, adjustments of codes as necessary af ter this analysis, a nd then use of codes to analyze the teacher-provided documents and the final interview data Analysis of data to identify the emergi ng themes across the data (Lincoln & Guba 1985) and verification of analys is by the res earch auditor Reduction of the data set on the basis of the identified themes in order to draw conclusions (Patton, 1990) Presentation of conclusions to participants for verification Verification of interpretation In order to keep the interpretations, re ductions, and resulting conclusions closely linked to the data, I incorporate a series of verification steps into the process. Two experienced researchers superv ise the study in order to crea te investigator triangulation (Denzin, 1984), which is especially important in light of the diffi culty of understanding

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12 the complex interactions of the two roles that each of the participants performs and the influence of these roles on instruction. I also perform member checking throughout the project, including the verification of findi ngs, conclusion, and final presentation. The chair of my doctoral committee serves as research a uditor (Cutcliffe & McKenna 2004). Study Limitations and Delimitations The proposed study is restricted to three el ementary teachers in the Alachua County area who also instruct a section of Social St udies for Diverse Learners at the University of Florida. The study is limited by the amount of access granted by th e teachers to their instruction and thei r teaching philosophy. Description of Chapters This dissertation uses a traditional form at. Chapter 1 introduces the purpose of the study, the research questions, and the backgr ound of the problem. Chapter 2 reviews the literature regarding portraits of practice in social studies me thods instruction (e.g., Slekar 2006), the teaching and learning of elementary social st udies (e.g., Barton & Levstik 2004) and elementary social studies met hods (e.g., Owens 1997), and teacher beliefs (e.g., Pajares 1992). Chapter 3 describes the methods, including information about each of the participants and their settings, the sampling rationale the research design, and the process used to analyze the data. Chapte rs 4–6 describe each participant and the withincase findings related to each particular participant. Chapter 7 presents the cross-case findings and conclusions of the study. Ch apter 8 summarizes the findings, makes recommendations to support social studies methods instruction by inservice teachers, suggests directions for further research, and provides conclusions about the status of elementary social studies.

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13 Potential Significance of the Study The study may advance our knowledge of how to utilize social studies methods instructors from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds to teach a methods course effectively. In additi on, by addressing the issues the participants recognize, this study informs us about the specific supports inservice teachers need in order to be effective. The results from this study also fill a particular void in the literature: Is what Merrill (a methods instructor) di d more common in social studies methods courses than I wish to believe? However, I cannot really answer that question because the literature lacks descriptive acc ounts of social educators engaged in the practice of teaching and learning in social studies methods courses. (Slekar 2006, p. 255) This study provides such accounts.

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14 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction This review of the literatur e addresses four major areas of research related to the beliefs, practices, and issues encountered wh ile serving as elementary social studies methods instructors. These four areas include: teacher beliefs, portraits of the practice of elementary social studies met hods professors, the issues of elementary social studies methods, and finally, research in elementa ry social studies. In keeping with the dissertation guidelines for the E d.D. degree, this review cons ists of literature “focused more on studies of similar events, similar settings, and/or similar samples to those in this particular study” (University of Florida 1983). The review of the literatur e on teacher beliefs describes how a teacher’s personal beliefs about teaching and learning have a prof ound effect on his or her relationships with students, curriculum, and instruction. This body of research provides insight into the relationship between the beliefs and instructi onal practices of the participants in this study. The literature concerning po rtraits of the practice of elementary social studies methods professors reveals the paucity of such scholarship and the unique ways their beliefs influence practices within the contex t of an elementary social studies methods course. An examination of the closely rela ted research on elementary social studies methods reveals the specific issues relate d to teaching social studies methods in the current high-stakes environment, where soci al studies is not cu rrently included in accountability systems and is thus less of an inst ructional priority. Fina lly, a survey of the

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15 literature on elementary social studies leads to a discussion of a possible revision of the elementary curriculum and the influence of the No Child Le ft Behind Act and high-stakes testing on elementary social studies. Teacher Beliefs The literature concerning teacher belief s provides a lens through which I examine the research participants. Following is a description of the body of literature that examines how the specific beliefs teachers hold influence and, at times, dictate their instructional practices. In the context of this study, the be liefs held by these inservice teachers are especially interesting because of the influence of their dual roles, the ambiguous nature of social studies in genera l, and the currently imperiled status of elementary social studies. In their positions as methods instru ctors, they are introduced to a variety of strategies and so cial studies theories through va rious instructional materials that influence their beliefs about elementary social studies instruc tion. In thei r positions as inservice elementary teacher s, they are able to ‘road test’ the knowledge they have gained through the methods course and judge the effectiveness and practicality of these strategies and theories. Given the unique a nd powerful relationship of these dual roles on the participants’ beliefs, it is imperative not only to label these beliefs, but also to understand their effects on methods instruction. Challenging the partic ipants’ beliefs will be a whole array of outside factors that can influence th eir methods instruction. These outside factors include the expectations a nd biases of their methods students, the expectations of the course’s supervising professor, the impe riled status of elementary social studies, the restricti ons and boundaries of the methods course, and the culture of university, among other things.

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16 The background of a teacher is important to consider due to its effect on beliefs about teaching (Fang 1996; Nespor 1987). In th e case of these instructors, each has a unique personal, educational, and professional background that has served to form his or her beliefs about teaching and learning in gene ral, and social studies in particular. These beliefs must be examined: “To understand teach ing from teachers’ perspectives, we have to understand the beliefs with which they define their work” (Nespor 1987, p. 323). As Sturtevant (1996) stated, “We must learn far more about the beliefs, attitudes, and perspectives of teachers in the educational process” (p. 251). This examination is especially important for soci al studies teachers. Given the many dilemmas they face in the current educational climate, beliefs are often the basis for making instructional decisions when there are no clear-cut choices because beliefs help in “distinguishing between better and worse courses of ac tion, rather than right and wrong ones…” (Hargreaves 1995, p. 15). These dilemmas have been exacerbated by the impact of high stakes testing as teachers are faced with de creasing instructional time for social studies. In general, teachers and their beliefs ar e typically conservative in general (Cuban 1984; Cuban 1993; Goodlad 1990; Lortie 1975; Owens 1997; Sarason 1996). Conservative instructional beliefs are often formed early in teachers’ lives when they themselves are students (C alderhead 1991; Lortie 1975; Sugrue 1997; Wideen, MayerSmith & Moon 1998). In addition to this “a pprenticeship of observation,” many other factors, such as socioeconomi c status, type of school attende d, and parental and societal influence, can inform a teacher’s be liefs (Wilson, Readence & Konopak 2002). These more conservative instructiona l beliefs have endured largel y because the people typically attracted to the teaching profession were once successful students in schools with

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17 traditional instructional methods, and thus, th ey form beliefs based on these experiences (Fehn & Koeppen 1998; Slekar 1998). These be liefs extend to all areas of education, including curriculum, teaching, learning, and ofte n extend in to the social realm (Pajares 1992). The Beliefs-to-Practice Connection Numerous studies have suggested teacher beliefs form the basis for instructional decisions (e.g., Armento 1996; Brownell, Yeager, Rennels & Riley 1997; Clark & Peterson 1986; Cuban 1984; Cuban 1986; Fang 1996; Goodlad 1984; Leming 1989; Onosko 1989; Pajares 1992; Sarason 1996; Shulman 1987; Thornton 1991; Wilson 2000; Wilson, Konopak & Readance 1994). This situation is especially important for understanding the practices of the instructors in this study because of the autonomy that university level instructors of ten enjoy. Yet, while the be liefs-to-practice connection has been implicitly understood for decades, the re search community has not explored it in depth because of the difficulty of examining beliefs with quantitative methods (Pajares 1992). Reflecting a ‘coming of age’ of th e beliefs-to-practice research, Fang (1996) stated: Educators are now beginning to realize that teachers (preservice teachers, beginning, or experienced) do hold implicit theories about stude nts, the subjects they teach and their teaching responsibil ities, and that these implicit theories influence teachers’ reactions to teacher education and their teaching practice. (p. 51) Despite the inextricable connection between beliefs and practices, teachers sometimes have conflicting beliefs that lead to contra dictory instructional d ecisions (Cornett 1990). These contradictions often appear as a mi smatch between the content taught and the methods used to deliver the content. For ex ample, a teacher may have a strong belief in teaching the principles of democratic partic ipation, yet may favor instructional methods

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18 that are didactic and authoritarian. Beliefs ar e also constrained by other factors that may be imposed upon teachers – for example, they may experience tension between their expressed belief in preparing students for positiv e social interactions and the pressure to cover content (Cornett 1990). In situations like this, the teacher is responding to an external pressure that creates a mi smatch between beliefs and practices. The reality that practices do not always follow beliefs extends to preservice teachers. Often, education students arrive at their first field placement full of exciting and innovative teaching ideas, and then see th eir actions constrained by the institutional expectations in the field placement (A rmento 1996; Owens 1997; Wilson & Yeager 1997); thus, there is a disconnect between what they have been learning in their teacher education program and the unique challenges of a real classr oom (Henning & YendolHoppey 2004). This disconnect in social studies is descri bed by Leming (1992) as the ‘two cultures’ of the academy and the cl assroom. Often, preservice teachers end up conforming to the more conservative instruct ional practices and e xpectations of their mentor teachers (Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Owens 1997; Wilson, Konopak & Readance 1994; Wilson & Yeager 1997), and this desire to c onform creates difficulties in fulfilling the ‘theory to practice’ promise of a concurrent field placement (YendolHoppey & Tilford 2004). Moreover, when preser vice teachers begin their first year of teaching, inconsistencies between their stated be liefs and actual practices may continue if there is no opportunity to address the discrepancy (Mal lette & Readence 1999; Wilson 2000). Changing Beliefs Within the educational research community, a certain level of disagreement exists regarding the difficulty of changing teacher beliefs. Much of the research on the

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19 possibility of changing beliefs has focused on the beliefs of preservice teachers. Some researchers believe that it is possible to in fluence preservice teac hers’ beliefs during a teacher education program (Angell 1996; Featherstone 1992; Guyton 2000; Johnston 1990), while other researchers believe it is diffi cult to change preser vice teachers’ beliefs at all (Lortie 1975; Pajares 1992; Richardson 199 6), particularly in the area of social studies (Virta 2002). It may be that the degree to which preservice teachers change their instructional beliefs depends upon the extent to which the new ideas they encounter conform to their previous be liefs (Angell 1996). Nonetheless, simply having preservice teachers discuss and express their beliefs is insufficient for change: While reflection is central to teacher deve lopment, the mirror of reflection does not capture all there is to see in a teacher. It tends to miss what lies deep inside teachers, what motivates them most about their work, and it is this motivation to achieve a precise purpose that also in fluences their instructional practices. (Hargreaves 1995, p. 21) When preservice teachers leave their teacher education programs, researchers have noted, their first year of work can profoundly change their beliefs (Featherstone 1992; Hargreaves 1995). In such cases, the strain of understanding and performing their new roles as classroom teachers is a strong enough force to influence previously firm beliefs. When teachers do settle into their roles as “curricular-instruc tional gatekeepers” (Thornton 1991, p. 237), they often resist cha nges to their instru ctional beliefs and practices, especially in light of specific educational reforms or mandates that regularly come down the pike. Moreover, if teachers are denied input into these reform initiatives, their instructional beliefs are not likely to change to reflect the imposed reforms (Cuban 1986). Thus, teachers will always retain some control over instruction in their classrooms (Hargreaves 1995). This fact is important in understanding the beliefs and practices of

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20 the methods instructors in this study in rela tion to externally im posed pressures that influence social studies instructi on at the elementary level. Finally, as noted earlier, Pa jares (1992) has argued th at beliefs are shaped in childhood and often endure throughout one’s car eer. Pajares also claimed that beliefs may change when individuals experience a chan ge in authority. His claim is especially important to this study because of the “cha nge in authority” experienced by inservice teachers as they move into the role of methods instructor. Teachers in various subject areas have differing beliefs and justify their instructional decisions based on those belief s (Readence, Kile & Mallette 1998); social studies teachers are no differe nt (Leming 1991; Wilson 2000). One of the difficulties in determining teacher beliefs about social stud ies is the ongoing debate – still taking place – over what exactly should be taught (Brophy & Alleman, in press; Thornton 2005). Yet it is also important to note that, no matter how the curren t debate over what should be taught is resolved (if ever), social studies teach ers continue to exert a great deal of control over what actually happens in their classrooms (Thornton 1991). Summary of Teacher Beliefs Research on teacher beliefs has examined the enduring nature of these beliefs (Lortie 1975) and their powerful influence on instructional practice (Pajares 1992). Some researchers have noted inconsistencies between the stated beliefs of teachers and their actual instructional practices (Cornett 1990). Mo st often, these inconsistencies relate to external constraints imposed on teachers. Ther e also has been much debate about whether teacher beliefs can really change. Some resear chers have reported it is possible to change beliefs (Guyton 2000), while others have noted that beliefs are formed early in life and are very resistant to change (Richardson 1996). Finally, the re search on beliefs of social

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21 studies teachers shows their similarity to t hose of other subject area teachers (Leming 1991), and that social studies teachers do indeed use these beliefs to make instructional decisions (Thornton 1991). Portraits of Practice in Elementary Social Studies Methods Instruction Shulman (1987) observed, “One of the frus trations of teaching as an occupation and profession is its extensive individual a nd collective amnesia, the consistency with which the best creations of its practitioners are lost to bot h the contemporary and future peers” (p. 11). While significan t portraits of practice exist in elementary social studies methods literature, they are rare; fortunately, two recent portraits of practice have been added. In order to analyze and organize the information in these portraits, I have applied four conceptual categories: beliefs about teaching at the elementary school level, including instructional traditi ons and the nature of teachers; beliefs about the nature and purpose of social studies as a school subject; beliefs about teaching elementary social studies; and beliefs about teaching social studies methods to preservice teachers. Dr. Henry Merrill Slekar (2006) analyzed the beliefs and practices of Dr. Henry Merrill, while arguing the beliefs and practices of social studies methods prof essors are “largely absent from the research literature” (2006, p.244), a nd that this absence leaves important questions unanswered: “How does a methods professor view soci al studies subject matter? How does a methods professor view teaching and learning? What are the underlying beliefs that guide the social st udies methods profe ssor?” (2006, p. 244). Slekar also points out elementa ry social studies methods cour ses are taught by instructors from a wide range of professional and philos ophical backgrounds; thus, “the idea of ‘common practice’ in these courses ma y not be too common” (2006, p. 241).

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22 As a former elementary principal, Merri ll held particular beliefs concerning teaching and learning at the elementary le vel. Merrill believed his methods students came to his course with “negative thoughts abou t this course already. .” stemming from their experiences as students (2006, p. 246). Merrill thought elementary teachers had too many other responsibilities and argued that th is burden often led to “poor content being taught” (2006, p. 250). Based on this belief, Me rrill required his students to plan their lessons based on Hirsch’s Core Knowledge b ecause “it gives you the materials and what to teach” (2006, p.250), stating, “They (teacher s) could just concern themselves with weaving Core Knowledge into engaging lesso ns that elementary children would find enjoyable” (2006, p. 251). These beliefs connect ed to Merrill’s beliefs about social studies and social studies teaching. Merrill also held specific beliefs conc erning the nature and purpose of social studies, adhering to a “philosophy of social st udies education with particular attention paid to his passionate belief in the Amer ican story as the core” (2006, p. 241). For Merrill, the stories of America’s past formed “our common” heritage and were part of his vision of history as “transmission of the cu ltural heritage” (Martorella 1994). Merrill believed it was important for children to learn about historical figur es through instruction like his ‘Monument Man’ lesson, where stud ents created a monument to important historical figures using strips of paper with quotations and important facts. Consistent with his “cultural heritage” vision, Merrill did not “introduce his students to what some social educators might view as common pr actice—historical th inking, participatory democracy, and multiculturalism” (2006, p. 241). By ignoring these skills and focusing

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23 solely on the “grand narrative,” Merrill intend ed to provide an exclusively celebratory history to elementary children. For Merrill, the main job of elementary teachers was to serve as ‘knowledge conveyors,’ not historians. Merrill stated th at elementary students should have “exposure to deep content” that was “made enj oyable” by including “gimmicks” (2006, p. 247) and other devices to ensure the content was fun fo r elementary students. This “deep content” was to be organized around Hirsch’s Core Knowledge: “… I thi nk this is a great curriculum to teach in the elementary school” (2006, p. 250). Merrill wanted his preservice teachers to re-explore history content as students. Consequently, he taught lessons to his methods students that were “exciting activities and enjoyable experiences with history subject matter” (2006, p. 254). Merrill argued his methods students should acquire a large fund of historical knowle dge through a survey course, based on the Core Knowledge curr iculum. Merrill employed a three-step approach to support his vision: He used the works of Diane Ravitch to explain what was wrong with the elementary curriculum; he used Hirsch’s Core Knowledge curriculum and Cultural Literacy theory to argue for a hist ory curriculum; and he introduced Joy Hakim's history text as a teaching resource. Slekar argues that more methods professors need to create “self-portraits” in the action-based research tradition to impr ove methods practice (2006, p. 256). He concludes: The social studies professoriate consis ts of scholars from large research universities, practitioners from colleges at liberal arts institutions, research practitioners from state teaching universi ties, adjunct faculty from hidden corners of higher education. We need to ask ques tions about each of these populations. We need to know who they are. We need to know why they are engaged in the social

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24 studies endeavor, and we need to know why and how they teach as they do (p. 256). Dr. Rahima Wade Misco (2005) reviewed the beliefs and pr actices of Dr. Rahima Wade through a lens of moral education, revea ling how her strong beliefs in civic participation influenced her social studies methods course. Wade is a nationally recognized scholar on the preparation of elementary social studies t eachers to teach for social justice and civic engagement through service learning. Wade believed that preservice teacher s often had very limited knowledge backgrounds and needed structured experiences to broaden their understanding of social problems and to give them a working knowledge of the issues. With regard to social studies specifically, Wade’s beliefs are in al most direct contrast to the “transmission of the cultural heritage” (Martore lla 1994) vision of Merrill. Wade adhered to a “reflective inquiry” and “informed social criticism” vision of social studies (Martorella 1994). To support her vision, Wade introduced stude nts to her “Toward the Common Good” curriculum model for elementary social studies, which focuses on developing understanding concerning “issues of c onflict, democracy, human rights, and interdependence” to promote the “common good” by teaching skills of “discussion, decisions, and details” (Misco 2005, p. 538). Part of Wade’s curriculum included discussions about what Misco labeled “closed and grey areas,” which require students to practice dealing with decisions having no clear-cut answers ( p. 542). These acquired skills were part of Wade’s focus on help ing elementary students understand multiple perspectives on complex civic issues.

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25 Wade advocated problem-solving instru ction, which included discussion and deliberation at weekly class meetings wher e elementary students could voice concerns and find commonalities. Wade also advocated introducing elementary students to the idea of the ”common good” with an examina tion of free trade “t hrough role-playing the perspectives of different institutions, part icipants, and stakeholde rs involved” (p. 539). Another instructional activity favored by Wade was a more structured form of deliberation where students assembled a “topten” list covering st udents’ opinions on a contentious topic. In addition, Wade beli eved in having her methods students actively participate in the instruction they were to deliver to elementary students. To experience democratic deliberation, Wade’s methods stude nts deliberated the use of scarce resources and took field trips to investigate the sources of trash in their community. Self-Portraits of the Practice of Elemen tary Social Studies Methods Professors A number of self-portraits created by various elementa ry social studies methods professors are important to the current st udy. While none of these pieces of scholarship was created exclusively to be expository self -portraits, they still il lustrate the direct connection between the individual beliefs a nd practices of these professors and their approach to methods instruction. I have appl ied the same conceptual categories to these self-portraits. Dr. Marilynne Boyle-Baise Boyle-Baise described her beliefs and pr actices in a 2003 artic le titled, “Doing Democracy in Social Studies Methods.” Her beliefs concerning the nature of teaching and learning at the elementary leve l were rooted in Paley’s (1992) book, “ You Can’t Say You Can’t Play ” (1992). Like Paley, Boyle-Baise pr omoted a classroom culture where students “learn to care for others and to connect across difference” (Boyle-Baise 2003, p.

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26 61). In addition, Boyle-Baise thought most preservice teachers did not believe that “doing democracy” was part of their job as teachers. Their concept of “making a difference” mostly included helping elemen tary students improve their behavior and perform better in school. Boyle-Baise sought to expand the responsibilities of her methods students to include ‘doing democracy’. Boyle-Baise conceptualized social studies as “reflective inquiry” and “informed social criticism” (Martorella 1994), in which the principles of democracy serve as the foundation. This vision of social studies directly connects to Boyle-Baise’s belief that social studies should create a citizen who is “a reformer: critical, socially conscious, comfortable with dissent, and ready for activ ism” with a “justice-oriented, differencesensitive stance” (Boyle-Baise 2003, p. 51). Th is approach aims to create citizens prepared for participatory democracy. Boyle-Baise believed elementary children should receive instruction that allows them to: investigate, deliberate, serve, and act; using deliberation to identify, mull over, and critique causes of inequiti es; providing opportunities to serve with and learn from members of disenfranchised communities; a nd grappling with issues of injustice, pondering their redress, planni ng for, and possibly acting for, social change. (2003, p. 59) To teach these skills, Boyle-Baise advocated pa rticular instructional activities such as the creation of a “cooperative bi ography” where students ch ronicled the life of “an outstanding citizen” (p. 61). This activity integrated hist ory, geography and civic study, and required students to work together and make democra tic decisions concerning the book’s content. Boyle-Baise also discussed her beliefs a bout social studies methods instruction, saying that “the social studies methods cour se is an appropriate place to practice and

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27 reflect upon doing democracy” (p. 50). In a ddition to doing democracy in a methods course, Boyle-Baise stated, “[w]e can locate soci al justice and change at the center of our agenda” (p. 53). Boyle-Baise admitted that some instructional act ivities traditionally considered part of a methods course may need to be eliminated in order to meet the goals of the course: “In a tightly packed methods course, adding service learning usually means deleting something else…the inclusion of service learning will likely displace the teaching of an original, thematic unit of st udy…” (p. 60). Difficult instructional choices such as these highlight a challenging d ilemma facing methods instructors who have strong beliefs that displace tr aditional methods practice. Th is situation also illustrates Hargreaves’s (1995) claim that when faced with a dilemma and no clear-cut choices, teachers will often use their own beliefs to make their decisions. Dr. John Benson In a somewhat narrower and more focuse d work, Benson’s (1998) article “Using an Inquiry Approach with Preservice Teachers to Explain the Process of Facts, Concepts, and Generalizations” described his beliefs based on the work of Banks (1990) and the resultant practices related to promoting th e understanding and use of generalizations by preservice teachers for instruc tion. Benson believed that the typical preservice teacher only has experience with elementary social studies instruction focused on memorization of facts, especially memorizing such things as the states and capitals. Benson conceptualized social studies as “social science” (M artorella 1994) by actively engaging his methods students in the creation of generalizations. Benson explained how the typical states-and-capital s activity does not teach any “concepts” or “generalizations,” or even ensure understan ding of what a “state” or a “capital” is. Concerning social studies inst ruction, Benson stated that “teachers need to have the

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28 blueprint of the knowledge pyramid in mi nd as we plan our lessons” (Benson 1998, p. 227). Benson argued that facts can be interestin g, but they need to be presented in a manner in which children can build a higher level of conceptual understanding that can then be applied to other situations. Benson contended that preservice teachers have a difficult ti me grasping teaching for generalizations and seeing the “big picture” when planni ng instruction. To model teaching for generalizations, Benson engaged his preservice students in creating a unit where students worked with facts to develop concepts and create ge neralizations based on those concepts. To help his students see th e “big picture,” Benson engaged them in “building their own pyramids of knowledge….to think of the big pict ure in planning their social studies units and lessons” (Benson 1998, p. 227). Benson’s attention to these issues illustrates one of the issues faced by methods pr ofessors described later in this chapter. Dr. Omiunota Ukpokodu Ukpokodu’s (2003) article, “The Challenges of Teaching a Social Studies Methods Course from a Transformative and Social Reconstructionist Fram ework,” drew upon the works of McLaren (1989) and Ladson-Billings (1991) “to develop preservice teachers’ skills for teaching from a critical pedagogy” (Ukpokodu 2003, p. 78). Ukpokodu’s approach often put her at odds with her typi cally socially conserva tive (e.g., Owens 1997) preservice teachers from middle-clas s European-American backgrounds. Ukpokodu expressed the belief that preservice teachers need to “develop an appreciation for human interdependency, learn to construct a plura list perspective and a sense of collective responsibility, and commit to promoting a just and peaceful solution to global concerns” (p. 75). Ukpokodu argued that preservice teachers bring biases, misconceptions, and stereotypes to their work, which creates resi stance to a transformative social studies

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29 methods course. To overcome these biases, Ukpokodu showed videos such as “500 Nations,” including the video’s discussi on of the events at Wounded Knee, to demonstrate the concept of multiple perspectives on a historical event. Ukpokodu’s vision of social st udies was “informed social criticism” (Martorella 1994). She relied on multicultural knowledge and understanding to reach the stated goals of social studies (NCSS 1994), unlike the civic skills approach of Wade and Boyle-Baise. Like Wade (2003), Ukpokodu was critical of th e elementary social studies curriculum, and she argued that it failed to educate a grea t majority of students including preservice teachers, about their identities, roles, and re sponsibilities in a pa rticipatory democracy. But unlike Benson, Ukpokodu did not discuss he r beliefs about actual social studies instruction at length, only mentioning the n eed to teach elementary students to discuss controversial issues in an effective and ci vil manner, and advocating for the use of books such as This Is My House by Arthur Dorros (1996) to teach the NCSS theme of “people, places, and environment.” Ukpokodu taught her methods course from a “transformative and social reconstructionist perspective” with a desire to “[expand] the curriculum to include people of color, women, unsung heroes, children, and global perspectives” (2003, p. 75). The course aimed to help preservice teachers develop the skills for using critical pedagogy with the use of “open inquiry, exploration of social issues, stud y of human conditions, social justice, and activism” (p. 75). In order to overcome multicultural illiteracy, Ukpokodu required her students to research the personalities, roles, contributions, and perspectives of diverse individuals from American history using Takaki’s (2003) A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America and similar books.

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30 Dr. Janice McArthur McArthur’s (2004) article, “Involving Preservice Teac hers in Social Studies Content Standards: Thoughts of a Methods Pr ofessor,” focuses specifically on instructing preservice teachers how to use standards. Mc Arthur’s goal for her methods instruction was “to convince preservice teachers to use standards as a foundation for improving the quality of social studies edu cation and to develop their posi tive attitude toward social studies content” (2004, 82). Concerning teaching in general, McArthur believed, based on federal mandates, the choice of teachers is not whet her to include standards, but how to do so. McArthur stated that most preservice teachers hold the limited vi ew that elementary social studies is based on the content and skills found in textbooks, and on memorization. Professing her faith in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) McArthur stated the crafters of the act “embraced increased teacher acc ountability with the intent of advancing student learning” (p. 79). Interestingly, McArthur did not discuss her beliefs about the purpose and nature of social studies. Perhaps indicative of the curr ent educational climate, McArthur presented a vision of social studies as “standards based,” a concept not included in Martorella’s (1994) descriptive typology of the five mo st prevalent visions of social studies instruction. Moreover, McArthur did not mention any particul ar instructional methods for elementary social studies, only discussing the importance of using scientifically proven instructional methods. McArthur also approached methods instru ction with a strong advocacy of the No Child Left Behind Act, claming it has “a we ll-documented record of success” (2004, p. 79) and a reliance on “standards based” in struction. McArthur believed preservice

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31 teachers should understand the concept of sta ndards early in their teacher preparation programs. Based on this belief, her social studies methods cour se concentrated on teaching the required standards with “appropriate preparation for planning and teaching” (2004, p. 80). Summary of Portraits of Practice in Elemen tary Social Studies Methods Instruction Portraits of practices in elementary social studies methods inst ruction are rare, but “eminently educative” (Slekar 2006, p. 255). Po rtraits of the pract ices of two very different and thoughtful methods pr ofessors were featured in th is section. Both Dr. Henry Merrill and Dr. Rahima Wade made explic it connections between their beliefs and instructional practices. Also reviewed were se lf-portraits of the be liefs and practices of four other methods instructors. Dr. Ma rilynne Boyle-Baise and Dr. Omiunota Ukpokodu both described methods instruction with the aim of social justice, the former using democracy as the vehicle, and the latter using multicultural knowledge and competency. Dr. John Benson presented a model of methods instruction to provide his students with the skills and knowledge to teach social studies using genera lizations. Finally, the social studies vision of Dr. Janice McArthur demonstrated the gr owing power and influence of ‘standards based’ instruction a nd its ability to dictate instru ctional practices of methods professors. These portraits suggest that be liefs do indeed influence practices in elementary social studies methods courses. Issues of Social Studies Methods Instruction To understand the issues of teaching an el ementary social studies methods course, it is helpful to look at Owens’ (1997) study of instruction at seven institutions of higher education in South Florida, where he identifi ed six specific issues to elementary social studies methods instruction. While explaini ng these issues, Owens (1997) observed it is

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32 especially important, “when generalists in el ementary education may be teaching social studies methods…the generalists must be aw are of the challenges that come with the territory” (p. 113). What follows will be a discussion of these issues, guided by Owens’ (1997) six challenges as a framework. Challenge #1: Negative Past Experiences with Social Studies The first challenge for elementary social studies methods instructors is how to overcome the negative perceptions held by many preservice elementary teachers of social studies in general (Henning & Yendol-H oppey 2004; Owens 1997). In Owens’ (1997) study, more than two-fifths of the preservice teachers described their own past social studies courses as boring, a perception formulated duri ng their “apprenticeship of observation,” (Lortie 1975, p. 65), when inst ruction generally emphasized textbooks and rote memorization (e.g., Henning & Yendol-Hoppe y 2004; McArthur 2004). Attempts to overcome these negative experiences have at tim es met with little success. This is doubly unfortunate, as teachers can communicate thei r own dislike of the subject and reproduce the poor instruction they themselves once received (Chapin & Messick 1999; Turner 1999), continuing a vicious cycle that can only se rve to weaken the future of the subject. Challenge #2: Lack of Interest in Teaching Social Studies The second challenge awaiting methods instru ctors is the belief that other subjects in the curriculum are more de sirable to teach than social studies. In Owens (1997) study, 33.2% of the preservice teachers surveyed report ed their interest level for teaching social studies as "low." This finding has been supported by many methods professors (Benson 1998; McArthur 2004, Slekar 2006). This challe nge leads to an even greater one: how can the preservice teachers get excited about the varied possibilitie s for social studies

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33 instruction when they lack interest in the field itse lf (McArthur 2004; Owens 1997; Slekar 2006; Wade 2003)? Challenge #3: Confusion Over the Nature of Social Studies The third challenge awaiting methods instru ctors is confusion over the definition of social studies: “How can preservice elem entary teachers adequately understand the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of social studies if they believe social studies is one of the academic disciplines in the social sciences” (Owens 1997, p.114)? In a situation where preservice teachers are unabl e to articulate the correct definition of social studies, there is little hope they will be able to deli ver effective instruction. This situation is not entirely the fault of the pres ervice teacher. The history of social studies is full of conflicting views about its nature a nd definition (e.g., Barr, Barth & Shermis 1977; Brophy & Alleman, in press; Thornton 2005) This creates a ‘moving target’ for preservice teachers to understand. Practicing teachers, curricu lum specialists and school administrators, whose views concerning the field of social studies have the most imme diate impact on students, are sometimes at odds with the definition propos ed by the National Council of the Social Studies (NCSS). While NCSS has determined th at effective social studies instruction should “prepare young people to identify, unders tand, and work to solve problems facing our diverse nation in an increasingly in terdependent world” (NCSS, p. 159), many practitioners have interpreted the field far differently. For example, Thornton (2001) has argued that many view social st udies instruction as a method to inculcat e specific values within a child, whether those values are pa triotism, idealism and free enterprise or cultural pluralism, environmentalism and community service. Even elementary social studies methods professors have struggled with a definition of the field, with some

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34 emphasizing “facts, concepts and generaliza tions” (Benson 1998), while others approach methods courses with a “multicultural so cial reconstructionist approach” (Ukpokodu 2003). At whatever level, the nature and pur pose of social studies is assuredly going to be determined, not by a relatively faceless organization, but by the instructor in the classroom (Thornton 1991). Challenge #4: Conflicting Conservative Sociological Beliefs The fourth challenge is to persuade pres ervice elementary teachers to adopt and teach the social studies goal of worki ng to improve society (Owens 1997). Often, preservice teachers will agree w ith liberal and egalitarian id eals, but then disagree on specific, contentious social issues related to reaching that ideal. Most preservice teachers come from rural areas, small towns or suburba n communities, with li ttle experience or knowledge of diverse cultures, and many pref er to teach children who are similar to themselves and have little interest in multicultural ideals (e.g., Henning & YendolHoppey 2004; McCall & Andringa 1 997; Owens 1997; Ukpokodu 2003). These preservice teachers bring biases, misconceptions and stereotypes that contribute to their negative disposition toward teaching minor ity children (McCall & Andringa 1997; Ukpokodu 2003), and are difficult to change (Parajes 1992). This is of particular interest for this study. Owens details how often met hods professors hold significantly more liberal social beliefs than the preservice t eachers they instruct. Confirming that beliefs inform practices, the methods professors often instruct from the more liberal “reflective inquiry” or ”informed social cr iticism” (see Martorella 1994) perspective, which is often at odds with the “far more conservative” soci al beliefs of a typical preservice teacher (p. 116). When preservice teachers hold conservative social beliefs they often do not feel the need to teach with the goal of social change which put them at odds with the goal social

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35 studies: "prepare young people to identify, understand, and work to solve problems facing our diverse nation in an increasingly interdependent world" (NCSS, 1994, p. 159). While conservative beliefs are the norm occasionally preservice teachers hold more liberal social beliefs that are more aligned goals of social studies More liberal social beliefs often led teacher to question the status quo and teach for social change. There is hope, as Angell (1998) determined it was difficult, but possible, to change the “traditional” instructional beli efs of preservice teachers dur ing a social studies methods course. Slekar (1998) drew a similar c onclusion, attributing the difficulty to disagreement between the experiences of pr eservice teachers duri ng their “apprenticeship of observation.” Challenge #5: Selecting What to Teach The fifth challenge relates to the conti nuing expansion of the number of topics deemed pertinent to social studies education at the preservice le vel (Owens 1997). As content demands increase, so does pressure on instructors to prepare preservice elementary teachers to teach this new conten t adequately. Currently, methods courses are overburdened with too many demands, beggi ng the question, “How should teachers be educated to tend the curricular-instructi onal gate?” (Thornton 2001, p. 72). This burden also relates to the fact that elementary so cial studies teachers are lacking in content knowledge (Chapin and Messick 1999; Frit zer & Kumar 2002; Owe ns 1997; Parker & Jarolimek 1997; Thornton 2001; Ukpokodu 2003; Sl ekar 2006). Consider, for example, that elementary teachers scored only 54 per cent correct on a basic test of chronological events in American history (Fritzer & Ku mar 2002). Based on such findings, teachers’ subject matter knowledge has become a central concern of some educational research in

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36 determining the depth and breadth of knowledge teachers must know to teach elementary students (Thornton 2001). The content problem is also related to the “liberal arts co mponent of teacher education and…to methods in the professi onal education compone nt….[T]his separation of subject matter and method in the educa tion of social studies teachers, although conventional, poses problems” (Thornton 2001, p. 77). In this traditional division of studies, it is assumed that preservice teachers have learned the necessary content during the liberal arts component of their education. However, this is often not the case, shifting some content obligations to the methods course. Social studies methods teachers cannot cover all the content knowledge in their methods courses, and yet, they cannot assume adequate content knowledge of their pr eservice teachers (Fritzer & Kumar 2002) resulting in a true “Catch 22”. Despite the documented lack of content know ledge of preservice teachers, a widely held belief (e.g., Fresch 2003; Morin 1996, T hornton 2001) exists that methods courses should retain a singular focus on social studi es methods, such as “inquiry, immersion, small group discussion, and problem solvi ng, cooperative learning, simulation, role playing, storytelling, guided fa ntasy, modeling, demonstration, historical investigation, research, creating, and reflecti ng” (Fresch 2003, p. 70). The best solution is most likely a balanced approach covering a “thorough educa tion of teachers in th e subject matters of the curriculum, methods, and their inte rrelationships” (Thornton 2001, p. 78), achieved with a thoughtful alignment of social studies prerequisites and methods instruction. Challenge #6: Using the Concurrent Social Studies Field Experience The sixth and final challenge awaiting me thods instructors is the difficulty of utilizing a concurrent field pl acement effectively (Owens 1997). This is associated with

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37 the reality that almost all the instructional st rategies suggested in most elementary social studies methods courses, such as role-playi ng, simulation and inquiry projects, are active and social learning experiences that are often at odds with the more ‘traditional’ teaching styles of cooperating teachers. In certain cases, cooperating teachers actively discourage the use of more progressive teaching methods and require students to employ traditional methods (Yeager & Wilson 1997). Despite th e reluctance of many cooperating teachers to support the innovative practi ces introduced to preservice te achers in methods courses, there is an agreed-upon need for a concurre nt field placement for elementary social studies methods students (e.g., Fresch 2003; Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Morin 1996; Owens 1997). Despite the unfortunate disconnect between what is taught in a methods course and what is practiced within the placement, research has shown the field placement is beneficial for both elementary st udents and preservice teachers (Kelleher & Cramm 1996; Leming 1989; Mori n 1996; Owens 1997); as Fresch states, “The ability of the preservice teachers to make connections between the course on campus and the teaching in the field enabled them to provide challenging and enriching experiences for the children” (2003, p. 75). Further adding to the challenge of concurrent field placements are school settings where social studies is not tested or part of an accountability scheme—social studies is of ten given only 30 minutes a week or is nonexistent—making what is learned in a met hods course impossible to see in classroom practice (Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Yendol -Hoppey & Tilford 2004). To address this challenge, colleges of education need to monitor field placements to ensure that preservice teachers have an opportunity to w itness social studies instruction and are allowed to utilize the social studies st rategies they have learned (Owens 1997).

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38 Summary of Issues of Social Studies Methods Instruction In summary, there are a numb er of issues specific to elementary social studies methods instruction. The first is related to the preservice teachers’ negative past experiences with social studies as students during their “apprenticeship of observation” (Lortie 1975). If their perceptions based on th ese experiences are not changed, preservice teachers will communicate and reproduce the poo r instruction they received when they become classroom teachers (Chapin & Me ssick 1999; Turner 1999). The current challenge of a lack of interest in teaching social studies creates further challenges for methods professors (Benson 1998; McArthur 2004; Slekar 2006). Another challenge is the longstanding confusion and debate over th e nature of social studies (Thornton 2005). This situation makes for difficulty when pres ervice teachers are unable to articulate the definition of social studies (Owens 1997). The generally conservative social beliefs of preservice teachers also are a challenge, as those who choose to become teachers often have conservative social beliefs (Goodlad 1990; Lortie 1975), and this inhibits them from fully embracing the more progressive views that characterize social studies (NCSS 1994). The lack of content knowledge among pres ervice elementary teachers (Fritzer & Kumar 2002) creates yet anothe r challenge for methods instructors as they select a curriculum. When methods students are conten t-deficient, methods instructors must use their own judgment to determine the workab le instructional balance of “content” to “methods” (Thornton 2001). The final challe nge is how best to capitalize on the concurrent field placement when the cooperati ng teacher limits the instructional freedom of the preservice teacher (Owens 1997), or th e preservice teacher is placed in an environment where social studies instruction is nonexistent or extremely limited (YendolHoppey & Tilford 2004).

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39 Recent Research in Elementary Social Studies The Expanding Horizons Curriculum The standard curriculum for elementary social studies (sin ce 1934) has been slightly differing versions of Paul Hanna’s expanding horizons/environments curriculum (EH) (Thornton 2001; Turner 1999; Wade 2002). In the last few years, EH has been critiqued for, among other things, a lack of c ontent at the first three grade levels and a lack of exposure to other countries until middle school (e.g., Fritzer & Kumar 2002), prompting some more conservative critics to advocate for including only history in the social studies curriculum (Ravitch 1987). Ho wever, as Barton and Levstik (2004) have pointed out, definitive answers in social studies education, especially on critical questions, are not easily decided and often result in endless debate. As a result, EH has been the subject of a number of critiques over the years, but the curriculum has proven to be quite durable (Wade 2003). Most recently, in response to the ‘history only’ critic s, Brophy and Alleman (in press) suggest a reconceptuali zation of the elementary social studies curriculum based on cultural universals. They seek not to abandon the EH curricu lum completely; rather, they favor “retaining most of the same topics, but developing them more coherently and shifting emphasis from the expanding comm unities sequence to introducing students to the fundamentals of the human conditi on…” (in press). Brophy and Alleman’s reconceptualization rejects some of the recent calls (Ravitch 1987) to abandon a pandisciplinary approach and replace it with a history emphasis, disputing point by point the arguments put forth by the history-only advocates. For example, Brophy and Alleman especially reject the notion that children need “fanciful” heroes to emulate. These advocates for a “cultural universal” conception of the field of social studies describe a

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40 curriculum model that focuses on “…human activities involved in pursuing needs and wants related to cultural universals.…because teaching students about how their own and other societies have addressed these purpos es provides a sound basis for developing fundamental understandings about the human condition…” (in press). Also of particular interest to this study are th e critiques and alternatives to EH provided by one of the methods professors profiled in the “portraits of practice” section of this chapter. Based on a review of the literature concerning EH, Wade (2002) summarized the three major critiques of EH as: “(1) the nature of child ren’s life experiences and learning in modern society; (2) the nature of the EH curriculum; and (3) the present state of elementary social studies” (p. 117). In light of these criti ques, Wade (2002) proposed the “Toward the Common Good” curriculum, with the goal of helping students learn about and address the problems and needs of a contemporary and diverse world. Research on Effective Elementa ry Social Studies Practice In 1987, Lee Shulman broke new ground w ith his article, “Knowledge and Teaching: Foundations for the New Reform.” Shulman called for the documentation of the “wisdom of practice” of teaching. While arguing many eff ective teachers kept their knowledge in their classrooms, Shulman also ca lled for extensive and contextualized case studies of effective teachers and their pr actices. To understand these case studies, Shulman described the seven categories of knowledge for effective teaching of them “pedagogical content knowledge,” or “the blending of content and pedagogy into an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners and presented for instruction” (Shulman, 1987, p. 8) is often perceived as indispensable. Case studies based on the observation of expert teachers are central in modeling pedagogical content

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41 knowledge. Building on the work of Shulma n, O.L. Davis called for “educational practitioners and researchers to undertake, write, and publish cas e studies of wise practices” (Davis 1997, p. 3). By doing so, soci al studies methods instructors will be provided with a model for new teachers to emulate, and perhaps develop an understanding of what it mean s to be an effective educator within social studies. In October 2000, the journal Social Educa tion devoted almost an entire issue to “wise practice in challenging classrooms.” In this issue, the wise practices of teachers working in challenging settings were docum ented, an idea that Y eager and Davis (2005) slightly modified and explored in their book, Wise social studies teaching in an age of high-stakes testing: Essays on cl assroom practices and possibilities. In 1994, the National Council of Social Studies issued “Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies,” which listed fi ve requirements for powerful social studies teaching and learning. The following section will summarize those five requirements and provide examples of “powerful social studies” by drawing on examples from Yeager and Davis’s (2005) book. Five Requirements for Po werful Social Studies The first requirement is that instruction should be meaningful to both teacher and students. The course material must meet th e objectives of the t eacher, and the content must be useful to students in and out of class. Effective teaching will consist of meaningful learning activities and assessmen ts focused on the central ideas of the instruction. The effective teacher will “cons truct, together with her students, based on their needs and interests” the content to be learned (Barton, 2005, p. 28). One method, which makes instruction meaningful, is for te achers to capitalize on students’ interests about a particular subtopic. For example, during a unit on Florida history, students

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42 revealed a curiosity about the identities a nd roles of loyalists a nd patriots during the American Revolution. In an effort to make the lesson relevant and meaningful, the teacher seized upon this interest and had his students explore those identities and roles to satisfy their curiosity and encourage a greate r understanding of Fl orida history (YendolHoppey, Jacobs & Tilford 2005). By encourag ing students to explore their interests within a broad but defined area, the instru ction was both meaningful and memorable. The second requirement for powerful soci al studies teaching and learning is integrative instruction. Effective instruction will integrate a wide range of content and instructional approaches and whenever possi ble, the most effective teachers will be capable of incorporating the use of technol ogy to expand the variety of sources students can draw upon (Libresco 2005). There are two ty pes of integration: integration across the disciplines in the field of social studies and integration across school subjects. The former shows students how all the disciplines within social studies interact: “If students are to understand how the social world opera tes, they cannot study history or geography or economics or any of the other components of social studies in is olation” (Barton 2005, p. 23). To this end, teachers are required to us e skills from all areas of social studies to ensure students have complete understanding of the content. Given today’s overloaded curriculum, “i ntegration across subject areas is a practical necessity” (Barton 2005, p. 26). If t eachers are to deliver powerful instruction, they must “learn how to integrate” social st udies instruction into other subjects (Libresco 2005, p. 37). Integration across subject areas is not only efficient, but pedagogically sound: “How would students lear n the content if not through text, visual images, and the collection of data? How would they c onstruct their understa nding if not through

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43 speaking, writing, drawing, and other such displays” (Barton 2005, p. 25)? These questions must be answered if students are to be exposed to effective social studies instruction. The third requirement for powerful social studies teaching and learning is valuebased instruction. Effective instruction will rais e ethical questions about content, with the aim of fostering student concern for th e common good (McBee 1995). This instruction will highlight the implications of controversial content and challenge students to make value-based decisions (Hess 2005). To this end, teachers must be awar e of their personal opinions and seek out sources to provide a balanced presentation of information. By raising ethical questions and c ontroversial issues that “chall enge students to think beyond the boundaries of their own community” teachers “open students’ eyes to the perspectives and values of others…” (Foster and H oge 2000, p. 368), teachers can accomplish two important tasks: “to encourage st udents to realize that they can effect change and to open students’ minds to the beliefs of others” (Foster & Hoge 2000, p. 369). The teacher should also encourage students to act upon thei r beliefs and remind students that taking action in the name of their beliefs is part of the “socio-political protest” history of America (Foster & Hoge 2000, p. 368). The fourth requirement is instruction must be challenging. Effe ctive instruction will have ambitious goals and standards. The teach er is responsible to ensure students meet those goals and standards. Moreover, instruction should compel students to think creatively and critically, suggest solutions, and take positions on public issues. Teachers should challenge the beliefs and the academic sk ills of their students, and teachers should expect their students to “work with a variety of sources, en counter varying perspectives

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44 and conflicting opinions, develop conclusions and arguments based on evidence, and collaborate with others as part of a learning community ” (Barton 2005, p. 19). Through careful questioning about th eir beliefs, students are pushed to go beyond their own experiences and examine their own prejudi ces and misinformation (Foster & Hoge 2000). The final requirement is instruction to be active for both teacher and students. The teacher must design and adjust the curriculum to reach the instructional goals in such a way that students must actively construc t their knowledge. Such activities involve making decisions and solving problems, and “t hey provide students the chance to pursue their own interests, as we ll as to relate new learni ng to previous knowledge and experience” (Barton 2005, p. 14). Moreover, by actively constructing their own knowledge, students build their own interpreta tions, “to create something, to put things back together, to ‘transform,’ self-consciousl y, the data in front of them” (Bryom 1998, p. 2). Such interpretations must be based on the available evidence and held up to inspection. In order to strengthen thei r own teaching, educators must be able to adapt a lesson in progress to meet the students’ needs and reach the objective of the lesson, according to the “specific contexts and clues” of each unique classroom (Foster & Hoge 2000, p. 370). Teachers also need to be active outside of the classroom by continually interrogating their own instruction (Barton 2005). This reflecti on comes in the form of thinking “long and hard about why she teaches and what sh e teaches” (Libresco 2005, p. 37). What better method to develop within student s the ability to think reflecti vely and critically than by having educators ensure that they practice such thinking themselves?

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45 The Effects of the No Child Left Be hind Act and High-Stakes Testing on Elementary Social Studies The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the resultant focus on high-stakes testing is exacerbating, rather than solv ing, educational problems (Neill 2004; Neill Guisbond & Schaeffer 2004; Von Zasrtow, & Janc 2004; Wade 2002; Yeager 2005). NCLB is built on four principles: “accountabilit y for results, more choices for parents, greater local control and fl exibility, and an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research” (U.S Department of Education 2004). NCLB mandates an accountability model to be used by America' s public schools by attaching sanctions for states that did not comply with its po licies (Guthrie & Springer 2004). Under its provisions, performance standa rds are used as benchmarks for improvements that must show ‘adequate yearly progr ess’ (AYP). All schools mu st show continual progress towards meeting their AYP goals or face c onsequences, such as allowing students to leave the school in favor of a more successf ul school, or the replacement of existing teachers and administrators (Guthrie & Springer 2004). In her article, “Staying Alive: Social Studies in Elementary Schools,” Angela Pascopella (2005) describes the harsh reality co ncerning social studie s and the impact of high-stakes testing: “It’s a crisis. Social studie s, particularly in the elementary grades, has been pushed to the back burner in schools” (p. 30). Because measurements of social studies achievement are not included in the NLCB accountability system, social studies is in sharp decline, prompting some to initiat e nationwide discussions of how to salvage social studies in the school curriculum (H oward 2003). The severity of the situ ation is such that “members of visiti ng accreditation t eams have heard administrators and faculty proudly announce that they do not teach any so cial studies or science in elementary

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46 school because they focus all their attenti on and energy on reading and math” (Fritzer & Kumar 2002, p. 51). In the state of Florida, the high-st akes testing program is the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). The data generated by the FCAT is used to assess schools under the No Child Left Behind Act. The Florida Department of Education explains that FCAT is “part of Florida’s ove rall plan to increase student achievement by implementing higher standards. The FCAT, administered to students in Grades 3–11, contains two basic component s: criterion-referenced te sts, measuring selected benchmarks in Mathematics, Reading, Sc ience, and Writing from the Sunshine State Standards; and norm-referenced tests in R eading and Mathematics, measuring individual student performance against national norms (F lorida Department of Education 2006). As a result, social studies achievement is not assessed on the FCAT. While almost every state has its own set of elementary social studies standards (B uckles, Schug, & Watts 2001) and “[m]ore than half of the states (n ot Florida) have statewide assessments in social studies” (Chapin & Me ssick 1999, p. 11). Mirroring nati onal trends, social studies has nearly disappeared from the curriculum in many schools in Florida (Fritzer & Kumar 2002; Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Ne ill & Guisbond 2005; Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004; Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004). There is hope, however. In cases where social studies instruction is “blocked” and children change classrooms for social studies, actual instruction is more likely to occur (Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004). In additi on, professional development schools are more likely to emphasize the untested subjects because of their focus on teacher preparation in all subjects (Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004). Despite the efforts of many,

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47 the prognosis from the elementary social st udies community for the subject’s long-term health is ‘fair.’ If there is not a concer ted and organized effort that prognosis could become ‘terminal.’ Accountability-driven assessment also ha s had two major effects on teaching and learning in elementary schools: less time for social studies instruction and a diminished quality of the overall educatio nal experience. All the focus remains on assessment testing, in spite of the fact that evid ence indicates that a focus on te sts actually decreases student motivation and increases the proportion of students who leave school early (Amrein & Berliner 2003). Loss of instructional time Instructional time for social studies is shrinking. As previously discussed, under the weight of the No Child Left Behind Act, schools must demonstrat e “adequate yearly progress” in the assessed subjects. As a result “schools nationwide have scaled back on P.E., health, social studies, and foreign language classes to devote more time and resources to reading, writing, math, and sc ience—courses tested under the federal law and used to evaluate schools” (NEA 2004, p. 26). Not surprisingly, this situation has led to increased tension in the elementary school over the teaching of soci al studies: “The test is the curriculum, and instruc tion is controlled by the impera tive to raise test scores” (Neill & Guisbond 2005, p. 31). When social stud ies is not assessed, instructional time shrinks and social studies teachers end up at odds with administrators who “are demanding more reading and math instruc tion” (Knighton 2003, p. 293). Moreover, this situation is heightened in schools with poor test scores, “where nearly half of the principals report moderate or large decreases in social studi es instruction” (NEA 2004, p.

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48 27). As a result, the actual amount of time devot ed to social studies instruction ends up being determined by administrators. Quality The greatest effect of the loss of social studies and other areas not assessed on highstakes assessments is a drop in the level of quality of students’ experiences with the subject. In response to the pressure to raise te st scores, teachers have reported “a sacrifice in the quality of their teaching and student s’ experiences in the classroom” (Neill & Guisbond 2005, p. 31). The result is a decline of quality instruction within elementary social studies. As is ofte n the case, state standards offer a narrow curriculum that “revolves around memorized random information that turns the subjec t into a travesty” (Neill & Guisbond 2005, p. 31). Finally, and most tragically, teacher s are required to teach testing skills from expensive commerci ally produced materials “as early as the second grade” (Knighton 2003, p. 291). Surely, th e influence of high-stakes testing has produced a situation where powerful social st udies instruction is becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible (Yeager 2005). This only serves to reinforce the perception among students that social studies is “worth less,” ensuring that Owens’s (1997) second challenge, integral to creating effective soci al studies teachers, may never be overcome. Summary of Recent Research in Elementary Social Studies There has been considerable important re cent research relevant to this study. Critiques of the “Expanding Horizons” curriculum have grown louder in the last few decades, calling for teaching a more history-ba sed elementary social studies curriculum. As a result, proponents of retaining a pandisciplinary approach (e.g., Brophy and Alleman, in press; Wade 2003) have offered their own curriculum revisions that promote

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49 problem-solving skills and global awareness. There also has been research on effective social studies practice in elementary teaching. Much of the recent scholarship on effec tive social studies practice has grown out of Shulman’s (1987) work titled, “Knowledge and teaching: foundations for the new reform,” in which he called for the docume ntation of the “wisdom of practice” of effective teachers. Shulman’s ideas have been applied to social st udies instruction and have resulted in a number of pieces of scholar ship that capture effective social studies practices. This scholarship, in combin ation with the 1994 (NCSS) statement “Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies,” provided illustrative examples of the five requirements for effective practice. Finally, the negative effects of the No Child Left Behind Act (N CLB) on elementary social studies were discussed. Overall, NCLB has reduced both the quality and frequency of social studies in elementary schools, ultimately influencing perceptions of the field among both students and preservice teachers. Conclusion To understand the beliefs of th ese inservice teachers who se rve as elementary social studies methods instructors, I reviewed th e literature concerning teacher beliefs. The research on teacher beliefs suggests a strong beliefs-to-practice connection exists as teachers perform their duties. This connection means the particular beliefs teachers hold often heavily influence their instructional prac tices; thus, knowledge of these beliefs is necessary to understanding and improving inst ructional practices. At times, there are inconsistencies in the beliefs and practices of teachers, stemmi ng most often from conflicting beliefs they hold or external pr essures mandating practices inconsistent with those beliefs. There is a certain level of disagreement among researchers about the

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50 difficulty of changing teacher’s beliefs about so cial studies instructi on, but there exists a general agreement that a teache r’s attitudes toward the fiel d are formed early in life, during the time they are first exposed to social studies as young students. The instructional beliefs of social studies teachers, like all other teacher s, tend to be rather conservative, and enable the teach er to retain ultimate contro l over what happens in his or her classroom. To understand the practices of elementary social studies methods professors, I examined research literature concerning me thods instruction by ex amining the relevant portraits of practice in the fi eld. These portraits revealed un ique perspectives concerning social studies instruction while serving to highlight the indivi dual issues faced and solutions developed by elementary social st udies methods instructors. Consider, for example, the portraits of two very differe nt methods professors, which revealed two thoughtful and highly organized examples of methods instruction, both of which exhibited a strong belief to pr actice connection. In addition, f our distinct self-portraits also suggested a strong beliefs-to-practice connection among four methods professors who adhered to four distinct visi ons of social studies education. I reviewed the research l iterature concerning elementa ry social studies methods instruction and elementary social studies to understand the issues associated with teaching an elementary social studies methods course. I used Owens’ (1997) six challenges as an organizational structure and supported or illustrated each one by examining the literature. While all six issues are important to unders tanding the situation, two issues stood out as particularly interes ting because how they have been exacerbated by the current focus on high-stakes testing. Th e “lack of interest in teaching social

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51 studies” and “using the concurrent social st udies field experience” issues have been compounded in recent years because of the increasing focus on othe r subject areas now stressed as part of testing accountability sy stems. These accountability systems also have served to create negative per ceptions of social studies. I also surveyed the literature concerni ng recent research in elementary social studies to understand the relevant topics currently under review. The pandisciplinary ‘Expanding Horizons’ curriculum has proven dura ble, despite the perpetual debate about its effectiveness and appropriateness. Mo st recently, ‘Expanding Horizons’ has been criticized by some conservative historians who seek to replace it with a history-based curriculum. This recent round of criticism has spurred advocacy of pandisciplinary social studies and the putting forth of alternative mode ls of social studies that retain at least parts of the ‘Expanding Horizons’ curriculum. To capture the ‘wisdom of practice’ of effective social studies instruction, some recent research has focused on recording the practices of effective teachers. Finally, I reviewed recent rese arch regarding the effects of the No Child Left Behind Act and high-stakes testing on elementary social studies. This review revealed the negative effect this legislation and its resultant accountability schemes are having on elementary social studies due to its untested status.

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52 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Review of the Purpose of the Study As detailed in Chapter 2, there is a pauc ity of literature reviewing the beliefs and practices of elementary social studies methods professors at the university level. Of the few existing quality portraits, all the profe ssors cited the 1994 NCSS position statements concerning the aims of social studies as validation for the basis of their methods instruction. However, their practices varied greatly a nd depended mostly on their personal beliefs about social studies education. There is a total lack of portraits of inservice teachers serving as methods instructors (Slekar 200 6). At the university where the study was completed during the spring 2006 se mester, four of the five elementary social studies methods sections were taught by inservice teachers and the fifth was taught by the researcher. Based on a need to understand the beliefs, practices, and issues of these instructors, this study was designed to capture portraits of three of these instructors. Statement of Problem Given the currently threatened status of social studies instruction in elementary schools, there is a need for strong methods in structors. In many colleges of education, it is common practice to employ inservice teacher s to teach methods courses. A void in the literature exists concerning the beliefs, practices and issues encountered by these instructors, so little is known about how to best support them as they perform their duties. Thus, whatever new information is collected adds to the scholarship about the

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53 practitioners who fill this role, and in the future will assist colleges of education to better support these instructors. Research Questions This research study sought answ ers to the following questions: 1. What beliefs about social studies edu cation do these inservice teachers hold? 2. How do the beliefs these inservice teachers ho ld inform their practice in their social studies methods course? 3. How does filling these dual roles inform th eir beliefs about the status of social studies in the elementary curriculum? 4. What do these inservice teach ers believe are the issues they encountered while teaching the methods course? Question one addresses the participants’ beliefs concerning teaching in general, social studies, teaching soci al studies, and teaching social studies methods. Question two addresses their belief-to-practice connections noted in the data and confirmed by the participants. Question three addresses the in formation the participants have about the status of elementary social studies, how they come by that information in each of their roles, and what beliefs they have about the st atus of elementary social studies and testing. Finally, question four comprised the majority of the findings and focused on the issues related to methods students, the status of elementary social studies and the field placement, and issues related to filling dual roles. Rationale for the Choice of a Qualitative Design Babbie (1983) defined qualitative research as “the non-numerical examination and interpretation of observation for the purpos e of discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships” (p. 537). A qualitati ve design was selected for a number of reasons. The study was explorator y, while the beliefs and practices of elementary social studies methods professors ha ve been chronicled, the beli efs and practices of other

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54 educators who instruct elementary social studies methods course s remain unrecorded. Because the study was exploratory, a qualitati ve design was selected to allow for a flexible yet rigorous inquiry; such flexib ility is difficult with a quantitative design (Lincoln & Guba 1985). The choice of a qua litative design also was based on Patton’s (1990) assertion that the intent of qualitative research is to “provide perspective rather than truth, empirical assessment of local decisi on makers’ theories of action rather than generation and verification of universal theories, and cont ext-bound explorations rather than generalizations” (p. 491). This study requ ired a design that f acilitated depth of understanding over breadth (Cre swell 1998): “Qualitative me thods permit the evaluation researcher to study selected issues in de pth and detail” (Patton 1990, p. 165). For depth and detail, a rich description of each participant’s beliefs was created to better understand his or her practices (Lincoln & Guba 1985). A “rich description” is possible with a qualitative design that uses interviews and observations to unders tand teachers’ beliefs and the context in which those beliefs ar e enacted (Cornett 1990; Pajares 1992).The underlying beliefs were specific to each teach er, and it was necessary to understand these beliefs while looking through the lens of an inservice teacher working as a methods instructor. Moreover, a quali tative approach accounts for the context in which the phenomenon of interest takes place (Creswe ll 1994; Lincoln & Guba 1985; Patton 1990). A consideration of context is especially impor tant for this study, given the many external factors discussed in Chapter 2, which affect how these inst ructors perform their duties. Like all qualitative studies, this research did not intend to present a definitive “truth” of the given situation; the intention was to el icit reflection by the reader to create an opportunity to learn about the situ ation under examination (Stake 1995).

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55 Study Methodology The study employed a case study methodol ogy. The choice of case studies is consistent with the dissertati on requirements for the Doctor of Education degree: “Data may be analyzed using methods…For exampl e, case studies and c ontent analyses of interview protocols are common” (University of Florida 198 3). The study included three participants and sought to uncover “both what is common and what is particular about the case” (Stake 1994, p. 238) through the analysis of multiple data sources, such as interviews, observations, and document anal ysis (Patton 1990; Stake 1994; Yin 1994). Feagin, Orum, and Sjoberg (1991) defined a case study as “an in-depth, multi-faceted investigation, using qualitativ e research methods” (p. 2). For this study, a case was defined as a “single bounded system or an instance…” (Merriam 1988, p. 153); each participant served as a specific case. Case st udies allowed an intensive, holistic, and indepth investigation of each teacher as a un it (Feagin et al. 1991; Merriam 1998; Stake 1995). Merriam’s (1998) contention that a ca se study is more focused on process and context was important for this study because of the complex and unique nature of the teachers’ beliefs and teaching practices (Nespor 1987). Perhaps the most important factor in the selection of a case study methodology was the Feagin et al. (1991) statement that case studies explore in detail the how and why of specific situations. Yin (1994) added that case studies are not only suitable for answering how, but also what. Regarding qualitative research, Marshall a nd Rossman have noted that “there is no such thing as a perfectly designed study” and case studies are no exception to this rule (1999, p. 42). Case studies have a number of lim itations; chiefly, a case is one instance of a “single bounded system or an instance…” an d not representative of a certain population (Merriam 1988, p. 153). Moreover, case studie s rely on descriptive information provided

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56 by researchers and participants, leaving r oom for the loss of important details and differing perceptions. Finally, much of the inte rpretation in case st udies is based on the recollection of past events, and therefore is su sceptible to problems inherent to memory. Guiding Theory This study was guided by the theory that t eachers’ beliefs drive their practice (e.g., Armento 1996; Brownell, Yeager, Rennels & Riley 1997; Clark & Peterson 1986; Cuban 1984; Cuban 1986; Fang 1996; Goodlad 1984; Leming 1989; Onosko 1989; Pajares 1992; Sarason 1996; Shulman 1987; Thornton 1991; Wilson 2000; Wilson, Konopak & Readance 1994). Specifically, Pajares (1992) st ated that “the beliefs teachers hold influence their perceptions and judgments, which, in turn, a ffect their behavior in the classroom” (p. 307). This theory was applied to understanding part icipants’ practices based on Fang’s (1996) statement that “educ ators are now beginni ng to realize that teachers (preservice, beginning, or experienced ) do hold implicit theories about students, the subjects they teach, and thei r teaching responsibilities” (p. 51). The theory that beliefs drive practice has been applied most of ten to preservice (e.g., Armento 1996) and inservice teachers (e.g., Pajares 1992). In Ch apter 2, the effect of teachers’ beliefs on their practices is illustrated by the stated beli efs and the resultant practices of elementary social studies methods professor Dr. Merr ill (Slekar 2006). The current study extended this theory to the beliefs and practices of inservice teachers serving as social studies methods instructors. Theoretical Orientation It is customary for qualitative research ers to detail their philosophical and epistemological assumptions regarding met hodology, procedures for data collection, and analysis (Gale 1993; LeCompte & Preiss le 1993). This study was based on a

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57 constructivist framewor k (Crotty 1998; Schwandt 1994). C onstructivism is not a strictly dictated set of beliefs or pro cedures, but a general descriptor of a family of methods and philosophies to provide researchers with a general direction, and merely suggests “directions along which to look,” rather than “provide descriptions of what to see” (Schwandt 1994, p. 221). Constructivism views each individual as th e central agent in creating his or her own understanding of the world thr ough experience (Crotty 1998). Ce ntral to cons tructivism is an inquiry into individuals’ experiences a nd a description of the world as felt and understood by the individuals (Schwandt 1994). In the case of this study, the experiences were those of the inservice methods instruct ors as they felt and understood them. These experiences formed the basis of constructed m eanings of events, situations, and beliefs. This process occurs over time and was infl uenced by the individuals’ actions, personal histories, and contextual factors (Schwandt, 1994). Role of the Researcher The role of the researcher in this qualitative study was to capture the reality and contexts that the research subjects inhabited. As the researcher, I attempted to become the human instrument for data collection and interpretation while being aware of the subtleties of the data collect ed and analyzed (Lincoln & Guba 1985). This theoretical sensitivity was demonstrated by my insight a nd ability to derive meaning from the data. Lincoln and Guba (1985) believe humans ar e the “instrument of choice” for qualitative research because they are able to respond to environmental cues, interact with the given situation, collect information at multiple le vels simultaneously, perceive situations holistically, process data upon receipt, request verifica tion of data, and explore unexpected occurrences. Included in any qua litative study is a brief biography of the

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58 researcher: “Interpretive rese arch begins and ends with the biography and self of the researcher” (Denzin 1989, p. 12). I began my teaching career working with poor and minority students as part of Teach for America. I was drawn to Teach fo r America because of its social justice agenda. During my two years with Teach for America, I worked in the inner city of Houston, Texas, in a school where more than 95 percent of the students qualified for Title I funding. During the 1998–1999 school year, I taught a fifth grade ESOL class, composed mostly of students transitioning to full-time Englis h instruction after exiting a bilingual education program. During th e 1999–2000 school year, I taught a third grade bilingual class, with Spanish as the language of instruction. During the 2000–2001 school year, I attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and earned a Masters of Education degree in Elementary Education. My masters’ thesis was an action research project involving ESOL students and mathematics instruction. I also completed ESOL coursewo rk and professional development to support second language learners during their acqui sition of the English language. During the 2001–2002 school year, I relocated to Jacksonv ille, Florida, and taught second grade ESOL to an extremely diverse class with a number of students from Eastern Europe and Central Africa. During the 2002–2003 school ye ar, I again taught second grade ESOL while emphasizing social studies instructi on as a means by which to connect to my diverse student population. As the researcher in this study, I had th e advantage of focusing on social studies instruction in my own work as an elementa ry teacher and during my doctoral studies. I also held the advantage of being an instructor of the same social studies methods course

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59 taught by the study participants. As a full-time doctoral student, I had the luxury of almost a singular focus on this study. This was beneficial for a case study approach because, as Merriam states, “case study invest igators immerse themselves in the totality of the case…” (Merriam 1988, p. 60). In this study, my theoretical sensitivity was based on my experiences as an elementary soci al studies teacher, my knowledge of the professional literature concerning elementa ry social studies, and my concurrent experience of teaching the same methods course. Along with the advantages of my previous experiences were a few disadvantages that surfaced in the form of bias. Th e acknowledgement and understanding of a researcher’s bias are important in a qual itative study because, according to Miles and Huberman (1994), “there is a strong and of ten unconscious tendency for researchers to notice supporting instances and ignore ones that don’t fit thei r pre-established conclusions” (p. 263). While my personal phil osophy concerning social studies education is still evolving, I do hold a number of beliefs about what I think is effective social studies instruction. For example, I favor social studies instruc tion that attempts to connect to the lives and perspectives of minority st udents. I also have a strong conviction that social studies instruction should be desi gned to allow students to make their own interpretations of both historical a nd contemporary events and issues. Participants The unit of analysis was one instructor and the context he or she inhabited (Merriam, 1998). Participants were selected as a result of criterion sampling “…to review and study all cases that meet some predeter mined criterion of importance” (Patton 1990, p. 176). Participants selected fo r the study met two criteria: Th ey were inservice teachers, and they instructed an elementary social studies methods course. Participants were

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60 approached in the context of our shared ro le as elementary social studies methods instructors and invited to pa rticipate in the study. Institut ional permission was secured through the Institutional Review Board of the University of Florida and the Research and Evaluation Department of the School Board of Alachua County. The three participants were inservice elementary teachers under the ag e of 35 with at least five years of teaching experience who instructed a se ction of Social Studies fo r Diverse Learners at the University of Florida. Two of the participan ts were female and one was male. Two of the participants taught fourth grade; one ta ught first grade. All were White/European American and from middle-class backgrounds. For one participant, this was the first experience with any university level instruct ion; another had taught the social studies methods course during the previous semester while the third had previous experience teaching the social studies methods course, al ong with a methods course in literacy. To ensure confidentiality, each participant assumed a pseudonym for use in the final report. A full description of each participant and his or her settings can be found in Chapters 4– 6. Explanation of “Dual Roles” ‘Dual roles’ signifies the participants serv ed concurrently as inservice teachers and methods instructors. Traditionally, elementary methods courses are taught by professors and graduate students trained in the specific discipline. In larger teacher education programs, there are multiple sections of the same methods course needing an instructor. Few advanced graduate students specialize in elementary soci al studies, thus creating the need to recruit advanced graduate students who are “generalists” or who specialize in other disciplines. In situations when ther e are no advanced gradua te students available, inservice teachers with a master’s degr ee in education are recruited. Among the

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61 participants, Dan and Alexis were part-time advanced graduate students specializing in literacy and also serving as inservice teachers. Nora was an inservice teacher with a master’s degree in Special Education. Furthermor e, all three participants were teachers at the field placement site of roughly half of their methods students. Course Information Because this course often is taught by instructors without specialized elementary social studies training, a suggest ed syllabus and course materi als have been developed to facilitate instruction. Each inst ructor was given the freedom to instruct the course as they wished, within the guidelines established by the supervis ing professor, Dr. Young. The participants taught “Social St udies for Diverse Learners,” which served as the singular social studies methods course in the teacher education program. The course focus in the provided syllabus states, “Throughout the soci al studies methods course you will learn how to use the tools of inquiry as a teacher in a social studies cl assroom. Inquiry is a ‘questioning’ stance that good teachers assume as professionals who plan for, carry out, and study the impact of their instruction” (See appendix B) While the course closely aligns to the “reflective inqui ry” vision of social studies, it incorporates elements of “social science” and “informed social criti cism” into the provided syllabus as well (Martorella 1994). The “Key Tasks” represen t a social science vi sion: “The content exploration should result in the prospective teacher presen ting the following: an enduring understanding (generalization) supported by a synthesis of content from a variety of resources, and identification of related st andards” (See appendix B). James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me which the students read and then presented a chapter, represents an “informed soci al criticism” vision. The course does not focus exclusively

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62 on these three visions; it presen ts all five competing visions of elementary social studies as described by Martorel la (1994) in detail dur ing the first class. The syllabus describes a suggested culmin ating assignment, the social studies integrated teaching project, as “a mini-unit integrating social studi es and another content area. This mini-unit will be a culmination of a ll that we learned this semester and consist of three Pathwise lessons” (See appendix B). As the first unit that the methods students plan and actually teach, this assignment is qu ite challenging. During th e final two classes, the methods students make ten-minute presenta tions on their units by sharing their lesson plans and providing student work samples. Data Collection Methods Data were collected through interviews a nd observations of social studies methods instruction. This approach wa s based on Patton’s (1990) belief that qualitative methods require three types of data collection: in-dep th, open-ended interviews of the participants; direct observations of actions in their contex t; and collection of written documents. The use of multiple sources of data enhanced the credibility of the findings. That is, each type of data collected affords an opportunity to create an understanding of the topics being analyzed; this, in turn, provide s more credible findings. The use of multiple data sources also was based on Yin’s (1994) suggestion to use multiple sources when constructing case studies in order to increase the reliabi lity by providing multiple examples of the participants’ approach to the topics of interest. Data was collected in the following sequence. The first interview of all the participants was conducted followi ng an initial observation al l the participants. After the first interview five to six observations were conducted of each of th e participants. After completion of the observations a interview wa s conducted with all of the participants.

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63 Interviews Patton (1990) stated that “ qualitative interviewing begins with the assumption that the perspective of others is meaningful, knowab le, and able to be made explicit” (p. 278). In this study, interviews made instructors’ pe rspectives explicit by gi ving participants an opportunity to explain themselves and their situations (Spradley 1979). Interviewing was “a powerful way to gain insight into e ducational issues through understanding the experience of the individuals whose lives constitute education” (Seidman 1991, p. 7). Much of the data was generated from inte rviews based on Patton’s (1990) statement: “The raw data of interviews are the actual quotations spoke n by interviewees. There is no substitute for these data” (p. 347). Two in terviews lasting approximately 60–90 minutes each were conducted with each participant. The first was a background interview to gather data about the participant’s pers onal and professional b ackground, beliefs about teaching, and the major areas of interest in the study (See appendix A). The questions for the first protocol originated from my own personal experien ces as a methods instruction, my initial observations of all the participants and the relevant recent research. In addition three articles in particular informed the creation of the first pr otocol. Owens (1997) provided information about the challenges of elementary social studies. Yendol-Hoppey and Tilford (2004) shed light on the contextual issues facing elementary social studies methods instruction and the lack of professional development focused on elementary social studies. Thornton (2005) highlight the ‘content vers us methods’ tension found in all elementary social studies methods courses. The questions for the second interview were developed using the following steps: First, the transcripts from the first interv iew were reviewed for missing data and to

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64 determine areas in need of clarification, verification, or extension. Next, methods instruction observation field notes were re viewed to determine actions, events, or statements in need of clarification, verifica tion, or explanation. Fina lly, a general protocol was developed for use with all participants, and individuals protocol s were developed for each individual participant (See Appendix A). Included in both of these protocols were specific examples of actions, events, or stat ements used as text for the participants’ responses, in order to gain deeper access to their beliefs and insights. Included in these examples were statements made by a part icipant or students during the previous interviews or observations, and pr esented to all the participants to add further depth to the data. Moreover, some comments made by me thods students during class that were unknown to the participants at the time were made known to them, in order to provide another perspective to which th e participants could respond. All interviews were semi-structured ba sed on Patton’s (1990) interview guide approach in which the format, topics, and issues were covered in a specified outline form, and the interviewer determined the order and the wording of each question. The interview guide allowed for adjustments of each interv iew and participant. All interviews were recorded and transcribed by the researcher, and reviewed by the participant for accuracy (Lincoln & Guba 1985). Observations In order to collect data and gain greater insight into comments made during the initial interview, I conducted observations based on Patton’ s (1990) statement that in addition to interviews, “the description of events observed remains the essence of qualitative inquiry” (p. 392). During the observa tions, I paid special attention to how the participants’ beliefs about social studies surfaced during methods instruction, including

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65 belief statements and actions representing or re lated to new or previously stated beliefs. Also during the observations, I pa id close attention to events, actions, or statements that represented an issue encounter ed during the participantsÂ’ me thods instruction for future verification. Data collection included five to six th ree-hour observations of social studies methods instruction for each participant. These observati ons were conducted as direct observations (Patton 1990). Direct observati on differs from participant observation in that, as a direct observer, I did not become a participant in the instruction and attempted to be as unobtrusive as possible. In this study, direct observation was the only type of observation possible, given that each instructor was responsible for the section he or she taught. Moreover, my participation might ha ve distorted the data. All observations concluded with a conversation with the instruct ors to give them an opportunity to discuss the class. During each observation, I took extens ive field notes to describe the events that took place and comments made during class. Written Documents Written documents were examined to provide further data related to the participants (Patton, 1990). Access to written documents in this study was limited. The participants were asked to provide any documents they felt would shed light on their methods instruction. They had no documents to offer. The majority of the data generated by written documents was from the provided sy llabus, which each participant slightly adapted to reflect the logisti cal particularities of his or her section, such as contact information and class days (See appendix A) Nonetheless, the example syllabus did provide insights into the suggested structur e and focus of the course. In addition, the books and readings suggested by the provided syllabus were us ed as sources of data.

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66 Data Analysis Data analysis was a process of “examin ing, categorizing, tabulating, or otherwise recombining the evidence” (Yin 1994, p. 102). Da ta analysis occurred within and across cases and was “aimed at ensuring (a) high-qua lity, accessible data; (b) documentation of just what analysis were carried out; and (c) retention of data and association analysis after the study is complete” (Huberman & Miles 1994, p. 27). Data reduction was used to “make sense of massive amounts of data, redu ce the volume of information and identify significant patterns…” (Patton 1990, p. 371). Seve ral qualitative researchers have stated that analysis should be an ongoing process starting at the beginning of the study (e.g., Merriam 1998; Stake 1995); thus, an alysis was an ongoing process. Data reduction proceeded in the followi ng order: Following the first round of interviews, free coding was completed, data were analyzed, and codes were developed and used as a starting point to analyze inst ructional observation data. These initial codes were based on the main research questions of the study to be consistent with the tradition of dissertations for the Doctor of Educati on degree, where “results are based on themes corresponding directly to cont ent and structure of documents or interview protocols” (University of Florida 1983) After all observations were completed, the data were analyzed using the previously generated codes. To better represent and organize the data, codes were adjusted after anal ysis of the observation data an d used to analyze the final interview data. All data were analyzed to identify the emerging themes across the data (Lincoln & Guba 1985). The data set was reduc ed to data related only to the identified themes in order to draw conclusions (Patt on 1990). These conclusions were presented to the participants for verification.

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67 Verification of Interpretation—Trustworthiness To establish trustworthiness, this study considered one central question: “How can an inquirer persuade his or her audiences that the findings of an inquiry are worth paying attention to, worth taking account of?” (Lin coln & Guba 1985, p. 301). Lincoln and Guba (1985) listed four criteria to establish trustworthiness: credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. Credibility To increase credibility, Stak e (1995) stated it is “better to give the reader a good look at the researcher” (p. 95). Lincoln and Guba (1985) recommend a number of strategies to increase the probability that findings and interpretations of a qualitative inquiry will be credible, includ ing peer debriefing and memb er checking. Peer debriefing is defined as “a process of exposing oneself to a disinterested peer in a manner paralleling an analytic session and for the purpose of e xploring aspects of the inquiry that might otherwise remain only implic it within the inquirer’s mind” (Lincoln and Guba 1985, p. 308). Member checking was important to ensu re the researcher “represented those multiple constructions adequately; that is, that the reconstructions that have been arrived at via the inquiry are credible to the constr uctors of the original multiple realities” (Lincoln & Guba 1985, p. 296). Member check ing also improved the quality of the findings by “regularly provid(ing) critical obs ervations and interpre tations” (Stake 1995, p. 115). I performed member checking thr oughout the project, including during the verification of findings, conc lusion, and final presentation. Transferability External validity and genera lizability, in the quantitative sense, are not relevant to qualitative research, so Li ncoln and Guba (1985) suggest ed the use of the term

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68 “transferability” (p. 288) to discuss similar notions for the results obtained from a qualitative inquiry. Results from a qualitative inquiry are specific to the context in which they are studied, which limits the possibility of external validity (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Transferability is determined by the readers and their intere st “in making a transfer to reach a conclusion about whether transfer can be contemplated as a possibility” (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 316). Transferability in this se nse depends on the presentation of “solid descriptive data” or “thick de scription” (Patton, 1990) in or der to determine the “degree of similarity between sendi ng and receiving contexts” (L incoln & Guba 1985, p. 297). Dependability and Confirmability Dependability and confirmability both were established with one “properly managed” (Lincoln & Guba 1985) research aud it. To establish dependability, the auditor reviewed the entire process through each st age of inquiry, including all methodology. The auditor then established that the research pr ocess was correctly and consistently applied to the research questions being considere d, after which the findings were confirmed (Lincoln & Guba 1985). Description of Chapters This dissertation adopted a tr aditional format. Chapter 1 introduced the purpose of the study, the research questi ons, and the background of the problem. Chapter 2 reviewed the literature rega rding portraits of practi ce in social studies (e.g., Slekar 2006), teacher beliefs (e.g., Pajares 1992), the teaching and le arning of elementary social studies (e.g., Barton & Levstik 2004), and elementary so cial studies methods (e.g., Owens 1997). Chapter 3 described the methodology, the sampli ng rationale, the research design, and the process used to analyze the data. Chapte rs 4–6 describe each participant and the withincase findings related to each particular participant. Chapter 7 presents the cross-case

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69 findings and conclusions of the study. Ch apter 8 summarizes the findings, makes recommendations to support social studies methods instruction by inservice teachers, suggests directions for further research, and provides conclusions about the status of elementary social studies. Summary of Methods This study is an inquiry in to inservice teachersÂ’ beliefs, practices and issues encountered while they serve as elementary social studies methods instructors. The rationale for the choice of a qualitative design was based primarily on a desire to create in-depth and holistic portraits of the partic ipants. Specifically, th e study employed a case study methodology and each participant served as an individual case. The theory that a teacherÂ’s beliefs influence his or her in structional practices guided the study. Theoretically, the study was based on a cons tructivist framework and the associated notion that individuals create their own understanding of the wo rld through their experiences. In this study, the ro le of the researcher was to serve as the human instrument for data collection and analysis The participants for this study were selected to fulfill criteria of being inservice t eachers and elementary social studies methods instructors. All of the participants taught the same elementary social studies methods course, more or less based on a provided syllabus and suggested lessons and activities described in this chapter. Data were collected through interv iews and observations, and analyzed through coding procedures in order to organize and re duce the data. Verification of interpretation and the findings was carried out to enhance cr edibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability.

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70 CHAPTER 4 ALEXIS JOHNSON Introduction Chapter 1 served as an introduction to th e research questions and an overview of how the study was to be conducted. Chapter 2 wa s a review of the lit erature relevant to the research questions. Chapter 3 offered an ex planation of the research methods used to conduct the study. The purpose of chapters 4–6 is to present the case findings for each participant. As previously noted, the resu lts of this study are reported to fulfill the requirements for the Doctor of Education degree at the University of Florida (University of Florida, 1983). To be consistent with this tradition, the results re ported in this chapter were organized in a manner to inform edu cational professionals in any subject area, particularly elementary social studies methods instructors. The findings in chapters 4–6 are organized by research questions: 1. What beliefs about social studies edu cation do these inserv ice teachers hold? 2. How do the beliefs these inservice teachers ho ld inform their practice in their social studies methods course? 3. How does filling these dual roles inform th eir beliefs about the status of social studies in the elementary curriculum? 4. What do these inservice teach ers believe are the issues they encountered while teaching the methods course? Following this chapter are chapters 5 and 6, the withincase findings related to these research questions for two other partic ipants. These chapters also are organized by the research questions. Chapter 7 presents the cross-case findings of the study. Chapter 8 summarizes the findings, makes recommendations for support of social studies methods instruction by inservice teachers, suggests directions for further research, and provides

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71 conclusions about the status of elementary social studies. Followi ng are the findings for Alexis Johnson. Background Information Alexis, a fifth year teacher in her late 20s, taught first grade at the K–12 laboratory school affiliated with a larg e state-supported “research one” university that offered the social studies methods course. Alexis was also a doctoral student in curriculum and instruction at the universit y, focusing on reading and lite racy and also on professional development of teachers. The only memory of elementary social studies Alexis had was memorizing the states and capitals in fourth grade. In high school, Alexis was especially interested in contemporary history and civics. After earni ng an A.A. at a community college, Alexis earned both her Bachelors degree in Elemen tary Education and a Master of Education degree with a specialization in Reading and Literacy from the university where she now instructs the methods course. During her te acher education program, Alexis took one social studies methods course taught by a dynamic instructor whom she described as “very inspiring to me” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). This instructor focused on using social studies to integrate all academic subject areas, and Alexis used the unit she created during the course as an example for her methods students. Recently Alexis became a National Boardcertified elementary teacher and was very active in professional development activities. She a ttended the Florida Technology Conference and the International Reading Association National Conference, and presented at the National Association of Laboratory Schools Conference. During the semester in which the study took place, Alexis was instructing the methods course for a

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72 second time, having also done so the previous se mester. She also expressed an interest in teaching a literacy course in the future. Professional Experiences Alexis began her teaching career in an adjoining county, where she taught at a small rural school that served a mostly White population from low socioeconomic backgrounds. During her five years there, sh e taught first grade exclusively and was provided a prescribed curriculum in every subject area, including social studies. However, during this time, Alexis maintained control over her classroom in her role as “curricular-instructional gatek eeper” (Thornton 1991) stating, “I would just close my door and do what I wanted” (Ale xis, Interview, 3/14/06). Petty Research and Development School Alexis has taught the last tw o years at Petty Research and Development School, which functions as a part of the uni versity’s College of Education and is not administered by the local county School Board. As a laboratory school, this K–12 institution serves students from all parts of the county, and the school population intentionally reflected the race, gender, and socioeconomic characteristics of th e state as a whole. The school’s web site explains the role of a laboratory scho ol: “to serve as a vehicle for research, demonstration, and evaluation regarding te aching and learning while utilizing the resources available on a stat e university campus” (Petty 2006 ). Alexis’s classes were non-tracked, and the teachers, as employees of the university, were expected to experiment with innovative teaching methods. At dismissal time, the school’s diversity wa s obvious as children of different ages, socioeconomic, and cultural groups mix eas ily. While the school has a number of portable classrooms connected by walkways the campus visually appeared well

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73 organized and overall radiates a positive lear ning environment. Alexis enjoyed teaching at Petty: “The way I teach now is the way I’ve always dreamed of teaching and never had the opportunity to in a county setting and in a district se tting” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Alexis believed Petty was not “as co ncerned with high stakes testing as some other places are” and was more focused on “having kids be very well rounded” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Alexis se rved as the elementary math coordinator at Petty and participated in the Florida Reading Initiative. Elise Elementary The methods students in Alexis’s class co mprised interns from Petty Research and Development School, as well as from Elise El ementary, which is located in a small, predominantly middle class town close to the university and serves a mostly White population with a small percen tage of African American and Hispanic students. The school’s web site noted its st atus as an "A" school the two previous years and proudly proclaims its affiliation with the university: Elise Elementary is a partner with the University. We host pr e-service teachers each semester and provide them a place to learn and grow. They help us by providing extra helping hands in our classroom and help our teachers grow and improve in their skills. Welcome! (Elise 2006) Alexis’s Classroom and Instruction Alexis’s classroom seemed typical of ma ny first grade classrooms, stuffed with learning resources and lined with printed material on every possible surface, while maintaining a cramped, yet organized appearan ce. The room was configured with tables to seat four to five students, a specially ca rpeted area large enough fo r the entire class to congregate and many bookcases containing lear ning materials. Alexis had a positive rapport with students during met hods instruction. Her sense of humor was evident, with

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74 comments such as, “Are you really that blonde ?”(Alexis, Class, 3/ 07/06). Also evident was her tremendous patience and professionalism when confronted with a rude student Figure 4-1 Alexis’ classroom while attempting to set up for class (Alexis, Cl ass, 4/4/06). Overall, she projected a very knowledgeable and confident persona. Alexis’s teaching style was a mix of teach er-led discussion and activities, or group activities that took place at the student tables During the lecture, students often accessed Alexis’s knowledge as an experienced teach er; during table discussions, Alexis would circulate and quietly listen to the various conversations and then offer her comments, which she often prefaced with “in my opinion.” The methods students were very attentive and gave the impression they respected and lik ed Alexis. Overall, Alexis’s instruction appeared organized, informed, and effective.

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75 What Beliefs About Social Studies Educat ion Do These Inservice Teachers Hold? As discussed in Chapter 2, teachers’ beliefs about the subjects and students they teach greatly influence their instruction. Thes e beliefs are important to consider because of the variety of definitions regarding what constitutes soci al studies and the currently imperiled status of social studies educati on. The word “belief,” like many words, has a somewhat variable and subjective meaning. This is especially true in the context of “teacher belief” research, as noted by Pajares: “It will not be possible for researchers to come to grips with teachers’ beliefs, however, without fi rst deciding what they wish ‘belief’ to mean. .” (1992, p. 308). This study used a definition of the term ‘belief’ similar to that of Dewey (1933). Dewey defined ‘belief’ as: …something beyond itself by which its value is tested; it makes an assertion about some matter of fact or some principle or law [and] covers all the matters of which we have no sure knowledge and yet which we are sufficiently confident of to act upon…and also the matter that we now accept as certainly true, as knowledge, but which nevertheless may be quest ioned in the future. (p.6) The findings for this question are organi zed into three sections: beliefs about teaching, beliefs about social studies and t eaching social studies, and beliefs about teaching social studies methods. This organi zation extends to the findings for the same research question in Chapters 5 and 6. Beliefs Concerning Teaching Alexis Johnson expressed a number of belie fs about teaching in general. When asked to define teaching, Alexis responde d, “Teaching by definition, I think, is showing someone how to do something…” (Alexis, Interv iew, 3/14/06). This belief was evident during Alexis’s methods instruct ion, particularly when worki ng with students to craft a generalization for their units. Alexis expresse d her belief in the importance of teaching with the goal of creati ng lifelong learners, “…essentially wh at I’m trying to do is get kids

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76 to be lifelong learners” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Alexis expressed her belief in sharing power in both the elementary clas sroom—“Your kids shoul d have a voice in your classroom” (Alexis, Class, 4/4/06)—and duri ng methods instruction—“I think we should give the methods students more voice…” (Alexi s, Interview, 5/10/06) This belief is consistent with chapter 2, “Resp ecting Children,” in Wolk’s (1998) A Democratic Classroom a reading in the syllabus. Alexis discussed her belief in teaching a wellrounded child: “I believe in teaching the whole child and not just material. I don’t teach material. I teach kids” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). In order to meet the needs of each child, Alexis believed “it is my job to alwa ys find a way to reach every child no matter where they are in whatever subject area that I happen to be teaching them in or instructing them in” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). A similar sentiment is also found in A Democratic Classroom where Wolk offered his “ten th ings I believe about children”; number two is “children grow and develop differently” (p. 14). Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies The basis for her elementary social studies practice was Alexis’s belief that “social studies is everything that’s ha ppening around us all the time. It’s our social world and I think it’s the study of people and life” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). While not explicitly related to the “cultural un iversals” curriculum promoted in Brophy and Alleman’s book Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students a reading in the syllabus, Alexis’s remarks do resemble Brophy and Alleman’s defi nition of cultural universals as “basic needs and social experiences found in all soci eties, past and present” (1996, p. 13). Concerning social studies teaching in gene ral, Alexis expressed her belief in the power of innovative instructiona l practices (Alexis, Intervie w, 5/10/06). This was evident in the practices she shared with her methods students: “Did I te ll you guys about using

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77 my smart board to use Google Earth to ‘fly ’ to Egypt and the Nile…” (Alexis, Class 4/11/06). The key to understanding Alexis’s ap proach was her fervent belief in teaching for “understanding” rather than teaching fo r “coverage.” She explains: “We’re teaching for real understanding. Am I teaching kids to memorize the states and capitals? Or am I teaching kids to understand that land is divi ded up in different ways? That’s a bad example, but that’s it” (Alexis, Interview, 3/ 14/06). This belief emanated from the social studies methods instruction Alexis received as a teacher education student. Her methods course was taught by an innovati ve instructor who “encouraged us to write units that had…generalizations to create understanding rather than cove rage” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Teaching for generalizations focuse s on how the facts are related and using those concepts to build generalizations that can be applied to sim ilar situations (Benson, 1998). Teaching for generalizations was the goa l of the instructi onal unit and a “Key Task” in the suggested syllabus: Students will demonstrate subject matter expertise by synthesi zing social science content and developing an enduring understa nding for an assigned social studies topic to a named grade. The content expl oration should result in the prospective teacher presenting the following: an e nduring understanding (generalization) supported by a synthesis of content from a variety of resources, and identification of related standards. (See appendix B) Alexis also expressed her beli ef in integrating social studi es into other subject areas to give students multiple experiences with th e same content: “I definitely think that integration is key. When you can integrate social studies into math, or economics …there’s just tons of ways that I think it could be integr ated to improve understanding” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Integration of social studies into other subject areas also was a requirement of the teaching unit to be completed by the methods students: “Each

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78 partnership will be required to complete a mini -unit integrating social studies and another content area” (See appendix B). Alexis also believed in delivering instruc tion that was both critical and balanced: “When we talk to kids, we need to talk about the fact that all peopl e have parts that are not good” (Alexis, Class, 3/07/06). The book Lies My Teacher Told Me presented a critical view of history aimed at providi ng a more balanced portrayal of American history. The book was a reading in the suggested syllabus an d provoked some of the most interesting and revealing dialogue of the semester (Alexis, Cl ass, 3/07/06). A critical and balanced presentation of social studies also c onnected to Alexis’s be lief in the need for civics instruction: “teaching kids how to make decisions and teaching kids how to survive in a community …” (Alexis, Interview, 3/ 14/06). This sentiment is also conveyed in A Democratic Classroom which devotes an entire chapter to “Classroom as Community” (Wolk 1998). The tension between teaching stud ents to be both criti cal and constructive citizens presented a challenge to Alexis: “How do we teach kids about things that are not that good and still teach for ci vic participation?” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods An extension of her belief in the importa nce of teaching elemen tary social studies for “real understanding” was Alexis’s main goa l for methods instruction: “The main thing I want them to understand… is to stop worryi ng about coverage of facts and to teach the bigger idea” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Her goal was also reflected in the “Key Tasks” in the suggested syllabus (See appendix B) Alexis strongly conve yed her belief in the ubiquitous nature of social studies when told by her methods students that they would not be able to include social studi es because of FCAT pressure: “I tell them that there’s no way not to include social studies in their instruction” (Alexi s, Interview, 5/10/06). Alexis

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79 also believed in the importance of her met hods students seeing her as a credible teacher who walks her own walk: “I think it’s very impor tant for them to see me as a teacher first and foremost. I am a teacher of students a nd this is what I do every day, and I want them…to believe what I say” (Alexis, Interv iew, 3/14/06). Finally, she believed in the importance of exposing her methods students to the same type of ac tive instruction that she advocated for elementary students: “When I set up the centers wh ere they’re actually engaging in different ways to use social studies experiences…I feel like they get a feel for how powerful this kind of instruct ion is” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teach ers Hold Inform Their Practice in Their Social Studies Methods Course? Based on their beliefs, all teachers make d ecisions daily about the material they teach and the type of instruction they pr ovide (Richardson 1996; Thornton 1991; Wilson Konopak & Readance 1994). The findings in this section provide specific examples of belief-to-practice connections related to teac hing an elementary social studies methods course. During the final interviews, connec tions between the beliefs and practices recorded during observations or the first interview were discussed and my associations verified by the participants. Alexis voiced strong beliefs about the importance of teachers researching the content they want to teach a nd resisting the pressure to “cover” material from a textbook: “I never want to turn out a teacher that feel s like they need to rely on something else to provide the instruction, rather than themselves ” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). This belief is supported in Brophy and Alleman’s book a nd was the basis of the “Content Info” assignments in Alexis’s syllabus (See a ppendix B). Based on this belief, Alexis

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80 constantly reminded her students, “…you have to really prepare for the units you’re going to teach and you need to know your content…” (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06). In order to capitalize on her dual roles, Alexis believed “it’s important for them to see me teaching because what it actually s hows is that I walk the walk” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). To allow her methods students to see how she instructs her elementary students, Alexis s howed video of her teaching: Here it is in reality. Here’s what…I’m te lling you is important instruction. Here’s what it looks like in my classroom. It’s no t a public video. It’s not perfect student; it’s not perfect kid; it’s not perfect me. It ’s just reality. And I think that it’s important for them to see what I’m talk ing about in action. (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06) In addition, the use of video provided exam ples of Alexis’s often stated belief, “everything happens in social studies…my endof-the-year video were the highlights of our year; 70 percent of it is of social studies events that have happened in our classroom. So I feel like it just makes concrete what I’m trying to tell them” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Another of Alexis’s beliefs was th e importance of having other subject areas integrated into social studies in meaningf ul ways: “Amazing things that can be done because everything is integrated into social studies…” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). One way this belief was communicated to the met hods students “is with th e reading strategies (in the provided course material s) so they have to apply re ading strategies to their own content area of reading” (Ale xis, Interview, 5/10/06). Alexis engaged her methods students in conversations about what meani ngful integration would look like (Alexis, Class, 2/28/06). She explained the lesson: “We worked through some ideas of what would meaningful integration look like? So, throwing out an example, having a

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81 discussion about that… is that re ally math that you’re integrat ing or is that just junk…” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). How Does Filling These Dual Roles Inform Their Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum? The participants in this st udy had access to a unique pe rspective on the status of social studies in the elemen tary curriculum. With connect ions to both of the “two cultures” of social studie s education (Leming 1989), th ey were able to see how elementary social studies was being presented to preservice teachers in a social studies methods course; they also saw the realities of classrooms and schools and were privy to information unlike anyone else in the social studies teaching profession. The findings in this section focus on three issues: what information the participants had access to about elementary social studies, how they receive d this information, and, most importantly, their opinions about the status of social st udies based on information and experiences in both roles. Information Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Channels of Communication Alexis had access to exclusive information about the status of elementary social studies at Petty Research and Developm ent School and Elise Elementary. While discussing how filling these dual roles informed her beliefs about the status of social studies in the elementary curriculum, Alexis la mented, “I think that it has definitely made me see how important it is, and how much it isn’t happening” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). When asked how she came by information about the status of social studies at Elise Elementary, Alexis reported, “only thr ough the (methods) students and the university supervisor…” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Even with this limited knowledge, Alexis

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82 assessed the differences between the two sc hools: “I think teac hing social studies ‘traditionally’ happens more at Elise” (A lexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Based on her knowledge of both schools, Alexis knew that “…in a lot of schools social studies is integrated into the reading bloc k” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06) Alexis’s fellow teachers at Petty often asked her for clar ification of the course’s re quirements: “…a teacher here whose (methods) students I had was constantly asking me ‘What is it you’re really expecting of them?’” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06) The cooperating teachers’ questions gave Alexis information about the kind of social studies instru ction the cooperating teacher offered in her classroom. Referring to this cooperating teacher, Alexis reported, “She did not really understand what the (m ethods) students were doing, which gave me an idea of what she was really doing in he r classroom…” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). She explained as a methods instructor, she had a window into many classrooms at Petty: “I have insights into a lo t of different classrooms around here” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Alexis knew social studi es was indeed being taught in a majority of classrooms at Petty, but felt the quality of instruction was not always th e highest (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Testing Alexis also made astute comments about a possible disconnect between what the methods students were learning about teaching social studies and what they would be able to retain working in schools that do not s upport social studies inst ruction: “I think to myself, ‘Okay, here they are. They’re not teach ers yet. Here we’re teaching them all this really hip stuff; are they going to forget it?’” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Concerning the amount of actual social studi es instruction going on in most public schools, Alexis

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83 reported, “It’s quite appalling, actually.…and it ma kes me wonder what we can really do” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Despite the relatively elevated status of social studies at Petty Alexis was acutely aware of the secondary status of social studie s in other schools statewide. Asked what she believed was necessary to raise the status of social studies instruct ion in the state of Florida, Alexis was frank: “What is it going to take?…It’s going to ha ve to be tested on the FCAT, and I think that’s the most horribl e thing they could do…” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Alexis’s concerns a bout social studies being adde d to the FCAT were based on her belief that “true understanding of genera lizations and true understanding of people in social studies can’t really be assessed a w hole lot on a written test” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). She also believed there was a need for accountability, but was concerned with the current “snapshot” approach: “I think that we have to have accountability, but I have a problem with so much being hinged on one test” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). What Do These Inservice Teachers Belie ve are the Issues They Encountered While Teaching the Methods Course? As noted by Owens (1997), teaching an elemen tary social studies methods course is accompanied by a number of particular issues, each of which creates an opportunity for improvement. In order to examine the issues encountered by an inse rvice teacher serving as a methods instructor, I have organized th e findings related to this research question into the following three categories: issues rela ted to students, issues related to the status of elementary social studies and the field pl acement, and issues related to dual roles. In addition, there are issues faced by the participan ts were particular to inservice teachers serving as methods instructors and there we re issues any person could encounter while instructing an elementary social studies me thods course. The issues related to methods

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84 students and the issues related to the status of elementary social studies and the field placement are endemic to the instruction of any elementary methods course and the issues related to filling dual roles are issu es specifically related to participants. The organization of these findings extends to chapters 5 and 6. Issues Related to Methods Students The issues discussed in this section are those most closely related to the methods students themselves and how those students in fluence elementary social studies methods instruction. Conservative social beliefs Teachers tend to come from White/Europ ean American backgrounds and to have traditional and conservative social beliefs (e.g., Cuban, 1984) that may inhibit their ability to embrace the social studies goal of promoting soci al progress. That goal was summarized by NCSS in 1979: “to engage st udents in analyzing and attempting to resolve the social issues confronting them” (267). Similarly, these students’ conservative social beliefs favor the status quo. These findings were supported by the students in Alexis’s class. When asked if her students held more liberal or more conservative social beliefs, Alexis reported, “more conservative. I tend to have some liberal beliefs and that can be very difficult for them (methods stude nts)….They seem to vi ew their beliefs as reality…” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Al exis’s students’ traditional and conservative social beliefs surfaced during the discussion about the book Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen. In the discussion, one student flippantly stated, “Do you… [think] she would really teach her kids this stuff, lik e all the Indians died. .go home and have a feast?” (Alexis, Class, 3/07/06). The other st udents at the table al so were very doubtful about the truthfulness of the book. Later, duri ng class discussion, the same student asked

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85 Alexis, “How do you teach this, with all the bad stuff?” To which Alexis responded, “What do I teach? I do not teach Thanksgivi ng day…I teach a unit about immigration” (Alexis, Class, 3/07/06). Duri ng the final interview, Alexis reflected on these comments: “It just shows how ingrained those beliefs are and how difficult it is to change beliefs…” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Interestingly, this class of students began the semester by asking “how do we not teach just ‘white man’ s history’” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). The students’ previous experiences apparently se rved as a filter that inhibited them from learning new ways of thinking about certain historical events a nd figures. Angell (1998) noted a similar difficulty in changing the be liefs of preservice teachers concerning the teaching and learning of social studies. Tension between content and methods While discussing possible solutions to th e tension between content and methods, Alexis highlighted another complication: “I don’t know how much more we can add onto the (teacher education) program. I don’t know that one class in anything is sufficient knowledge to prepare teachers” (Alexis, Interv iew, 3/14/06). In an attempt to overcome this challenge, Alexis often reminded her st udents to do their own research on the topics they teach because “you will never know everything you need to know about American History” (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06). Students’ negative experience s with Social Studies Other issues discussed in chapter 2 incl uded methods students’ negative previous experiences and dislike of social studies (Cuban 1991; Downey & Levstik 1991; Levstik 1996, Owens 1997), and the widespread lack of social studies historical content knowledge among elementary social studies methods students (Fritzer & Kumar 2002). This lack of content knowledge extends to all the other disciplin es that are parts of social

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86 studies, such as geography and economics. Th is lack of knowledge creates an inherent tension in instructing an elementary social studies methods course Methods instructors must convey how to teach social studies, as well as the content of the disciplines that make up social studies. Students’ past negative experi ences with social studies were evident in Alexis’s course when many students reported havi ng boring social stud ies instruction in elementary school (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06). Many of these negative experiences were the result of “social studies teaching that gene rally was not the most powerful, and they remember having to memorize the states and capitals” (Alexis, In terview, 5/10/06). Issues Related to the Status of Elementa ry Social Studies and Field Placement As noted by Yendol-Hoppey and Tilford (2004), field placements can complicate methods instruction because of both the variet ies of instruction a nd, in some cases, the lack of instruction provided to students. Lack of respect and professional deve lopment for elementary Social Studies When asked if she believed her students approached this class with the same amount of respect as they approached met hods courses for the assessed areas, Alexis responded, “I would say probably the first couple of classes, and I would say especially the group that I have this semester didn’t rea lly” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). However, she believed that the group’ s approach to the course improved during the semester, saying, “halfway through the semester they definitely put as much importance on it as they do some other subjects” (Alexis, Intervie w, 5/10/06). This initia l lack of respect was at least partially, if not totally, related to the untested status of elementary social studies. “We were talking about the democratic community, A Democratic Classroom the book. One of them was concerned that taking time to do extended projects would detract from

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87 ‘real learning’ that they needed to show on the FCAT” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). After this comment, Alexis engaged the class in a serious discussion about what “real learning” was. Alexis believed that the students’ leve l of respect for the course and elementary social studies improved as a result of her effo rts: “I don’t want to say my pressure, but my pressure on them to see this as somethi ng equally as valuable as anything else that they’re doing….My enthusiasm for it, I hope impressed them” (A lexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Alexis also noted that the lack of professional development opportunities was a challenge: “I can’t think of any professional development experience I’ve had in social studies, ever” (Alexis, Interv iew, 3/14/06). When asked w hy she believed there was a lack of professional development for social studies, Alexis frankl y reported, “…my first response is that I think that because it’s no t tested on FCAT, nobody cares about it. I also think that social studies is seen as not as important as the other subject areas” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). While not directly rela ted to methods instruction, this lack of professional development may lower the overall quality of social studies instruction witnessed by the methods students in their placements. Lack of time for elementary Social Studies Due to FCAT pressure, many cooperating teachers gave the methods students limited time to teach their units. During unit presentation, the students made many comments about their limited instructional ti me, such as, “We only had thirty minutes and this was taught during…reading time….” (Alexis, Class 4/11/06). However, a few students reported that their teacher did provide them with an acceptable amount of instructional time: “We had a very good teacher; she was very flexible; she gave us lots of time” (Alexis, Class 4/11/06). Despite eve r-present FCAT pressu re, Alexis believed

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88 the social studies methods course was helpi ng to change the attitudes of the methods students. She stated: “Seeing them understa nd that teaching for democracy is important. And getting them to feel like, yes, this is really possible. Yes, I can really do this” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Other field placement issues One of the main issues effecting Alexis ’s instruction was the poor quality of examples, or lack of examples, of social studies instruction pr ovided by the cooperating teachers. This placed Alexis in a difficult position because “…it becomes very difficult for me to espouse something that they don’t ac tually get to see in practice very much” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Du e to Petty’s higher level of so cial studies instruction, this challenge only highlighted the differences be tween the two schools. The Elise interns had a very different setting than t hose at Petty, Alexis said: The classroom settings that a lot of my students are in are not exemplary classrooms. Or they certainly aren’t exem plary social studies teaching….That is the biggest challenge, trying to make sure th at they get everything that they need without stepping on the toes of another teacher. (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06) Significantly, some methods students at Elise Elementary reported a complete absence of social studies instruction: “They never had so cial studies, except wh at we did…” (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06). Reflecting back on statements like this, Alexis lamented, “I know the students at Elise did not see as much social studies” (Alexis, Interv iew, 5/10/06). This situation required Alexis to make instru ctional and assessment compromises: “How do you grade students in completely different placements?” (Ale xis, Interview, 5/10/06). Another field placement challenge occu rred because some cooperating teachers mandated either the content or the instruc tional methods for the students’ units. This challenge was evident from student comments su ch as, “She just wants us to teach about

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89 what the book taught” (Alexis, Class, 4/4/06) ; “she (cooperating teacher) wanted us to stick to the teacher guide” (Alexis, Class 4/ 11/06); and “the teacher gave us the entire unit” (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06). However, Al exis reported the following situation in which she was successful in helping her students overcome a difficult situation: “These methods students were given a topic that they had to teach kids map skills…the teacher had really dug her heels in” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Alexis met with the students outside of class and, with Alexis’s help, th e students were able to plan and teach a successful unit. “In the end we were able to work out a generaliz ation, and the lessons turned out to be great” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). However, Alexis also recalled a pair of methods students in a sim ilar situation who did not seek her assistance and ended up with a less successful unit. During the final interview, Alexis discusse d the issues associated with kindergarten placements. She noted a possible source of th e difficulty: “Kindergarten is really an interesting year of development.…until you have a firm grasp of what that level of development is, planning a social studies uni t is very difficult” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). The methods students’ inability to accurately assess ki ndergarten students’ developmental levels often resulted in in struction beyond the students’ skills. For example, “one group had a unit where they ju st could not understa nd where the students were and had to start over” (A lexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Alex is also noted that much of the instruction in kindergarten is very “socia l in nature,” and often students had difficulty recognizing instruction that wa s a part of social studies (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Methods students’ inability to recognize th e opportunities for social studies instruction

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90 could possibly be related to their limited ove rall experience with social studies and their resultant narrow concept of the nature of social studies. Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles Discussion of inservice elementary teacher s who also serve as methods instructors is barely present in the research literature. Slekar (2006) discussed the situation, but only to acknowledge the absence of research on th e topic. The followi ng discussion describes issues Alexis encountered while serving in thes e dual roles. Content and theoretical knowledge Alexis noted her own lack of content knowledge related to the disciplines of social studies, a situation that can be traced back to her own experiences as a student: “I can’t remember a whole lot of elementary soci al studies experiences besides the common memorizing of the states and capitals and th e preamble to the Constitution” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Fortunately, Alexis receiv ed better social studies instruction during high school. “I had excellent social studies t eachers in high school, ex cellent in my view that they hooked me” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). The connection between Alexis’s topics of interest and her elementary soci al studies instruction was obvious. One of the units Alexis covered with her first grade students was about ancient Egypt. Alexis recalled, “The history parts were the parts that hooked me. I’ve always been very interested in Civil War history, American hi story, world history, ancient Egypt; things like that were always very interesting to me” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). However, Alexis realized she did not have an e xpansive content knowledge: “I lack content knowledge in many areas” (Ale xis, Interview, 5/10/06). Also, when asked about her knowledge of the current theory and resear ch concerning elementary social studies,

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91 Alexis again noted a perceived deficiency: “Sometimes I feel like I am talking about things I do not have a lot of depth of knowle dge about” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Limited time Alexis noted her lack of time related to be ing both an inservice teacher and a social studies methods instructor: “Time is my bigge st disadvantage. I don’t have as much time to devote to my methods students as I do, of course, to my own students” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Often the requirements of filling both roles created the need for Alexis to make decisions about her priorities: “my priority is my original students, not necessarily my master’s students” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). During a particularly stressful week, Alexis commented to me, “T hinking about getting all these units graded next week…just sends me over the edge…for my stress leve l…” (Alexis, Class, 4/4/06). During the final interview, the time issue came up again when discussing grading the units. However, Alexis noted grading was not as difficult as the previous semester “because I had already seen where they were with the presentations” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Her close attention to the students’ presentations was obvious, as she provided feedback and led the class in discussion about each unit (Alexis, Class, 4/4/06). Credibility One of the first things that became apparent when I observed Alexis during methods instruction was the substantial amount of respect her methods students gave her. This was obvious during my first observation wh en a student asked me, “Are you here to observe her? She rocks” (Alexis, Class, 3/ 07/06). The credibility Alexis enjoyed came primarily from her status as an alumna of the same teacher education program as her students, her visibility and accessibility as an on-site cooperating teacher, and her use of instructional videos that featured her teaching social studies to her first grade class. When

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92 asked if she believed being an inservice teach er affected her credibility, Alexis noted, “It’s amazing. I think that they listen more to what I say becau se I am actually doing this work every day than they would to so mebody who was a professor and was at the university” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Al exis went on to explain why she believed being an inservice teacher enhanced her credibil ity in the eyes of her methods students: “I know what it’s like to be the teacher. I know what it’s like to have limited time. I know how to integrate social studies into my othe r subject areas” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). After further reflection, Alexis noted another factor in her credibil ity: “I will not teach those methods students anything I have not taugh t myself” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Negotiations for instructional time and freedom The resistance of some cooperating teach ers to provide students with total instructional freedom and instructional ti me put Alexis in an awkward position. For example, she did not relish in itiating negotiating for instruc tional time and freedom with her Petty colleagues: “A disa dvantage for me, especially be ing on site, is fielding other teachers who may not see social studies in the same light as I do. I have to navigate some of that for my students in some ways” (Alexi s, Interview, 3/14/06) Alexis acknowledged some of this resistance was due to a l ack of knowledge by the cooperating teachers: “…some teachers don’t teach for generalizations and they don’t have an understanding of that, and when I send students out to go do that kind of teaching…I have to run some interference there sometimes” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). During their unit presentations at the end of the semester, the students also noted some cooperating teachers’ lack of knowledge about social studies. When discussing the cooperating teacher who had “dug her heels in” when insi sting her methods students teach map skills, I asked Alexis if she attempte d to negotiate with the teacher. Alexis said the teacher was

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93 at Elise Elementary and she did not know he r, but noted, “There would have been an attempt to negotiate using the university supervisor. That’s th eir job…I would not approach the teacher” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Advantages of filling dual roles Alexis also discussed the advantage she ha d by being able to provide narrated, realworld, first person instructional examples thro ugh the use of a video recording of herself teaching. Alexis believed this was important because it allowed her students to see instruction in a real classroom. “I’ve show n them a lesson…of me teaching or of me working with a group of students …and you s ee kids acting like total turkeys. Not listening. You see me…redirecting attention” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Moreover, by using video, Alexis was able to demonstrate how she also struggled as a social studies teacher: “I showed them a video of me trying to ask students what they thought about the Chinese zodiac. That completely flopped… So I showed them where I went wrong…” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). By viewing thes e struggles, students were able to see the real-world challenges of teaching elementary social studies. Another advantage to filli ng these dual roles was ha ving access to elementary social studies resources fo r use during social studies methods instruction. While discussing the “centers” activity, Alexis noted she not only used the resources provided to her as a teacher at Petty, but she also included her own, saying, “a lot of that stuff was my stuff, my personal stuff” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). During the final interview, Alexis also mentioned her intention to use a dditional personal resources, such as her grandfather’s tax return from the 1940s along with a new commercially-produced resource: “I picked this up fo r next year; it is a primary sour ces kit, reproductions of Ellis Island documents” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). With access to these resources, Alexis

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94 felt she could ensure her methods students w ould learn about teaching social studies with student-tested resources. Themes and Summary of Findings for Alexis Johnson Alexis Johnson voiced a number of beliefs about social studies education, including her definition that teaching is “showing someone how to do something…” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Many of Alexis’s beli efs were supported by the suggested syllabus or by readings in the suggested syllabus. Rega rding social studies in general and social studies teaching in particular, Alexis emphasized her conviction that social studies is part of everyday life and should be a part of everyday instruction. He r belief-to-practice connections were evident during my intervie ws and observations. Tw o particular beliefs had the greatest effect on Alex is’s instructional practices: “teaching for understanding” and the importance of social st udies instruction. Ma ny of Alexis’s inst ructional practices were related to these two issues. While fill ing the dual roles of methods instructor and inservice elementary teacher, Alexis was pr ivy to unique knowledge about the status of social studies in the elemen tary curriculum and about th e overall lack of quality and frequency of social studies in struction. Alexis’s experiences in these dual roles convinced her that the inclusion of so cial studies on the FCAT test which she thought would be unfortunate, may be the only way to improve the status of social studies education. Alexis faced a number of issues while t eaching the methods course: issues related to the students themselves, issues related to the status of elementa ry social studies and field placement, and issues related to f illing these dual roles. The next chapter will discuss the findings in regard to anothe r research participant, Dan Charles.

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95 CHAPTER 5 DAN CHARLES Introduction and Background Information Chapter 5 discusses the case findings fo r Dan Charles. Dan was an experienced fourth-grade teacher in his eighth year at Owen Elementary. As a child, Dan “always knew I was going to be a teacher. There was ne ver any doubt” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). His only memories of social studies inst ruction as an elementary student were “memorizing the states and the capitals, memorize where this goes on the map, memorize whose export…”, all of which he felt was “v ery, very less than relevant to me” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). After completing high school in South Florida, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Elementa ry Education at the same university that offered the elementary social studies met hods course that he taught. He was nearing completion of a specialist’s degree in Edu cation at this same university. During his teacher education program, Dan had one social studies met hods course, about which he noted, “I must say that I was not real thrilled with it when I was finished….I really don’t remember much about the class at all” (Dan, In terview, 3/17/06). In the final year of his teacher education program, Dan was placed at Owen Elementary and was hired before he graduated. Professional Experiences At Owen Elementary, Dan taught third and fifth grades during his first year and fourth grade for the last seven years. Dan de fined teaching as “helping someone else gain understanding of something new” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Recently Dan became a

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96 National Board-certified elementary teacher. Dan also benefited from the school’s close relationship with the univer sity, based on the designation of Owen Elementary as a Professional Development School (PDS), which is defined: Professional development schools are part nerships formed by teacher education programs and pre-K–12 schools intent on shar ing responsibility for the preparation of new teachers, the development of experienced faculty members, and the improvement of practice-all with the goal of enhancing student achievement. (Levine 2002, p. 65) In addition to his relations hip with the university as a methods instructor, he was also an advanced graduate student. Through his school’s PDS status, Dan was part of a program that enabled inservice teachers to earn graduate credit by taking specifically designed classes with university personnel to address issues sp ecific to their schools. This relationship has had a profound effect on his scho ol: “Our school has grown so much that I can’t even describe all the changes” (Dan, In terview, 5/4/06). This relationship provided Dan with a number of opportuni ties to participate in professional deve lopment activities, including making presentati ons at the Professional Development Schools Council conference. In addition to these professiona l development activities, he served as a cooperating teacher by taking a fu ll-time intern during the previous school years. During the semester in which the study was comple ted, Dan was teaching the social studies methods course for the second time. He also instructed a language arts methods course during two previous semesters. Overall, he benefited from a longstanding and multifaceted relationship with the university. Owen Elementary Owen Elementary is also situated in De nnis County, but unlike Petty Research and Development School, it is under the auspices of the county school board. Owen is in a town approximately fifteen miles from the uni versity. Situated in a rural setting, Owen is

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97 a unique school that only serves students in gr ades three, four, and five. It has a diverse student population, including a majority of Wh ites with some African Americans and a few recently settled students from Mexic o. In the school year before the study, Owen Elementary was labeled as not making “ad equate yearly progress” under the NCLB accountability system, due to poor performan ce of a student subgroup on standardized tests. This created pressure to improve st udent achievement in the assessed subjects. Owen Elementary has a longstanding tradition of a fourth-grade field trip to St. Augustine as part of the study of Florida hi story. The tradition of this field trip has provided room in the curriculu m every year for social st udies instruction. The school building is an interesting design intended to promote “open classrooms” with the use of movable partitions. However, most of the rooms have been permanently renovated into traditional classrooms. The methods students in Dan’s class comprised interns from Owen Elementary and More Cooperative School. More Cooperative School. More Cooperative School is a K–8 school located in a small town twenty miles from the university. Also in a rural setting, Mo re serves a mostly White population with a few African American students. The top of the school’s website reads, “More Cooperative School—Developing confident, motivat ed, self-disciplined learners who will contribute to improvement of self, fam ily, and nation” (Mor e 2006). From comments made by the methods students, instruction at More tended to be more “traditional” and based on a prescribed curriculum in each subject area (Dan, Class, 3/22/06).

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98 Figure 5-1. Dan’s Classroom. Dan’s Classroom and Instruction In his early thirties, Dan had a positiv e and easygoing manner that worked well with both his fourth grade and his methods st udents. This attitude was evident in his discussion of the NCLB act, about which he quipped, “If a teacher would have named it, it would have been ‘all children leap forwar d’” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). Unlike the other participants, Dan did not instru ct the methods course in his classroom; instead, he used a larger classroom set aside for instruction of education classes. The room was used by many different instructors; the walls were a dorned with evidence of the varied courses taught there. I observed from the back of the class and was able to hear the conversations at many of the tables where the students sat. Dan’s teaching mostly comprised brief in struction about the topic of interest, followed by directions for an activity ba sed on the topic and ending with a class

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99 discussion. Often, Dan provided examples from his own teaching and always seemed to have a relevant piece of student work on ha nd. The activities were very exploratory in nature, as students worked togeth er to create a position or a visual representation of their ideas. During discussions, Dan would take the role of facilitator rather than leading the discussion, and he mostly acted only to keep the conversation on t opic and ensure that everyone was able to contribute. Overall, Da n’s instruction appear ed very well planned, student-centered, and interactive. What Beliefs About Social Studies Educat ion Do These Inservice Teachers Hold? Beliefs Concerning Teaching Dan believed that teaching should be st udent-centered and based on meeting the students’ particular needs. When asked a bout his approach to teaching, he replied, “Teaching can never be the same because you teach a person. You never teach a subject to a person” (Dan, Inte rview, 3/17/06). This belief was ev ident in the way he planned and conducted his methods course. He also voiced th is belief to his methods students during a discussion about planning their own instructio n: “You are going to have to change your teaching to meet your students” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). As an example, Dan explained how he calculated his reaction on 9/11: “I need ed to know who my kids were. .I knew that those kids did not need to see what was going to be on TV” (Class 4/19/06). While “Meeting the Needs of Students” was listed as an objective in the suggested syllabus, Dan discussed working towards meeting his students’ needs on many occasions prior to his involvement with the course (See appendix B). Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies When asked to define “social studies ,” Dan responded with a complex and multifaceted definition that illustrate d his still-developing beliefs:

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100 I think social studies has become more over-encompassing than before…I always kind of explained it as more removed from where you are right now. And in the past few years, what I’ve kind of been deve loping is this definition of social studies happen(ing) all the time. (D an, Interview, 3/17/06) Dan went on to describe how so cial studies was not only its many individual disciplines, such as history, geography, and economics, but also encompassed things such as “social skills, social awareness, social understandi ng” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). This broadbased belief about the nature of social st udies led to a definition that was a “more concrete understanding of social studies…before it was mo re of an abstract. I thought of history and different things ve rsus more social skills and more affective elements of social studies” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). These skills also figured heavily in Dan’s beliefs about the importance of social studies instruction for students: …in order to become part of a social societ y, and the society as a whole. To be able to participate, to be able to cope with problems, solve problems…[Social studies] has a role in everything that all of your students do all day. So if you ignore it, you’re really going to hurt your students in the long run. (Dan, In terview, 3/17/06) Dan’s broad definition of soci al studies was evident when he addressed 9/11 during class: “It’s basically a social studies issue that…takes over every part of the students’ daily lives…how are we going to address it?” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). While Dan’s idea of social studies reflected elements of Brophy and Alleman’s concept of “life application” of social studies (1996, p. 43), it appeared from his comments that Dan’s ideas had been developing over a number of y ears before he taught the methods course. Dan’s belief in an all-encompassing defi nition and in the impo rtance of social studies was one of the themes for the course, along with three other specific beliefs about social studies: teaching student s to be critical consumers, presenting honest portrayals, and integrating other subject areas. First, he discussed the importance of teaching elementary students to be critical consumer s of the information presented to them by

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101 saying: “One of the most important things is that you want your stude nts to question their sources…” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06) This also related to Dan’s belief in the importance of presenting appropriately complex and honest por trayals of events, is sues, and people to elementary students: “We should be teaching all of the qualities that some people may have” (Dan, Class, 4/2/006). However, as discussed later in this chapter, teaching elementary students to be critical of thei r sources and presenting honest portrayals of historical figures turned out to be difficult for some of his methods students to fully embrace. Finally, Dan made constant refere nce to his belief in the importance and feasibility of integrating other subject areas in to social studies inst ruction: “Use social studies to teach other things…it can be done if you try hard enough to make the connections” (Dan, Class, 4/19/06). Dan not ed his firsthand experience and success during the previous year in inte grating social studies into read ing: “It gave us the ability to teach pretty good social studie s” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods Dan also exhibited very st udent-centered beliefs concer ning social studies methods instruction. While discussing his approach to helping hi s methods students craft a generalization for their teaching unit, Dan explained how he met with each pair on multiple occasions until all the pairs had a suitable generalization. While meeting students’ needs was a theme, his dominant belief specific to social studies methods instruction was summarized by the following st atement: “Well, I almost think like I’m trying to save social studies, keep it in the classroom” (D an, Interview, 3/17/06). This belief was related to Dan’s experience at Owen Elementary, when the school failed to meet “adequate yearly progress” the previous year and devoted more and more attention to the assessed subjects. This led to a cutback in social studies instruction.

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102 How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teachers Hold Inform Their Practice in Their Social Studies Methods Course? On numerous occasions, Dan discussed the importance of making lessons meaningful for elementary students. He be lieved that when students were required to think critically and make their own judgme nts about presented material, it was more likely the lesson would be meaningful. Th is belief carried over into his methods instruction and was evident dur ing his discussion of the cente rs activities (Dan, Class, 3/14/06). Instead of immediat ely telling the methods students how he would have used a particular center, he instructed them to “look at the things critically and make decisions…here [are] some things…What can you do with [them]? What are some drawbacks? And it really ge ts them to make sound judgments…and it would be more meaningful” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). This belief was particular ly evident during the 9/11discussion, when he posed the question, “I f you were in the classroom on 9/11, what would do you for the moment, and then thereafter… for the rest of the year?” (Dan, Class, 4/19/06). Instead of beginning the conversati on with how he handled the situation, he posed the question and let the students come up with their own solutions. The methods students recalled their own personal experiences as students on 9/11 and then as a table group formulated and defended possible reacti ons to similar events in the role of classroom teachers. Each group came up with very different plans and the ensuing discussion was a powerful and meaningful e xperience because each student used their personal experiences to consider their reactions as teachers. If Dan had simply told the class how he reacted to the s ituation then twenty eight ot her perspectives would have gone unheard and unconsidered.

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103 Dan also believed his methods students need ed a variety of inst ructional examples: “…this is what a fourth-grade RAFT (assignmen t) looks like…” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). In addition to his personal examples and those pr ovided in the course materials, he also solicited instructional examples at the be ginning of each class by asking for “social studies sightings” because he did not “want th em to think that I’m the only way. Because, I mean, I’m one person and one grade level at one school in one place. And so I want them to be able to see a broade r picture” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Because Dan believed in a broad definition of social studies (“It’s social skills, social awareness, social understanding”), he wanted to expand his methods students’ definition of social studies by bringing in ex amples from his classroom: “I try to get students to discuss it and talk about why th ey think this is something that can be addressed in social studies. Why is this social studies?” (Da n, Interview, 3/17/06). Directly related to his past experiences as a social studies methods student was Dan’s belief that he needed to make a “a pe rsonal connection” with his methods students (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). The instructor in his methods cour se did not share information about previous professional experiences, making it difficult for Dan to connect to the instruction. Based on this experience, he bega n his first methods cla ss with “overheads of my kids and where I’ve taught and populat ions…” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). As discussed later in this chapter, such a practice created a strong personal connection between Dan and his methods students. Dan’s stated belief “that no matter what ha ppens I’m never going to be doing it the same way twice” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06) a ligned with his practice of surveying his methods students during the first class with a questionnaire that “asks the students how

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104 they appreciate learning best…and how they lear n…and so what they’ll do is look at that, and that’s how I try to craft the rest of th e semester…” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). This practice also related to his be lief that “to make the most meaning out of the content, I have to help meet thei r learning styles, just like any othe r kid” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Dan had strong beliefs regarding the need to focus his methods instruction on “saving social studies” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/ 06). That is why he instructed his methods students in how to address critic al barriers to social studies instruction. One such critical issue was the lack of time for instruction: I have to teach them how to negotiate, in ad dition to what social studies is and how to do it. I teach them, well, here’s how you have to negotiate. You have to say, here’s one of the things that I have to do; can we somehow try to integrate it with other things? Can I teach ‘cause and e ffect’ through my unit on social studies? (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06) How Does Filling These Dual Roles Inform Their Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum? Information Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Channels of Communication Based on serving in the dual roles of elem entary social studies methods instructor and elementary teacher, Dan had access to unique information about the status of elementary social studies at his school, More Cooperative School, and Dennis County. Dan knew that allocated time for social studie s was shrinking: “…a couple years ago they had a different schedule…but everyone in Owen Elementary and More Cooperative School had social studies time blocks” (Dan, In terview, 3/17/06). The results of the new time schedule were clear: “If you follow all the procedures perfectly, there is no time for social studies…I think 20 mi nutes or 15 minutes, some amou nt of time that’s impossible to do anything” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Becau se of this change, the choice to reduce social studies instruction often was not up to the cooperating teacher, “and most of the

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105 mentor teachers that I know who love teachi ng social studies.…think it’s really valuable, think it’s very important. But they feel like they can’t teach it because of the other things…” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). He al so noted some teachers were unwilling to allow social studies instruction until after th e FCAT test was administered. However, he saw a silver lining to the situ ation. Some cooperating teachers were using their interns as an excuse to “make room for social studies in their curriculum” and resisted “whatever pressure they might have from their CRT or principal…” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Alarmed, Dan reported that testing pressure was even limiting the freedom to integrate social studies: We taught reading through social studies. So we would do units on something and we would do…comprehension strategies and th ings [like] that…B ut this year we were unable to do that because of—I don’t know if the guidelines are stricter or the monitoring is tighter or what …we were told before that we were not allowed to do that because if we have a different group of students that we teach for reading or for social studies, we were unable to ov erlap them… (Dan, In terview, 3/17/06) The mandated time schedule was also hurting methods instruction, because methods students were unable to witness actua l instruction: “This year the interns are having to rework their schedules so they can se e social studies, if it is happening at all, much less participate in it a nd do their units” (Dan, Intervie w, 3/17/06). This created a situation where methods students “have to work probably twice as hard to get something done with social studies…because of all the ot her factors that are preventing them (the cooperating teacher) from being able to do it themselves” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). As a teacher, Dan was aware of how a prescribed and enforced time schedule created situations in which powerful social studies instruction was difficult if not impossible: “We received little nasty letters la tely saying that we are to teach 90 minutes of direct reading instructi on…I don’t know where it comes from…I’m sure it’s from the

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106 county office but I don’t know that for a fact ” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Dan summed up how working as a methods instructor provided him with information: Being the methods instructor and by experien cing and by looking at all the trends over time, over other places…I can see what’s happening. I think other teachers right now don’t see what’s happening with social studies…They don’t realize that it’s really being swept under the rug (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). As a teacher in Dennis County for eight year s, Dan recalled times when there was more flexibility in regard to the s ubjects to be taught, and how much time was to be allotted to each subject. He noted when changes starte d: “I guess two or three years ago the county…I don’t know if it’s a state thing or whatever…the y’ve reworked the way the schedule is…” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Also, as a teacher, Dan was subject to oversight to ensure he was teaching only the assessed skills: “We have people who are constantly reminding us, you have to be doing reading. And reading is not this. Reading is not that. Reading is not the other” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Testing Dan humorously summed up his beliefs about the status of so cial studies: “It’s almost like, shhhh, we’re doing social studies – don’t look!” (Dan, In terview, 5/4/06). Based on this situation, Dan believed schools we re not preparing students for the future: “Students that are graduating are going to have a real hard time in society because they’re not going to know how to solve a lot of the problems that th ey have…” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Dan explained the resu lts of all the pressure: “Bec ause of these bureaucratic issues, we’re having to change the way we’re teaching” (Dan, Inte rview, 3/17/06). He shared a common belief concerning the ‘giveand-take’ of social studies testing: I think if it was put on the FCAT, it w ould be sort of a doubled-edged sword, because it would be taught more in classr ooms, it would be more of a priority in classrooms, it would be something that would be on your prescribed curriculum schedule, but at that same time it might be cheapened…because it will probably

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107 just assess standards which will be facts/concepts. It probably won’t be able to assess the generalizations the kids take away because how can you assess that with a standardized test? You can’t (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). For Dan, a clear understanding of the situ ation carried its own burden: “Pretty much the biggest struggle…is knowing that th ere’s less and less of it happening…” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). What Do These Inservice Teachers Belie ve are the Issues They Encountered While Teaching the Methods Course? Issues Related to Methods Students The following section is a discussion of issues Dan encountered related to the methods students. Conservative social beliefs One of the most difficult issues Dan en countered during the methods course was the conservative social beliefs of his methods students. These beliefs were most evident during discussion of the book Lies My Teacher Told Me when students were having a hard time accepting the information in the book. One group shared the following comments: Who says this guy is like the bible of history? Kids will end up fighting over history. A parent is going to be like, ‘Why is my kid learning this?’ This is a very hateful book. We have a shared history. That is what textbooks do. You want kids to question things, but not everything. I was reading this stuff…and I consider myself an educated person…I did not know what he was talking about (Class, 3/22/06). While discussing this during the final interview, Dan summed up the situation:

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108 I mean, the reason I like to have that book around is to engage in conversations like this…what happened was they held their e xperiences stronger, so they thought that this guy (Loewen) was the one who was lying, not their classroom teachers (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Dan’s observations illustrate why it can be difficult to overcome students’ conservative social beliefs, which may constr ain an inservice teacher ’s ability to align his/her teaching prac tices with students’ ideological beli efs. To cite another example, in the “Social Studies Philosophy” assignment, one of Dan’s methods stud ents said that she believed the student should be the center of the curriculum, but during instruction she clearly needed to be in charge. Accordi ng to Dan, “her whole philosophy of teaching interfered with her idea of what social studies is” (D an, Interview, 5/4/06). Tension between content and methods Dan noticed that the typical preservice elementary teacher reached his social studies methods course with limited content kno wledge, noting that most of his students, “had a real, real weak, limited background in the social studies we’ve taught. And they’ve had to do a lot of work to figure th ings out” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). This situation prompted Dan to suggest to his methods students, “You are all going to be students and teachers of social studies if you are going to teach it…” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). Dan noted that this lack of know ledge often surfaced when methods students included inaccurate historical information in their lesson plans. Dan reported that he was often able to catch these mistakes before the methods student taught the lesson and suggested the student “review the material” in order to correct the information (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Dan’s method students’ lack of basic content knowledge created a dilemma for his methods instruction, forcing him to choose be tween teaching content or helping students

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109 correct their mistakes, which took away time that should have been focused on teaching instructional methods. His stude nts’ lack of exposure to so cial studies cr eated another challenge for Dan: His students did not really know what social stud ies is. He stated: The first day of class they come in with this preconceived notion that it’s maps and dates and people. And we have to talk about…a whole bunch of different things” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). The methods students’ narrow conception of social studies most often included celebratory history and holid ay art projects, prompting one student to quip, “My mom still has my turkey I made in first grade. (Dan, Class, 3/22/06) Students’ negative experience s with Social Studies Students’ negative experiences with elemen tary school social studies instruction challenged Dan’s methods instruction. Most often, these negative experiences came from textbook reading, answering questions on worksh eets, and rote memorization activities. Dan explained, “It was all segmented. Ther e were no connections…I had to know the states and capitals” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06) While evidence of the students’ negative experiences was not as prevalent in Dan’s cl ass as with the other participants, it was nonetheless an issue he had to consider. Issues Related to the Status of Elementa ry Social Studies and Field Placement The following section is a discussion of th e issues Dan encountered related to the status of elementary social studies and the schools where the methods students were placed. Lack of respect and professional deve lopment for elementary Social Studies The methods students in Dan’s course were well aware of the peripheral and untested status of elementary social studi es. This caused some students to openly question the feasibility of some of the more in-depth and time-consuming social studies instructional methods he suggested during th e course. When asked about the situation,

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110 Dan confirmed, “There are many experiences th at I can think of wh ere a lot of people would bring up the FCAT, and we can’t do that because of the FCAT, or can’t do this because of FCAT” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). He used such comments to remind his students of the importance of social studies, stating, “Social studies is something that’s important and it’s being left out” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). Another challenge related to th e status of elementary social studies was the lack of available social studies pr ofessional development opportunities. When asked about any social studies-related activitie s in which he had participate d, Dan responded, “I wish our district provided a lot more with social st udies…If there’s a reading in-service, your sub will be paid for. If it’s so cial studies, you have to pay if you want to do it” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Lack of opportunities fo r professional development in social studies made it difficult to share social studies practic es directly with othe r experienced teachers. However, based on his own personal interest and his position as a fourth-grade teacher, Dan sought out his own profe ssional development opportunities: “The only thing that I’ve really done as far as I know has just be en through my own personal interest, and just working with the (grade level) team that I have” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Lack of time for elementary Social Studies The secondary status of social studies became most evident at the school and classroom levels during the students’ unit pres entations at the end of the semester. The following comments were made by Dan’s met hods students during their presentations: We had to focus down due to time constraints. We started a unit on the middle ages …but FCAT and spring break messed it up…We ran out of time. We had about ten minutes a day.

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111 We are in first grade and they do not ev er have social studi es…We had to stay within the constraints we were given. We did not have the chance to go over it because we were running out of time (Class 4/26/06). When asked about challenging situations, incl uding lack of time for social studies, Dan replied, “I think we’re very limited in what we’re able to do because…the experiences they’re having with external pressures or whatever limit what we’re able to do” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Despite the wi despread nature of this challenge, Dan felt that the elementary social studies methods course was more successful at creating awareness about these issues than when he was a methods student: I think…actually the way it’s structured ri ght now is a whole lot better than it was when I was there eight, nine, ten years ago…it has a more active stance to where it’s alerting people to what’s going on and trying to make people more aware [not to] do that when you become a teacher. (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06) Other field placement issues Other challenging issues related to the placem ent but not directly to the status of elementary social studies emerged during the semester. One cha llenge was cooperating teachers mandating the content or instructional methods of the social studies units created by the methods students. The methods student s commented during th e unit presentations at the end of the semester, “We did not have ve ry much leeway”; “we had to give a test”; “we had to give a study guide” (Class, 4/26/ 2006). When asked about this situation, Dan responded: “This semester it seemed to be about 40 percent of the cooperating teachers said exactly what had to be taught” (Da n, Interview, 5/4/06). Most often when cooperating teachers mandated the content a nd instructional methods, the units were textbook-driven and resulte d in weak generalizati ons and student work.

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112 Kindergarten placements posed another inte resting challenge re lated to the field placement of students. Some methods students felt their students were not ready for some of the more challenging social studies skills, saying, “Our ki ds have a hard time seeing things from other points of view” (Dan, Cl ass, 3/22/06). When asked about some of the comments made by his methods students rela ted to difficulties in kindergarten placements, Dan responded, “[In] a lot of lowe r grade levels, a lot of the interns…don’t seem to think their kids can do it. They almost feel like, well, we have to teach them to read first or they just play” (Dan, Intervie w, 5/4/06). To overcome this challenge, he pushed his methods students “to think out of th e box a little bit” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Dan reported when methods students rose to this challenge, they were able to create meaningful instruction for their students. Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles The following section is a discussion of the issues Dan encountered related to filling the dual roles of inservice teacher and methods instructor. Content and theoretical knowledge A particular challenge to Dan’s social studies methods instruction was his own limited theoretical and historical content know ledge in social studies. This challenge stemmed from his experiences as an elementary and high school student, where he felt he did not learn adequate histori cal content, and from his expe riences as a teacher education student in the social studies methods c ourse, where he felt he did not gain enough theoretical knowledge ab out social studies instruction: “I don’t feel like I know enough about teaching social studies sometimes” (D an, Interview, 3/17/06). Dan offered insight into the difference between a practicing teac her serving as a methods instructor and a university-based person in th e same role, “I think that the big difference between

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113 university-based and sch ool-based is [that] university-based people just are more familiar with that (theoretical knowledge), have mo re experiences with that” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). When discussing his own historical cont ent knowledge, Dan quipped, “I’ve always thought that I have…the worst social studies background as fa r as facts content” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Dan believed this gave him something in common with his methods students because of his similar experien ces in elementary and high school, which included taking an advanced placement Amer ican history class. Dan believed his own lack of historical content knowledge had improved because of his position as a fourthgrade teacher: “I’ve learned a whole bunch more since I’ ve been teaching fourth grade…and every year I’ll learn more about it” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Limited time Like all teachers, Dan himself was presse d for time to complete the obligations associated with being a classroom teacher; being a methods instructor added another set of obligations: “Yeah, time is really tough…sometim es it really is hard to get a lot of this stuff done” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). As the semester drew to a close, he had to do additional work grading the methods students’ units. When asked if this work took away from his preparations for teaching his elem entary students, he responded, “It really didn’t…and I don’t know if I should say this but I always made my [elementary students] kids the first priority ” (Dan, Intervie w, 5/4/06). Credibility When observing Dan’s methods instructi on, I could clearly see that he had a personal connection and a substantial amount of credibility with his methods students. This can be traced to three pa rticular sources of credibility: his status as a former student

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114 of the same teacher education program as his methods students; his visibility, approachability, and expertise as an on-site teacher and cooperating teacher; and his connections with the university as an advanced graduate student. As a former student of the same teacher education program, Dan was familiar with his methods students’ experiences. He reminde d them of his experiences in the same program with comments such as, “When I started, I was a shy person” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). He stated: “I told them that I went through (the program), so I think that’s part of it…knowing that I graduated from the same [program]…so I talk about things that I did with them and I think that’s part of it” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Dan was also able to ensure his credibility and es tablish a positive connection with his students because of the perspective gained from his position as a fourth-grade teacher: “My most important priority is getting it (social studies) into my kids, and a lot of the interns; that’s where they are right now…it’s hard er for them to connect to what somebody’s study said or…somebody’s theory” (Dan, Interview, 3/ 17/06). When asked why he believed this type of credibility was not extended to former teachers who become university-based professionals, Dan explained, In their (methods students) mind, because you’re two feet away from a classroom or one year away, they don’t consider you in the same area or the same field as someone who has been in there this morni ng or five minutes ago or right there… (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06) However, Dan’s close connection with his me thods students and approachability as an on-site teacher had an interesting drawback: A lot of times the interns w ill say things and do things that I just don’t know that they would say or do if it was a univers ity-based person. .talk about their other instructors, and how they ar e this, they have this manne rism, or they do this thing, and they’re not very intelligent…(Dan, Interview, 3/17/06)

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115 This attitude of familiarity placed Dan in an uncomfortable position, and he had to remind his methods students of the unprof essional nature of such comments. Negotiations for instructional time and freedom A final advantage Dan believed he had as an on-site practicing teacher was his ability to help his methods students negotia te with their cooperating teachers for instructional time and creative freedom for thei r social studies teaching units. Dan let his methods students know he was willing to help with negotiations: “If you are ever having trouble where I can help you, le t me know” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). When asked how he approached such discussions, Dan said: The interns would say, ‘My teach er won’t let me.’ And I am able to negotiate more because I know the conditions; I know most of the teachers. I don’t know all of the ones from More, but I know some of them And I can say, look, I know what she’s teaching, I know how she does it. I’ll go w ith you. We can talk together and we can come up with an idea. (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06) Thus, given the limited amount of instruc tional time and freedom afforded by some cooperating teachers, Dan’s position as an onsite, practicing teacher may have been one of the most important advantages he had. Advantages of filling dual roles In addition to enhanced credibility and opportunities for a pers onal connection with his methods students, Dan felt that being a practicing teacher se rving as a methods instructor had additional adva ntages. Being an inservice teacher allowed him more access to authentic resources than a university-base d instructor: “I also think we have more resources available, real resources in clas srooms the kids are using…we have access to whatever is being used right now in the c ounty” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Indeed, he often used these resources during his me thods instruction. In addition, Dan had experience with the social studies strategies th at were part of the c ourse. This was evident

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116 when he provided his methods students with student work samples from his elementary students, noting, “The RAFT strategy is one of my favorite reading response strategies…once you do it with your kids, it quickly becomes a favorite with kids…” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). When an unfamiliar or new strategy came to his attention, Dan tested the strategy on his own elementary st udents (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Moreover, when his methods students expressed doubts about the feasibility of a recommended strategy, Dan invited the student s to his room to observe: But by having them see that these are real kids, and it doesn’t have to look like the ideal perfect lesson that you might s ee sometimes, in order to do a good job teaching social studies, I think that it helps the (methods) students see that what’s in this book can happen in this room with these kids, believe it or not. (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06) Themes and Summary of Findings for Dan Charles On the whole, Dan voiced beliefs ab out teaching that centered on adapting instruction to meet the individua l needs of elementary students, as well as the needs of his methods students. He discussed his beliefs in the value of social st udies instruction for elementary students and the f act that his own personal defi nition of social studies had expanded to include such thi ngs as social skills. Dan be lieved his main job as an elementary social studies methods instructor was to “save” social studies from being eliminated from the elementary school curriculum. Based on his beliefs about social studies and his students, Dan engaged in specific practices he felt were consiste nt with his beliefs. For ex ample, since he believed in “saving” social studies, he in structed his methods students in how to negotiate for social studies instructional time. He also voiced strong support fo r the need to make social studies meaningful for elementary students by allowing them to think critically and to make choices about topics of study. Furthermore, because Dan believed his methods

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117 students needed to know a variety of instructi onal examples, he engaged in the practice of surveying his students at the beginning of ev ery class for examples of social studies instruction from their placements. His own e xperiences as a methods student led him to make personal connections with his methods stude nts; thus, he started his first class with information about his educational and profe ssional experiences. Also evident was his belief in the need to tailor his instruction to meet the needs of his students; thus, he surveyed his students at the be ginning of the semester about their learning styles and planned his instructional methods based on this information. Dan’s dual roles as methods instructor and practicing teacher made him a wellinformed professional and provided him with nuanced knowledge about the status of social studies in the elemen tary curriculum in his school and in Dennis County. This knowledge was gained through long-term experi ence at the same school, enabling him to note the sharp decline in time a llotted to social studies inst ruction at his school and at schools countywide. In additi on, Dan’s experiences instruct ing the methods course led him to believe that cooperating teachers felt direct pressure not to engage in any social studies instruction; by having an intern, they felt it was “safe” to teach social studies because the interns were require d to do so. Dan described the current status of social studies in the elementary curriculum as ‘awf ul’ and expressed concerns about the future of elementary students who did not re ceive any social studies instruction. Dan discussed a number of issues associ ated with his social studies methods instruction and noted two major issues related to his methods students. While reflecting on comments made by his methods students in response to the book Lies My Teacher Told Me Dan discussed the method students’ conser vative and critical interpretation of

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118 the bookÂ’s content. Moreover, he noted a number of issues related to the status of social studies; chief among these was th e lack of instructional time afforded to social studies and the issues this presented for methods instruction. Finally, Dan discussed issues related to filling dual roles of methods instructor and inserv ice teacher. Dan believed his long-term, multifaceted relationshi p with the teacher education program and his visibility as an inservice teacher accorded him a high le vel of credibility with his methods students. He also noted that his presence on campus fac ilitated negotiations for instructional time for the interns placed at his school site.

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119 CHAPTER 6 NORA IGLESIAS Background Information Chapter 6 discusses the research findings fo r Nora Iglesias, an experienced fourth grade teacher at Thebaut Elementary. In her early thirties, Nora attended a large state university for her first two years of college before finishing at a smaller regional state university closer to where she grew up. During her undergraduate teacher preparation program, she had one social st udies methods course, which sh e described as “very poorly taught by a retired teacher” (Nora, Intervie w, 3/16/06). However, Nora’s teacher education program also included a general me thods course in which she wrote a large unit on the state of Alaska that she used as a model during her methods instruction. Nora graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Educati on. After two year s of teaching, she enrolled in graduate studi es at a small state school in the Northeast, where she earned a dual master’s degree in Educationa l Psychology and Special Education. Professional Experiences Nora’s first official classroom expe rience came during her student teaching internships. Her first two were at an unde r-resourced elementary sc hool in a large urban area serving poor and minority students. Her fina l internship was at an elementary school close to where she grew up. Sh e described it as “a great e xperience, and my cooperating teacher was absolutely great” (Nora, Intervie w, 3/16/06). Nora’s first teaching job was in a small industrial town in the mid-South. He r two years of teaching there were followed by a year of teaching fourand five-year-olds in a preschool setting. Then Nora came to

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120 the local area and began teaching at Thebaut Elementary, where she has been for the last four years. Nora has participated in professional devel opment experiences related to her role as a fourth grade teacher, including attending a wo rkshop at a local museum to learn about Florida history. Nora also belongs to th e Florida Reading Association, attends its conference every year and belongs to the International Readin g Association, whose conference she attended twice. The semest er during which the study was conducted was Nora’s first experience teaching the social studies methods course. She planned to instruct the course again in the future. Thebaut Elementary Thebaut Elementary, located within walki ng distance of the university, is adjacent to a large park and is dott ed with many mature trees, giving the campus a suburban feel. A large elementary school by district sta ndards, Thebaut Elementary was rezoned recently, resulting in an increased number of students with a lower socioeconomic status. Thebaut Elementary is under the auspices of the Dennis County School Board and has experienced changes in the past few years related to time schedules, which limits the time spent on social studies instruction. In spite of these pressures, Nora reported social studies instruction was valued at her school and instructional time for social studies was a required part of each grade level’s daily sc hedule. Nora’s methods students came from Thebaut and Howe Elementary schools. Howe Elementary Howe Elementary is located on the outskirts of the town where the university is located. Howe offers a single curriculum up to third grade and two separate curricula for students in fourth and fifth grades, “Academ y of Traditional Studies” and “Academy of

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121 Math, Science, and Technology.” White stude nts comprise 40 percent of the student population, African Americans 45 percent, and 15 percent represent other groups. Howe’s AYP Status was listed as provisional, but the sc hool had earned an “A” grade from the state the three previous years (H owe 2006). Despite this grade, the comments made by Nora and the methods students placed there indica ted that Howe was a lower performing school than Thebaut. Figure 6-1. Nora’s Classroom Nora’s Classroom and Instruction Nora’s classroom was situated close to the entrance of Thebaut Elementary and across from garden plots cared for by each grad e level. Visually organized, the room was typical of many fourth grade classrooms, filled with learning materials and with students’ desks formed into tables, with an overhead projector at the front of the room. One wall was all windows, allowing in natural light a nd framing in its view a large oak tree. With all of the methods students packed into all th e available desks, two students and I had to

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122 sit in the back at additional tables next to the well-worn collection of Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia books. Nora’s focus on reading inst ruction and children’s literature was evident from the posters adorning the wall s. Social studies instruction was listed in the posted daily agenda, “10:30–11:30—Social Studies” (Nora, Class, 3/8/06). Nora’s positive and matter-of-fact persona worked well with her methods students, and she often used humor to spice up discussions or pr ovided amusing examples of fourth grade behavior. Overall, she was very engaging, pe rsonable and well liked by her students. Typically, Nora started class by taking care of administrative and procedural concerns; then she used the provided c ourse materials to organize and guide her instruction. Nora’s instruction focused on “real world” applications of social studies, with class discussions highlighted by examples fr om Nora’s experiences with the topic of interest. Nora stayed within the general struct ure of the provided materials, but also gave ample time to address individual students’ co ncerns and always expanded the discussion to include students’ interest s. Overall, Nora’s instruction was concise, applied, and interesting. What Beliefs About Social Studies Educat ion Do These Inservice Teachers Hold? Beliefs Concerning Teaching Nora’s beliefs about teaching focused on th e value of creating meaningful learning experiences for students in a practical and e fficient manner. Nora’s “practicality ethic” (Doyle and Ponder 1977–78) served as the main theme for her course: “Make it cost effective” (Nora, Class, 3/8/06). Typicall y, a comment about the importance of being practical was followed by another about the im portance of making learning experiences meaningful: “something meaningful, active and f un” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Nora also professed her belief in the importance of making elementary students critical thinkers:

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123 “That’s our goal, to get them to think for th emselves” (Nora Class 4/ 19/06). This belief aligned with the “informed soci al criticism” vision of the Lies My Teacher Told Me assignment and, as will be noted later, No ra’s methods students voiced similar beliefs during their presentations. Based on insights gained during her teachi ng career, she believed in a balanced approach to teaching: “What happens is the pe ndulum swings too far to the extreme with, say, whole language and phonics, when really we need to be looking at a balanced approach” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). This belief extende d to her thoughts about the prospect of having social studi es included on standardized test s: “I just think we have taken this as far as the pe ndulum can swing, and we are officially stuck” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Beliefs Concerning Social Studies and Teaching Social Studies Nora discussed her beliefs about what soci al studies is, the reasons it should be taught, what it teaches, and how it should be taught. She believed social studies “is anthropology, sociology, histor y, economics, and philosophy. And I think it is the field of study where people learn and examine and evalua te and apply our relationship to each other and to the world and communities” (Nor a, Interview, 3/16/06). Nora’s definition closely resembled the NCSS definition f ound in Brophy and Alleman (1996). Noting her lack of experience with social studies, Nora said her beliefs have changed because of her access to the course materials: “My beliefs ha ve changed in five years. Really, probably my beliefs have changed in the last three months, from teaching this class and reading this stuff” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Th is was one of the few occasions any of the participants directly attri buted any of their beliefs to the provided materials.

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124 Nora cited civic skills as the primary sk ill learned through social studies: “I think it’s really important to teach them what it’s about to be a citizen a nd what happens in the government” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). A similar sentiment was noted by Brophy and Alleman (1996) when they described one of their goals for social studies as “civic efficacy.” Nora noted other reasons social st udies should be included in the curriculum: “Every child needs to learn about those t opics—history, geography, all those subtopics under social studies” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06) When asked what social studies did for elementary students, she responded that the mo st important would be to “expose them to other cultures and kind of a multicultural appr eciation” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Asked what ideas elementary students should take away from the social studies units, Nora echoed the “Key Task” in the provided syllabus: “Everything is connected and there are similarities throughout many gr oups of people and lands” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). This belief was evident during instruction when Nora modeled how a good generalization could be applied to any context, not only the context in which it was learned (Nora, Class, 3/8/06). Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods In discussing her beliefs about teaching so cial studies methods, Nora cited her main goal for methods instruction as “to hopefully inspire a group of future teachers to embrace social studies as a subject area that n eeds to be taught well. It does not need to be pushed to the wayside” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). She constantly verbalized and emphasized this belief in her course. Conn ected to this goal was the importance she assigned to her having her met hods students leave her course “more aware and more able to teach social studies effectively” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). She also believed in the importance of coaching the students through wr iting and teaching the so cial studies units,

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125 “starting from scratch and building—even t hough it’s just three le ssons; building a unit, teaching a unit, and then evaluating their teach ing of those lessons are important” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teachers Hold Inform Their Practice in Their Social Studies Methods Course? Based on her belief that her main job as a methods instructor was to “perpetuate the value that is placed on social studies” (Nor a, Interview, 3/16/06), Nora constantly reminded her methods students of their job as future teachers: “You guys are going to have to work hard to integrate…and make su re they are having meaningful social studies experiences…because if you guys do not, it is no t going to happen” (Nora, Class, 3/8/06). Highlighting one of the requirements in the sy llabus, Nora commented, “I think it’s very easy to integrate social studies content to ot her areas” (Nora, Inte rview, 3/16/06). Based on this belief, she often used examples fr om her own teaching to provide real-life examples of social studies integration (e.g., Nora, Class, 3/22/06). She often reminded her students, “Remember, it is important to ta ke every opportunity to use social studies content and integrate it into your instructi on” (Nora, Class, 3/22/06). On one occasion Nora pulled out her laminated literature circle cards she used with her elementary students and used them to demonstrate how to integrate social st udies content in to reading (Nora, Class, 3/22/06). One of Nora’s beliefs that served as a theme for her methods course was the “practicality ethic” she often stressed: “I guess one thing I’ve stre ssed that I haven’t mentioned is the practical aspect to life in the real world of teachi ng” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). When discussing the effectiveness of including costumes a nd props in social studies instruction, she expresse d her focus on being practical in different terms, “I have

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126 established with my students th at I’m not really into ‘cute’ ” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Based on her belief in the practical, she ofte n reminded her methods students to “make it cost-effective” (Nora, Class, 3/8/06). When asked what actions she took in the methods class to demonstrate being pract ical, Nora recounted: “I woul d start telling stories about my classroom or students I’ve had or lessons I’ve taught, strategies that have worked or haven’t worked” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Buttressing Nora’s belief in practicality was her desire to make social studies instruction meaningful. After noting she was not “into cute,” Nora discussed the correct use of costumes and props for instruction, stat ing that they would be appropriate only if they “make the lesson meaningful” (Nora, Inte rview, 5/2/06). To de monstrate her belief in the importance of meaningful instruction, she arranged for all of the methods students to attend the Florida Folk Festival at Thebaut Elementary. After completing their study of Florida history, she had her fourth grade st udents get “in a group and make boards and dress up and teach about the Civil War in Florid a, teach about the citrus industry” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). Nora’s concept of “meaningful” instruction was centered on creating instruction that was memorable for students, slight ly different than Brophy and Alleman’s notion of “meaningf ul” instruction, “The content selected for emphasis is worth learning because it promotes progress towards important social understanding and civic efficacy goals, and teaching methods help students see how the content relates to those goals” (1996, p. 44-45).

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127 How Does Filling These Dual Roles Inform Their Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum? Information Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Channels of Communication Like the other participants, Nora had a uni que insight into the status of social studies at Thebaut Elementary and Howe El ementary. Noting the di fferences between the two, Nora commented on the frequency of soci al studies instruction at Thebaut: “In my classroom, in my grade level, we teach soci al studies every day” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). She said that while social studies was taught everyday at Thebaut, not all students received social studies instruction: Unfortunately, it always happens with th e lower performing students being taken out of social studies, and that does happen here. I will say social studies is taught when our Title I low readers go to Title I classes or other services… (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06) Nora explained why she believed social studies was absent from Howe: Because of the choices that the Howe facu lty or principal make or…sometimes the county dictates stuff that you have no cont rol over, but their reading program is called Success for All…so that requires many hours in the morning…so when you make choices like that as a blanket thing for an entire school, you’re limited [in the ability to teach social studies], and it’s not the teacher’s fault. (Nora Interview, 5/2/06) Nora noted that in the past it was possible to integrate social studies into other subjects: “I wish that we could integrate it like they used to into the reading and the math, but there’s just so much accountability and we have to teach these skills and so on. .” (Nora Interview, 3/16/06). Nora also noted the different ways she r eceived information about the status of social studies. Through her communications with other teachers, Nora noted the status of social studies at low performing schools: “I know it’s really bad at some schools in this county and across the state. People I know that teach in other places [t ell me that social

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128 studies is] usually the first thing to go” (N ora, Interview, 3/16/06). As a teacher at Thebaut, Nora witnessed firsthand the declin ing status of social studies: “I think, unfortunately, that the purpose right now for social studies is the time that you can pull kids out to do re-teaching for reading skills for FCAT…” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). As a methods instructor, Nora could see how recen t changes in the district timetable were followed differently at different schools: “H owe students said ‘we have just never seen social studies taught.’ Becau se they’re there until 11:30, and maybe it’s taught very infrequently in the aftern oons” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). Nora compared this knowledge gained as a methods instructor to her experiences at Thebaut, where social studies was taught every day, as evident in Nora’s posted daily agenda: “10:30–11:30— Social Studies” (Nora, Class, 3/8/06). Nora gained additional insight from her methods students: Some of them said, we see it once a wee k. Some of them said, it’s in the afternoon…Some of them said that their teach er, their team, or their grade level, or whatever, rotated like a month of science a nd then a month of social studies. (Nora Interview, 5/2/06) This information clearly showed the differing st atus of social studies at the two schools. Beliefs Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Testing When asked what she thought about the stat us of elementary social studies in general, Nora noted: “Oh, it’s disgusting. Makes me want to cry. Both social studies and science, I believe, should be pa rt of the curriculum” (Nora Interview 3/16/06). She made astute comments about the source of the pressure to reduce social studies instruction: “I think it’s like a political ag enda, obviously not a purpose that I agree with. But I do think that’s why social studies has been cut so much and put on the back burner…” (Nora, Interview 3/16/06). While pondering the positives and negatives of the inclusion of social

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129 studies in the testing programs, Nora su mmed up the dilemma: “I don’t think it will improve social studies instruction. But I think it will improve the daily schedules…Quality, I don’t know. You can do a lo t of harm if you teach social studies inappropriately and ineffectiv ely” (Nora Interview 3/16/06) During a class discussion, Nora hit a similar note: “I’m not excited about more testing…but I am happy it will get the subject area more attention” (Nora, Class, 3/8/06). During the final interview, Nora reflected on her previous comments about elemen tary social studies a nd testing: “I don’t hate the FCAT test…The way the tests are use d, the money that’s spent on it, that’s what bothers me, and frankly I don’t want to see a ny more FCAT tests, whether it’s social studies or home economics” (Nora, Intervie w, 5/2/06). Nora’s comments highlight the complexity of the issue. What Do These Inservice Teachers Believe are the Issues They Encountered While Teaching the Methods Course? Issues Related to Methods Students The issues discussed in this section are mo st closely related to the methods students themselves and how their experiences and be liefs influence elementary social studies methods instruction. Liberal beliefs Nora’s students’ openness to accepting new information could be related to the environment created by the class composition. Unlike the other secti ons of the methods course, Nora’s section had more than one or two non-White/European American females. While these females were the majority, Nora’s section also had three White males, two Hispanic females, and two African American females. The students’ liberal beliefs were evident in their comments during the group presentations of chapters from the book Lies

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130 My Teacher Told Me : “We really found some common misconceptions that we were taught” (Nora, Class, 3/29/06) Nora responded, “That is w hy we need to keep being critical of our sources” (Nora, Class, 3/ 29/06). While presenting one group’s chapter, a student noted, “This book made me really think hard about why I was taught the version of history I was…because I was in a mostly White school” (Nora, Class, 4/12/06). This section of students voiced significantly more liberal views than the other sections. Nora noted that she believed she was successf ul in overcoming many of the historical misconceptions held by her students (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Content vs. methods tension and students’ negative experiences Nora partially attributed this lack of knowledge to the methods students’ previous negative experiences with social studies inst ruction: “I’d say ove r half of them had negative experiences that they shared” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Initially Nora was concerned about her own level of knowledge : “I wouldn’t have the facts to press everybody. But when I started teaching, I realized that they actually know a whole heck of a lot less than I do” (Nora, Interview, 5/ 2/06). This lack of cont ent knowledge surfaced during the planning of th eir instructional units: “There we re actually many instances. I didn’t correct them but I knew they needed to explore something further…So I had them further research it” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). During observations, I noted several occasions when students would make historical ly inaccurate statements. Nora then made a suggestion about how to address the lack of historical content knowledge: “But to me, I think it would be more meaningful to take out those weekly assignments and do some sort of content knowledge every week on a differe nt part of history or a different topic” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06).

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131 Student behavior Nora had an issue related to the behavior of one methods student. During the first few weeks of the methods course, the student failed to hand in assignments and often was late or absent from class. In my observation notes, I recorded four occasions when he was late, once by 43 minutes. Based on the student’s behavior in the methods course, Nora knew she needed to take action: “Being a fourth grade teacher, I did my early identification and realized he was going to be a challenge, and that he needed some guidance and some pushing to realize that he needed to do his work and attend class” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). During instructi on, the student would often make inflammatory remarks, such as, “Isn’t it true that, in or der to be the president you have to be a white male?” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). This comm ent was made in the company of two female African American students. After an encouraging confer ence early in the semester Nora had a second, more pointed conference with the student and told him to turn in his assignments. The second conference was also ineffective: “The next week he didn’t even come to class—not only did he not have his assignments, but he didn’t even attend cla ss or e-mail me to tell me he wasn’t coming, which is policy” (Nora, Interv iew, 5/2/06). At this point, Nora contacted university personnel about the situation. With this additional pressure, the student soon began turning in many of his assignments, prom pting Nora to note, “I learned a lot, how to deal with a college student that is not beha ving correctly. And it’s a little different than dealing with fourth graders th at aren’t behaving correctly” (N ora, Interview, 5/2/06). While wrapping up the discussion about this situation, Nora made an insightful comment about the student and his motivations : “He realizes by being a little different and being vocal about being different, that he is kind of stirring the pot a little bit and he

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132 receives attention for that” (Nora, Intervie w, 5/2/06). When asked if she believed the student’s poor performance in the class had anything to do with a lack of respect for her related to her position as a sc hool-based (not university-bas ed) instructor, she said she would be surprised if he was exemplary in other courses. However, she noted, “It could have been exacerbated, like maybe it was even worse because he thought I was a pushover” (Nora, Intervie w, 5/2/06). Issues Related to the Status of Elementary Social Studies and the Field Placement The following section is a discussion of th e issues Nora encountered related to the status of elementary social studies and the schools where the methods students were placed. Lack of respect for the elementary Social Studies methods course Nora did not believe her methods students l acked respect for the status of social studies in the elementary curriculum. Intere stingly, however, she felt her students did not approach the social studies methods course as seriously as other me thods courses: “I’ve heard them talk about their r eading methods classes that they ’re also taking this semester. They do seem to have more…formal assessmen ts, which may lend to them taking it more seriously” (Nora, Interview, 3/ 16/06). Asked if she believed the students’ approach was related to the secondary status of social st udies, Nora replied, “No, it is because of the different ways the students are going to be assessed” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). She went on to explain that the assessments in the soci al studies methods course were more project based, while the assessments in the reading methods course were “more formal” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). She believed this led st udents to take the reading course more seriously.

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133 Lack of professional developmen t in elementary Social Studies One issue Nora attributed to the status of social studies was the lack of professional development opportunities with regard to elemen tary social studies: “There’s so few inservices and things like that focused on specifically teaching social studies” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). During a discussion about th e possibility of adding elementary social studies to the FCAT, Nora noted: “The only goo d thing that I can see is that maybe there will be training—for example, in-services—because it’s going to be an FCAT test now, so all of a sudden we’ve got something it’ s on” (Nora, Interv iew, 3/16/06). Lack of time for elementary Social Studies There were stark contrasts between the tw o elementary school sites in terms of the amount of time devoted to social studies in struction. None of the methods students from Thebaut Elementary indicated that they l acked the opportunity to see social studies instruction. On the other hand, Nora noted that “some of my Howe (E lementary) students said, ‘we have just never seen social studies taught.’ Because they’re there until 11:30, and maybe it’s taught very infrequently in the afternoons or something” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). Other methods students from Howe Elementary confirmed the situation: “Social studies is taught once per month” (Nora, Class, 3/ 8/06). The lack of time for social studies instruction also extended to the time allotted for the methods students to teach their social studies units, prompti ng one student to comment during the unit presentation: “We wish we would have ha d more time” (Nora, Class, 4/26/06). Other field placement issues Nora discussed field placement issues not re lated to the status of elementary social studies. One such issue was when cooperating teachers mandated the topic and/or the methods of instruction for the social studies unit (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). This was

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134 evident during the methods students’ presenta tions of their teachi ng unit; students noted that: “It was our only option to do [it] because this is the only unit they do this semester” (Nora, Class, 4/19/06). In other situations, methods students elected to do content-driven units based on topics traditionally covered: “T hey were in fifth grade and they did fifth grade social studies topics,” and “Maria did the Southeast region…it’s something that we teach here in fourth grade in social studies so she picked up on that for her unit” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Nora noted issues with methods students in kindergarten placements, such as those having difficulties teaching kindergarten st udents larger concepts; as noted by one methods student, “We should have done baby steps” (Nora, Class, 4/26/06). Nora remarked that such difficulties were widesp read among kindergarten placements: “I had four duos in kindergarten placements, and they all had a challenging time coming up with an appropriate social studies unit topic” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). No ra associated this difficulty with two different issues related to lower elementary classrooms. First, the lower elementary grades do not have “classes and subjects,” and s econd, “the report card focuses more on basic skills such as letter recognition” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles Following is a description of the issues No ra encountered while serving in the dual roles of elementary school teacher and elemen tary social studies methods instructor. Content and theoretical knowledge As noted earlier, Nora was initially concerned about her level of content knowledge, only to discover her methods st udents knew less than she did (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Nora’s c ontent knowledge had benefited from her experiences as a fourth grade teacher and the focus of her grade level team on Florida history: “I went to a

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135 workshop, and it was mostly our teachers…i t was all fourth grade stuff” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). She was also concerned about her knowledge of elementary social studies theory and teaching methods, which she related to the poor instruction she received during her own teacher education pr ogram: “I only had that one social studies class and, no, it was not useful at all” (N ora, Interview, 3/16/06). Based on these concerns, she said she intended to improve her knowledge befo re the next time she taught the course (Nora, In terview, 5/2/06). Limited time Nora cited the lack of time as one of he r biggest challenges, especially finding time to grade her methods students’ work: “It’s de finitely hard, time management. I need to work on my grading” (Nora, In terview, 5/2/06). Like the othe r participants, I asked Nora what she would do if she had to choose be tween time for elementary students and her methods students. Nora responde d: “If I had to choose, it would be my elementary kids” (Nora Interview, 5/2/06). At no time did I feel that Nora was unprepared, but I did get a sense during the observations that she was occasionally harried. Credibility Nora was slightly concerned about her credibility with her methods students because she was not an alumnus of their t eacher education program and did not have experience teaching university courses (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). When asked to explain her feelings, Nora responded: I think that when the (methods) studen ts know that you’re not on campus, and you’re a ‘teacher teacher,’ they use you differently. I think in general there’s probably a little less respect or maybe a little less like ta king it seriously than if you were teaching on campus (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06).

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136 Also, while Nora’s lack of familiarity with the structure and personnel did not affect her credibility, it did challenge her logistical sk ills, such as entering grades and doing other computer-based administrative tasks. Negotiations for instructional time and freedom Interestingly, Nora did not see any need to negotiate on behalf of her methods students for instructional time or freedom (N ora, Interview, 5/2/06). Possibly, this was related to the status of social studies at Thebaut. Social studies was a required part of the daily schedule, although the social studies ti me block sometimes was interrupted to pull out students for other servi ces, including FCAT remedia tion. Given this situation, cooperating teachers tended to have daily instructional time to provide the methods students with time to teach, but because the su bject was seen as nonessential, there was less concern with the quality or c onsistency of the instruction. Advantages of filling dual roles Constantly evident during her methods inst ruction was Nora’s ab ility to capitalize on her role as a practicing elementary teacher to facilitate her methods instruction. This was apparent when, in the middle of a class discussion about the use of literature circles (a reading strategy), Nora pulled out a class set of laminated handouts she used to conduct literature circles with her fourth grade students (N ora, Class, 3/22/06). Asked about the advantages of teaching her methods course in her elementary classroom, Nora responded, “I loved it. I can’t imagine trying to teach somewhere else, like in a college class. Everything was very accessible to me…” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Nora also benefited from her role as a cooperating teacher : “I think it is an advantage that I work with interns. So I think I understand wher e they’re (methods students) coming from” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). The advantages of having an intern also were evident when

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137 Nora provided examples of social studies less on plans used by her previous interns (Nora, Class, 3/8/06). As mentioned earlier, one of Nora’s main successes during her methods instruction was conveying the importance of creating pr actical and meaningful social studies instruction. When asked why she thought this was such an important message for her methods students to hear, Nora said, “The students would…perk up. .Now we’re going to hear something that’s useful, it just seem ed…the students were more engaged” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Nora credited this ph ilosophy to a retiring t eacher who told her, “Nora, whatever lesson, whatever activity, wh atever great idea you have, make sure that the student output equals or exceeds your i nput into preparing it” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). During the presentations of the units at the end of the semester, it was evident her methods students understood this philosophy. On e group admitted to spending too much time preparing things for instruction that di d not enhance student le arning (Nora, Class, 4/26/06). Themes and Summary of Findings for Nora Iglesias Nora voiced practical beliefs about teach ing in general and often advised her students to focus their efforts on meaningful activities for their students. She discussed the value of social studies instruction for elem entary students, especia lly civics skills, as well as the ease and importance of using so cial studies content to practice non-fiction reading skills. Like all the ot her study participants, Nora di scussed the depressed state of elementary social studies and connected the lack of social studies w ith the poor level of civic participation in the U.S. She stated that promoting social stud ies instruction was the number one goal of her soci al studies methods course.

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138 Based on filling the roles of both methods instructor and practicing teacher, Nora was able to make a number of observations about the status of social studies in the elementary curriculum. While her school had been able to keep its social studies program “alive,” the time set aside for social studies sometimes was interrupted to pull out low performing students for remedial reading, writ ing, and math skills. But based on her role as a methods instructor, Nora knew this si tuation was better than other schools where almost no social studies instruction took place. Nora’s beliefs informed her practices in the social studies methods course. She believed that her main job as a methods inst ructor was to teach her students about the value of social stud ies instruction. Based on this, she taught her students instructional methods such as integrating social studies into reading instruction. Her commitment to practical and meaningful social studies instruction led Nora to offer her experiences as a classroom teacher as examples of such in struction. She also required her methods students to attend an event show casing her elementary students’ social studies work that she felt was meaningful. Nora encountered many issues during he r methods instruction. Some of these issues were related to her methods stude nts’ lack of content knowledge, which on occasion led to the inclusion of incorrect in formation in their unit plans. To overcome this challenge, Nora required students to do more research until they discovered the correct information. Chief among the issues Nora faced was the unprofessional and substandard performance of a particular student. Nora discussed three major issues related to the status of elementary social studies. At the beginning of the methods course, she no ted that her methods students did not seem

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139 to approach the social studies methods course as seriously as they did methods courses in other subject areas. As the semester progres sed, this perception le ssened as the interns became more aware of the importance of soci al studies. Nora voiced serious concerns about the availability of soci al studies instructional exampl es for her students at Howe Elementary. She also suggested that if so cial studies were included on the FCAT, it would possibly create more professional de velopment workshops for social studies. Finally, she discussed issues related to filling the dual roles of inservice teacher and elementary social studies methods instruct or. She expressed a desire to improve her theoretical and content knowledge of elementary social studies. She also noted several occasions when she was able to capitalize on her experience as an elementary teacher by offering practical advice to her methods st udents, but acknowledged the limitations of relying solely on practical knowledge fo r someone filling these dual roles.

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140 CHAPTER 7 CROSS CASE FINDINGS Introduction Chapter one introduced the study and its purpose. Chapter two discussed the literature relevant to the research questi ons. Chapter three discussed the research methodology employed. Chapters f our, five and six were the within-case findings for each of the research participants. This ch apter compares and contrasts the research findings concerning the three participants. Mo re specifically, it examines their beliefs about social studies, how these beliefs affect ed their methods instru ction, how serving in these dual roles informed them about the stat us of social studie s in the elementary curriculum, and the issues they encountered. The four research que stions organize the findings in this chapter. Findings for each of the participants were compared and contrasted with the relevant research liter ature when possible. This is followed by a discussion concerning reasons for the similari ties and differences among the participants and in relation to the re search literature. What Beliefs About Social Studies Educat ion Do These Inservice Teachers Hold? Beliefs Concerning Teaching The three participants voiced similar beliefs about teaching in general and the importance of adapting their instruction to meet students’ needs. Concerning the definition of teaching, Alexis said: “Teaching by definition, I think, is showing someone how to do something…” (Alexi s, Interview, 3/14/06). She quickly added to the definition: “It is my job to always find a way to reach every child, no matter where they

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141 Figure 7-1 Beliefs Concerning Teaching are, in whatever subject area that I happen to be teaching them” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). On a similar note, Dan stated: “Teaching is helping someone else gain an understanding of something new” (Dan, In terview, 3/17/06). Dan’s belief in the importance of meeting students’ instructional needs was a major theme of his instruction: “Teaching can never be the same because you teach a person. You never teach a subject to a person” (Dan, Inte rview, 3/17/06). Dan often shared this belief with his methods students: “You are going to have to change your teaching to meet your students’ needs” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). For Nora: “Teaching is helping someone to be able to do something they could not do before” (Nora, In terview, 3/16/06). Nora also agreed about the importance of meeting stude nts’ instructional needs: “I n order to help every child learn about them, we need to look at accommoda tions and make sure that there are ways

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142 to get to all of the student s” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06) While “Meeting the Needs of Students” was listed as an objective in the s uggested syllabus, for all three participants this was a preexisting belief. These comm ents mirror the belief s and practices of effective teachers: “Effective teachers have always considered their students' uniqueness (e.g., academic needs, talents, interests, learning styles) in planning, teaching, and evaluating lessons” (Edwards, Carr, & Siegel 2006, p. 587). Beliefs Concerning Social Studies There were slight differences in the partic ipants’ beliefs about social studies. Alexis described social studies as “ev erything that’s happening around us all the time. It’s our Figure 7-2 Beliefs Concer ning Social Studies

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143 social world and I think it’s the study of people and life” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Asked if her beliefs have changed in the last fi ve years, Alexis replie d: “I think that it hasn’t changed as much because (her social studies methods instructor) is the one that really showed me that it’s everything. So having that as an undergrad…really kind of shaped my thinking” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Dan reported a similar perspective: “Social studies is basically a set of…information that you need in order to become part of a social society, and the society as a whole… To me social studies is almost life” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Dan’s definition of soci al studies had changed from what he once believed: “In the past few years what I’ve kind of been developing is this definition [that] social studies happens all the time…It’s so cial skills, social awareness, social understanding. .” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Striking a slightly different note, Nora reported social studies: “is anthropology, so ciology, history, economics, and philosophy. And I think it is the field of study where pe ople learn and examine and evaluate and apply our relationship to each other and to th e world and communities” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). Due to her involvemen t with the course, Nora’s definition had evolved: “My beliefs have changed in five years…probably my beliefs have changed in the last three months from teaching this class and reading th is stuff” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Dan and Alexis both expressed a more nuanced defini tion of social studies, while Nora’s comments closely reflected the NCSS (1992) defi nition of social studies (also quoted in Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students ): “systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeol ogy, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religi on, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences” (NCSS 1992). The

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144 durability of Alexis’s beliefs stemming from her positive experiences as a social studies methods student attests to the pow er of good methods instruction. Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies While discussing their beliefs about teachi ng social studies, all participants noted the need to present elementary students with a balanced and somewhat critical version of social studies content. In the context of discussing the instru ction of contr oversial issues, Dan and Alexis offered almost identical comments about presenting students with a balanced and honest depiction of historical figures: “We s hould be teaching all of the qualities that some people may have” (Dan, Clas s, 4/2/06); “When we talk to kids, we Figure 7-3 Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies

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145 need to talk about the fact that all people have parts that are not good” (Alexis, Class, 3/07/06). Nora noted the desira bility of creating independent thinkers: “That’s our goal, to get them to think for themselves” (Nora Class 4/19/06). This cr itical and balanced approach also aligned with the Lies My Teacher Told Me assignment. Numerous scholars have noted the im portance of providing students with a balanced, realistic view of c ontemporary society and histor y, arguing that if students are presented with a version of the world that is not open to interpretation, they will assume they are powerless to effect change a nd transform it (e.g., Shor 1992). Most often, teachers fear parental complaints about discussing controversial issues (McBee 1995). This fear was exemplified in a comment made by a methods student during the Lies My Teacher Told Me discussion: “A parent is going to be like, ‘Why is my kid learning this…?’” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). In addition to fears of parental retr ibution, elementary teachers often feel incapable of teaching c ontroversial topics: “Lower grade teachers often do not feel properly trai ned or prepared and reluctan t to engage controversial issues” (McBee 1995, p. 38). While participants noted many other beliefs about teaching social studies, their advocacy for presenti ng balanced and critical social studies instruction was significant. Given the methods students’ similar ethnic backgrounds, these comments might have been made to encourage the methods students to adopt a more balanced and critical social studies prac tice so they could work more effectively with diverse student populations. Each of the participants discussed the neces sity of integrating social studies into other subject areas. Nora described how so cial studies integration took place in her classroom:

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146 We’re working on our butterfly garden…at th e same time we had a little lesson on the place in Mexico where the monarchs mi grate every winter. And that’s locations in the world and science, so I think it’s very easy to in tegrate social studies content to other areas. (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06) Likewise Alexis discussed the ease of in tegration: “Amazing things could be done because everything is integrated into social studies” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). During class, Dan offered a similar opinion to his me thods students: “Use so cial studies to teach other things…you can if you try hard enough to make connections” (Dan, Class, 4/19/06). The subject most often suggested for inte gration was reading. When discussing the attempt by the teachers at Owen Elementary to pr eserve social studies in their curriculum, Dan noted their success with reading integrat ion: “Last year was pretty okay because we got away with it, so to speak. We taught r eading through social studies” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). During a class discussi on, Nora also promoted readi ng integration: “Remember, it is important to take every opportunity to us e social studies conten t and integrate it into your (reading) instruc tion” (Nora, Class, 3/22/06). Wh ile discussing the heavy focus on reading strategies in the me thods course, Alexis explaine d the benefit to the methods students: “So they have to apply a reading st rategy to their own content area of reading. I think that shows them that thes e kinds of strategies in teachi ng kids how to be strategic readers is easily integrated into social st udies content” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). While the participants’ belief in integration resembles chapter nine of Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students all three spoke of experiences with integration even before their involvement with the course. Integrati on of social studies into other subject areas has long been advocated as a means of improving student learning: “A further characteristic of powerful social studies is integration” (Barton 2005, p. 26). When they

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147 have integrated social studies into other subject areas, “teachers should not only expect them (students) to use reading and writing in social studies, but also help them become better readers and write rs through their work in the s ubject” (Barton, 2005. p. 25). Also, social studies integration into reading at th e elementary level has been suggested as a means to improve struggling r eaders’ skills by a number of researchers (e.g., Johnson & Janisch 1998; Jones & Lapham 200 4). Reflecting the threatened status of social studies, integration into reading has most recently been promoted to ensure that social studies is taught. If teachers do not adopt in tegration, then “socia l studies, science, health and social skills are often put off to the side and forgotten” (NEA 2003, p. 292). Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies Methods All the participants voiced the need to “save” elementary social studies through methods instruction. Nora noted the need to pr omote social studies in the face of attempts to narrow the curriculum: I think that one of my main j obs is to perpetuate the valu e that is placed on social studies, so that maybe future teachers will remember that this is a valued subject area and it shouldn’t just be cut when everything else seems more important. (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06) Dan echoed this view: “I almost think like I’m trying to save social studies, keep it in the classroom…I want them to unde rstand that social studies, like other subjects…should not be something that is re moved” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Alexis shared the same concern: “I have to convi nce them how important social studies is, no matter how often they are told it isn’t” (Ale xis, Interview, 5/10/06). The participants’ concerns are echoed in much of the releva nt literature, including Howard (2003), who noted: “As standards-based reform gains ground, so cial studies is getting squeezed in this era of standards-based education. What I consid er the most important discipline, social

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148 Figure 7-4 Beliefs Concerning Teaching Social Studies studies, has been treated as a second-class subject” (p. 285). Similar to Leming (1989), Howard suggested that social st udies professors are out of touc h with the reality of social studies in schools and need to do more research on how to save social studies instead of simply how to teach social studies. There was interesting unanimity in terms of the participants’ favorite social studies methods lesson. All three cited the “centers” le sson as their favorite. In this lesson the methods students experienced social studies fr om an elementary student’s perspective as they participated in activities such as wo rking with primary sources and “doing”’ an archeology dig. Alexis noted the centers lesson was the methods students’ favorite

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149 because “they’re actually engaging in differe nt ways to use social studies strategies” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06) Nora thought the centers le sson was powerful because “in the end, from our discussion when we got back to class, it seemed like a lot of them got ideas that they were going to use in their units” (Nora, Inte rview, 3/16/06). Dan believed the centers lesson should be expanded: I just like it because it just seems…like if we could do th is every class it would be …much more meaningful…like take one of those centers every class and just build on it. It would make it more meaningful to the interns. (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06) Given that the centers represented different instructional methods, Dan’s comment speaks directly to the “content versus methods” de bate discussed later in this chapter. Wade (2003) explored the benefits of so cial studies methods students engaging in the activities they will one day use with elem entary students, especially with regard to advocating for social justice. Like Wade each of the participants knew active participation often promotes understandi ng and retention: “…I just know…if my…elementary school kids do it, then they ’re more likely to remember it and do it again” (Nora, Interview, 5/ 2/06). Moreover, given the lack of experience that methods students often have with elementary social studies, these centers may be the first time they have been exposed to such learning experiences. Summary The participants concurred in their beliefs about social studie s education. All held similar views about the importance of adapti ng instruction to meet students’ individual needs and having methods and elementary stude nts actively participat e in instruction. Through these two beliefs, participants demons trated what Shulman (1987) referred to as the “wisdom of practice.” Shulman describe d seven categories of knowledge that form a teacher’s “wisdom of practice. ” First, the participants’ be lief in the importance of

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150 meeting students’ needs is what Shulman called “knowledge of learners and their characteristics” (p. 8). This knowledge is ga ined by asking questions about students such as: “What do they already know?” and “What do they need to know in order to be successful in this lesson?” The application of this knowledge is represented by Dan’s comment that “no matter what happens, I’m never going to be doing it the same way twice” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Shulman also referred to “general pedagogical knowledge” (p. 8), which he described as “broad principles and stra tegies of classroom management and organization that appear to transcend subject matter” (p. 8). The application of this knowledge is exemp lified by Nora’s comment: “…I just know…if my…elementary school kids do it, then they ’re more likely to remember it and do it again” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/ 06). By having their methods st udents actively participate in instruction, the participants were transferri ng the knowledge they gained as elementary teachers and applying it to methods instruction. The participants’ definitions of social st udies slightly differed. Alexis and Dan offered almost identical definitions that reflected a slightly more nuanced and applied description than Nora’s, which closely refl ected the NCSS definition. The difference in these comments possibly was related to Alexis ’s and Dan’s slightly longer exposure to the social studies literature and experience te aching the course. All th ree participants also expressed a belief in the importance of a balanc ed and somewhat critical presentation of social studies content to elemen tary students. This belief is closely related to the goal of social studies articulated by NCSS (1979), which labeled th e mission of social studies education: “to engage students in analyzing and attempting to resolve the social issues confronting them" (NCSS 1979, p. 267). This mission was echoed in Dan’s statement

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151 that social studies is a set of skills: “To be ab le to participate, to be able to cope with problems, solve problems…” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). NCSS (1989) described this goal as the development of “critical attitudes a nd analytical perspectives appropriate to analysis of the human condition” (p. 65). The participants’ comments all reflected a desire to prepare methods students to provide elementary students with social studies instruction aligned with these central goals. The participants expressed some beliefs related to the endangered status of elementary social studies. The uniformity of the participants’ belie f in integration, and their specific belief in reading as the s ubject to be integrated, may be due to the participants’ backgrounds. A ll had extensive backgrounds in reading; Dan previously served as a literacy methods instructor, Al exis focused on liter acy during her doctoral studies, and Nora was involved in improving reading instructi on at Thebaut. Given these experiences, they were most familiar with reading integration and thus more apt to suggest it to the methods students. While the integration of social studies and reading is supported in the resear ch literature (e.g., Bart on 2005), the particip ants’ selection of reading also was related to the untested stat us of social studies. Alexis made this connection for her students: “…you can tell from these units [that] integration is the key for getting it in (social studi es)…these days” (Alexis, Cla ss, 4/11/06). The participants’ belief in the importance of promoting social studies instruction through their methods instruction seems directly related to elementa ry social studies’ status as a “left behind” subject (NEA 2004).

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152 How Do the Beliefs These Inservice Teachers Hold Inform Their Practice in Their Social Studies Methods Course? Participants gave many examples of belie fs-to-practice connections. What follows is a discussion of the beliefs that had the gr eatest effect on their practices, both as a group and individually. Shared Belief-to-Practice Connections Figure 7-5 Belief-to-Practi ce Connections Shared All the participants shared beliefs in th e importance of social studies instruction and the need to promote social studies thr ough their methods instruct ion. Alexis validated her belief in the importance of social studies as follows : “because everything we do is within a social world” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Dan struck a similar tone: “It has a role in everything that all of your students do all day. So if you ignore it, you’re really going to hurt your students in the long run” (D an, Interview, 3/17/06). Nora lamented the effects of the current situation: “I think it’s tragic that wh at is going to happen is we are…basically raising a genera tion of children who are going to grow up to be citizens who may or may not know how somebody gets to be president” (A lexis, Interview, 5/10/06). All three also disc ussed the need to promote social studies through their methods instruction: “My main job is to perp etuate the value that is placed on social

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153 studies” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06); “I have to convince them how important social studies is” (Alexis, In terview, 5/10/06). Based on these shared beliefs, each part icipant engaged in similar practices reflecting those beliefs. Dan urged his students: “Remember, you guys have to do this…social studies will allow you to get to know your students better, and it will be the only subject some of your students will like; you can’t leave it out” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). Nora cited the need for civic skills: “If you do not have social studies, you are going to have kids who can’t participate in society…” (Nora, Class, 3/22/06). Alexis appealed to the methods students’ sense of duty: “You n eed to work hard to include it (social studies); if you don’t, you are not doing your job to prepare th em for real life” (Alexis, Class, 4/4/06). Based on their shared belief in the need to promote social studies through their methods instruction, each partic ipant included either reminders or instruction to enable their methods students to “fit” social studi es into their curriculum. Alexis included reminders about the need for integration: “Y ou need to know how to effectively integrate this stuff (social studies) into reading, or you will not have time to teach it” (Alexis, Class, 4/4/06). Dan included instruction abou t how to actually negotiate for instructional freedom and time to include social studies: “I have to teach them how to negotiate in addition to what social st udies is and how to do it…” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Consistent with her belief in meaningful instruction, Nora reminded her students: “You guys are going to have to work hard to integrate…and make sure they are having meaningful social studies e xperiences…because if you guys do not do it (social studies), it is not going to happen” (Nora, Class, 3/8/06).

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154 Individual Belief-to-Practice Connections In addition to their shared beliefs an d the resultant practices, each of the participants expressed individua l beliefs connected to practices that served as a theme for their instruction. Dan Figure 7-6 Belief-to-Practice Connection Dan If any one belief characteri zed Dan’s methods instructi on, it was the importance of meeting individual students’ n eeds. Explaining this belief, Dan stated: “One of the big things that I think about teaching is that no matter what happens, I’m never going to be doing it the same way twice” (Dan, Intervie w, 3/17/06). This belief was directly connected to Dan’s practice of surveying his methods students about their learning styles: At the beginning of the semester, I give sort of, at the first cla ss, actually, I give a reflection…It asks the students how they a ppreciate learning best. What I think [I understand] their learning style…that’s how I try to craft the rest of the semester.…So I…kind of tailor it to where part of the cl ass would be one way, part of the class would be [an]other and some classes would be…diffe rent, but I figured for them to make the most meaning out of the content I had to help meet their learning styles just like any other kid. (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06) The other participants also believed in the importance of meeting students’ needs, but for Dan this belief was the central them e of his methods instruction. Dan’s actions reflect those of effective teachers as described by Tomlinson (1999). Tomlinson explained that effective teachers use technique s that allow them to meet their students’ needs, such as the engagement of students through different learni ng modalities, multiple

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155 approaches to all aspects of lessons, stude nt-centered lessons, a combination of whole class, group, and individual in struction, and a proactive rath er than reactive attitude. These techniques closely resemble Dan’s effort s to meet the needs of his students. Nora Figure 7-7 Belief-to-Practice Connection Nora Nora’s belief in the importance of practi cal and meaningful instruction served as the main theme for her methods instruction. No ra verbalized this belief: “…one thing I’ve stressed that I haven’t mentioned is the prac tical aspect to life in the real world of teaching” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). This belief surfaced in Nora’s methods instruction, with comments such as: “Make it cost effec tive” (Nora, Class, 3/8/ 06). This belief was buttressed by Nora’s belief in the importa nce of meaningful instruction: “If it is meaningful, they’re going to remember it mo re” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). To provide her methods students with examples of meani ngful instruction, Nora had them all attend the “Florida Folk Festival” at Thebaut Elem entary, where her fourth-grade elementary students “make boards and dress up and teach ab out the Civil War in Florida, teach about the citrus industry” (Nor a, Interview, 3/16/06). Nora’s focus on practical concerns st rongly resembles Doyle and Ponder’s (1977– 78) practicality ethic. While discussing the adoption of changes in practice, Doyle and Ponder stated that changes in schools also mu st pass teachers’ test of the practicality ethic, which is based on three criteria: instrumentality, congruence, and cost.

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156 Instrumentality relates to how well the innovation is explaine d to teachers. Congruence is how well the innovation fits th e teacher’s existing beliefs and practices. Cost measures the ratio of effort to results for the inn ovation. Cuban (1986) applie d this ‘practicality ethic’ to the adoption of technology, expl aining that teachers adopt new technology “when a technological innovation helped them do a better job of what they already decided had to be done and matched their vi ew of daily classroom realities” (p. 66). Nora’s practicality ethic most closely resembles Doyle and Ponder’s notion of “cost.” She attributed the origin of her practicality et hic to the wisdom offered to her by a retiring teacher; during the final interview, Nora re called a story she shared with her methods students in which the teacher offered this advice: “Whatever less on, whatever activity, whatever great idea you have, make sure the student output equals or exceeds your input into preparing it…I think that has helped me survive in this job” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Alexis Figure 7-8 Belief-to-Practice Connection Alexis Alexis demonstrated strong beliefs ab out the need to teach for enduring understanding through generalizatio ns. “My main job as a methods instructor is to get them to understand they are teaching for mean ing, not memorization” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Based on this belief, Alexis provided her students with multiple examples of teaching for understanding through the use of generalizations. “When I teach them about

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157 generalizations, I try to give them as many examples as possible of powerful generalizations…so they understand it…going over facts to concep ts, concepts to generalizations…I modeled the lesson by giving them definiti ons of facts, concepts, and generalizations. I stressed that facts can be seen as the lowest form of knowledge, that concepts grow from facts, and that genera lizations are drawn from concepts” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). With this instruction, Alexis hoped to ensure that her methods students understood an approach that is re flected in the research on teaching for generalizations (Benson 2003). Influence of Course Materials on Beliefs While determining the exact source of the pa rticipants’ beliefs wa s not the focus of this study, the data indicated as much when one of the explicitly stated beliefs aligned with the suggested course material. As disc ussed in Chapter 3, a need exists to have structured course materials pr ovided to instructors with limited backgrounds in social studies; undoubtedly, these cour se materials influenced th e participants to varying degrees. However, they did not determine the main themes common to all participants or even specific to each individua l participant. Wolk (1998) identified a similar experience while working with sixth grade teachers: What was taught in each of those classr ooms was very different versions of the same official curriculum. On paper we were teaching the same content, but in reality there were differe nces, many of which were profound (emphasis in original), differences in what was being taught in those five classrooms. (p. 51–52) In terms of “saving social studies” with their methods instruction, the provided course materials did not heavily reflect th is theme, but the participants’ firsthand knowledge and experiences concer ning the status of social studies in the elementary curriculum did. In addition, the common theme of integrating social studies into other

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158 subject areas aligned with the provided materials, yet all three participants discussed preexisting beliefs and experien ces with integration. The provided materials affirmed the participants’ beliefs in integr ation, giving them the tools to promote integration with their methods students. Moreover, the themes partic ular to each particip ant—meeting students’ needs, practical and meaningful instruc tion, and teaching for ge neralization—were all preexisting beliefs. While these findings suppor t a relationship between the participants’ beliefs and the provided materials, there was no clear “cause and effect” in terms of the materials. Summary Evidence suggests a strong belief-to-practice connection for all participants. All participants shared a belief in the importance of social studies instru ction and the need to promote social studies through their methods instruction, and each engaged in similar practices reflecting these belie fs. In addition, each voiced indi vidual beliefs connected to practices serving as a theme for their inst ruction. According to Stern and Shavelson (1983), teachers are professi onals who make judgments based on the uncertain and complex school and classroom contexts they inhabit; forming their beliefs and these judgments are the basis of their classroom be havior and instructional practices. Stern and Shavelson’s (1983) findings echo those of a nu mber of other researchers (see Brownell, Yeager, Rennels & Riley 1997; Clark & Peterson 1986; Cuban 1984; Fang 1996; Leming 1989; Onosko 1989; Pajares 1992; Richards on 1996; Sarason 1996; Shulman 1987; Thornton 1991; Wilson 2000).

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159 How Does Filling These Dual Roles Inform Their Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum? Information Concerning the Status of Elem entary Social Studies and Channels of Communication Due to the pervasive influence of account ability systems on elementary social studies understanding how the participants received information about the status of elementary social studies and what beliefs they have based on this information is important to understand. While se rving in these dual roles, participants were privy to unique information about the status of social studies in the elementary curriculum and this information came to them to through various channels. Dan recognized that, in the past, the district allowed more time for soci al studies instruction: “…a couple years ago they had a different schedule…but everyone in Owen Elementary and More Cooperative School had social studies time blocks” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). However, according to Dan, “If you follow all the procedures perfectly there is no time for social studies…I think 20 minutes or 15 minutes, some amount of time that’s impossible to do anything” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Dan also recognized how the mandated schedule negatively affected the ability of methods stude nts to observe social studies: Last year when I taught the social studi es course, everyone at our school actually was in classrooms where there was time to get into social studies. This year, the interns are having to rework their schedules so they can see social studies even if it is happening, much less participate in it and do their units. (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06) Alexis asserted that social studies instruc tion varied greatly in quality even at Petty, a school somewhat sheltered from testing pressures (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Meanwhile, both Dan and Nora reported information that alarmed them about the status of social studies: Due to pressure a nd the increasing level of oversight, teachers

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160 were losing their freedom to integrate social studies into other s ubjects. According to Dan: We taught reading through social studies. So we would do units on something and we would do…comprehension strategies and th ings [like] that…B ut this year we were unable to do that because of—I don’t know if the guidelines are stricter or the monitoring is tighter or what …we were told before that we were not allowed to do that because if we have a different group of students that we teach for reading or for social studies, we were unable to ov erlap them… (Dan, In terview, 3/17/06) Nora reported a similar situation: “I wish that we could integrat e it (social studies) like they used to into the reading and the ma th, but there’s just so much accountability and we have to teach these skills, and so on…” (Nora, Interview, 3/ 16/06). Nora also had firsthand information about decisions made concerning which students have access to social studies instruction: Unfortunately, it always happens with th e lower performing students being taken out of social studies, and that does happen here. I will say social studies is taught when our Title I low readers go to Title I classes or other services… (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Testing pressure also influenced the coope rating teachers’ ability to teach social studies. According to Dan, “most of the ment or teachers that I know who love teaching social studies…think it’s really valuable, thi nk it’s very important. Bu t they feel like they can’t teach it because of the other things…” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Dan realized that hosting a methods student could actually cr eate space for the cooperating teacher, thus enabling social studies instruction in the face of pressure not to teach it. He illustrated how a cooperating teacher could negotiate such space: “I have to do this because I told the university that I would let [the methods students] fulfill their requirements” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). He added that some c ooperating teachers allow the methods students to teach their units “regardless of whatever pressure they might have from their CRT or principal…” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06).

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161 Finally, Nora also noted th at filling these dual roles helped her to identify the differences in the status of social studies at Thebaut and Howe Elementary: Because of the choices that the Howe facu lty or principal make or…sometimes the county dictates stuff that you have no cont rol over, but their reading program is called Success for All…so that requires many hours in the morning…so when you make choices like that as a blanket thing for an entire school, you’re limited [in the ability to teach social studies], and it’s not the teacher’s fault. (Nora Interview, 5/2/06) This insight highlights the importance th at contextual factors play in both obstructing and promoting elementa ry social studies practice. Serving in these dual roles opened many cha nnels for the participants, granting them access to information concerning the status of social studies in the elementary curriculum. As teachers, these participants worked “in the trenches” and were aware of how actual social studies in struction occurred. Often, Dan received mandates that squarely focused all reading instruction on sk ills needed for the FCAT test: “We have people who are constantly reminding us: you ha ve to be doing reading. And reading is not this. Reading is not that. Reading is not the other” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Dan also knew of mandates prescribing in structional time that, if fo llowed, would leave little time for social studies instruction: “We received littl e nasty letters lately saying that we are to teach 90 minutes of direct reading instru ction…I don’t know where it comes from…I’m sure it’s from the county office, but I don’t kno w that for a fact” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Meanwhile, as a teacher Nora has learned about school-specific cu rricular decisions made about social studies; “I think, unfortunately, that th e purpose right now for social studies is the time that you can pull kids out to do re-teaching for reading skills for FCAT…” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). Her di scussions with other teachers at “low

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162 Figure 7-9 Channels of Communication performing” schools led her to understand that “it’s really bad at some schools in that social studies is] usually the first th ing to go” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). As methods instructors, the participants had access to informa tion about how social studies was being taught at the schools wher e their methods students were placed. Based on information gained from her methods students, Alexis stated: “I think teaching social studies ‘traditionally’ happens more at Elise” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). She also had a window into her colleagues’ classrooms at Petty (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). In her role

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163 as a methods instructor, she became uniquely aware of how social studies was taught there: A teacher here at Petty whose students I had was constantly asking me, “What is it you’re really expecting of them?” She di d not really understand what the students were doing, which gave me an idea of what she really [was] doing in her classroom…(Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06) Nora also learned about the amount of so cial studies taught at Howe from her methods students: Some of them said “we see it once a w eek.” Some of them said “it’s in the afternoon.”…Some of them said that their teacher, their team, or their grade level or whatever rotated, like a month of scie nce and then a month of social studies. (Nora Interview, 5/2/06) Meanwhile, Dan discussed a more longitudina l view of the situation as a result of his long-term experience in Dennis County a nd his work as a methods instructor: Being the methods instructor and by experien cing and by looking at all the trends over time, over other places…I can see what’s happening. I think other teachers right now don’t see what’s happening with social studies…They don’t realize that it’s really being swep t under the rug. (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06) Through these channels of communication, th e participants became aware of unique information about social studies, which led to their beliefs about the status of social studies. Beliefs About the Status of Social Studies in the Elementary Curriculum Based on this information the participants he ld particular beliefs about the status of social studies in the elementa ry curriculum. Dan effectivel y summarized the participants’ beliefs about the status of social studies: “It’s almost like, shh hh, we’re doing social studies – don’t look!” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06) This attitude reflected the reality that, in certain schools, testing pressure has driv en social studies instruction “underground.” Alexis expressed concern about her ability as a methods instructor to effect change: “…it

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164 makes me wonder what we can really do” (Ale xis, Interview, 3/14/06). Nora echoed this sentiment as well: “Oh, it’s disgusting. Makes me want to cry. Both social studies and science, I believe, should be part of the curriculum…” (Nora, Interview 3/16/06). The participants’ experiences allowed them to understand how little social studies instruction actually occurred: “I think that it has definitely made me see how important it is and how much it isn’t happening” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06) This knowledge was difficult for Dan: “Pretty much the biggest struggle…is knowing that there’s less and less of it happening…” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). According to Nora, the source of the pressure to reduce social studi es instruction was “like a poli tical agenda, obviously not a purpose that I agree with. But I do think that’s why social st udies has been cut so much and put on the back burner…” (Nora, Interv iew 3/16/06). Dan also expressed similar beliefs, but applied them to his school set ting: “Because of thes e bureaucratic issues, we’re having to change the way we’re teaching” (Dan, Inte rview, 3/17/06). The participants’ comments reflected and c onfirmed much of the current research about the status of social st udies in the elementary curricu lum. With the recent push for more accountability, NCLB has been the worst thing that has ever happened to social studies. Unfortunately, NCLB accelerated a preexisting downturn in social studies education, noted by Houser in 1995 when he documented how elementary social studies was losing ground to other subjects in the curr iculum even then. In addition, it is evident that social studies enjoyed a more promin ent status in the curriculum in 1995. The participants’ remarks about how test ing pressure was reducing the amount of social studies instruction confirm previous research in similar contexts (Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004). Nora’s comments about how

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165 political influence has accelerated the decline of social studies have been corroborated by such social studies experts as Jesus Ga rcia, former president of the NCSS: What has happened with No Child Left Behi nd is that someone has made a political decision that reading, writing, and arithmetic are the core subjects that we need to spend a considerable amount of time and money on in grades three through eight. And it put social studies on the back burner. (Pascopella, 2005, p. 30) Indeed, this created a situation in which methods students have difficulty teaching a subject they have never even seen taught. Given that the absence of social studies from accountability measures will continue to obstruct elementary social studies teachi ng, the participants commented on the issue of adding social studies to account ability programs. All three par ticipants agreed that this would increase the amount of actual instruct ion and overall focus on th e subject, but they also voiced a uniform concern about the effect this would have on the nature of social studies instruction and the ability of a standardized test to capture true un derstanding: If social studies is going to be taken seriously as a subjec t that needs to be taught…that is going to be th e thing (FCAT) that springs it off…but I don’t really think that true understanding of generalizat ions and true understanding of people in social studies can really be assessed a whole lot on a writ ten test. (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06) In addition, Dan commented on the need to have prescribed time for social studies: I think if it was put on the FCAT, it w ould be sort of a doubled-edged sword, because it would be taught more in classr ooms, it would be more of a priority in classrooms, it would be something that would be on your prescribed curriculum schedule, but at that same time it might be cheapened…because it will probably just assess standards which will be facts/concepts. It probably won’t be able to assess the generalizations the kids take away because how can you assess that with a standardized test? You can’t (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06) Nora concurred: “I don’t think it will impr ove social studies instruction. But I think it will improve the daily schedules…Quality, I don’t know. You can do a lot of harm if you teach social studies inappropriately and ineffectively” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06).

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166 Nora responded in a similar manner when her methods students asked the same question: “I’m not excited about more testing…but I am happy it will get the subject area more attention” (Nora, Class, 3/8/ 06). Alexis also framed the dilemma similarly: “What is it going to take?. .It’s going to have to be test ed on the FCAT, and I think that’s the most horrible thing they could do…” (A lexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Summary While fears concerning a narrowly concei ved assessment are valid, some recent research also contends that no strict correlation exists be tween high-stakes testing and poor instruction. Barton, for example, has argue d that, “There is no necessary connection between content standards and high-stakes tests on the one hand, and low-level, rote instruction on the other” (2005, p. 29). More over, some research has suggested that assessment mandates can, in certain cases, s timulate and possibly improve instruction. One such example was provided by Libresco: “I found evidence to illustrate how an exceptional teacher has been able to move in significantly new di rections, and…turn the test mandates into stimuli for new and expande d wise practices in social studies” (2005, p. 33). While the evidence suggest ing that testing social stud ies narrows the curriculum and limits teaching practice is persuasive a nd abundant, educators and decision makers should consider possible alternatives, give n the current absence of social studies instruction from a majority of elementary classrooms.

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167 What Do These Inservice Teachers Belie ve are the Issues They Encountered While Teaching the Methods Course? Issues Related to Methods Students The following section discusses some of th ese issues and their effects on methods instruction. Figure 7-10 Issues Related to Methods Students Conservative social beliefs and liberal social beliefs One stark contrast among the three methods classes was the nature of the comments in reference to the book Lies My Teacher Told Me The methods students in Dan’s and Alexis’s classes voiced quite conservative beliefs, while students in Nora’s class expressed more liberal beliefs. Typical of the comments made by Dan and Alexis’s methods students were: “Kids will end up fighting over history…” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06); “Do you really think she would teach her kids th is stuff, like all the Indians die. .now go home and have a feast?” (A lexis, Class, 3/07/06). Only twice did I ever step out of my ro le as silent observer to participate. Following the above comment in Alexis’s clas s, I prompted the student to ask Alexis what she teaches about Thanksgiving. Oblig ing me, the student asked Alexis: “How do you teach this…with all the bad stuff?” (Alexis, Class, 3/07 /06). Alexis responded: “I do not teach Thanksgiving. .I teach a unit about immigration” (Alexis, Class, 3/07/06), and

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168 she proceeded to explain how and why she di d this unit. Reflecting on these comments during their final interviews, Al exis and Dan made similar observations: “They held their experiences as stronger, so they thought that this guy (Loewen) was the one who was lying, not their classroom t eachers” (Dan, Interview, 5/ 4/06); “it just shows how ingrained those beliefs are and how difficult it is to change beliefs…” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Paradoxically, many of the students in Alexis’s class began the semester wanting to know “how to not teach ‘white man’s history’” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). In contrast, the students in Nora’s class e xpressed liberal beliefs when discussing the book and agreed with its perspective; for exam ple: “This book made me really think hard about why I was taught the version of histor y I was…because I was in a mostly White school” (Nora, Class, 4/12/06). The conservative social beliefs voiced by Da n’s and Alexis’s students reflected the conservative and traditional nature of teach ers in general (e.g., Cuban 1984; Cuban 1993; Goodlad 1990; Lortie 1975; Owens 1997; Sarason 1996). The disconnect between Alexis’s methods students’ comments about the book and their prof essed desire to not teach “white man’s history” also is s upported in the literature (e.g., Hinchey 2004). Moreover, teaching the traditiona l narrative of history supports a status quo that thus far had served these mostly middle-class white st udents well, as was represented in this comment: “You want kids to question things, but not everything” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). These beliefs make it difficult for methods st udents to accept one of the main goals of social studies education: “t o prepare young people to identif y, understand, and work to solve problems facing our diverse nation in an increasingly interdependent world” (NCSS 1994, p. 159). The inability of some methods st udents to accept information contrary to

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169 their particular world view makes teaching fo r this goal difficult, and may explain “the tendency among teachers to function as profession al ideologists, apologists for, or at least preservers of the status quo” (Gins burg & Newman 1985, p. 49). Also, conservative social beliefs often interfere with the methods students’ abil ity to reconcile their teaching practices with the goals of social studies. Dan recalled a student who needed to be “in charge” during instruction, and the fact that “her whole philosophy of teaching interfered with the idea of what social st udies is” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). The contrasting nature of the public co mments made by stude nts in the three different classes cannot be attrib uted to the instructors’ ethn icities or public dispositions on related issues, though those were similar. The decisive factor was a subtle difference in the students themselves. Nora’s class had a majority of female, middle-class, White students, but there also were two female African American and two female Hispanic students. While the simple presence of minor ity students did not cha nge the tone of the conversation in other classes, the outspoken natu re of these four particular students could have been an important factor in Nora ’s class. During the presentation of the Lies My Teacher Told Me chapter concerning the invisibility of racism in American textbooks, an African American student’s voice cracked with emotion as she stated: “Some of the things in this book made me mad; these are things I should have known as a child” (Nora, Class, 4/19/06). It is impossibl e to know whether the shift in the class’s opinion could be attributed to this or any other incident, but this stud ent’s comments had a noticeable impact on her classmates. Content vs. methods tension All the participants noted a lack of knowledge concerning the content of the disciplines that make up social studies. This compromised the participants’ abilities to

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170 instruct the methods students in how to te ach social studies. While there is content knowledge specific to all the social studies di sciplines, lack of historical content was most conspicuous. As Nora noted, “They actually know a whole… lot less than I do” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Dan noted a sim ilar situation: “They have had a real, real weak, limited background in the social studies we’ve taught. And they’ve had to do a lot of work to figure things out ” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Due to this lack of content knowledge, the participants often had to corr ect historical inaccuracies in lesson plans before they could be taught. How best to address the situation was bro ached during the interviews. Alexis made an astute observation as sh e highlighted the two major i ssues creating the problem: “I don’t know how much more we can add onto th e (teacher education) program. I don’t know that one class in anythi ng is sufficient knowledge to prepare teachers” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Alexis’s concerns about overload in the teacher education program was confirmed by a student’s comment: “All th ese classes run together for me…” (Dan, Class, 4/19/06). Nora offered an interesti ng solution to the problem, based on feedback she received from her methods students: [O]ver half said they felt…they have already done [these strategies] in other methods classes…I think it would be more meaningful to take out those weekly assignments and do some sort of content knowledge every week on a different part of history or different topic. (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06) Thornton (2001) addressed this issue effectively: “What, in particular, do they need to study in the subject matters of the social sciences?…and what should they learn about its effective direction to desired results, th at is, method?” (p. 72) The problem begins before the students get to the methods course because of the wide variety of disciplines associated with social science: “What teachers study of the social sciences in their liberal

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171 arts courses may be only loosely coupled with the school social studi es courses they are expected to teach” (p. 74). Like Alexis, Thor nton is concerned that methods courses are overburdened, and: “frequently the very idea of preparation in method is regarded as intellectually lightweight” (p. 75). Thornton comes down in favor of a focus on method over content: “There is simply no alternativ e to the thorough education of teachers in the subject matters of the curricu lum, methods, and their inte rrelationships” (p. 78). This particular issue needs more examination and wi ll continue to challenge teacher educators for the foreseeable future. Students’ negative experience s with Social Studies Like Owens (1997), the methods students’ negative experiences when they were school children challenged th e participants’ methods inst ruction. Most often, these negative experiences stemmed fr om poor instruction and dampened their enthusiasm to teach the subject. While recalling an activity during the first class, Nora commented: “I’d say over half of them had negative experien ces that they shared” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). These negative experi ences included reading a text book and answering questions listed in the back, or memorization activities. As Dan explained: “It was all segmented. There were no connections. It was…I had to know the states and capitals” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Many of the methods prof essors featured in Chapter Two noted that such negative experiences created difficu lty for elementary social studies methods instruction (Benson 1998; McArthur 2004; Owens 1997; Slekar 2006). Student behavior One case of student behavior offered a chal lenge for one of the participants. Nora had a methods student who often showed up la te for class and often failed to hand in assignments. Nora recognized this problem be havior early in the semester: “So, being a

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172 fourth-grade teacher, I did my early identific ation and realized he was going to be a challenge” (Nora, Interview, 5/ 2/06). Nora kept him after cl ass and explained: “These are the things you’re missing, a nd you really need to get thes e things turned in” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Unfortunately, her efforts were to no avail; the student was absent the next class and did not hand in any work. At th is point, Nora realized that she “needed to talk to (the subject area coor dinator)” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). After administrative action, the student handed in the work, and Nora learned an important lesson: “I learned a lot [about] how to deal with a college student that is not behaving correctly. And it’s a little different than dealing with fourth gr aders that aren’t behaving correctly” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). None of the other instructors had similar problems; fortunately, Nora’s difficulty with this student was an isolated event. Issues Related to the Status of Elementary Social Studies and the Field Placement The status of social studies in the elemen tary curriculum and its effects on methods students’ field placements are di scussed in this sec tion, as are issues so lely related to the field placement. Lack of professional developmen t for elementary Social Studies The lack of professional development presen ted a challenge to participants’ social studies practices in their role s as teachers and as methods instructors. A ll participants noted the lack of professional development for social studies Alexis could not remember ever attending a teacher in-service for soci al studies: “Nothing district-sponsored, for sure” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Nora ma de a similar complaint: “There’s so few inservices and things like that focused on specifically teaching social studies” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). While Dan remembered at tending in-services in the past, he wished

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173 Figure 7-11 Issues Related to the Status of Elementary Social Studies and the Field Placement that there were more provided by the distri ct (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Asked why she believed there were so few in-services for soci al studies, Alexis stat ed: “My first response is that I think it is because it’s not te sted on FCAT; nobody cares about it” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Clearly, th e participants believed that this lack of professional development opportunity limited their ability to expand and grow as instructors of social studies, and also limited the ability of th eir elementary colleagues who served as cooperating teachers to do the same. The lack of professional development for so cial studies instruc tion has been noted in the literature. This creates a problem fo r teachers who wish to improve their social studies skills. These teachers must either st udy social studies literat ure or seek out and pay for professional development on their own (Knighton 2003; Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford 2004). The similarity of the participants’ remark s and the reflection of those remarks in the research literature undersc ore the pervasiveness of the problem.

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174 Lack of time and respect fo r elementary Social Studies A major challenge to the participants’ methods inst ruction was the lack of instructional time given to the methods st udents by cooperating teachers. This issue surfaced during the students’ presentations of their units: “We only had thirty minutes” (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06); “we wish we would have had more time” (Nora, Class, 4/26/06); “we have to focus down due to time constrai nts” (Dan, Class, 4/ 26/06). This situation severely limited the methods students’ abil ity to teach in an in-depth manner. The three participants also reported a sub tle, but noticeable, lack of respect for social studies related to the fact that the subject was not included on the FCAT test. Dan and Alexis both recalled situations in wh ich students would state their concerns about investing instructional time in social studies for fear of losi ng time that could be devoted to FCAT preparation. One such incident occu rred in Alexis’s class: “One of them was concerned that taking time to do extended projec ts would detract from ‘real learning’ that they needed to show on the FCAT” (Alexi s, Interview, 3/14/06). Dan recalled many incidents “where a lot of people would bri ng up the FCAT, and ‘we can’t do that because of the FCAT’” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). Nora also believed that this lack of respect was related to the untested status : “Until it’s tested and used for accountability purposes, I do not think that it will have th e respect. I do not think it will get the attention” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06). Both issues are directly related to the impe riled status of elementary social studies (Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004). The lack of inst ructional time has been attributed to testing pressure: “Members of visiting accred itation teams have heard administrators and faculty proudly announce that they do not teach any social studies or science in elementary school because they focus all th eir attention and energy on reading and math”

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175 (Fritzer & Kumar 2002, p. 51). Moreover, this s ituation is more prevalent in schools with poor test scores “where nearly half of the prin cipals report moderate or large decreases in social studies instruction” (NEA 2004, p. 27). Indeed, Pascopella was correct when she stated: “It’s a crisis. Social studies, particul arly in the elementary grades, has been pushed to the back burner in schools” (2005, p. 30). Other field placement issues The lack of examples of social studie s instruction was an issue for all the participants during the entire course, as ev idenced by the comments of methods students in class discussions. During the presentations of the units at the end of the semester, the issue became more troubling when some student s revealed that their social studies unit was the only social studies teaching that occurred in their field placement the entire semester: “They never had social studies, except what we did…” (Alexis, Class, 4/11/06); “we never saw any social studies” (N ora, Class, 4/26/06). Also, the complete absence of social studies was more prevalent in the lower grades: “We are in first grade and they do not ever have social studies” (Dan, Class, 4/26/06). Again, the participants’ comments are refl ected in the literature. The lack of instructional examples could also be related to cooperating teachers’ si mple lack of desire to teach the subject. Owens ( 1997) reported: “A third of th e participants (33.3 percent) reported their directing teachers were either "uninterested" or "v ery uninterested" in teaching social studies” (p. 117). Also the total absence of social studies from classrooms has also been reported: “In many cases, social studies was granted thirty minutes a week or was not part of the weekly schedule at all” (Yendol-Hoppe y & Tilford 2004, p. 22). This situation also impacted the connection to what was st udied in the methods course: “This made connecting what they were l earning in methods coursework difficult”

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176 (Yendol-Hoppey & Tilford, 2004, p. 22), a nd “counterproductive” (Owens, 1997, p. 117). A field placement issue not di rectly related to the status of social studies was the practice of cooperating teachers mandating either the content or instructional methods of the interns’ social studies units: “It was our onl y option to do [it] because this is the only unit they do this semester” (Nora, Class, 4/19/06). In some cases, the cooperating teachers required the methods students to stick to the textbook for content and instructional methods: “She just wants us to teach about what the book taught” (Alexis, Class, 4/4/06). In other cases, the cooperati ng teacher mandated the c ontent, instructional method, and amount of instructional time. As one methods student explained: “We had to stay within the constraints we were given” (Dan, Class, 4/26/06). This is not limited to social studies at the elementary level. In their 1997 study, Yeager and Wilson noted a similar situation at the secondary level: “Cooperating teachers actively discouraged th e use of inquiry-based teaching me thods and considered them to be too impractical or ineffi cient” (p. 124). Owens (1997) illustrates how the current situation may be more troubling than in the past: “Over 30 percent of the participants were placed with directing teachers whom they described as having a ‘traditional’ teaching style” (Owens 1997, p. 117). An unexpected issue that surfaced during th e semester related to lower elementary placements, especially kindergarten. Methods st udents in these placements had difficulty assessing the developmental level of their students, and thus with choosing a developmentally appropriate topic and le ssons for their unit. The problem was commented on by methods students in a kinderg arten placement as they discussed their

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177 unit: “We should have done baby steps” (Nora, Class, 4/26/06). Alexis was able to address the situation w ith some of the methods students who sought extra help. During the final interview, Alexis described the difference between the units of the methods students who approached her for help and others who did not: If you looked at the two units side by side, one was 40,000 times better than the other because they really had a grasp of where K stude nts’ development is…where the other ones started a lesson, had abso lutely no idea, co uld not understand why the kindergarten students did not understa nd what a community was, and had to really regroup. (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06) The selection of the unit topi c was particularly difficult for the methods students. Nora stated: “So it’s definitely difficult. And I know some of my students had a tough time coming up with…the appropriate curric ulum topic” (Interview, 5/2/06). Some methods students underestimated the abilities of their students: “They don’t seem like their kids can do it. They almost feel like…we ha ve to teach them to read first or they just play” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). The inability of elementary social studi es methods students to effectively assess and deliver developmentally a ppropriate instruction has not been fully explored in the social studies literature. However, the pla nning and delivery of appr opriate instruction to kindergarten students has been addressed for a variety of topics, such as map skills (Bohan 2001) and the workings of the post offi ce (Maple 2005). Indeed, this unexpected issue was accentuated by the disproportiona te number of kindergarten placements in relation to other grade levels. Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles The issues discussed in this section relate to filling the dual roles of in-service elementary teacher and elementary so cial studies methods instructor.

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178 Figure 7-12 Issues Related to Filling Dual Roles Content and theoretical knowledge Like the methods students, the particip ants felt that they lacked a deep understanding of all the di sciplines associated with social studies. This perceived lack of knowledge extended to the theoretical foundations of elementary social studies. When the topic of theoretical knowledge arose, the par ticipants expressed similar concerns. Asked if she felt a need to expand he r theoretical knowledge, Nora re plied: “Definitely” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). To the same questi on, Dan noted that he often understood the theoretical material and how it connected to his practice as an elementary teacher, but he was not familiar with “all the names (of the theorists) and such” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06). This issue also affected Alexis’s methods pr actice: “Sometimes I feel like I am talking about things I do not have a lot of dept h of knowledge about” (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06).

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179 Elementary social studies methods instru ctors’ theoretical an d content knowledge has not been discussed in the literature. Participants’ difficulties were surely related to those of the methods students as discussed by Thornton (2005). In addition, this issue also relates to the particip ants’ individual backgrounds. As noted earlier, both Dan and Nora had methods instruction that they desc ribed as “poorly taught ” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06) and “not real thrilled with” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06) This situation contributed to their lack of theoretical knowledge. Howe ver, Alexis had methods instruction she described as “inspiring” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Interestingly, when the participants did note strength in a particular content area it was related to specific aspects of their personal or professional background. When discussing their content knowledge, both Nora and Dan noted strength in their knowledge of Florida history, which is cover in 4th grade. Moreover, Alexis noted strength rela ted to her experiences in high school. Asked if the content knowledge she gain ed in high school affected he r social studies instruction, Alexis replied: “Definitely” (A lexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Limited time Time to devote to methods instruction pres ented a challenge to all the participants. Both Alexis and Nora cited time as their greatest challenge: “Time is my biggest disadvantage” (Alexis, Intervie w, 3/14/06); “time would be the biggest thing” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). Dan noted a similar ch allenge: “Time is really tough” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). The time issue was most often associated with grading the methods students’ work. Nora noted difficulty with the issue on more than one occasion: “Time management and I need to work on my grading” (Nora, Interview, 5/ 2/06). In the context of a stressful day, Alexis commented: “Thinking about getting all thes e units graded next week…just sends me over the edge…for my stress level…” (A lexis, Class, 4/4/06). Dan

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180 noted that the time crunch required him to ta ke work home on the weekend: “Yeah, time is really tough…Saturda y, I’ll check their papers” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). When asked if they had to choose between their methods instruction and elementary instruction, all participants made the same decision: “I alwa ys made my kids the first priority” (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06); “if I had to choose, it woul d be my elementary ki ds” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/06,); “my priority is my original students, not necessa rily my master’s students” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06) The similarities of the participants’ comments only underscore the rigorous requirements of filling these dual roles. The time challenges of inservice teachers also serving as methods instructors has not been explored in the literature. Moreover, while this issue did pr esent a legitimate con cern, I concluded that the participants’ concerns were related mos tly to their own high expectations for both their elementary and methods practice. Credibility Instead of negatively affec ting their credibility with the methods students, the participants’ status as inservice teachers for the most part seemed to enhance their credibility. Asked about this i ssue, Alexis reported: “It’s am azing. I think that they listen more to what I say because I am actually doi ng this work every day than they would to somebody who was a professor and was at the university” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). Nora reported that using her own classroom for methods in struction even helped her credibility: “I loved it. I can ’t imagine trying to teach somewhere else, like in a college class” (Nora, Interview, 5/2/ 06). Dan noted that his shared priority with the methods students enhanced his credibility and the abilit y of the methods students to relate to him: “My most important priority is getting it (soc ial studies) into my ki ds, and a lot of the interns; that’s where they are right now…it’s harder for them to connect to what

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181 somebody’s study said or…somebody’s theory ” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). Dan also noted a decisive factor regarding credibility: In their (methods students) mind, because you’re two feet away from a classroom or one year away, they don’t consider you in the same area or the same field as someone who has been in there this morni ng or five minutes ago or right there… (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06) Thus, their proximity to the classroom seemed to be the greatest source of credibility for the participants. Another decisive factor for the credibil ity issue was the participants’ status as alumni of their methods students’ teacher e ducation program. Dan noted that his alumni status helped, as did Alexis, who said: “I told them that I went through (the program), so I think that’s part of it. I m ean, knowing that I graduated fr om the same, well, a similar program that they’re in…” (Alexis, Interv iew, 3/17/06). Interestingly, Nora’s lack of alumni status did not seem to negatively affect her credibility with her methods students. This issue, like the others associated w ith inservice teachers serving as methods instructors, has not been fully investigated. Negotiations for instructional time and freedom The participants’ roles in negotiations for instructional time and freedom stimulated the most diverse comments. Asked about he lping methods students talk to their cooperating teachers, Alexis noted: “Another disadvantage for me, especially being on site, is fielding other teachers who may not see social studies in the same light as I do…” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). During the final interview, Alex is strengthened her position while discussing a teacher at another school who was mandating the content of a methods student’s unit: “There would have been an attempt to negotiate, using the university supervisor; that’s their job…I would not a pproach the teacher” (Alexis, Interview,

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182 5/10/06). Conversely, Dan felt that his ability to negotiate with teachers at his school was an advantage and an opportunity to teach the methods students to do the same: “I am able to negotiate more because I know the condi tions. I know most of the teachers…” (Dan, Interview, 3/17/06). In addition, Dan advertis ed his services during methods class: “If you are ever having trouble where I can help you, let me know” (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). In contrast to the other participants, Nora did not do any negotiating for her methods students; she did not see the need. The disparities in the participants’ comments possibly related to their professional backgrounds and differences in the schools in which they worked. While Alexis was a teacher with seven years of experience, she had only been at Petty for two years. This might account for her hesitation in approachi ng her fellow teachers. On the other hand, Dan was an equally experienced teacher, but his entire career had been at Owen Elementary. Dan’s length of tenure and familiar ity with the other teachers at Owen might allow him to comfortably approach his co lleagues and ask for concessions for his methods students. Nora was equa lly as experienced as the ot her two, and she had been at her school for four years. However, she did not see the need to negotiate for her methods students. Possibly, this was rela ted to the status of social studies at her school. Social studies was included in the da ily schedule at Thebaut, although of secondary importance because of the practice of removing at-risk students for FCAT remediation and other pull-out services. This could possibly have created situati ons in which social studies teaching took place, but the cooperating teache rs were less concerned with the substance of social studies instruction, sinc e it was “filler” in the schedule.

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183 Advantages of filling dual roles There were other distinct advantages to filling these dual roles that all the participants enjoyed. The first was access to authentic social studies resources currently in use with elementary students. This a dvantage was evident during a discussion in Nora’s class concerning use of “literature circles” for social studies instruction. During this discussion, Nora pulled out the laminated literature circle cards she used with her elementary students to facilita te her instruction (Nora, Cla ss, 3/22/06). Dan discussed his access to the most recent resources provide d by the district: “…we have access to whatever is being used right now in the county” (Dan, Interv iew, 3/17/06). While she did not have access to the county resources, Alex is more than made up for it with her own personal collection of resources, such as her Jackdaws kit (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Another advantage was the ability of the pa rticipants to provide real-life examples of social studies instruction and student wo rk. Through the use of video, Alexis provided her methods students with examples of teach ing her first-grade students: “I’ve shown them a lesson, of me teaching or of me wo rking with a group of students on how to represent sounds using musical instruments that a Chinese dragon would make” (Alexis, Interview, 3/14/06). The use of examples from the participants’ elementary practice was evident in almost every methods class I obs erved, as Nora also noted: “All the time I’m talking or showing them something that ha ppens in my fourth-grade room” (Nora, Interview, 3/16/06). Dan was pa rticularly adept at using st udent work from his fourthgrade class. On one particular occasi on, Dan provided his methods students with examples of the “RAFT” strategy from his students (Dan, Class, 3/22/06). The advantages of filling these dual roles has not been chronicled in the literature, but these do represent a possible means of bridgi ng the gap between the realities of social

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184 studies instruction in schools and the social stud ies practices encouraged by universitybased social studies professionals. This gap was described by Leming (1989) as the “two cultures” of social studies. During the final interviews, I introduced Leming’s work to the participants, and then we discussed the ability of someone serving in these dual roles to bridge the gap. Dan explained the possibilities for someone se rving in these dual roles: I think I can do it a lot more than maybe pe ople in other situations can because one of the things I’m going to try to do more of is use my video in my classroom. But by having them see that these are real kids, and it doesn’t have to look like the ideal perfect lesson that you might see sometim es, in order to do a good job teaching social studies, I think that it helps the (methods) students see that what’s in this book can happen in this room with these ki ds, believe it or not. (Dan, Interview, 5/4/06) When discussing the same topic, Nora conne cted filling the “two cultures” gap to her practicality focus and suggested: I feel like I was successful in that role as an instructor. That was one of the things I really enjoyed, and I could sense [it]…whe n I would start telling stories about my classroom or students I’ve had, or lessons I’v e taught, or just stra tegies that have worked or haven’t worked. (N ora, Interview, 5/2/06) Alexis confirmed the other participants’ viewpoints, but cited the ability of the methods students to see her as a teacher who actually does “in-depth stuff” as the key to bridging the gap between what is presented in the methods textbooks and what happens in a real classroom (Alexis, Interview, 5/10/06). Summary The participants’ comments reflected the real ities of teaching an elementary social studies methods course. The ubiquitous “elephant in the living room” in the participants’ comments was the detrimental effect of high-st akes testing on elementary social studies instruction in general. Accord ingly, a majority of the issues the participants encountered related to the effects of highstakes testing. These effects were felt most acutely in the

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185 field placements, where methods students saw little social st udies instruction and for the most part were severely restricted in the am ount of social studies they were allowed to teach. This lack of instructi onal time for social studies wa s very similar to situations described by several researchers (e .g., Henning & Yendol-Hoppey 2004; Fritzer & Kumar 2002; Guisbond & Schaeffer 2004, 2003; Neill & Guisbond 2005; Knighton 2003). The participants experien ced all of the six issues de scribed by Owens (1997), most notably the cooperating teachers’ lack of desire to teach social studies. While this lack of desire certainly must have existed in 1997, it has no doubt been exacerbated by the current focus on accountability. The participan ts did report issues not noted by Owens that have been discussed elsewhere – for example, the content vs. methods tension discussed by Thornton (2001), and the lack of professional development for elementary social studies noted by Yendol-Hoppey and T ilford (2004). One challenge not previously noted in the literature was the difficulty experienced by the methods students in kindergarten placements. Conversely, the majority of the participants ’ successes related to serving in the dual roles of inservice elementary teacher and el ementary social studies methods instructor. Being an inservice teacher allowed the particip ants to relate well to the methods students and provide real-life connections and examples of elementary social studies instruction. These advantages symbolize a possible wa y of bridging the gap described by Leming (1989) as the “two cultures” of social studies. Leming noted : “There exists in social studies a persistent abyss wh ich separates the teaching liv es of practicing classroom teachers from the research interests and methods class preparation of future social studies teachers” (1989, p. 404). Leming argued that these two distinct cultures within the social

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186 studies profession are separated by their purpo ses; that is, the uni versity-based social studies “intelligentsia” is more focused on creating social change, whereas real teachers are less concerned with social change and more focused on traditional practices that have been “proved” to work. Leming concluded: “T he head has lost touch with the body” (p. 406). To create positive changes in social studi es practices, Leming cited the need for “a common meeting ground where m eaningful dialogue between the two cultures can take place” (p. 408). The participants in this study may represent a common meeting ground because of their access to, and their ability to par ticipate in, both cultures. As yet, the advantages and disadvantages of filling the dual roles I have described have not been fully explored in the literature.

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187 CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary of the Findings of the Study Overall, filling the dual roles served to enhance the participantsÂ’ methods instruction and give them unique insights into the status of so cial studies. The ability of the participants to relate and react to the experiences and concerns of the methods students proved to be invaluable. The lack of university-level experience, and theoretical and content knowledge related to elementary social studies, did not prove to be insurmountable barriers to the participantsÂ’ methods instruction. These deficiencies were mitigated by the structured nature of the provided course materials, the participantsÂ’ professional experiences as elementary teache rs, and their hard work and professionalism as methods instructors. The long-term retenti on of inservice elementa ry teachers to serve as methods instructors would further mitigate, if not eliminate, these deficiencies. By and large, while serving as methods instructors, the participants performed admirably while filling this critical need. While the participants served well as methods instructors, it would be unwise not to include a discussion of what is lost when in structors without advan ced preparation teach an elementary social studies methods course. Indeed, the participants felt were able to communicate a solid understanding of social studies teaching and learning to their methods students. However, they did not focus on some of the more advanced concepts in social studies education, such as historical inquiry, participatory citizenship, and social justice. This contrast was noticeable when co mparing the participantsÂ’ statements to those

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188 of the methods professors found in chapter 2. This is, of course, an unfair comparison, because elementary social studies is not the exclusive focus of the participants as it is with the featured professors. But it does reveal what is lost. Recommendations for Supporting and Im proving Social Studies Methods Instruction by Inservice Teachers To further support individuals serving in these dual roles, and to fulfill the requirements of a Doctor of Education di ssertation, I will discuss “implications for practice” (University of Florida 1983). These suggestions are organized by the level to which they apply. All are based on data I collected on the three instructors during one semester and by no means definitively represen t any deficiencies related to the course. Moreover, all of these sugges tions are based on creating an ideal situati on for supporting and improving social studies methods instruct ion by inservice teachers, and may not be applicable to the realities of public school s and a large teacher education program. Field Placement To support and improve social studies met hods instruction by inservice teachers, I recommend two changes that could take place at the field placement level. The university field supervisors could become more involve d to ensure that methods students have sufficient time and instructional freedom to t each their social studies units. This would ensure better application of methods instruction and reli eve pressure on the methods instructors and students to nego tiate. Also, at the field plac ement sites, there could be increased support for social studies instruc tion to improve its quality and frequency for interns to observe. This support could take the form of on-site inservice activities provided by university-based personnel. The in service activities could mitigate the lack

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189 of district social studies in service and align the methods a nd purpose of social studies instruction at the field placement with the methods and purpose advanced by the course. Methods Course At the course level, four suggestions could improve social studies methods by inservice instructors. First, teachers servi ng in the district who have shown exemplary social studies instructional e ffectiveness could be observed by methods students and new methods instructors. Efforts should continue to recruit exemplary elementary social studies teachers to instruct th e methods course, especially te achers who also are advanced graduate students, teachers working in high poverty schools, teachers with academic training in one of the social studies discipline s, and secondary social studies teachers with middle school experience. Also, efforts should co ntinue to retain instructors; the learning curve for this course is steep, and experi ence in teaching the c ourse proved to be invaluable. As a form of professional development, methods instructors could observe each other teaching the methods class, as well as observe university-bas ed personnel teaching a methods class, to share practices and pr ovide examples for new instructors. The information I gained through observing others in this course was invaluable for my own instruction, as well as my understanding of the issues of elementary social studies methods instruction. Moreover, a social studies methods read ing packet could be provided to new instructors to build theoretical knowledge and understanding of criti cal issues. I suggest the following five readings as a start:

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190 1. Barton K. & Levstik L. (2004). Teaching History for the Common Good This book provides an organized and extensive disc ussion of the current research on history education, while acknowledging the subj ective nature of the endeavor. 2. Owens W. (1997). “The Challenges of Teaching Social Studies Methods to Preservice Elementary Teachers.” The Social Studies 88, 113-120. Owens presents six challenges endemic to elementary social st udies methods instruct ion; although dated, all six still are relevant. 3. Benson J. (1998). “Using an Inquiry Approach with Preservice Teachers to Explain the process of Facts, Concept, and Generalization.” The Social Studies 89, 227– 31. Benson provides an excellent outline of teaching this unfamiliar but important instructional strategy. More in -depth explanations of this process exist (e.g., Banks, 1990), but this article is a concis e, easily understood road map. 4. Thornton S. (2001).” Educating the Edu cators: Rethinking Subject Matter and Methods. Theory Into Practice, 2001, Vol. 40, No. 1, 72-78. Thornton clearly outlines the “content versus methods” tension and expl ains why methods should be of utmost importance. 5. Yeager EA & Davis OL, Eds. (2005). Wise Social Studies Teaching in an Age of High-Stakes Testing: Essays on Cl assroom Practices and Possibilities The chapters featuring elementary teachers provide exam ples of how powerful instruction can take place in a high-stakes environment. College of Education At this level, two particular issues co uld be addressed. First, there could be a greater effort to adapt the cl ass schedule of the methods st udents so that they can see social studies instruction within the time cons traints of the district’s mandated schedule.

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191 This would allow methods students to make the theory-to-practice connections promised by a concurrent field placement. Finally, in order to address the content vs. methods issue, the alignment of the social science re quirements for preservice teachers could be considered to better fit the needs of future teachers. A reasonable place to begin would seem to be requiring that all preservice elemen tary teachers take at least one U.S. history course and one U.S. government course so that they will be able to address the content covered in the state curriculum standards. Future Research Research on Inservice Teachers Serving as Methods Instructors While there are many avenues for future research concerning inservice teachers serving as methods instructors, I believe four deserve part icular attention. First and foremost, research needs to fu rther explore the advantages of individuals serving in dual roles. While not the aim of this study, the a dvantages of this situation were evident, especially in regard to closing the “theor y to practice gap” and connecting the “two cultures” of social studie s education described by Leming (1989, 1992). Further research into addressing the theo retical knowledge of individuals filling these dual roles needs to be e xplored. As evidenced in the findings, a lack of theoretical knowledge was not the deciding factor in the success of these instructors. However, a review of the elementary social studies and elementary social studies methods literature could identify “key readings” th at would assist generalist, in service elementary teachers in developing a working knowledge of the th eoretical literature in order to enhance methods practice. The perceptions of methods st udents with regard to inserv ice teachers who instruct methods courses also warrant investigation. Understanding ho w preservice teachers view

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192 these instructors likely could mitigate the possible drawbacks and further improve the ability of these instructors to connect with the preservice teachers and deliver effective methods instruction in all subject areas. Finally, there should be further explorati on of the effects of a suggested syllabus and course materials on instru ctors’ beliefs about social studies teaching and learning, especially when the instructors have little previous experience with the material. I observed a strong relationship between the participants’ beliefs and the provided materials, and in the case of Nora, the rela tionship seemed particularly powerful. This begs two important and unanswered questions : What is the role of the supervising professor in determining the na ture of the course? And what happens when an instructor has conflicting views? Moreover, because these questions are not unique to social studies methods instruction, they could extend to sim ilar situations in teacher education programs and could be addressed by teacher education rese archers from a variety of subject areas. Research on Elementary Social Studies Methods Instruction Elementary social studies methods instru ction must address more forcefully the current high-stakes testing environment, becau se instruction is only powerful if delivered. The skills and knowledge necessary to “fit it in” should be identified and added to the methods literature. The participants’ focus on “fitting it in” and th eir heavy emphasis on “saving” social studies speak to the severity of the situation from th e perspective of those doing the instruction. The difficulties encountered by methods st udents in kindergarten placements also warrant further investigation. While this chal lenge surfaced in relation to teaching social studies methods, there are larger difficultie s among preservice teachers with planning and delivering developmentally appropriate instru ction in other subjects. Social studies

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193 researchers could contribute to and benefit fr om an integrated approach to studying this issue with other subject area researchers. Furthermore, research is needed to understand how to en list better support among cooperating teachers for methods instruction and how to address the differing purposes and methods typically encountered in the fi eld placement. When cooperating teachers do not share a common purpose and do not know much about the methods their interns are supposed to utilize, the ability of methods students to observe and practice what they have been taught is limited. Any progress made toward enlisting cooperating teacher support would improve the situation, because currently some cooperating teachers are unknowingly acting as a barrier to implementing what is taught in methods courses. Research Elementary Social Studies Several areas of elementary social studies are in need of attention. First, the field needs an expansive literature re view on the status of elemen tary social studies in the curriculum and an analysis of the current res earch. Those involved with elementary social studies at all levels could then use the findings to crea te a plan of action for addressing the most immediate issues In my view, if th e current situation is al lowed to continue, the subject will eventually exist only on paper. We also need more discussion and analysis of the possible benefits and drawbacks of placing elementary social studies conten t on standardized test s and including it in accountability systems. I believe the research community needs to addr ess this issue if it wants “a place at the table” in designing th e assessments. Perhaps the time will come when lawmakers in this state will mandate the inclusion of social studies assessment in accountability systems, or when social stud ies researchers will c onclude that testing

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194 social studies is the only mean s of preserving the subject. In either case, testing social studies knowledge is tricky, and perhaps that is why we continue to avoid it. Further research into contex tual support for social stud ies is also warranted to uncover the factors at th e district, school, and classroom leve ls that facilita te elementary social studies instruction. Wh ile factors at the school leve l have been documented to some extent, more research at all three levels is needed. Overall, the academic community that conducts research on elementary social studies could direct more effort toward ensuring that social st udies instruction takes place in more classrooms. Research on elementary social studies practice is invalu able to ensure the quality of practice, but these efforts are in vain if social studies instruction occurs only in a few classrooms. Conclusion about the Status of Elementary Social Studies Elementary social studies is caught in a “downward spiral.” Wh ile social studies has never had the status of reading, wr iting, and mathematics in the elementary curriculum, it was once considered an integral part of education. This is no longer the case. The pressure of high-stakes testing has eviscerated elementary social studies instruction. If I was concerned about the status of elementa ry social studies before conducting this study, now I am distressed. The findings in this study show that quality social studies instruction is taking place in only a few classrooms in these schools on a regular basis. For a moment, consider the long term implicat ions of this situation. Due to the lack of quality social studies instruction, future elementary teachers will never learn what social studies actually is dur ing their “apprentices hip of observation.” When these future elementary teachers get to th eir social studies methods course, the instructors will not only be required to teach them how to teach so cial studies, they will have to teach what

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195 social studies is. During the course, these preservice teachers will encounter field placements where little social studies instruction takes place, as well as directing teachers who resist the appli cation of knowledge from the methods course and who resist giving up instructional time. Then, with an improve d but unpracticed concep tion of how to teach social studies, they will comp lete the methods course and ev entually make it to their own classrooms, where, most often, they will expe rience tremendous pressure to disregard any substantive social studies instruction that doe s not directly relate to a major holiday or cultural celebration. There hope for the future. This study is only one lens through which to view the situation; others exist. The experiences of these inservice teachers serving as methods instructors provide examples of how the dow nward spiral is progressing—and how it can be stopped. Consider the examples of Dan a nd Nora. Both had poor elementary social studies methods instruction as university stude nts, but because of their belief in the importance of social studies instruction, they we re able to maintain some form of social studies practice. Also consider the example of Alexis, whos e methods course acted as a vehicle for preserving social studies inst ruction. She described her ow n excellent social studies methods instructor, who helped her devel op a strong commitment to social studies instruction and a belief in th e importance of the subject. Thes e cases provide hope that all is not lost. When preservice teachers have stro ng social studies methods instruction, they are more likely to see the value of social st udies education and then are more likely to teach social studies to their elementary st udents when they become teachers. The solid

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196 understanding and motivation that a good methods course affords can ensure that social studies instruction takes place. This should be our ultimate goal.

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197 APPENDIX A PROTOCOLS 1. General Background and Instructional Questions 2. Why did you become a teacher? 3. Define the word ‘teaching’. 4. How would you describe your philos ophical approach to teaching? 5. Describe your educational background from high school to graduate school including institution, location, degrees and major(s). 6. If you did not study Elementary Educati on as your main focus what else did you study? 7. How much of your teacher education was directly re lated to Social Studies instruction? 8. Describe your occupational history including schools, location, population, subjects, grade leve ls, years teaching. 9. How much experience have you had as a university level instructor? Courses? Frequency? Education and Professional Experiences 10. What professional development activities have you participated in related to the social studies, ei ther district provided or those you sought out on your own? 11. What professional organizations do you belong to? 12. Have you ever held any positions in th ese organizations? Please describe. 13. Describe any professional conferences/meetings you have attended and/or presented at. 14. Describe any other professi onal activities you have been or are involved with. Social Studies Questions 15. Define ‘Social Studies’.

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198 16. Tell me about your previous experiences with social studies as a student … 17. If needed: Tell me about a positive pers onal experience with social studies? 18. If needed: Tell me about a positive profe ssional experience with social studies? 19. Have these experiences influence what you teach during your methods instruction? If so, how? If not, why not? 20. How has your definition of ‘social studies” changed over the last 5 years? If so, how? Probe: Why has your definition changed? 21. Can you tell me how you feel about the stat us of social studies in the state of Florida in general? 22. Can you tell me how you feel about the stat us of social studie s in the PROTEACH program? 23. What purpose do you believe soci al studies serves in th e elementary curriculum? Social Studies Methods Questions 24. Tell me about a social studies methods lesson you really enjoyed teaching…. 25. How would you describe your philosophical approach to social studies methods instruction? 26. What do you see as your main job as a methods instructor? 27. What is your overall goal for your methods students? What do you want them to be able to do after ta king your course? 28. What values or ideas do you stress in your social studies methods instruction? 29. If a preservice teacher asked why they should include social studies in their instruction what reason s would you give them? 30. How do you convey to your methods student s the importance of social studies? 31. Do you feel that your students approach your social studies methods course as seriously as they approach the met hods courses in the assessed areas? 32. Can you give me an example from your methods instruction when you felt a student did not perceive so cial studies as important? 33. What preparations did you receive as a preservice teacher that prepared you to teach social studies in the elementary classroom?

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199 34. How do you model integration of others s ubject in to your soci al studies methods instruction? 35. What considerations for a high stakes environment do you require your methods students to make in their unit plans? 36. What advantages do you feel you possess as a methods instructors as an inservice teacher? 37. What disadvantages do you feel you have e xperienced as an inservice teacher who teaches a methods course? 38. What successes have you experience during your methods instruction? 39. What particular challenges have you e xperienced during your methods instruction? 40. Have you brought any examples of a lesson plan and/or student work from your own classroom in to your methods instruction? 41. How does working in these dual roles in fluence your methods instruction? Elementary Social Studies Instruction 42. What is your overall goal for your elemen tary social studies instruction? 43. Tell me about a social studies lesson you really enjoyed teaching…. 44. How does filling the dual rolls of elemen tary classroom teacher and methods instructor effect your elementary social studies instruction? 45. Since you have started teaching the methods course have you been teaching more social studies in your elementary classroom? 46. Do you believe that teaching the methods course has improved your social studies instruction? 47. Has filling these dual rolls changed your perspective/opinion about the place of social studies in the elementary curriculum? Second InterviewGeneral Protocol 48. Explain Leming’s two cultures theory. Q-Do you believe that you are able to bridge this gap because of the dual roles you inhabit? 49. Do you feel that using your own classroom facilitates your methods instruction and adds to your credibility? 50. Often during unit presentations the methods students seemed to really value how “cute” students looked while they were par ticipating in the instruction or they

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200 highlighted students work when a studen t wrote something that was “cute” or “sweet”? Did you notice this? 51. What do you see as your main job as a met hods instructor now that the course is over? 52. What do you believe needs to happen to rais e the status of soci al studies in the elementary curriculum? 53. Did you ever feel that you lacked any theoretical knowledge about elementary social studies that would have helped you? 54. Did you ever feel that you lacked any cont ent knowledge that would have helped to instruct the course? 55. How does filling these dual roles inform your beliefs about the place of social studies in the elementary curriculu m? What have you seen and heard? 56. “Nothing district sponsored for sure. Even when there was an adoption of a Social Studies textbook in Ted County while I wa s there. There was no professional development tied to that. Um, and I I can ’t think of any professional development experience I’ve had in Social Studies ever.” Q-How do you think the lack of professional development for social studies at the inservice le vel effects methods instruction for preservice teachers? 57. “We’re teaching for real understanding. I think that that is um, that is my job, is to plant that seed so that hopefully when they go out, they go, hmmm, what am I really teaching here? Am I teaching kids to memorize the states and capitals? Or am I teaching kids to understand that la nd is divided up different ways?’ I noted during my observations of unit presenta tions many students had “content driven units. Q-Why do you think it is so difficult to overcome the need methods students feel to “cover” particular content? 58. What kind of experiences did your methods students have as elementary students? (First Class Activity)? What kinds of instruction do they remember receiving? 59. What was the general level of interest of your methods students concerning teaching social studies? That is do you th ink they are excited about teaching social studies? 60. “My job is to perpetuate the value that is placed on Social Studies so that maybe future teachers will remember that this is a valued subject area and it shouldn’t just be cut when everything else seems more important” QWhat do you believe needs to happen to raise the status of social studies in the minds of preservice elementary teachers? 61. “Um, I would say a particular example was in probably the second class. We were talking about the democratic communit y, Democratic Classrooms, the book. Um,

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201 one of them was concerned that taking time to do extended projects would detract from real learning that they needed to show on the FCAT. So we had a pretty serious discussion about what real learni ng is.” Q-Were there any other similar incidents? 62. How has the pressures brought on by high st akes testing effected your social studies methods instruction? 63. Did any methods students mention the effects of testing pressure on their ability to teach their social studies unit? 64. “I said that maybe it will put more focus on it but I didn’t think you know, that it’s unfortunate that you have to make it an FCAT test to bring back the focus on a subject area that’s so important in my opinion. I don’t think it will improve Social Studies instruction. But I think it will impr ove the daily schedules. So I don’t know if that would be a good thing, but that’s the only good thing that I can see is that maybe there will be training for example, you know? In-services because it’s gonna be an FCAT test now all of a sudde n we’ve got something it’s on.” QAny more thoughts about social st udies testing now that the co urse is over? Should we be trying to get on the test? 65. If I was to ask one of your methods stude nts “what is social studies” what do you think they would have said before the course? What do you think they would say now? 66. “..because the kids in my Methods cla ss haven’t seen Social Studies at the elementary level and maybe they have but no one ever told them and they don’t really know what it looks like and they kind of come with the attitude of like, what am I really gonna do?” Q-Do you feel like sometimes you are not only teaching your methods students how to teach social studies but what social studies is? 67. Did you ever have a student openly question the value/importance of social studies during class or in a reflection/paper? 68. Given the predominately European Am erican middle class female student population did you feel it difficult to have conversations about diversity issues? 69. Do you believe that you hold more conservati ve or more liberal social beliefs than your methods students? 70. Did any of your methods students ever voi ce extremely conservative or liberal beliefs? If so did their beliefs ever affect how they received your methods instruction? 71. Was there ever a time that you felt you ha d a philosophical/political conflict where they held very different belie fs on an issue then you did?

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202 72. “Who says this guy is like the bible of history….Kids will end up fighting over history…” “ A parent is goi ng to be like ‘Why is my kid learning this…”….”This is a very hateful book”…. “We have a shared history, that what textbooks do” …“You want kids to question things, but not everything.” “Do you really think she (teacher) would really teacher her kids this stuff, lik e all the Indian s die...go home and have a feast?” Q-What do think about these comments? 73. “..obviously I’m speaking about older elementa ry school kids but I think it’s really important to teach them what it’s about to be a citizen and you know, all the things that go along with it”. Q-How do you thi nk we could better a ddress the instruction of civic skills in this course? 74. Were there any “special” activities that you added or changes you made to the course? If so why did you think it wa s important to include the activity? 75. This course has been developed over a numbe r of years and it has a lot of structure and components. Did you ever have trouble fitting all the ‘pieces’ in? 76. Do you feel like the structure of the course limited your freedom as an instructor? For example, were there times when you wa nted to include activ ities and projects that either did not fit or were too time consuming? 77. As the course progressed did you rely more or less on the provided materials? 78. If you had more instructional time to teach the course what would you add? That is if you had more class sessions what would you add? 79. What kinds of challenges related to a lack of content knowledge on the part of the preservice teachers did you experience? 80. What do you think is the best way to address the content knowledge issue? 81. What do you think is the purpose the field placement serves during this course? 82. What did you hear back from your methods students about the status of social studies at their school site s? ….Once in class Dan used the term “Social Studies Sightings” to describe the situation. Do you feel that this represents the situation among your preservice teachers? 83. Do you feel like your methods students faced particular challenges based on their placements, for example K placements? 84. What do you feel your methods students gained from the field placement? 85. One time I over heard to methods students discussing their unit and one said, “She (co-op teacher) just wants us to teach a bout what the book taught”. Q-Do you feel that your methods students were ever restra ined by the teacher in their placement? Is this a reoccurring theme?

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203 86. How do you deal with the fact that these interns do not have the opportunity teach social studies? Do you consider the diffe rence in placements when you graded their units? 87. Did any students note that the social studi es instruction they provided was the only social studies instruction the students received that was not textbook/worksheet based? 88. At anytime during the semester did you feel overextended, that is you had too much to do and not enough time to do it? Do you feel that teaching the methods course added to this feeling? 89. Was there a time when you felt like eith er your methods instruction or your elementary instruction was effected by k eeping up with all yo ur responsibilities? 90. No need to be specific, but did you have any stressful personal events that took place during the semester that effected your methods instruction. 91. I know you plan to teach this course again. What will you do the same next time? …..what will you do different? 92. If you had the opportunity to talk to an inservice elementary teacher who was going to teach next fall what would be your advice? 93. What kind of training do you believe woul d help similar instructors teach this course? Alexis Protocol 94. “Thinking about getting all these units graded next week……..just sends me over the edges….for my stress level..” Q-How did it all go in the end? 95. Did the ‘Centers’ activity come from you? 96. What did this course look like when you got it? 97. “Um, that it is my job to always find a way to reach every child no matter where they are in whatever subject area that I happ en to be teaching them in or instructing them in”. Q-What does this look like with a methods student? 98. How do you think your methods instruction has improved this semester over last semester? 99. “Um, I always enjoyed Social Studies. I’ve always enjoyed things like History. Um, not so much Geography or Economics, but parts of Social Studies I do enjoy very much. I had excellent ah, Social St udies teachers in high school, excellent in my view that they hooked me”. Q-Do you f eel that your interest in history gives you better content knowledge than an average elementary teacher?

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204 100. “Um, but I do think that the way that we are able to integrate our social studies teaching, again combining it with some reading strategies which we’re doing because in a lot of schools Social Studies is integrated into the reading block. Well, ah, one of the ways we do it is with the read ing strategies. So they have to apply a reading strategy to their own content area of reading. Um, I think that that shows them that these kinds of stra tegies in teaching kids how to be strategic readers is easily integrated into Social Studies cont ent”. QIs there a connection in between the heavy reading strategies focus and integration in your mind? Did you put all the reading strategies in the course? 101. “I think it’s very important for them to see me as a teacher first and foremost. I am a teacher of students and this is what I do every day and I want them, want them to believe what I say”. Q-How do you make sure they see you as a teacher besides the videos? 102. “Because, you know, in in my class I have Pe tty interns but also Elise interns. And the Elise interns have a very different setting than the Pett y interns do. And it becomes very difficult for me to espouse something that they don’t actually get to see in practice very much”. Q-Do you f eel like the Elise interns suffered because of their lack of exposure to examples of SS instruction? Was it evident in their units? Dan Protocol 103. “For Edgar and Jose ..who do not speak E nglish …” Q-Do you think having such a diverse elementary class help s your methods instruction? 104. You let the methods students do a lot of the teaching? Why? 105. How do you include your experiences with the St. Augustine field trip in your methods instruction? Why? 106. “The purpose of social studies is to teach kids to see history from multiple perspectives….I do this all the time w ith kids..”. Q-How do you think we could do this better during the course? 107. “In social studies we have more placements where social studies is more direct instruction…of course you are changing that…” Q-How does this effect the methods course? 108. “So what does this mean for teachers..” Q-You are constantly referring back to classroom instruction. Why do you think that is important? Nora Protocol 109. “Any other Howe people who are concerned with the technology issue…I can help you after class…” Q-Was this a problem gi ven that you required your students to integrate technology in to their units?

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205 110. “Worse than nine year olds”. Q-Did you fi nd the level of maturity of your methods students challenging? 111. Is making copies a challenge? Are you limited? 112. You mentioned the value of being ‘Practical” often in the first interview and in class. Do you feel parts of your teacher education were not practical? Why do you think this is so important? 113. “…for example, some of my Howe students said, we’re never, we just never seen Social Studies taught”. Q-Do you thi nk your Howe students saw less real SS instruction? If so why? 114. “I hate to say it, but I ca n say the impression I’ve gotte n hearing them talk about their Reading Methods classe s that they’re also taking this semester, um, they do seem to have more maybe like formal assessments which may lend to them taking it more seriously”. Q-Now that the course is over do you still feel this way? 115. “I think that um, when they know, when the students know that you’re like not on campus and you’re a teacher teacher they use you differently…Yeah, I think, I don’t think all of them, but I think in general there’s proba bly a little less respect or maybe a little less like taking it seriously th an if you were teaching on campus and you were, you know? An instructor at the university”. Q-Now that the course is over do you still feel this way?

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206 APPENDIX B SYLLABUS Social Studies for Diverse Learners SSE 4312 Spring,2006 COURSE FOCUS Throughout the social studies methods course you will learn how to use the tools of inquiry as a teacher in a so cial studies classroom. Inquiry is a “questioning” stance that good teache rs assume as professionals who plan for, carry out, and study the impact of their instruction. This course is designed to move you beyond thinking li ke a college student to help you begin thinking like an elementary teacher. Th inking like a teacher requires asking the questions that professionals ask ab out their teaching practice. We will explore the following teacher inquiry themes: Inquiry into the context, Inquiry into content, Inquiry into studen t learning, Inquiry into the acts of teaching as well as Inquiry into professional self. READINGS Wolk, S. (1998). A Democratic Classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Alleman, & Brophy, J (1996) Powerful Social Studies for Elementary Students. Ft. Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace. Loewen, J. (1995). Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. New York: Touchstone. Instructor: Alexis Johnson Email: Alexis@Johnson.com Phone: 352-392-9191 Office: Rm. 111 Petty D.R.S. Office Hours : By appointment

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207 Obenchain, K. & R. Morris (2003). 50 Social Studies Strategies for the K-8 Classroom. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. ARTICLES Articles can be found on-line in the co urse reserves section of the library website. This can be accessed from home using your Gatorlink account. UAS Key Tasks Key Tasks assess your mastery of knowledge, skills and dispositions that the State of Florida requires of all entry-level educator s. In this course, we will cover several Accomplished Practices. Your mastery of each indicator will be measured by your work on a Key Task. ***To pass this course you must successfully complete all Key Tasks and receive a rating of "Met with We akness" or higher. No exceptions will be made to this rule, even if you do not plan to teach after graduation. Students who receive a "Not Met" rating will be offere d a chance to redo the Key Task or, in some cases, to complete a comparable ta sk assigned by the instructor. Students who do not complete their makeup work satisfactorily (with a" Met-with-Weakness" or higher rating) will receive either "an incomplete" or "a failing grade" in the appropriate fill-in at the instructor's discretion. Students who fail the course must repeat it later. 8.1/8.4 Students will demonstrate subject matter expertise by synthesi zing social science content and developing an enduring understandin g for an assigned social studies topic to a named grade. The content exploration should re sult in the prospective teacher presenting the following: an enduring understanding (g eneralization) supported by a synthesis of content from a variety of resources, an d identification of related standards.

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208 ESOL StandardsThere are several ESOL standards associated with this course. Standard 2: Recognize the major differences and similarities among the different cultural groups in the United States. Standard 14: Plan and evaluate instructional out comes, recognizing the effects of race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion on the results. Standard 15: Evaluate, select, and employ appr opriate instructional materials, media, and technology for ESOL at el ementary, middle and high school levels. Standard 16: Design and implement effective unit plans and daily lesson plans which meet the needs of ESOL students within the context of the regular classroom. Standard 18: Create a positive classroom environment to accommodate the various learning styles and cultur al backgrounds of students. MET Enduring understanding (generalization): The proposed understanding is a big idea or core process at the heart of the disc ipline. Enduring understanding is framed as a generalization specific enough to guide teaching and assessing but overarching enough to enable transfer. Synthesis of content: An organized, comprehensive narrative summary of the content tied to the generalization. Provides the back ground teacher knowledge needed for a teacher to understand, develop, and teach the enduring understanding. Variety of resources: An extensive list of resources have been used and multiple types of resources are used: Encyclopedia Non-fiction books Social Science textbooks Social Studies Methods textbooks Internet Journal articles Children's social studies textbooks Appropriate citations included. Identification of related standards: Explicit connection made to NCSS and Sunshine State Standards. MET WITH WEAKNESS Enduring understanding (generalization) The understanding is important but not of the highest priority; or it may be more accurately descri bed as important knowledge and skill (i.e., understand how to use a primary document for research). Synthesis of content Narrative of the content matter is extensive but not clearly tied to enduring understanding. Narrative tied to enduring understanding but a comprehensive review of the subject matter isnÂ’t present. Variety of resources Multiple types of resources included but lacks depth of resources Or Depth of resources present but multiple types of resources not included. Appropriate citations included. Identification of related standards Missing either NCSS standards or Sunshine State Standards. And/or Mismatched standards. NOT MET Enduring understanding (generalization) The understanding as stated is a straightforward fact, skill, or attitude, not a big idea or core proce ss at the heart of the discipline (worth being familiar with, but not the highest priority of impor tance for an entire course of study). Synthesis of content Narrative is lacking in comprehensive review of the subject matter and subject matter of review disconnected from enduring understa nding. Variety of resources Multiple types of resources included but lacks depth of resources And Depth of resources present but multiple types of resources not included. Citations not included. Identification of related standards Missing NCSS and Sunshine State Standards.

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209 Standard 21: Use formal and alternative met hods of assessment/evaluation of LEP students, including measurement of language, literacy and academic content meta-cognition. Social Studies for Diverse Learners Tentative Calendar Class Meets: 12:50-3:50 at P.K. Yonge Room G-131 Date Topic Reading Due And Strategy Assignmen t Due Class 1: January 10th What is Social Studies? What is the purpose of Social Studies? January 17th No Class Class 2: January 24th Creating a Democratic Classroom What does it mean to teach for democracy? Democratic Classroom Chapters 1-4 Obenchain & Morris, #2, 4 Strategy : Sticky Notes Date Topic Reading Due And Strategy Assignmen t Due Class 3: January 30th **Note Change to Monday!* Creating A Learning Community/Curriculu m Planning Democratic Classroom Chapters 5-8 Strategy : 6 Thinking Hats Learning Community Project/ Unit Topic Due Class 4: February 7th Curriculum Planning Alleman & Brophy Chapter 3,7 *Begin Book Commercia

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210 Obenchain & Morris #17, 33 Strategy : 3,2,1 ls Class 5: February 14th Assessment/Curriculu m Planning *Create Generalizations in Class Alleman & Brophy, Chapter 10 Assessment Article— Choose in class Strategy : Jigsaw *Content Info Due *Download Sunshine standards and Bring to class http://sun shinestate standards. net/ (in pairs) Class 6: February 21st Pedagogy to Support Social Studies Articles: Barton, K. Analyzing Historical Photographs in the Elementary Grades. McCormick, T. Letters from Trenton, 1776: Teaching with Primary Sources Morris, R. Using Artifacts As A Springboard to Literacy Wade, R. Beyond Charity: Service Learning for Social Justice Obenchain & Morris, #7, 8, 10, 14, 27, 28, 34, 40, 41, 42, 48 Strategy: RAFT *Evidence of Prior Knowledge Due Class 7: February 28th Culturally Responsive Social Studies Pedagogy *Meeting the Needs of Students Short, D. & Echevarria, J. Teacher Skills to Support English Language Learners Fitzgerald, J. & Graves, M. Reading Supports for All *Critical Autobiogra phy Due*

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211 Ferguson, J. & Abrams, J. Teaching Students from Many Nations Singer, J & Singer, A. Creating a Museum of Family Artifacts Strategy: Concept Map Class 8: March 7th Making Content Meaningful— Successful Integration *Lesson Plan Workshop Alleman & Brophy Chapter 6,9 Roush, N. Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trips Or Molebash, P. & Dodge, B. Kickstarting Inquiry with Web Quests and Web Inquiry Projects Obenchain & Morris, #31 Strategy: Summarizing March 14th No Class-Spring Break Class 9: March 21st Teaching Content from Multiple Perspectives Lies My Teacher Told Me Ch.1-4 Strategy : Literature Circles Class 10: March 28th Teaching Content from Multiple Perspectives Lies My Teacher Told Me Assigned Chapter Chapters 11,12 Presentati on on Lies My Teacher Told Me Chapter

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212 April 4th No Class – PKY Spring Break s s 11: April Sensitive Issues (Holocaust, Terrorism, War in Iraq, Religion ) McBee, R. Can Controversial Topics be Taught in the Elementary Grades? Article on sensitive issue (to be chosen in class) Strategy : Opinion-Proof Class 12: April 18th Public Issues and Current Events Articles: Larson, B. Current Events and the Internet: Connecting “Headline News” to Perennial. Hicks & Ewing Bringing the World Into the Classroom with Online Global Newspapers Strategy : ABC Brainstorming *Bring a current event to class *Lesson Plans and Reflection on Student Learning Due 1st half of Lesson Presentati ons Class 13: April 25th Project Presentations *Sharing Philosophies Class Evaluations Finish Presentati on of Lessons KWL & Teaching Philosophy Due

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213 Tasks Percent Points Participation in class discussions and group projects. 10% 30 Reading Strategies: Assigned Each Week 15% 45 Critical Autobiography 5% 15 Learning Community Project 10% 30 Lies My Teacher Told Me Presentation 10% 30 Personal KWL 10% 30 Social Studies Teaching Project 40% 120 Part A Evidence of Content Preparation *Bibliography of Varied Resources *Organized Content (using web, essay, bullets) 15 Evidence of Student prior knowledge *Interview/survey students about your topic. *Summarize results and use in planning 15 Create Overall Generalization *related to Sunshine State Standards *Evidence of content Knowledge 15 Part B Three Pathwise Lesson Plans that Support the Learning of the Generalization 10 *Each lesson plan contains objectives that support the generalization 5 *Use of a Social Studies Strategy introduced in class or readings (Simulation, primary source, service learning, current events, discussion/deliberation, character education) 15 *Evidence of Meaningful Integration (At least language arts component) 10 *Well Developed Accommodationsindividual to students 10 *Authentic Assessment Strategybeyond questioning or observation 10

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214 Part C Reflection on Student Learning (separate) 10 Presentation 10 TOTAL 100% 300 **Late Assignments will be penalized 2 points per day. Absences in excess of 1 class or 3 hours will also negatively impact grades. Three tardies to class equals one absence. If you miss a class, please cont act the instructor to find out what you missed. Make-up work will be due at the beginning of the next class. Grading Grading Criteria and Scale A 270-300 B+ 255-269 B 240-254 C+ 225-239 C 210-224 D+ 195-209 D 180-194 Explanation of Assignments Weekly Readings and Strategies Each week you will have assigned readings and accompanying reading strategies that will help to facilitate your comprehension of the readings and promote in-class discussion. The reading strategy will be collected during each class. Critical Autobiography This assignment is meant to force you to look at your background critically and understand what you bring to your students and your teaching. You will

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215 be asked to map out your life’s hist ory and write a reflection summarizing how your background will impact your teaching. Learning Community Project In order to build a classroom communi ty and a democratic environment for students to learn, a teacher needs to inquire into their context and the students she/he teaches. This assignme nt will ask each partnership to devise a way to gather information from stud ents, organize that information in a user-friendly way, and then reflect on how you will use this information throughout the semester. Accomplished Practice #1 Assessment Accomplished Practice #4 Critical Thinking Accomplished Practice #5 Diversity Accomplished Practice #9 Learning Environments Accomplished Practice #10 Planning Lies My Teacher Told Me Presentation You will work with a group of students to present one chapter from Lies My Teacher Told Me to the cl ass. Since they have not read this chapter you will need to present them with the “big” id eas from this chap ter and perhaps sell them on wanting to read it themselves Projects may take any form, last 1015 minutes each, and must include a co nnection to how this information could be used in the classroom. Accomplished Practice #4 Critical Thinking Accomplished Practice #5 Diversity Personal KWL A KWL is a chart for organizing information that you K now, W ant to Know, and have L earned. You will need to consis tently add information to the K and W sections of this chart be fore you read and to the L column at the end of each class. You should organize the KW L by the topics for each class day. This chart will be a work in progress over the course of the semester.

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216 Social Studies Philosophy At the end of the semester, you will reflect over your KWL to create your own social studies teaching platform. Accomplished Practice #8 Kn owledge of Subject Matter Social Studies Integrated Teaching Project Each partnership will be required to co mplete a mini-unit integrating social studies and another content area. This mi niunit will be a culmination of all that we learned this semester and co nsist of three Path wise lessons. Start talking to your mentor teacher about a topic. Accomplished Practice #1 Assessment Accomplished Practice #2 Communication Accomplished Practice #4 Critical Thinking Accomplished Practice #5 Diversity Accomplished Practice #8 Kn owledge of Subject Matter Accomplished Practice #10 Planning Quality of Writing All students must demonstrate competence in writing. Ability to write will be a part of the social studies a ssessment and can affect final grade. Instructional Modifications Students with disabilities, who need reasonable modifications to complete tasks successfully and otherwise satisfy course criteria, are encouraged to meet with the instructor as early in the course as possible and to identify and plan specific accommodations. St udent will be asked to supply a letter from the Office for Students with Di sabilities to assist in planning modifications. Student Conduct Code The University of Florida has a student conduc t code that states that all work that you submit is your own work. In collaborative task s you must participate equally with other

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217 members of the group. By signing up for this course and reading this syllabus you agree to the University of Florida Student Code. Y ou promise not to cheat or plagiarize and to inform the instructor if you become aware of dishonest behavior on the part of other students in the class. Failure to comply with the academic honesty guidelines 6C1-4.017, F.A.C. is a violation of the University of Florida Student Conduct Code and may result in expulsion or any lesser sanction. In this cla ss be especially careful that you do not plagiarize by copying work from the Intern et without properly crediting its source.

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224 LIST OF REFERENCES Amrein, A., & Berliner, D. (2003). The e ffects of highs-stake s testing on student motivation and learning. Educational Leadership, 60 (5) 32-38. Angell, A. (1998). Learning to teach social studies: A case study of belief restructuring. Theory and Research in the Social Education 26, 509-529. Armento, B. (1996). Teaching and learning hist ory. In Sikula, J., Buttery, T. & Guyton, E. (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (2nd ed., pp. 485-502). New York: MacMillan Library Reference, USA. Babbie, E. (1983). The practice of social research (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Banks, J. (1990). Teaching strategies for the soci al studies: Inquiry, valuing, and decision-making White Plains, N.Y.: Longman. Barr, R., Barth, J., & Shermis, S. (1977). Defining the social studies Arlington, VA: National Council for the Social Studies. Barton, K. (2005). IÂ’m not saying these are goi ng to be easy: Wise practice in an urban elementary school. In E. A. Yeager & O. L. Davis (Eds.), Wise social studies teaching in an age of high-stakes tes ting: Essays on classroom practices and possibilities (pp. 11-32). Greenwich, CT: In formation Age Publishing. Barton, K., & Levstik, L. (2004). Teaching history for the common good Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Benson, J. (1998). Using an inquiry approach with preservice teachers to explain the process of facts, c oncept, generalization. The Social Studies, 89 (5), 227-231. Bohan, C. (2001). Begin where I am: kindergarten geography. Social Studies and the Young Learner 14 (2), 20-1. Boyle-Baise, M. (2003). Doing demo cracy in social studies methods. Theory and Research in Social Education, 31 (1), 50-70. Brophy, J., & Alleman, J. (1996). Powerful social studies for elementary students Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace.

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225 Brownell, M., Yeager, E., Rennels, M., & R iley, T. (1997). Teachers working together: What teacher educators and researchers should know. Teacher Education and Special Education 20, 340-359. Buckles, S., Schug, M., &Watts, M. (2001). A national survey of state assessment practices in the social studies. The Social Studies, 92 (4), 141-146. Byrom, J. (1998). Working with sources: Skep ticism or cynicism? Putting the story back together again. Teaching History, 91 32-40. Calderhead. J. (1991). The nature and gr owth of knowledge in student teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education 7 531-535. Chapin, J., & Messick, R. (1996). Elementary social st udies: A practical guide White Plains, NY: Longman. Clark, C., & Peterson, P. (1986). TeachersÂ’ thoug ht processes. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook or research on teaching (pp. 255-296). New York, NY: MacMillan. Cobb, C. (2004). Looking across the states: Perspectives on school accountability. Educational Foundations 18 (3-4), 59-79. Cornett, J. (1990). Teacher th inking about curriculum and in struction: A case study of a secondary social studies teacher. Theory and Research in Social Education 18 248-273. Creswell, J. (1994). Research design qualitative and quantitative approaches Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research : Meaning and perspective in the research process Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Cuban, L. (1984 ). How teachers taught: Constancy and change in American classrooms, 1890-1980 New York, NY: Longman. Cuban, L. (1986). Teachers and machines: The classroom use of technology since 1920 New York, NY: Teachers' College Press. Cuban, L. (1991). History of teaching in so cial studies. In J. P. Shaver (Ed.), Handbook of research on social st udies teaching and learning (pp. 197-209). New York, NY: Macmillan. Cuban, L. (1993). How teachers taught: Constancy and change in American classrooms 1880-1990 New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

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235 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Brian K. Lanahan was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on August 7th, 1975, as the fifth of the five children of Dennis Lanahan and Mary El len Lanahan. Brian received his undergraduate degree in 1997 from Troy State Univ ersity in Spanish and Social Science. Brian was selected as a Teach for America Corps member in 1998 and placed in Houston, Texas. In Houston, Brian taught a fifth gr ade ESOL class and a third grade bilingual class. During 2001-2002 school year Brian attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and earned a Master of Education degree in Elementary Education. From 20012003 Brian taught second grade ESOL in J acksonville, Florida. From 2003-2006 Brian completed his doctoral studies at the Universi ty of Florida, focusing on social studies Education.