1 IDENTITIES AS CIVICS TEACHERS By EMMA KIZIAH HUMPHRIES A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Emma Kiziah Humphries
3 To Michael
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First, I am hugely indebted to my doctoral chair, Elizabeth Washington, as I am certain that every milestone of my study was predicated on her guidance and support. From the start of my doctoral program, I have been able to turn to Dr. Washington for academic and moral support, and therefore consider her to be the quintessential mentor: a true friend, a trusted advisor, and a dedicated advocate. Second, I am profoundly grateful for the members of my doctoral committee: Alyson Adams, Mirka Koro Ljungberg, and Sevan Terzian. Their knowledge and experience, which they have generously shared with me, was tr emendously helpful throughout my doctoral work. I am certain that I am a better teacher educator, a better qualitative researcher, and a better historian because of their guidance and influence. Third, it is difficult to imagine surviving the past four ye ars if not for the friendship, intellect, and collective sense of humor of my doctoral cohort. Specifically, I would like to thank Jess Clawson, Amy Martinelli, Katie Tricarico, and Lauren Tripp for challenging me, supporting me, and reminding me to play e very now and again. I have always considered it a wise academic strategy to sit next to the smartest women in the room. Lucky for me, over the past four years, that has meant sitting next to my friends. Fourth, I would like to recognize the phenomenal cadr e of Gator social studies researchers that came before me: Robert Dahlgren, Cheryl Ellerbrock, Sheryl Howie, Brian Lanahan, Steve Masyada, Michele Phillips, and Stephanie van Hover. In addition their success was a constant reminder that it would all be worth it. Finally, I would like to acknowledge my family. Their constant inquiries kept me focused and their love an d support
5 kept me grounded. Most importantly, I would not have been able to pursue this degree without the love and patience of my wonderful husband, Michael, and it is therefore to him that this dissertation is dedicated.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 10 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 13 Introductory Remarks ................................ ................................ .............................. 13 State ment of the Problem ................................ ................................ ....................... 14 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 20 Research Question ................................ ................................ ................................ 23 Method ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 23 Significance ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 23 Cautions ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 25 Description of Chapters ................................ ................................ .......................... 25 Concluding Remarks ................................ ................................ .............................. 27 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................................ ................................ ............ 31 Introductory Remarks ................................ ................................ .............................. 31 Securing the Republic: Education in the Early National Period ............................... 34 ....................... 35 Preparing virtuous citizens ................................ ................................ ......... 36 Achieving unity ................................ ................................ ........................... 38 Balancing liberty a nd order ................................ ................................ ........ 40 ................................ ........... 42 Searching for Order: The Common School Movement ................................ ........... 45 Sweep ing Social Changes ................................ ................................ ................ 46 Visions for Common Schools ................................ ................................ ........... 49 Civic Education in Common Schools ................................ ................................ 53 Crafting the Social Studies through Committees: Civic Education in the Progressive Era ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 56 Reforming the Curriculum: Civic Education in Postwar America ............................. 63 Marginalizing the Social Sciences : Civic Education during an Era of Accountability ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 71 Staging a Comeback: The Current State of Civic Education ................................ ... 76 Concluding Remarks ................................ ................................ .............................. 80
7 3 RESEARCH METHODS ................................ ................................ ......................... 83 Introductory Remarks ................................ ................................ .............................. 83 Research Perspectives ................................ ................................ ........................... 84 Qualitative Research ................................ ................................ ........................ 84 Constructivism ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 86 Research Settings ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 88 Selection of Participations ................................ ................................ ....................... 90 Description of Participants ................................ ................................ ...................... 91 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 92 Interviews ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 93 Journaling ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 95 Interview Pro cess ................................ ................................ ............................. 96 Journaling Process ................................ ................................ ......................... 10 0 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 101 Narrative Analysis ................................ ................................ .......................... 102 Subjectivity ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 106 Validity ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 108 Cautions ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 109 Concluding Remarks ................................ ................................ ............................ 110 4 FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 113 Introductory Remarks ................................ ................................ ............................ 113 Erin and Matt: Comparing Topically Similar Narratives ................................ ......... 114 ................................ ....... 115 Erin Civics was probably not a big love of mine ................................ .... 116 Matt But I love civics too ................................ ................................ ....... 118 ................................ 120 Erin Anything that is applicable and engaging ................................ ...... 120 Mat t The classroom was ssssilent ................................ ........................ 123 Notable Teaching Experiences ................................ ................................ ....... 126 Erin ................................ .................. 127 Matt ................................ ............................... 128 Erin Complete catastr ................................ ................... 131 Matt That was interesting ................................ ................................ ...... 135 ................................ .................. 138 Erin The Type of Student I Was Totally Reflects the Kind of Teacher That I Am ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 139 Erin I Just Love How Pertinent It Is ................................ ............................. 141 Erin ................................ ........... 144 ................................ ................. 154 The kind of teacher Erin is ................................ ................................ ....... 154 Realization of student privilege ................................ ................................ 156 End of course examina tions ................................ ................................ .... 157 Doing it differently next year ................................ ................................ ..... 159 Sub narratives ................................ ................................ .......................... 160
8 Complicating Action Evaluation sequences ................................ ............. 161 Weak or absen t Resolutions ................................ ................................ .... 163 ................................ ................................ ....................... 163 Matt She loved it and I was livid ................................ ................................ .. 164 Matt Presidential purgatory and I loved that lesson ................................ ..... 171 Matt ................................ ........................ 176 ................................ ................. 180 The kind of teacher Matt is ................................ ................................ ....... 181 Lack of intellectual foundation in students ................................ ............... 182 Standardized testing and disruptions ................................ ....................... 184 Short narratives ................................ ................................ ........................ 185 Brief Codas ................................ ................................ .............................. 187 Multiple and lengthy Evaluations ................................ .............................. 188 Concluding Remarks ................................ ................................ ............................ 189 5 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 192 Introductory Remarks ................................ ................................ ............................ 192 Discussion of Findings and Implications ................................ ............................... 195 Best Practices for Teaching Civics ................................ ................................ 195 High Stakes Testing ................................ ................................ ....................... 198 Types of Teacher ................................ ................................ ........................... 202 Being Evaluated ................................ ................................ ............................. 205 ................................ ................................ ........... 208 Novice Teacher Identity ................................ ................................ .................. 210 Future Investigations ................................ ................................ ............................ 215 Concluding Remarks ................................ ................................ ............................ 217 APPENDIX A IRB Protocol ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 219 B EMAIL RECRUITMENT SCRIPT ................................ ................................ .......... 222 C NARRATIVE INVENTORY ................................ ................................ ................... 223 D TRANSCRIPT OF MATT BUT I LOVE CIVICS TOO ................................ ......... 233 E TRANSCRIPT OF ERIN ........... 234 F TRANSCRIPT OF MATT ............................... 235 G TRANSCRIP T OF ERIN THE TYPE OF STUDENT I WAS TOTALLY REFLECTS THE TYPE OF TEACHER THAT I AM ................................ .............. 238 H TRANSCRIPT OF MATT IT ................................ ..... 241
9 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 242 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 256
10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 ................................ .................... 191
11 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 Philosophy IDENTITIES AS CIVICS TEACHERS By Emma Kiziah Humphries May 2012 Chair: Elizabeth Washington Major: Curriculum and Inst ruction This constructivist study investigates the sense making of novice social studies teachers i n order to explore their emerging identities as civics teachers. In the summer of 2010, the Florida Legislature Justice Sandra Day e state. Among other provisions, the act r equire s that students successfully complete at least one semester of civi cs for middle school promotion and pass an end of course exa mination To date, no studies have examined the experiences or perspectives of the teachers who have been charged with implementing this mandate. While energetic efforts have been made to train teachers and provide high quality curricular materials, most s tudies have focused on the degree to which such efforts impact student achievement. For teachers, we are left to wonder why they chose civics (if they had a choice), how they perceive good civics instruction, and if they understand and value the important task of preparing students to be informed and active citizens in republican government Over the course of three interviews and through journaling in personal Weblogs, the participants in my study addressed the meanings they constructed from thei r limited experiences as civics teacher. In order to systematically
12 examine these interview and journal data, I employed a structural narrative analysis methodology that fostered a strong focus on the authentic voices of these novice practitioners. Through these narratives, my study provides important insights into the decisions, perspectives, and beliefs of novice civics teachers that I hope will be a source of valuable information for practicing teachers, methods profe ssors, preservice teachers, curriculu m developers and policymakers. In turn, these insights can inform future teacher training efforts, as well as larger scale studies to investigate and support the civic mission of public schools.
13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Introductory Remarks During my shor t tenure as a high school American government teacher, I was committed to helping my students realize the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for republican citizenship. I believed that if I provided them with a strong understanding of the history principles, and processes of government, and if I helped them to see their important place in the R epublic, then they would be much more likely to assume an active civic role. In effect, I hoped to instill a sense of efficacy and interest that would insp ire responsible citzenship. At the same time I lamented what I saw as a decline in the significance placed upon the teaching of the social studies, specifically civics. I felt certain that my value as a classroom teacher had less to do with my ability to inform and inspire young citizens and more to do with my ability to improve upon my stakes test and a ccountability measure, and students only needed one semester of American government for graduation. For most students, my course was their first exposure to any civics instruction, which I had to sneak into the curriculum, and because I taught seniors, it would probably be their last. As I transitioned to my full time doctoral work I embraced a new commitment: to prepare preservice social studies teachers to be effective civics teachers in an educational milieu that undervalued both their subject matter a nd the civic mission of schools as a whole. Serendipitously, just as I was starting my studies the Florida legislature passed a mandate providing for at least one semester of civics instruction in
14 middle school and an end of course examination that would affect student promotion. Over the next two and a half years, I adopted civic education as my primary research interest, wrote a curriculum for a new yearlong, seventh grade civics course, and worked with preservice and inservice teachers to prepare them f or their new roles as middle school civics teachers. Now, as middle school teachers across the state are implementing this new curriculum, I am interested in their experiences and their perceptions, particularly the experiences and perceptions of those who are new to the teaching profession. Statement of the Problem It is often told that as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the Constitutional Convention in September of 1787, a woman asked him what he and the other framers had wrought. His famous response A R epublic, if you can keep it has remained a powerful reminder of the fragility of democratic experiment and has inspired many citizenry, and for this reason, civic education is a necessary component of schooling. As of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the as cited in National Commission, 1983, p. 7). To be sure, political and educational theorists have always viewed edu cation as crucial to the continued health of the American R epublic. In other words, the importance freedoms promised by our constitutional structure may not be reali
15 13). This widely recognized notion, that citizenship education is necessary for a thriving democracy, is the very reason that public schools in America were established. Operating under the assumption that all education had civic purp oses and that every teacher was a civics teacher, schools were created to prepare young people to be knowledgeable, engaged in their communities and in politics, and committed to the public good (Carnegie Corporation & CIRCLE, 2003). As R. Freeman Butts (2 001) the most important stated purpose of K 12 education ever since there has been a However, Hess (2009) points to studies suggesting that schools and parents do not value this task, especially when it is held up against workplace preparation or learning basic academic knowledge in reading, math, and science. Sadly, she observes, support for civic education appears to be more rhetorical than substantive. As such, we have witness ed a rise in high stakes tests and increased instructional emphasi s in math, reading, and science The social studies, and with them, civic education, has been brushed aside as schools are being held accountable fo r their ability to foster student achievement, which is narrowly defined as grade level math, reading, and writing skills, and scientific knowledge. As of September of 2010, 23 states do not include civics in their assessment or accountability systems. Of the remaining 27 states that do, usually under the umbrella of general social studies, ten do not test until students reach middle school (Education Commission of the States, 2010). As a direct result of this high stakes testing reality, an alarming 71% o f school districts nationwide report cutting back time on other subjects, most often social studies,
16 to make room for reading and math instruction (Center on Education Policy, 2006). High school students, who up until the 1960s used to receive up to three courses in civics and government, are now left with one twelfth American government that typically devotes little time to how people can and why they should participate as citizens. Moreover, this one course completely misses the large nu mber of students who drop out before their senior year a significant population that is arguably in the greatest need of understanding their rights and responsibilities as citizens (Education Commission of the States, 2010). This marginalization is exace rbated at the elementary level where educational researchers have documented strong evidence of reduced time for social studies instruction and increased emphasis on the skills required for high stakes tests rather than subject matter (Barton & Levstik, 20 04; Burroughs, Groce, & Webeck, 2005; Doppen, Misco, & Patterson, 2008; Furin, 2003; Hutton & Burstein, 2008; Leming, Ellington, & Schug. 2006; Lintner, 2006; Mathis & Boyd, 2009; Rock, Heafner, 2001; VanFossen, 2005; VanFossen & McGraw, 2008; von Zastrow & Janc, 2004). Even elementary teacher education programs offer minimal coursework and field experiences in social studies content and methods (Bollick, Adams, & Willox, 2010; Lanahan & Yeager, 2008; Owens, 1997). Given such trends, it is hardly an overstatement for Judith Pace (2007) foundations of democracy and of producing high school graduates who are not broa
17 The state of Florida is no exception to this civic education crisis. A recent survey asked 1,600 Florida elementary school teachers about how much time they spend teaching social studies each week. Notably, 28% said tha t they spend 30 minutes or less. Another 30% said that they spend 60 minutes Overall, the average elementary school teacher in Florida spends about ten minutes per day on all of the social studies (Florida Joint Center for Citizenship & Florida Association of Social Studies Supervisors, explain this phenomenon. The FCAT is administered to students in grades three tate Standards in reading and mathematics for grades three through eleven; science for grades five, eight, and eleven; and writing for grades four, eight, and ten (Florida Department of s has never been included. Given these trends, we find students underperforming on civic assessments. In 2006, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) understanding of the democratic institutions and ideals necessary to become informed (Lutkus & Weiss, 2007). This recent and authoritative study, known as reported that only 24% of fourth grade students scored at or above the Proficient level in terms of civic knowledge, meaning that they demonstrated at least competency over challenging subject matter While 75% knew that only citizens could vote in the United States, only 14% recognized that defendants have a right to a lawyer. Among eighth graders, o nly 22% scored at or above the Proficient level as, for example, less than a third could
18 explain the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Twenty seven percent of twelfth graders scored at or above the Proficient level, but less than half could describe the meaning of American federalism. Four years later, NAEP conducted its civics assessment again, revealing that students are making progress in fourth grade but not eighth or twelfth grade. Specifically, in comparison to earlier civics ass essments in 1998 and 2006, the average score in 2010 was higher than the scores in both years in fourth grade, not significantly different from the score in either year in eighth grade, and lower than the score in 2006 but not significantly different from the score in 1998 at twelfth grade (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011, p. 1). Based on these findings, it would be fair to state that average score for fourth gr ade students is encouraging, the difference from 2010 is only three points. Moreover, this higher score is difficult to interpret considering that most elementary school teachers report cutting back time for social studies instruction. Equally worrisome re sults are found when American adults are surveyed on their civic knowledge. The American Bar Association surveyed a national sample of 1,002 American adults. Just over half of those surveyed could identify the three branches of government, even in a multip le choice test, and fewer than half understood the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances (Bookman, 2006). More recently, the telephone survey of people acro understanding of constitutional principles. It found t hat 21%
19 respondents (ages 18 24) demonstrated much less und erstanding of the Constitution than older people. This is discouraging given that the younger groups should have most recently studied American history and g overnment in high school and/or college. Similar results were found when participants were asked ab out how much of the Constitution they have read. Other notable findings include the following : O f all respondents, only 48% believe there to be a clear division of power betwee n federal and state governments. Only 61% know that the power to regulate inter state commerce is res erved to the federal government. Only 35% agree that American constitutionalism is a system in which the Only 45% agree that American constitutionalism is a system in which the government is empowere d to act for the common good. (The Montpelier Foundation, 2010) If such national findings are not disheartening enough, civic education supporters in Florida must digest state level civic indicators that are even worse. For example, a 2009 study by the Fl orida Joint Center for Citizenship (FJCC) examined Advanced Placement scores in history and United States g overnment among states with students ranked last in United States g ov ernment and next to last in American history Moreover, when the Florida Bar surveyed 400 Floridians using the same instrument as the American Bar Associatio n, it achieved similar results: 33% of Floridians (compared to 29% of Americans) could not accurate ly describe the concept of checks and balances in a multiple choice test (Bookman, 2006). In addition to its unimpressive civic knowledge, Florida has a weak civic culture. In fact, when compared to the rest of the country, Florida ranks 46 in terms of ci vic health.
20 Specifically, in 2008, Florida ranked: 34 in average voter turnout; 49 in the percentage of citizens who volunteered; 48 in the percentage of its citizens who attended a public meeting; and 37 in the percentage of citizens who worked with other s to address a community issue (FJCC & National Conference on Citizenship, 2009). Whether the result of ineffective civics instruction, little civics instruction, or no civics instruction at all, these numbers have raised concern among Floridians and the F lorida Legislature alike, and have invoked calls for high quality citizenship education in public schools. Purpose of the Study dominat ed legislature passed a mandate as part of a larger general education bill requiring that school districts offer at least one semester of civics instruction at the middle school level. Since the mandate carried neither stipulations nor resources for professional development and instructional materials, districts across the state were free to co mply through a wide variety of approaches. Some created stand alone courses while others simply integrated civics into existing courses such as geography or American history Two years later, Florida adopted a new set of curriculum standards The Next Gen eration Sunshine State Standards and reviewers generally agreed that they go a long way toward setting instructional goals Association of Social Studies Supervisors, 20 09). Most recently in the summer of 2010, y one of its sponsors, requires that the reading portion of the language arts curriculum include civics education content for all grade levels;
21 that students successfully complete at least one semester of civics for middle school promotion; administratio n of an end of course assessment in civics education as a field test at the middle school level; inclusion of civics education end of course assessment data in determining school grades. (CS/HB 105, Civics Education) While this legislation will greatly e nhance civic education in the state, it falls short of meeting the demands of civic education supporters, specifically in its failure to require an entire year of civics for middle school promotion. In spite of this shortcoming, there was and continues to be an energetic response to the middle school civics requirement. Most notably, FJCC, a partnership between the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Central Florida and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the Universit y of Florida, authored a yearlong applied civics curriculum for middle school students. The curriculum is touted yearlong civics course: lesson plans, content summaries, su pporting materials such as citizen.org). According to the FJCC website: This curriculum focuses on the civic knowledge, intellectual and participatory skills, and dispositions u seful for the 21 st century middle school classroom, focusing on two forms of student engagement: engagement with civics content (curricular) and with civic life (experiential). It aims to involve students in critical and higher order thinking, to teach stu dents "life long learner" skills, and to present students with multiple perspectives. Its "eclectic approach" draws from a variety of materials to provide both content and teaching strategies that build on students' background experiences, incorporate a va riety of learning styles, make use of appropriate technologies, develop FCAT related literacy skills, and offer authentic assessment to gauge student learning. (http://www.florida citizen.org)
22 In the 2009 2010 school year, 20 teachers from two large Florid a school districts piloted this yearlong, seventh grade civics curriculum, and 28 more teachers did the same during the 2010 2011 school year. These numbers do not include an additional 35 teachers across three more counties, including large counties in th e greater Orlando area, who used the curriculum to supplement their geography and American history courses. Beginning in the fall of 2012, when the statewide mandate to teach seventh grade civics went into effect, hundreds of middle school teachers from al l over the state of Florida began using this curriculum and, consequently, ceased traditional textbook instruction. Of the 48 teachers who piloted this curriculum during the 2010 2011 school year, only two were in their first or second year of teaching. F or these two teachers, civics was not something that was forced upon them. Rather than viewing their teaching assignment as the result of a legislative mandate, they saw it as an exciting opportunity to teach a student centered curriculum. They were neithe r geography teachers being told to teach civics, nor were they history teachers being told to abandon years of tried and true lesson plans. They were simply new social studies teachers who were thrilled to get a job in a tough economy and dismal job market Moreover, unlike most of the teachers who only taught civics during part of their workday and who may or may not have implemented the entire 145 day curriculum as intended, these two novice teachers taught seventh grade civics all day, every day and used the curriculum in its entirety. For these reasons, I studied these two novice social studies teachers in order to explore their sense making of their emerging identities as civics teachers.
23 Research Question Principal Research Question: How do novice soci al studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers? Method My study employed a qualitative design and a constructivist perspective to explore the ways in which novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identiti es as civics teachers. According to Strauss and Corbin (1990), qualitative Constructivism, instead of trying to describe some reality or truth, describes individual human subjects engaging with objects in the world and making sense of them (Crotty, 1998). In order to answer the principal research question, two novice social studies teachers in north Florida were recruited to share their experiences and perspectives teaching a new, yearlong seventh grade civics curriculum. These two teachers are exceptional in that they teach seventh grade civics all day, every day. Each participated in three sem i structured interviews and used a private blog to journal about their experiences teaching the new curriculum. These data were analyzed using structural narrative analysis as described by Reissman (2008). Significance Consistent with my theoretical persp ective and methodology, I neither formulated hypotheses nor anticipated directions or findings at the outset of my study. That said, I had a clear sense of the ways in which I hoped the study would be useful and the audience I hoped would benefit most from its findings For the former, I knew that I wanted the study to truly illuminate the ways in which novice civics teachers make
24 sense of their experiences in the classroom and the ways in which those experiences shape their emerging identities. I wanted to learn about why they became civics teachers and how they understood the purpose of civics. I wanted to uncover the types of classroom experiences that they consider most effective for teaching civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions, and, likewise, the types of classroom experiences that they consider least effective. I was curious about the degree to which they felt prepared or even qualified to teach civics and the types of support they received, or did not receive, that helped them or hindered them th rough their early experiences as civics teachers. More than anything, I wanted to learn about them, th e participants. As such, my study was subject driven from the very beginning. I knew that my participants and my participants alone would steer my analysi s and determine the findings that would emerge from my efforts. For the latter, I knew that I wanted the study to be a source of valuable information for methods professors, preservice teachers, and curriculum developers. In the difficult and complex envir onment of high stakes accountability, complete with widespread curriculum narrowing, it is important for these stakeholders to appreciate the experiences and perspectives of classroom teachers so that they may be better trained, better supported, better ou tfitted with sound instructional materials, and, most importantly, better convinced that they do not have to abandon the teaching of their content in order to prepare their students for the examinations I also knew that I wanted the study to be useful for practicing teachers, especially novices, who may find themselves with a civics teaching preparation for which they feel inexperienced, unprepared, and perhaps unqualified. Lastly, and optimistically, I wanted the study to be
25 useful to policymakers the s tate legislators who are charged with setting requirements for public school promotion, crafting school accountability measures, and determining the scope of the public school curriculum. Caution s In qualitative studies, the researcher serves as the prima ry instrument of data collection and analysis (Guba & Lincoln, 1981). It is therefore important for the researcher to be aware of his or her experiences and identity, and the degree to which those will limit the interpretation of findings. As a former K 12 civics teacher who has spent the past three years studying and conducting civic education research and developing curricular materials for civics teachers, including the new, yearlong seventh grade curriculum that was implemented by my s, I made sense of their experiences and their identities in the context of my current experiences as a civics educator, and my not so distant past identity of a novice civics teacher. Additionally, while I have benefited from the phenomenal support and gu idance of my doctoral chair and committee, I am still a novice researcher and my study represents my first major undertaking with independent research. I elaborate the challenges and issues that limit my study in Chapter 3 Description of Chapters Followin g this introductory chapter, Chapter 2 explore civic mission of schools. It discusses the republican imp erative for civic education and traces the development of civics programs in public schools. Further, it explores late twentie th and early twenty first century trends that have derailed efforts to teach the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of citizenship concomitantly occurring while access to education has expanded and conceptions of citizenship have liberalized I conclude
26 Chapter 2 by outlining more recent attempts to restore the civic mission of schools. In this way, Chapter 2 represents a n intellectual histor y of civic education advocacy, rather than a traditional review of the literature. There are a few reasons behind m y decision to approach Chapter 2 in this way. First, it provides a historical foundation for the context in which the participants currently find themselves teaching. Civic education has traveled a long and complicated journey through the history of Americ an public schools, and this journey informs the current curriculum the curriculum that the participants must teach just as much as the politicking that constructed it. Second, t he methodology utilized for my study requires that findings be induced from the participants themselves, rather than from a set of premises or hypotheses. I believe that a traditional review of the literature has a strong inclination to lead novice researchers, such as myself, down a deductive path that betrays the epistemology t hey purport to embrace. Third, Chapter 2 is a manifestation of my identity as an arduous supporter of civics and a historian of education. It serves as a reflection of the passions, interests, and general socio educational agenda that drive my research. Ch apter 3 details the research methodology and procedures used in the study, in addition to providing specific descriptions of the research participants and the settings in which they practice. It was deliberately written in such a way as to allow another re searcher to duplicate the methods employed. Chapter 4 comprises a thorough Chapter 5 consists of a summary of my s conclusions and recommendations for the teaching practice, teacher education, and all of those who continue to fight for high quality civic education in K 12
27 schools. It is t here that I systematically integrate much of the traditional literatur e related to social studies education, novice teachers, and teacher identity, thereby recognizing the canon that informed much of my 5 concludes with suggestions for future research. Conclu ding Remarks As David Lab aree (2003) acknow ualitative research is well suited to the task of making sense of the socially complex, variable rich, and context specific and high stakes testing that led to the widespread marginalization of the social studies has also had a detrimental and far reaching influence on educational research. The federal government, a tremendous source of funding for academic research projects, is decisive in its call for large sc ale, quantitative impact studies. This privileging of numbers, measures, and statistics over voices, perspectives, and experiences, has had the effect of reducing the idual students are viewed as mere datum in a sample size of 1,000 and teachers are held accountable for student achievement measures that recognize neither the whole child nor the contextual realities of schools and classrooms. Despite this unsupportive, i f not combative, climate, qualitative research has become a widely used methodology for educational scholars, and qualitative researchers in the social studies have persisted in their important work. In particular, I am thankful to Ronald Evans, S. G. Gran t, Carole Hahn, Diana Hess, Walter Parker, and Elizabeth Washington for furthering the qualitative tradition as it applies to research on civic education and continuing to probe the ways in which teachers and students make sense of their experiences.
28 For m y part, I hope that my study makes a small, yet meaningful contribution to the fields of civic education and qualitative methodology two veritable underdogs in the larger realm of educational research. From beginning to end, it is based on a firm belief that civic education is good for kids and good for the R epublic, and it operates from the assumption that meaningful research seeks to understand the ways in which people make sense of their experiences. That said, I would be remiss in not acknowledging th e important studies in othe r research fields on which my study builds: studies related to either novice teachers, teacher identity, or, sometimes, both. These studies were tremendously helpful as I crafted research questions, drafted interview protocols, a nd made analytical decisions. I also found them helpful as I reflected upon my findings and sought to tie them to previous findings from related research efforts. Specifically, countless studies have ventured to explore the experiences and perspectives of beginning teachers, usually categorized as those in their first to fourth years of teaching. Some of these studies employed quantitative methods to study teacher preparation (Conderman & Johnston Rodriguez, 2009), beginning teacher beliefs and instruction al actions (Marbach Ad & McGinnis, 2009; Turley, Powers, & Nakai, 2006), and the development and effectiveness of stayers and leavers (Bang, Kern, Luft, & Roehigh, 2007; Henry, Bastian, & Fortner, 2011; Knobloch & Whittington, 2002). Most of these quantita tive studies focused on mathematics and science teachers and were naturally less helpful for my qualitative and social science objectives. Nonetheless, they provided helpful insights into the challenges facing teachers early in their careers.
29 Far more hel pful were the studies that explored the general experiences or beliefs of novice teachers through a qualitative lens (Brown, & Howard, 2005; Clausen, 2007; Deal & White, 2005; Feiman Nemser, 2003; Fry, 2007, 2009; Gaudelli, 2006; Gibson & Romano, 2006 ; Lan e, Lacefield Parachini, & Isken, 2003; Rieg, Paquet te, & Chen, 2007; Romano, 2008 ; Tait, 2008; Watson, 2006). However, the most helpful were qualitative studies that explored the intersections of novice teachers and teacher identity ( Alsup, 2006; Cook, 200 9; Dotger & Smith, 2009; Featherstone, 1993; Samuel & Stephens, 2000; Stark, 1991; Sugrue, 1997 ) or novice social studies teachers (Angell, 1998; van Hover & Pierce, 2006; van Hover & Yeager, 2004; van Hover, Hicks, & Irwin, 2007; Yeager & van Hover, 2006) Regrettably, for the latter group, none of the studies focused on civics teachers. Still, their illumination of challenges for history teachers, especially in light of high stakes testing and accountability measures, proved to be invaluable as I framed m y study. Studies that examined teacher identity, even without a focus on novice teachers, were helpful in providing conceptual frameworks through which to consider teacher identity and teacher identity formulation and maintenance. For example, Beijaard, Ve current and prior perceptions of their professional identity illustrated that teachers oftentimes see their professional identity as consisting of a combination of distinct aspect s of expertise. Even more germane to my study, they found that most experienced teachers' perceptions of their professional identity differ significantly from their prior perceptions of this identity during their period as beginning teachers. Other pieces, such as Wenger (1998) and Zembylas (2003) highlighted the pervasive power
30 of external forces such as community, environment, and social discourses over teacher identity formulation and maintenance. As this limited but representative review demonstrates, there is already a canon of identity. Even better, some of this research focuses on social studies teachers, usually those who teach history. Unfortunately, there is no research related to novice civics teacher identity. This narrow subset is precisely where I hope my study will make a powerful contribution. With the slow but steady resurgence of civic education in Florida and, to a lesser extent, the United States, it is necessary for policymakers, teacher educators, curriculum developers, and even textbook publishers to understand the experiences and perceptions of this vulnerable but important group of teachers, particularly the ways in which they view their importan t task of educating the next generation of republicans.
31 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introductory Remarks Americans have always possessed a deep faith in schooling Under the influence of contemporary revolutionary thought in Europe and America, th e founders of the Republic believed that the strength of the new nation depended on the spread of learning and enlightenment (Counts, 1952). As Thomas Jeffe rson declared in an 1816 letter, ation, it expects faith in schooling when he said, nts of American civilization. As the perceptive observer of American life, Frenchmen Alexis de Tocqueville, he universal and sincere faith that they profess here in the efficaciousness of education seems to me one of the most remarkable features o f s schooling endured. This faith has always been in concert with an American belief in democra tic government that transcends class distinctions As the 2003 Civic Mission of Schools report declares democracy in which all citizens understand, appreciate, and engage actively in civic and po be expected to understand, appreciate and engage if they are not properly educated. In other words, we are not born democrats:
32 The values and habits upon which democracy rests are neither revealed truths or innate habits. There is no evidence that we are born with them. Devotion to human dignity and freedom, to equal rights, to social and economic justice, to the rule of law, to civility and truth, to tolerance of diversi ty, to mutual assistance, to personal and civic responsibility, to self restraint and self respect all these must be taught and learned and practiced. (Albert Shanker Institute, 2003, p. 8) Taken together, these three American tenets faith in schooling faith in democratic government, and the belief that the values and habits of democratic government must be taught comprise the civic mission of public schools. The best single explanation for the founding and early diffusion of public school s in this country is that they were seen as essential for citizenship training (Labaree, 2007). At different times throughout American history schools have addressed this need either narrowly through specific courses such as social studies, American gov ernment and civics, or American history or more broadly as the fundamental purpose of schooling in and of itself. For the first 100 years of the American R epublic, it was the lat t er: the history of civic education and the larger history of schooli n g gen erally speaking, were one in the same. That is, one could not differentiate between the goals and plans for schooling and the goals and plans for civic education. Preparing children for their future the preservation of said government, was the primary purpos e of schooling. Civic education, infused with Protestant moral principles, part of this chapter is devoted to those first 100 years. I t is within those years that system was born. education emerged as a recognized and discreet curriculum (Quigley, 1999). Civic
33 education was increasingly viewed as a subject matter within schooling a question of curriculum, rather than a primary purpose of schooling I will then treat it as such and provide a more streamlined history of civic edu cation advocacy and trends for the twenti eth and twenty first centuries. It was during this time period that schools witnessed a gradual chipping away of the civic mission of schools, even as citizenship rights slowly expanded to include more groups. Throu ghout this chapter I will try to keep the tension between Unum and Pluribus in focus throughout this chapter. David Tyack (2003) maintains that American society has always been pluralistic in character, but alongside that Pluribus citizens have also sough t an Unum a set of shared political assumptions and institutions. These y of civic ed ucation advocacy in America places this tension in sharp relief. Many Americans believe in schooling for national unity, and therefore look to civic education to inculcate shared American values. However, Americans also believe that schooling should promot e pluralistic freedoms of both belief and action. As R. Freeman Butts (1980) declares (p. 51). Therefore, as this chapter will illustrate, the history of public schools and their civic education programs represent s a steadfast labor to achieve some semblance of balance between the two, although the goal of Unum has typically reigned supreme. As a final word, I take the position that civic education is a primary purpose of schooling democracy is both desirable and essential. Like many of the scholars that are cited in
34 this chapter, I am an ardent advocate for civic education, and I decry the historical shif ts that displaced civics, first, as the primary object of public education, and later, as an important part of the public school curriculum. I make no attempts to hide this position in the history provided below. Securing the Republic: Education in the Ea rly National Period In June of 1788, upon ratification of the Constitution, the United States of America officially began its experiment in republican government, an arrangement in which the will of the people is refined and articulated through democratica lly elected representatives. James Madison thought republicanism would be a safer system than direct participation because public passions would be cooled through the lengthy process, and representatives, he hoped, would be older, wealthier, and wiser than the common man and better able to make rational decisions (Barbour & Wright, 2009). During the founding era, prevailing theories of government held that these older, wealthier, and wiser men the aristocracy were naturally suited to rule (Rury, 2002). Proudly, however, the United States had no landed aristocracy, and without its perceived stabilizing influence over governance, many contemporaries dismissed popularly elected government as potentially disastrous (Brown, 1996; Rury, 2002; Tyack, 1967). Im plicit in this dismissal was an unflattering view of humankind as ignorant, self Federalist No. 51 If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be This Hobbesian view conjures a narrow conception of citizenship, a belief that individual participation in government should be limited and that too much
35 democracy is unhealthy. It stands in contrast to a more positive conception of citizenship one espoused by Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau, which placed of the common good. These competing views, which featured prominently in the citizenship, they usually mean th at civic virtue is taking second place to self interest as fore. The framers of the Constitution ( who m Americans affectionately refer to as the Founding Fathers) were learned men and, in many cases, astute students of history. They knew that republics were doomed to failure (Kaestle, 1983; Kurland & Lerner, 1987; McClellan, 2000; Rury, 2002). They read th e most basic works on Greek and Roman history Tacitus, Livy, Sallust, and Plutarch which gave detailed accounts of political corruption, as well as the works on English politics and political history, which focused on the constitutional conflicts of th e seventeenth century ( McClellan). From their readings, they knew that the most stable governments had pieces of democracy, monarchy, and aristocracy, and they knew that they had just created a system almost completely devoid of the latter two elements (Ka estle). Because of this awareness, the Framers pinned their hopes on education as the best means of securing the Republic. Despite this faith in education it received little attention in the deliberations of the wo governing documents the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution are silent on the topic. Nonetheless, a great deal
36 was written about education fo r youth in the founding era with many of the most notable Founding Fathers helping to persuade Am ericans that if democracy was to take root as a political tradition in their fledgling nation, popular education had to become an American institution (Rury, 2002). However, while they were united in their support for widespread popular education, these ea rly advocates for civic education disagreed among themselves. Indeed, their writings are rife with differing fears for the new Republic, differing conceptions of citizenship, and differing goals for the civic curriculum. Still, three distinct themes permea ted their political philosophies of republican education. They believed that education was necessary to prepare knowledgeable and virtuous citizens who could vote intelligently and act as safeguards against tyranny; to achieve unity in a large and fragment ed new nation that was beset with local jealousies and diverse political viewpoints; and to balance liberty and order when both the collective memory. Prepa ring virtuous citizens Of the three main founding era goals for popular education, the need to prepare virtuous citizens to sustain the Republic was the most oft articulated. One of the main concerns of the Founding Fathers, as it w as resided in popular elections wher e the common man was charged with choosing virtuous representatives to lead the country, a task for which they believed the ignorant and immoral to be ill fit (Rury, 2002). They found themselves in general agreement that the perpetuation of republicanism d epended ultimately upon the character of the citizenry. It therefore followed that a sound education would be needed for all Americans in order to ensure that men would
37 vote intelligently, choosing only the virtuous to represent them, and that women would train their sons to do the same (Kaestle, 1983; Macedo, 1999; Tyack, 2003). While many of the Framers, most notably Benjamin Rush and Noah Webster, concerned themselves with issues of unity and order, Jefferson, always the most fearful of tyranny, wrote a t length about the need for an educated populace that would choose leaders wisely, defeat ambition and corruption in politics, and keep a vigilant eye on government. He stated this view most pithily in the preamble to his 1778 plan for public education ent itled A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge : Y et experience hath shewn [ sic ], that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectu al means of preventing this would be, to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts, which history exhibiteth [ sic ], that, possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes. (as cited in Kurland & Lerner, 1987, p. 672) ystem must necessarily degenerate, and beco me an instrument of tyranny w here there is an extraordinary disparity of information between the generality of citizens and those who gnorance, they believed, was an infallible instrument of despotism, and education was their best defense. educated character and trained mind of the individual was the safest found ation of rights and liberties, but a properly schooled individual would recognize the bonds of They all
38 emphasized the heavy responsibilities of citizenship and the importance of education for the survival of republican government. Accordingly, they argued passionately for free common schooling, one of the primary objects of which must always be t o prepare Kurland & Lerner, 1987, p. 689). Achieving unity Upon ratification of th e Constitution, the population of t he United States was about four fifths English descent and overwhelmingly Protestant (Tyack, 2003). Nevertheless, the Founding Fathers were concerned with political and, to a lesser extent, denominational diversity and t hey believed public education would unify the language socially diverse, scattered across a continent, politically contentious, religiously splintered, and averse to gove rnment. But the political and educational leaders who laid the foundations of civic education in the United States did believe that unity was 10). Accordingly, they looked to a thoroughly American curriculum to instill love for country, co ntempt for the Old World, and even political conformity and disciplined behavior (Kaestle). As Webster advised n with the infant in his cradle . divided by bitt er partisanship, religious sectarianism, and geographic dispersal, the Founding Fathers believed that all Americans could agree on political moral truths, which a common education could impart.
39 Most memorable for his republican zeal, particularly in regard s to popular education, was the Pennsylvanian Benjamin Rush. In his scheme for introducing public education to his home state, he renounced Pluribus and encourage d total uniformity : I conceive the education of our youth in this country to be peculiarly nec essary in Pennsylvania, while our citizens are composed of the natives of so many different kingdoms of Europe. Our schools of learning, by producing one general and uniform system of education, will render the mass of the people more homogenous, and there by fit them more easily for uniform and peaceable government. (as cited in Kurland & Lerner, 1987, p. 686) In his estimation, a republic depending on the will of the people must see to it that those w ills be republican. More concerned with regional jealous ies than ethnic ones, Barlow, in an open letter To His Fellow Citizens of the United States among the of those whose votes are frequently to be consulted, and whose actions are always irresistible by their numbers, believed that universal education was both a civil and p olitical concern, and like Rush, he urged his home state of Pennsylvania to see to its implementation. Many of the Founding Fathers worried about the coherence and stability of a nation covering such a large geographic expanse. Although rampant fears of re ligious denominationalism, ethnic diversity, and classism were still a few decades away, republican experiment. Throughout their many impassioned pleas for popular education, they repeated the need for a shared commitment to homogeneity of principles, opinion, and manners and to republican liberties and duties or for Unum these goals might sound more like indoctrination than education. Howeve r, during the
40 ould not long remain Balancing liberty and order Nowhere are the differing views of founding era civic education advocates more evident than in their writings surrounding education and the competing virtues of liberty and order. This schism, so prominent during the ratification debates, naturally carried over into the discourse on public education where two distinct conceptions of its goals such a split is hardly surprising. The goals of the Revolution remained highly valued in American political thought. Meanwhile, uprisings such as the Whiskey Rebellion in a seemingly precarious national government. Reconciling liberty and order, it would seem, was a tall order, and common education, many believed represented the best strategy On one end of the broad spectr um that spans liberty and order there were men suc h as Rush who considered order and restraint to be the most honorable of virtues. In his widely circulated Thoughts upon the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic wor ds that are too powerful to abridge. on steeped in Protestant values naturally an ungovernable animal, and observations on particular societies and cou ntries will teach us that when we add the restraints of ecclesiastical to those of
41 domestic and civil government, we produce in him the highest degrees of order and 683). Later, he made this dogmatic appea l: In the education of youth, let the authority of our masters be as absolute as possible. The government of schools like the government of private families should be arbitrary that it may not be severe. By this mode of education, we prepare our youth for the subordination of laws and thereby qualify them for becoming good citizens of the republic. I am satisfied that the most useful citizens have been formed from those youth who have never known or felt their own wills till they were one and twenty years of age. (p. 686) T hen in his most infamous prose republican machines. This must be done if we expect them to perform their parts On the other en d of the spectrum, men such as Jefferson wrote about the liberating p ower of education: none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their Jefferson, liberty was the great political end to be sought, and education the best means for securing it. In this way, America might protect the liberty for which the Revolution was fought. T thought. However, he was not alone in fearing for disorder in the wake of ignorance. Even the staunch Anti Federalist Robert Coram warned of the miseries that befell governments that negle The actions of mobs are always characteristic of the people who compose them, and we will find the most ignorant 794). Still, the American people were not nearly prepared to disregard their nascent freedoms
42 in the name of government stability, and, as a whole, they looked to popular education to help them achieve that delicate balance of liberty and order. s for Public Education In addition to their philosophical expressions on public education and republican citizenship, on the subject w ere heavi ly infused with practical plans Drawing upon the previously delineated philosophi es, they proposed schools that were publically financed and controlled, arranged in a system of lower and higher schools, and devoted to producing republican citizens (Kaestle, 1953; Tyack, 2003). They called for an end to parochial arrangements for school ing and argued for state agencies of political socialization that would promote a new national identity (Rury, 2002) Of all the founding era plans for republican education, the one that has received the most attention by historians of education is that of Jefferson (Rippa, 1992). Written A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge outlined a three tiered pyramidal system for local education comprising free elementary schools, twenty regional academie s with free tuition for selected boys, and support at William and Mary College for the best ten needy academy graduates. According to Jefferson, this s cheme talent and accomplishment and provide lead ers for the new nation (Rury, 2002, p. 49). Although it had little effect at the time, his appeal for merit based schooling duly Webster and Rush, similar in their more draconi an conceptions of civic education, also introduced plans for the establishment of public schools. In his 1788 manuscript, On the Education of Youth in America Webster proposed that every small district be
43 furnished with a school for at least four months e ach year in which children w ould be or social duties; the history and transactions of their own country; the principles of liberty Lerner, 1987, p. 680). Rush, in his 1798 statement, Of the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic called for establishing schools across Pennsylvania that were supported by taxes and land grants and seeped in religious instruction, which he believed to b e the only foundation for education in a religion, liberty, and learning in the name of preserving the Republic. In his eighth annual message to Congress in 1796 Was hington also highlighted a plan for education, encouraging l assimilation of the principles, opinions, and manners, of our countrymen, by the (as cited in Allen, 1988, p. 509). Later, in his Farewell Address Washington made a general suggestion respecting schooling the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the stru cture of a government gives in Butts, 1978, p. 37). In the end the efforts of Jeffer son, Webster, Rush, and Washington (as well as others not illuminated here ) c ame to naught (Macedo, 1999). While revered by historians as harbingers of later state systems, their proposals for public education failed to win legislative approval (Rippa, 1992). As Kaestle (1983) explains to new taxes, devotion to local c ontrol and individual choice, and a faith in existing
44 educational arrangements these were the factors that foiled early plans for state death in 1826, the majority o f schools in America remained heterogeneous and private, and tended to perpetuate differences among the citizenry rather than promote a universal brand of republicanism (Tyack, 2003). To be fair, in a few northern states ion bore it was with varying and almost always modest impact. In 1789, Massachusetts passed a law requiring all towns of 50 households to provide an elementary school for at least six months a year a nd all towns of 100 households to do the same for 12 months. Beginning in 1795, the New York legislature provided aid to local schools with a five year appropriation of 50,000 dollars a year to be divided among local school committees that agreed to match at least half of the state allotment. Lastly, a 1796 Connecticut l aw provided support for public schools through a combination of local taxes, special fees from residents and parents, and proceeds from the sale of all of its land in the Western Reserve Ter ritory. While they set the stage for future state supported systems of education, these laws were anomalous and failed to meet the expectations of public education enthusiasts. to adopt widespread and enduring systems of public education, their vision for civic education deeply permeated existing educational institutions. Most agreed that the principle ingredients of civic education were literacy and the inculcation of patriotic values ( resting upon moral and religious precepts), which were oftentimes infused with the study of history and the principles of republican government (Butts, 1978; Butts,
45 1980, Kaestle, 1983; Rury, 2002, Tyack, 2003). And while Pluribus expanded across the nation, Unum exemplified the combination of faith in Americanized literacy, patriotism, and P rotestant devotion to duty; and popular textbooks celebrated the values of national cohesion love of country, and love of libe rty. As Elson (1964) illustrates the paramount theme across public education and civic education alike wa s to achieve the highest form of Unum for the infant Republic (Butts, 1980). The attention given to public schoo ls in the early national period can be characterized by an overabundance of rhetoric, countless proposals and generalized plans, a good deal of petitioning of local government, and minimal passage of legislation ( Butts, 1787 ). In other words, the results were not momentous. While extant schools stressed a common program of literacy, moral values, and inculcation of patriotism, the stematically organized, state controlled systems of public education dedicated to the purposes of mass socialization would have to wait for another c ommon s chool m ovement of the mi d nineteenth century. Searching for Order: The Common School Movement Unum was the dream envisioned by the advocates of public education in the first decades of the Revolutionary Era, but Pluribus remained the social and politi advanced deeper into the nineteenth century. As major economic, demographic, social, political, and religious changes swept the still nascent Republic, even the most steadfast critic s of tax supported education began to reconsider the value of a universal
46 educational experience for American youth (Butts, 1978; Kaestle, 1983; Reese, 2000; Rury, 2002; Tyack, 1967). In light of widespread industrialism, urbanization, immig ration, and wes tward migration in addition to growing poverty and classism, democratization, religious sectarianism, a nd perceived moral dissipation concerned political leaders and other elites Accordingly, support for public education, and particularly its republican mission, grew precipitously during this time period. Sweeping Social Changes The degree to which America was experiencing change, and the sense of urgency this created regardin g the need for public educati on, cannot be overstated. The common school movement was able to make the remarkable headway that it did during the middle decades of the nineteenth century thanks in large part to major shifts in American society (Kaestle, 1983). I will now explore those shifts treating them as the collective impetus for the promotion of public education, first orchestrated by a few influential reformers and later adopted by more mainstream and even periphery groups. On the economic front, modernization meant that America was shifting from an agrarian society to an industrial one. During the colonial period, almost all articles were made in the home or in small worksh ops that dotted rural villages, but an industrial revolution, pulled domestic manufacturing out of towns an d workshops and into cities and factories (Macedo, 1999; Rippa, 1992). Unfortunately as Rury (2002) explains, this meant that fewer children attended school because early factory owners recruited child labor to help control costs. Moreover, the availabili ty of factory work and the opportunity to make money created an alluring alternative to attending school.
47 On a demographic level urbanization, immigration, and westward migration were forever altering the American landscape. To be expected, an exodus of A mericans from the countryside to the cities accompanied the rampant industrialism described a bove. Concomitantly, the demand for industrial labor led to a wave of new immigrants, many ample, c omparing 1840 to 1850, the total population incr eased 35% while the number of immigrants entering the country increased 240% As a final demographic shift, beginning with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, land hungry Americans were moving steadily westward, leading to deeply engrained factional interests (Butts, 1978; Rippa, 1992). separated the wea lthy from the laboring classes As Reese (2000) laments first factories appeared social extremes: the fabulously wealthy and the abysmally poor, rewards of increased American productivity were uneven and political leaders offered dire predict ions of imminent social war. F or example, w feared that industrialization and concentration of wealth were restricting their equality of economic opportunity, and skilled craftsmen, who saw their trades usurped by machines, were con cerned that their children would eventually become cogs in a factory (Tyack, 1967). Expectedly the elites were more fearful of moral dissipation as they witnessed increased alcohol consumption, children running in the streets, and widespread poverty. Comm on school reformers, then, looked to universal public education as a way out of potential social chaos (Macedo, 1999).
48 On the political front, the extension of voting rights, the development of political parties, and the ri se of the Jacksonian Democrats m eant that America was experiencing widespread popular participation in politics (Butts, 1978; Kaestle, 1983; Macedo, 1999; participati 1800s. Sti ll, as Butts (1978) points out, compared with any other country at that time, more American men took part in political affairs and repeatedly voted in elections. This development would have a two pronged effect on the common school movement. First the ext ension of suffrage enabled workers who congregated in cities to become important political factors, thus giving their demands (e.g., common schools) a new potency (Carlton, 1965). Second, conservatives and elites believed that the democratization of politi cs had created duties (e.g., voting, jury 2). As Kaestle pithily explains, universal white male suffrage, it needed unive more Americans began to embrace this truism, even if it meant raising taxes. While the most visceral social antagonism seemed to shift from the religious to the economic point of view (Carlton, 1965), religious tensi ons persisted as America became home to a growing number of sects. With the proliferation of Protestant denominations and the immigration of Roman Catholics, people began viewing religious diversity as a threat to the Unum that they believed necessary to s ustain a republic. Additionally, the prevailing view of human nature was shifting from the Calvinist belief in predestination to the idea of tabula rasa and even the goodness of children (Macedo, 1999). Under this view, teaching kids morality would make th em less inclined to corrupt behavior, which
49 growing cities. Public schools, therefore, would be needed not only t o teach a common English language and love of liberty, but a common Protestant morality as well (Kaestle, 1983). Collectively, these economic, demographic, social, political, and religious changes posed new problems, which Americans hoped a universal public education would solve. Concerned about growing diversity and potentially wide spread social conflict in the absence of common values and a shared identity, reformers committed themselves to the idea of the common school, a public institution that mixed students from all walks of life with the hope of teaching them a common denomina tor of non partisan and non sectarian political and moral truths (Rury, 2002) It followed that political parties and work to transform the Pluribus into the Unum even as citizenship and political rights were expanding. Visions for Common Schools The changes explored above did not simply represent a crisis for education, but also a crisis for civic education although t he distinction was quite weak in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Histories of the common school movement are thus replete with quotes from leading reformers that tied the need for universal public education to the democratic purposes of schoo ling. In this section, I will highlight some of the most po werful statements on the matter from those who exercised the most influence over the movement. Much of the rhetoric in support of common schools echoed that of the Founding Fathers. Politically, co mmon school reformers shared a set of concerns about the future
50 experiment on the larger stage of world history Men like Horace Mann, the Secretary of the Massachusetts Sta te Board of Education and the most widely celebrated common school reformer, viewed public schools as essential institutions of the emerging American Republic (Rury, 2002). In his 1848 Twelfth Annual Report, he declared shment of a republican government, without well appointed and efficient means for the universal education of the people, is the most rash and fool therefore embraced the Jeffersonian view that no republic can endure unless its citizens are literate and educated. The conservative Senator from Massachusetts, Daniel Webster, also cited self government in his calls for common schools: And knowing that our government rests directly on th e public will, in order that we may preserve it we endeavor to give a safe and proper direction to the public will. We do not, indeed, expect all men to be philosophers or statesmen; but we confidently trust, and our expectation of the duration of our syst em of government rests on that trust, that, by the diffusion of general knowledge and good and virtuous sentiments, the political fabric may be secure. (as cited in Tyack, 1967, p. 126) The conservative governor of Massachusetts, Edward Everett, shared Web 7). He also agreed that while all men did not have to be philosophers or statesmen, they all had to be educated to exercise sound judgment at the polls. Interestingly, despite their Whig party affiliations, both Web ster and Everett believed that every man should be subject to taxation for public education in proportion to his property and whether or not he had children.
51 Similarly, school leaders believed in the central importance of individual character development as a key element of social progress and su staining the Republic. As the argument went, virtuous people were essential to national survival, and ipso facto proper moral development was too (Rury, 2002). Considering the perceived social turmoil around them, the common school reformers were not con fident that churches and families could ensure such development alone, as evidenced by this dramatic quote fro I see the poor and neglected children in the streets, or in their own wretched houses, and how they live and grovel in low practices, gra dually losing their (as cited in Tyack, 19 67 p. 134). Mann believed that children were capable of great ligence and virtue were the foundation of the R epublic (Reese, 2000). Accordingly, he and his fellow educational crusaders looked to their Protestant republican ideology for soluti ons. Many of the voices for common school reform focused on the preservation of rights the promotion of liberties and the realization of equality when speaking on behalf of common schools, although perhaps none more emphatically than the workingmen groups. For them, failure to properly educate all children would certainly lead t o The demand for equal liberties was the essence of their arguments, partic ularly in their committee submitted to the P ennsylvania legislature in 1830. As the one proposal here can be no real liberty without wide diffusion of real intelligence (as cited
52 in Butts, 1978, p. 91). Mann bolstered this argument in his 1848 Twelfth Annual Report where he professed a belief that education could help bridge the gap between the wealthy and laboring classes and promote social harmony at a time of increasing disparities in social status (as cited in Cremin, 1957, p. 80). Lastly, the presence of so many immigrants in antebellum America greatly reinforced the use of common schools to acculturate children to a common English lang uage, Protestant morality, and republican ethos (Kaestle, 1983; Rury, 2002; Tyack, 2003). Men like Calvin Stowe and William McGuffey argued for a uniform and systematic mode of education for assimil ation. As th e former argued, extended republic like our own, there must be a national feeling (In Tyack, 1967, p. 149). This solution, though oppressive and culturally insensitive by een as peaceful and democratic and was embrace d by most native born Americans, including some immigrants (Kaestle, 1983). Most of the ideas delineated above were not controversial, and despite differing priorities, the proponents for universal public education in the middle d ecades of the nineteenth century shared a common set of values and purposes that lent the common school movement a clear goal: the unification of American culture, defined in narrow terms, for social order and preservation of the Republic (Rury, 2002). Out of great diversity in American society and American education came a remarkable degree of consensus that through the establishment of common school systems, all children in sectarian Christian mora lity and a non partisan republicanism (Tyack, 1967).
53 Civic Education in Common Schools This consensus, which also extended to more practical considerations, largely dictated the success of the common school movement. The ideas that schools should be suppo rted by property taxes, should have great uniformity, should last for more than six months, and should be taught by trained, professional teachers became widely accepted (Rury, 2002). That schools should be public, free, of the highest quality, and inculca te individual and civic virtue became an educational creed with which the American people agreed with increasing convi ction. As Tyack (2003) declares, hard to find another reform in American history that spread as fast as the common school, had such 11 12). Even if battles over the details remained, by the second half of the nineteenth century, the common school wars had been largely won an institution was born and civic educa tion was its central purpose (Rury, 2002; Tyack, 1967; Tyack, 1978). To achieve this purpose, school leaders proposed a politically neutral program: judicious men, all p 1848, as cited in Cremin, 1957, p. 97). In other words, skip over the controversial. On this point, Mann was emphatic. Worried that parents would withdraw their students from school if they he urged teachers to teach only the most widely accepted articles republicanism (as cited in Cremin, p. 95). In place of controversial matter, Mann suggested a program o that was largely similar to the civics curriculum of today, stressing political knowledge upon the formal structure of governmental institutions. This included knowledge of the
54 owers, checks and balances, the mode of elections, and the duties of citizenship. Impressing the skills of participation and the controversial was to be left to the non school agencies of party, press, and family (Cremin, 1957). Mann believed that if stude nts could share a common political foundation, they would be less likely to fall prey to party passions and the politics of excess as adults (Tyack, 2003). American history constituted a large component of nineteenth century civic education. P rior to the Civi l War, six states required the teaching of American history which expanded to another 23 states between 1860 and 1900 (Tyack, 2003) In this way, students were taught to worship past achievements of America and to believe in the inevitable spread of A merican political culture throughout the world (Elson, 1964). Such instruction usually included the study of federal and state constitutions, which many states regarded as sacred texts. In New Hampshire, for example, all eighth grade students were required to read the state and federal constitutions aloud This exercise was typical of nineteenth century pedagogy. Indeed, through formal recitation and a reliance on textbooks (which were embedded with stereotypes, bias, and historical inaccuracies), students were viewed as passive learners and were expected to never question the legitimacy or validity of selected content (Evans, 2004). Perhaps the best way to evaluate the civic education program during the common school movement is to look at contemporary tex tbooks and readers. For engaging in this exercise, historians of education owe a great debt to Ruth Miller Elson and her 1964 book Guardians of Tradition: American Schoolbooks of the Nineteenth Century Here, Elson sums up hundreds of textbooks this way:
55 W hile they evade issues seriously controversial in their day, they take a firm and unanimous stand on matters of basic belief. They value judgment as their stock in trade: love of country, love of God, duty to parents, the necessity to develop habits of thr ift, honesty, and hard work in order to accumulate prosperity, the certainty of progress, the perfection of the United States. These are not to be questioned. (p. 338) Additionally, readers and textbooks deliberately promoted assimilation and national unit y, as evidenced by the introduction that Jacksonian Democrat George Bancroft wrote for his ten volume History of the United States of emigrants of the most various lineage is perpetually crowding to our shores; and the princi ples of liberty, uniting all interests by the operation of equal laws, blend the In promoting unity in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic society, textbooks consistently exto lled liberty as the most preeminent of political valu es The political values inculcated by the common school era civic education program did not substantially differ from those celebrated during the first 50 years of the Republic. To the values of liberty equality, patriotism, and Protestant morality were added personal industry, honesty, integrity, the rewards of property, and obedience to legitimate authority (Butts, 1978; Butts, 1980, Rury, 2002). Diversity and individualism, as in years prior, was nei ther celebrated nor tolerated. Nonetheless, p eople in different classes with different political perspectives and educational philosophies agreed on a list of purposes for common schooling, not the least of which was citizenship training to protect republi can government and to achieve Unum amidst an increasingly pluralistic population (Kaestle, 1983). Education and civic education were one in the same, but not for much longer.
56 Crafting the Social Studies through Committees: Civic Education in the Progressiv e Era In many ways, the social challenges of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were merely exacerbated forms of those of the middle decades of the nineteenth century: large scale industrialization and urbanization; massive immigration from both Western Europe and poorer areas in Southern and Eastern Europe; widening and political turbulence (Rury, 2002). To this, the post Civil War era also added the gr odious tenement conditions and increased corruption among political bosses (Bohan, 2004). From such alarming trends grew the Progressive Movement, a democratic and widespread (although hardly unifor m) response to correct the growing evils of modern American society. Reforms related to the Progressive Movement reached most a spects of American social life. Public education was no exception. Unfortunately, according to Lawrence Cremin (1962) a capsule d efinition of progressive education does not exist, for Generally speaking, the origi social stability and teaching methods, and the purpo ses of school had taken hol d of educational discourse, and progressive education, with its emphasi s on child centered pedagogy and curricular experimentation, became part of a larger assault on tradition al practices (Reese, 2005) The impact was remarkable : t oday, the high school social studies curricul um hardly
57 differ s from that recommended by progressive era educators who served on national committees to propose instructional changes (Bohan, 2004). The schools of the late nineteenth and early twentieth ce nturies had to deal with a different kind of population from that of the schools of the first hundred years of the Republic. This population, which was far larger than that of previous generations, was increasingly diverse and not very likely to advance to higher education. As the editor of the Wisconsin Journal of Education illuminated in 1902, only 5% of students went to college, bu t the needs of the remaining 95% were being ignored (Reese, 2005). Moreover, the number of students actually attending school was rising precipitously. The period between 1890 and 1930 saw a massive effort to get youth into school, and with the help of compulso ry education laws, more than 85% of those required to go to school went (Butts, 1978; Tyack & Cuban, 1995). What these s tudents actually learned once they got to school was another issue entirely. Butts (1978) argues that toward the end of the nineteenth century both the purposes of education and the curriculum had become scattered and fragmented, leading many to call for order, uniformity, and consistency. Fortunately the civic mission of schools was not forgotten as progressive educators formed a series of committees that were intended to improve the quality of schooling increase access to it, provide a more uniform exp erience for those who attended, and standardize preparation for higher education (Bohan, 2004; Evans, 2004; Krug, 1964 ; Saxe, 1991; Sizer, 1964 ; Tyack & Cuban, 1995). The first committee, representing the first national effort to suggest a high school curr ic ulum, was the Committee of Ten. Created by the National Ed ucation Association
58 (NEA) in 1892, it was charged with reporting on the status of secondary education and recommending standards in the various school subjects. It promptly formed a special subcom mittee on History, Civil Government, and Political Economy (known as the Madison Conference) that developed its own set of recommendations for the teaching of social science subjects in high schools. In the end, the Madison Conference recommended an eight year sequence that included American history ; Greek and Roman history; French and English history; and an intensive study of a special period of history along with the study of civil government in grade twelve (NEA, 1894). As Butts (1978) and Saxe (1991) c ontend this strengthen ed the study of history and reduc ed the emphasis on civics. The Madison Conference would have contended that historical studies are particularly well suited to develop good citizens (Bohan, 2004). A positive effect on all subjects, n ot the least of which included civics, was a shift in pedagogical thinking that emerged from the Committee work (Saxe, 1991) Its report stated that teachers should use new teaching methods that engaged students rather than employ the traditional methods of rote memorization. It called for minimal use of lectures; wise use of multiple textbooks; recitation as a supplement to the of discussion and debate; and parallel readings in hi storical literature, poems, historical novels, and biographies. It also called for a wide range of writing exercises, frequently employing primary sources (NEA, 1894, pp. 181 recommendation that social scie nce be exten ded into the elementary grades. A t the request of the NEA the American Historical Association (AHA) appointed the Committee of Seven in 1896 This new Committee was asked to consider the
59 subject of history in the secondary schools and draw up a scheme of college entrance requirements in the same subject. The Committee operated from the assumption that learning history serves as p reparation for civic competence to become (AHA, 1899, p. 20) which the Committee conceived as functioning members of society who are aware of their own civil responsibilities (Saxe, 1991). The members discuss ed the proposition that civic gove rnment be taught as a separate subject, but abandoned the idea in favor of a resolution that civil government be taught in conjunction with American history Additionally, and similar to the final report of the port had much to s ay about instructional methods. O nce again rote memorization of meaningless facts was eschewed in favor of promoting historical thinking through readings, written work, oral reports, map making and reading, notebook preparation, and the u se of primary source material (p. 101). I n her essay Early Vanguards of Progressive Education Chara Bohan (2004) argues that the reports of both the Committee of Ten and the Committee of Seven shed light on the early progressive spirit. Both committees re commended that social education curricula be exte nded to the elementary schools. Further, the Committee of Ten explicitly stated that females and children of foreigners, two groups with no political power, should receive the same benefits as the males dest ined to exercise legal rights. 14). Rather than maintaining the status quo, the committees suggested moderate progressive reform that included the following: increased support for universal public
60 education, expanded notions of citizenship, extension of subject matter to younger children, curriculum reform, and an acknowledgement tha t the purpose of high school was not merely preparation for college, but also preparation for life. Profoundly, the academic orientation of these two committees dominated curriculum making for secondary civic education programs for almost three decades (Bu tts, 1978) The early 1900s witnessed a progressive upsurge of interest in the study of civil government as new ideas about civic education began to appear in political science, economics, and sociology. In 1916, a committee of the American Political Scien ce Associatio n argued for the restructuring of t he standard civics curriculum: rather than beginning with the Constitution and a description of the formal structure of government an d then proceeding to a similar study at the state level, the sequence shoul d be reversed (Krug, 1964). Assuming that political affairs nearest to home were the most important and should be considered first, the committee endorsed the study of o ver civic education was the rising movement to make it the special province of the the NEA Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education (Evans, 2004). In thei r final report, Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education the Social Studies Committee explicitly stated that citizenship was the social responsibility of the civics, government, and concepts from sociology and economics, and it declared the aim of the social studies to be the cultivation of good citizens hip, which began to carry a broader definition (Krug, 1964).
61 and loyal efficiency as goals of the civics programs (Saxe, 1991). History still held a major place go od throughout the entire program (NEA, 1918, p. 17). Most importantly, civics was proposed for the junior high school grades in a course entitled Community Civics and for grade twelve in a course aptly named P roblems of Democracy. rather th an the direct inculcation of appropriate citizen behavior (p. 53). Both courses were radical when compared to the traditional history program created by the AHA two decades earlier (Evans, 2004). The Cardinal Principles report was effective in making citiz enship one of the cardinal goals of education, especially for the social studies. However, while it tended to reduce emphasis upon abstract civics material in favor of live problems, it also tended to good citizenship (Butts, 1980). As the report stated, with constitutional questions and remote governmental functions and should direct attention to social agencies close at hand and to informal activity of daily life that regard Additionally the skills of civic participation were finally addressed in secondary classrooms as social studies teachers ew stress on projects, units, and activities that promoted the skills and dispositions of membership in a democracy.
62 In addition to the withdrawal of constitutional questions, the new civics curricula redefined what it meant to be a citizen. Over a half a century earlier, the 1857 manual The American Citizen R for office, and every political measure cont emplated or adopted by those who are in This definition carrie d an assumption of political activism, a privilege that was not afforded to many during the nineteenth ce ntury, as a tenet of citizenship. The 1915 Community Civics curriculum defined the conducts himself with proper regard for the welfare of the communities of which he is a member, and who is active and intelligent in his cooperation with his fellow members to of a community was clear, as was the new emphasis on the common good. Collectively, the work of these committees helped to l ay the foundation for educational curriculum in general, and the teaching of social studies in particular, that exists in most American schools today (Bohan, 2004). To be sure, at the time when their recommendations were offered, schools were engulfed with vast numbers of foreign immigrants; oftentimes, teaching English and the rudimentary structure of government was all that teachers could manage (Butts, 1980). Nevertheless, the vision of social studies as an integrated, issues centered field of study was born, and civic education took its rightful and prominent place amongst the several subjects comprising it. In many ways, the civics and government courses that high school seniors in Florida
63 take today are not so different from those in which 18 year olds enrolled in the early decades of the twentieth century. Reforming the Curriculum: Civic Education in Postwar America The period extending from the end of World War I to Watergate the 1920s to the 1970s, roughly speaking witnessed three combat wars, a cold war, a depression, labor unrest, an emerging youth culture, a presidential assassination, and a civil rights movement. Known as the p ostwar e ra, it marked a time of extensive transformation in all aspects of American life including morals, dress, tech nology, racial and ethnic propagated by increasing industrialization and urbanization; a growing number of lynchings; a legislated quota system to restrict immigration; th e emerging success of communism in the Soviet Union; a domestic red scare; and fear that the self regulatory mechanism of the market had been shattered by the excesses of monopoly capitalism (Makler, 2004). According to Rury (2002) the most striking featu re of the postwar period was the growing importance attached to formal education. A fter World War II, schools were increasingly viewed as a primary factor in national economic growth, which was especially significant on the heels of a global economic depre ssion. At the same time, the reach of the federal government over public education extended, as the executive and legislative branches became major sources of policy initiatives and funding. More and more, public schools were expected to address questions of economic and social inequality, all the while dealing with profound ideological shifts and major economic and demographic changes. To be sure, these trends impacted civic education programs. and projects for more
64 effecti ve civic education programs part, he summarizes the range of political outlooks that seemed to motivate the major approaches to civic education. Chronologically, I will do the same, while connecting Anti foreign, anti pacifist, anti immigration, and anti reform outlooks dominated the civic e ducation programs of the 1920s. N ativist organiza tions as well as t he recent memories of World War I and the first Red Scare ensured that public schools would the greatest country en ethnic groups, as Jonathan Saxons to block more critical, 15). By 1923, a majority of states had laws requiring the teaching of the Constitution an d mandates that all teachers pass a test on the Constitution in order to be certified (Makler, 2004; Tyack, 2003). In the decade following the great war, the focus was on the Unum and civic education typically meant reading about the structure and function of government, reciting the Pledge of most favored by God, and the Westward march of the flag as a victory for God and the 27). In stark contrast, the civic education programs of the 1930s were dominated by a social reformist outlook in the wake of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the dawn of totalitarianism in the world. In 1932, University of Chicago professor George S. Counts stunned the Progressive Education Association in a speech challenging teachers to lead the charge for a more democratic economic, social, and political
65 system through outright indoctrination of students (Butts, 1978; Makler, 2004; Perlstein, 200 0). Rejecting Horace Ma Counts declared: In their own lives teachers must bridge the gap between school and society and play some part in the fashioning of those great common purposes which bind the two together . T his d oes not mean that we should endeavor to promote particular reforms through the educational system. We should, however, give to our children a vision of the possibilities which lie ahead and endeavor to enlist their loyalties and enthusiasms in the realizat ion of the vision. (In Butts, 1978, p. 385) In other words, teachers committed to the protection and expansion of democracy should indoctrinate shared democratic commitments. to many progressive educators including the preemin ent social studies textbook writer Harold Rugg who were unwilling to support indoctrination, but in agreement that t eachers should help students understand and accept their responsibility to restructure society. They therefore worked to redefine civic ed and economic problems rather than the laudatory idealized version of the Founding Fathers and their design of the Constitution (Makler, 2004). This vision of civic education was embod ied selling, 14 volume series of social studies textbooks, Man and His Changing Environment which called for discussions of controversial ideas that would, in e to their elected representatives (Zimmerman, 2002) The philosophies of Counts and Rugg permeated the social studies establishment. The Commission of Social Studies of the AHA, funded by the Carnegie Foundation, issued their Conclusions and Recommendati ons of the Commission in 1934. It recognized the end of individualism and laissez faire economics and the beginning of [i] f we
66 can show inventive ability in social and industr ial arrangements equal to that developed in technological advancement, we can realize the promise of American life more fully pronouncements brought renewed attention to civic edu cation, the views of Counts and for war erman, 2002, p. 10) full return to the Unum in civic education. Schools were mobilized for the war effort and served to reassert the values of patriotism as the basis for national unity (Bu tts, 1 980). As Evans he climate changed, from one of questioning American political, social, and economic institutions and focusing on the problems of American society, to one of e group most directly responsible for social studies teaching during the war was the Commission on Wartime Policy of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). Its report, The Social Studies Mobilize for Victory described the need to prepare citi zens who would willingly aware of the task to be done, determined to preserve a democracy which it understands, and convinced of the responsibility of each citizen i n the drive for lasting (1943, p. 3). With that, the social reconstructionist views and problem centered curricula of the 1930s were supplanted by an efficiency oriented citizenship education model designed to foster f aith in democracy and assist in th e war effort (Evans).
67 In response to the Cold War, t he primary objective of 1950s civic education was to support the basic principles of political democracy and the basic economic values of the free enterprise system (Butts, 1980). Concomitantly, the conce ption of citizenship expanded from the narrow view of a legal relationship with government to a broader concept that included many types of education, as it was called, stressed the problems of democrati c living, involving the behavior and psychology of adolescents, their personal problems, marriage and family problems, vocational interests, and personal values. As the Detroit Citizenship Education Study declared, ucation programs is a course of action capable of bringing about the satisfactory emotional adjustment of all instruction in American history and g overnment if such instruc tion failed to account for approach to civic education either watered down or neglected altogether the basic political questions of power, influence, and decision making (Bu tts, 1978). Not all of the civic education proposals or projects of the 1950s subscribed to this overly broad conception of citizenship. In 1951, the NCSS listed 24 characteristics of good citizenship, the first 13 of which included the values of equality liberty, basic human rights, law, and other political dispositions. Likewise, the Citizenship Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University recognized the responsibility of citizenship in the arena of public affairs; stressed the values of t he free individual, free government, and free world; emphasized the skills of political participation; and detailed how teachers and students could engage in action oriented problem solving in their
68 schools and communities (Vincent, Bartlett, Tibbetts, & R ussell, 1958). Had its suggestions gone mainstream, students would have been engaging in what educators today consider best practice: studying local congressional districts to see if they provide fair representation of minority groups, making a tax map of the community to determine if tax assessments are equitable, joining political clubs, registering voters, learning how candidates stand on issues, campaigning for candidates, drafting a school constitution et cetera (Butts, 1980). Despite the best efforts of groups such as the NCSS and researchers like those at Teachers College, major social forces would soon dictate the course of public education in the United Stat es, leading to a large scale de emphasis of civic education. Concern s about the inadequacy o f schools to meet the challenges of t he postwar world were widespread Few new schools had been built since 1941, teachers deserted classrooms for higher paying jobs in a burgeoning postwar economy, and books such as Bernard Crisis in Education and Educational Wastelands accused schools of failing to develop children into critical thinkers. All of this coincided with rising public On October 4, 19 57, the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik into orbit, movement. As is often the case during times of natio nal crisis, real or perceived, legislators on both sides of the aisle abandoned their scruples this time joining forces to pass the st comprehensive education bill (Dow, 1991 ). Less than a year later, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Defense of Education Act (NDEA) into law, authorizing unprecedented federal expenditures of more than a billion dollars
69 for improving mathematics, science, and foreign language instruction, in addition to other reforms. For the first time, public education, which had always been the purview of state and loca l government, became a major federal policy area, and instruction in math 2007). Notably, the NDEA of 1958, as well as its reauthorization in 1961, did not include fund s for the social studies. However, considering the national crisis and perceived threat of Soviet domination, it would be unfair to say that civic education went unnoticed. Critics of social studies, such as author E. Merrill Root, argued that the United S tates was losing the Cold War because of what was said or left unsaid in high school American history textbooks, which Root portrayed as critical of free enterprise, belittling toward authentic patriotism, and preachy about class warfare (Evans, 2004). At the same time, proponents expressed the Cold War connection to the importance of civic education. As Professor Frederick Gruber (1960) stated in a collection of essays The perpetuation of and improvement of democracy depends upon the Interesting ly as Evans notes, while the rhetoric of education underwent profound changes during the Cold War era, teaching practices did not. The social studies curriculum continued to comprise a n uncritical and uncontroversial study of history and government, and teaching practices continued to neglect the problems approach that was promoted by academicians This In response to the new social studies took on the patterns of social science disciplines: cognitive analysis,
70 systematic acquisition of organized knowledge, conceptual analysis, inquiry le arning, discovery method, and an emphasis upon thinking like a social scientist (Butts, 1980). The aim was to transform students into junior historians and social scientists. However, Butts (1980) laments, the disciplinary approach tended to belittle social studies programs in schools and downgrade explicit citizenship education as a curricular goal Indeed, as he observed in 1972 review of 26 major curriculum centers, only seven or eight seemed to place special stress upon citizenship objectives. Despite historical ev ents, reform movements, and the millions of dollars devoted to curricular changes, the field of social studies changed very little during the postwar period. American history remained the most common course, followed by world history and government. In fac t, the general outline of the 1916 pattern for secondary social studies instruction remained impressive ly intact. Moreover, teacher centered instruction continued to dominate social studies coursework (Evans, 2004). Civic education certainly grew more attu ned to the claims for equality and struggles for civil rights, and civics curricula tried to avoid unrealistic and romanticized images of political life (Butts, 1978). Sti ll, public education in America proce content and instruction. Despite undeniable pluralism as well as some degre e of social progress particularly in the realm of citizenship rights, Unum continued to be the primary goal of public education.
71 Marginalizing the Social Sciences: Civic Education during an Era of Accountability As America marched in to the 1970s, the se emingly unending Vietnam War, student unrest on college campuses, and a constitutional crisis surrounding the Watergate scandal affected civil society and civic education in two profound ways. First, there was a marked increase in political cynicism and a significant decline in p olitical efficacy and knowledge. Second, there was renewed concern for deliberate citizenship education in the public schools that could help America to realize the promise of republican government (Butts, 1978). However, a short de cade later, a conservative restoration in politics, American culture, and schools ushered in a perceived national crisis in education and an era of accountability that would profoundly transform the purposes and priorities of public education for rest of t he twentieth century and beyond. The effect that political events of the 1960s and 1970s had on civil society and civic values cannot be overstated. The experience of the civil rights struggles and the antiwar movement contributed to a rising level of ske pticism about political institutions and their values (Rury, 2002). While the bombing in Cambodia, the shootings at Kent State, the Pentagon Papers, and Watergate were primarily legal and constitutional issues, they were also moral ones that many believed reflected an erosion of civic values (Gutek, 2000). From 1960 to 1976, the percentage of voter turnout dropped steadily and i t was conservatively estimated that two thirds of those between the ages of 18 and 21 (a cohort that had achieved suffrage through the 26th Amendment only fi ve years earlier) did not vote Surveys showed that high school and college students felt little obligation to participate in the political system and the National Assessment of
72 ericans lack knowledge of the p. 388 ). The Committee on Pre Collegiate Education of the American Political Science Association (1971) summarized the failure of most civic education progr ams: [They] transmit a nave, unrealistic, and romanticized image of political life which confuses the ideals of democracy with the realities of politics . The majority of civics and government curriculum materials currently in use at all grade levels either completely ignore or inadequately treat not only such traditionally important political science concepts as freedom, sovereignty, consensus, authority, class, compromise, and power but also newer concepts such as role, socialization, culture, syste m, decision making, etc. (p. 27) Instead, programs contained dry portrayals of the formal structure of American federal government, charts on how a bill becomes a law, and idealized portraits of political heroes that failed to stimulate student interest (Q uigley, 1999). Amid widespread political upheaval, a consensus formed around the decline in civic knowledge, values, and participation, and the shortcomings of civic education. In response, the American Educational Studies Association and other educational and civic organizations called for a revival of civic education in the schools (Gutek, 2000). The mid to late 1970s witnessed an upsurge of efforts to focus the civic instruction of schools upon problems of civil rights of ethnic minorities, women, and y outh; the basic concepts of law and justice; the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; and the moral and civil values cherished in a democratic political community (Butts, 1978). Even President Gerald Ford took up the mantle of ci vic education, stating in 1 976, cannot perpetuate our value system merely by telling our children it is good. We can only assure its future by educating our children to admire its strengths, correct its faults, 254). This renewal of
73 interest in civic education was embodied by two trends: law related education and education for moral development. The former covered basic concepts related to civism and pluralism. The latter represented an emphasis on civic morali ty that transcended political knowledge (Butts, 1978). These trends were short lived as a larger political and social movement in the 1980s quickly usurped any chances for a true and lasting civics revival The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 signaled t he victory of neo conservatism and the end of liberalism in American politics and ultimately American education (Gutek, 2000; Braungart & Braungart, 1998). The most defining characteristic of the new political milieu was the degree to which it was anti big government. H owever, mainstream public opinion remained sympathetic to educational expenditures and conventional wisdom held that schooling was a vital national interest (Rury, 2002). These sentiments, along with the watershed publication of A Nation at R isk in 1983, ensured that the federal government would continue to play a leading role in formulating educational policy and that standardization and accountability would drive almost all future reform measures (Evans, 2004; Kaestle, 1983). The thesis of A Nation at Risk was that public education was at fault for the (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983, p. 1). Generally speaking, the report and several subsequent reports that shared its central thesis focused public attention on a perceived crisis in education (Kaestle, 1983). Moreover, the reports e ffectively shifted the goals of public education away from citizenship
74 training and toward social efficiency and social mobility purposes (Labaree, 2007). As Evans (2004) illustrates, one typical report called for a broadened definition of education to mee training the human capital needed to remain competitive in a global market rather than as instituti ons for training the future citizenry needed to sustain the R epublic. As as cited in Braungart & Braungart, 1998, p. 99). A deca de later, President Bill Clinton pushed his Goals 2000 bill through transformative. For civic education, the third goal of the legislation s tipulated that by the year 2000 al l students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter, which included civics and government (Center for Civic Education, 1995). In response, the Center for Civic Education, with support from the federal De partment of Education, published National Standards for Civics and Government in 1995. The standards, which are still in circulation today, are organized around five major questions aimed to help students inquire into several important concepts related to American civic life, political institutions, and the role of the citizen (Evans, 2004). Despite the new standards American students continued to perform poorly on tests of civic knowledge, claim that there is little they can do to make a difference politi cally, and report that secondary civics courses are dry and dull (Braungart & Braugart, 1998; Niemi & Junn, 1998).
75 Another decade later, President George W. Bush surprised many of his conservative supporters by promoting even stronger federal oversight of the standards and accountability movement (Kaestle, 2007). The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was signed into law in 2002, requiring states to expand their reading and mathematics standards to reflect grade level expectations; to implement aligned annual assessments in third through eighth grades and at least once in high school; to administer annual all students perform at or above the proficient level on reading and mat hematics assessments (Clarke, 2007). NCLB does not require the testing of social studies at any grade level nor does social studies fall under federal guidelines for AYP. As discus sed in Chapter 1 such measures have severely diminished social studies ins truction, especially at the elementary level. The extent to which the standards and accountability movement of the past three decades has quantitatively affected civics instruction is tremendous. Most states require some form of study of civics or America n government but less than half require th at there be a separate course. M ost simply mandate that the material be covered in some way during grades nin e through twelve (Niemi & Junn, 1998). As Paquette and Kaufman (2008) illuminate, the segment of the sch ool day in which young Americans traditionally learned about civic responsibility and politics (among other social studies topics) has never been as threatened. It was always bad enough that teachers had to suspend their social studies lessons for field tr ips, assemblies, rehearsals, and other supplemental activities. Since the onset of the standards and accountability movement, all or part of the time usually allocated for social studies instruction has been used to
76 provide additional preparation time for state assessments. Indeed, Kahne and Middaugh (2010) cite a 2006 study by the Center on Education Policy, which found that 71% of districts report cutting back time on other subjects, most often social studies, to make room for reading and math instruction The qualitative effects are more difficult to gauge. Evans (2004) sums up the impact of the standards and accountability movement this way: Through its imposition of a technology of testing, [it] may freeze out the possibility of alternative approaches to social studies aimed at creating a thoughtful citizenry, in favor of a more narrowly conceived history and social science curriculum. The entire standards endeavor is predicated on the misguided notion of schooling as a lever for improving the position of the United States in international economic competition. (p. 173). undeniably weakens their civic education programs. The task of preparing students for their roles as ci tizens and their responsibility to secure the republic is relegated to a subordinate position behind the primary task of molding good workers for the American economy as evidenced by the current discourse on education, as well as allocation of instruction al time This is a mistake. As this chapter has shown, civic education was both the means and the end for earliest attempts at universal education and remains its best hope for maintaining its democratic heritage. As Stephen Thornton (2004) pithi Staging a Comeback: The Current State of Civic Education Amidst widespread standardization and accountability measures that seemed to sound the death knell for civic education Donovan Walling declared in a 2007 Phi Delta Kappan large part to the programming and advocacy work of many civically oriented
77 organizations, a few of which will be highlighted below, an impressive num ber of American youth have recently engaged in high quality civic learning experiences and many states have enhanced curricular requirements in civics and American government To be sure, the social studies including civics, continues to hold its second class status behind read ing, mathematics, and science, b ut there is hope. One organization working to promote civic education is the National Center for Learning and Citizenship (NCLC) to promote, su pport and reward citizenship education as an essential component of Since 2003, NCLC has conducted a 50 state civic education policy scan that identifies and analyzes existing policies that encourage, suppo rt, and reward citizenship education. The June 2006 scan revealed that, compared to the initial 2003 scan, citizenship education made improvements, especially in the area of course and teaching requirements. For example, Michigan now requires three credits in civics as a graduation requirement, and Missouri requires at least two civics courses for graduation. Additionally, The Education Commission of the States (ECS) provides an online summary of high school graduation civics requirements and the inclusion of civics within state assessment and accountability systems. The most recent data show that civics continues to make improvements in all areas, although much work remains (Education Commission of the States, 2010). In 2002, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and the Carnegie Corporation of New York held a series of vic learning and
78 engagement and offer recommendations to that effect. Their work is summarized in the 2003 report entitled The Civic Mission of Schools which has already been referenced in this chapter. Notably, the report acknowledges the importance of a nd theretofore decline in school based civic education, provide s goals for school based civics and enumerates the types of civic learning experiences that can help develop competent and responsible citizens. The report is clear in its dismissal of stereot ypical civics and urges schools to offer civic learning experiences that encourage and 1. Provide instruction in government, history, law, and democracy. 2. Incorporate discussion of current, local, national, and international issues and events in the classroom, particularly those that young p eople view as important to their lives. 3. Design and implement programs that provide students with the opportunity to apply what they learn through performing community service that is linked to the formal curriculum and classroom instruction. 4. Offer extracur ricular activities that provide opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities. 5. Encourage student participation in school governance. 6. procedures. ( p. 6) While ECS data show that all states meet the first approach, albeit oftentimes minimally, it is difficult to determine the pervasiveness of the remaining five. Fortunately, there are many groups that provide high quality civic learning experiences fo r students that meet the first, second, and sixth promising approach.
79 In addition to the NCLC, Carnegie Corporation, and CIRCLE, many organizations are working to promote the first promising approach. They include, but are not limited to, the American Con stitution Society for Law and Policy, CIVNET, the National Alliance for Civic Education, and the National Conference on Citizenship. In addition, the Bill of Rights Institute, Close Up Foundation, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Center for the Co nstitution, and the First Amendment Center provide curricular materials and teacher training opportunities in efforts to enhance instruction and e ncourage discussion of current issues and events in the classroom. Lastly, the Center for Civic Education the Center on Congress and iCivics provide opportunities for students to participate in simulations of democ ratic processes and procedures It is far too early to celebrate the return of civic education as a prominent and ic schools. As the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) reported in January of 2012, half of the states no longer require civics for high school graduation. Moreover, it would be nave to assume that the civics instruction most students receive meet s the promising approaches outlined by the Civic Mission of Schools report and provided by some of the organizations highlighted above. In far too many schools, the usual one semester, high school civics course is taught through a teacher domi nated lecture format (Torney Purta & Amadeo, 2004). Worse, opportunities to develop civic skills in high school through community service, school government, or service clubs are available disproportionately to wealthier students (AACU). Nonetheless, the p ast five years have witnessed a renewed attention to civic education, both as an important part of the curriculum and a fundamental purpose for public education.
80 Concluding Remarks In a 1997 article for the American Educational Research Journal Stanford University Professor of Education David Labaree (2007) argued that the central problems with American education are neither pedagogical nor organizational, neither social nor cultural. Rather, the central problems with education in America are inherently p olitical and fundamentally related to the goals that schools should pursue. In his view, the history of American education is (p. 90). However, the many and oftentimes contradictory purposes of American sch ooling have translated into t hree distinguishable goals democratic equality social efficiency and social mobility each of which has exerted considerable impact without succeeding in fully supplanting the others. According to Labaree, these goals diff er across several dimensions, including the extent to which they understand education as preparation for political or market roles. As the first half of this chapter has illustrated, from the Founding Era through the Common School Movement, the fundamental purpose of education in America was democratic equality. That is, the purpose of education was to promote both effective citizenship and relative equality for the preserva tion of the R epublic. Later in the nineteenth century, social efficiency and social mobility were elevated to the fore as educational leaders grew concerned about how to deal with an increasingly large and pluralistic group of students and how to prepare them for a hierarchical workforce. During this time period, issues of democratic equa lity were visible but muted. By the 1960s and 1970s, democratic equality quickly regained prominence as schools struggled to embrace Pluribus and provide equal opportunity across lines of class, gender, race, and handicapping condition. However, it quickly lost favor in the 1980s
81 and 1990s when the movement for standardization and accountability reflected social efficiency and social mobility goals. Today, the battles over education continue to rage across the three goals, but democratic equality appears to be losing the war to social efficiency and social mobility. To be fair, the argument that education has transcendent importance in the development of effective democratic citizens continues unabated in contemporary American politics (Niemi & Junn, 1998). However, this appears to be little more than lip service especially since civic education is rarely taken as seriously as education for workplace preparation. Indeed, even the President of the United States, in his calls for educational reform, neglects d emocratic equality in favor of social efficiency. In his January 24, 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama championed enhanced mathe matics and science instruction: Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that he called for greater investments in innovation, education, and infrastructure to make America a better place to There was no mention of civic education, promoting ci tizenship, or preserving democratic republic. In Florida, the rhetoric of political leaders is equally disconcerting. In October of college and university system. H is priorities included shifting funding to degrees that have the best job prospects technology, engineering, and mathematics) weeding out unproductive professors and rethinking the system that off ers faculty job security. For his first priority, shifting funding to degrees that have the best job prospects, Scott had this to say:
82 If I'm going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I'm going to take money to create jobs. So I want th e money to go to a degree where people can get jobs in this state. Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don't think so. (Anderson, 2011) Again, the social efficiency goal is emphasized, seemingly at the deliberate cost of dem ocratic equality. Regrettably, it is within this hostile environment that novice social studies teachers in Florida must begin their teaching careers and work to prepare the
83 CHAPTER 3 RESEA RCH METHODS Introductory Remarks This chapter illustrates the study I designed and implemented in order to analyze and describe the sense making processes through which novice social studies teachers construct their emerging civics teacher identities. Spec ifically, the study sought to address the following question: How do novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers ? In order to theoretically ground this research question and relate it to the methodology I chose for its exploration, this section provides general, but thorough discussions of qualitative research and constructivism. In order to illuminate the specific ways in which my study was enacted, I then describe the research settings in which my study was un dertaken, as well as the process through which two novice social studies teachers were recruited and selected to participate in my study. From here, the chapter moves to a discussion of data collection and analysis, beginning with the theoretical and movin g toward the actual as I delineate the processes through which I acquired what I believe to be meaningful data and then applied systematic qualitative analysis measures to make sense of them. ways in which my identity as an American white woman who is married, 28 years of age, and quite liberal affected my interpretation of the data, and the ways in which my experiences in the social studies, and more specifically, civic education, influenced my research decisions. The chapter ends with a discussion of validity and an explanation of the measures I took
84 to establish trustworthiness throughout the study, followed by some words of caution Research Pe rspectives Qualitative Research The research interests and questions embraced in my study are wholly consistent with the goals of qualitative research in that they subject driven, interpretive, and naturalistic (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000). According to Strau ss and Corbin (1990), eschewing the quantitative emphasis on measurement an d analysis of causal relationships among variables, the qualitative researcher seeks to answer questions how Denzin & Lincoln, 2008, pp. 16). Unlike the quantitative resear comfortable with aggregating large numbers of people without communicating with them face to (Janesick, 2000, p. 382). Therefore, the true power of qualitative research lies in its careful description and analysis of social phenomena in particular contexts, such as a classroom or a school (Erickson, 1986; Hatch, 2002; Heinecke and Drier, 1998). F rom this epistemological perspective, it is only appropriate that qualitative methodology drive my exploration of the ways in which novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers. At the outset of any study, qual itative or not, the researcher must formulate a clear issue or question (Cheek, 2000; Metz, 2001). Bogdan and Biklen (2007) suggest that he
85 or she be able to describe the intent of the project in one or two sentences. Of course, the researcher must also ar ticulate specified research questions that will drive his or her study, and for this important and preliminary step, several scholars offer guidance (e.g., Creswell, 1998; Koro Ljungberg & Hayes, 2010; Miles & Huberman, 1994; Hatch, 2002; Schutt, 1996). Mu ch of this guidance comes in the form of listed criteria. For example, Schutt (1996) maintains that a good research question will be feasible within the time and resources available, socially important, and scientifically relevant. According to Creswell (1 998), strong qualitative research questions are open ended, evolving, and non directional; restate the purpose of the study in more specific terms; start with words While this advice serves as a good starting point for formulating qualitative research questions, I turned to Koro Ljungberg and Hayes (2010) for more specific and theoretically grounded direction. In their 2010 article in the Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Researc h, they They then enumerate three boundaries instrumentalization, study context and setting, and epistemology that therefore appropriately frame a truly qualitative study (p. 118). Like Creswell, they indicate that good research questions are few in number and have a specific focus. More substantively, good research questions can be answered by using approaches, tools, and techniques commonly used within qualitative inquiry; illustrate study context or setting; situate the study into a body of literature; correspond with the stated epistemology or theoretica l perspective; and are epistemologically consistent (p. 118).
86 With these considerations in mind, I crafted the central research question for my study: How do novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers? Constru ctivism In the preface of her book on Constructivism, Fostnot (1995) begins by writing, theory about research and practice. Concomitantly, it guides the generation of knowledge through formal and i nformal research studies and informs the ways in which teachers approach instruction, and in turn, the ways in which students learn. In exploring t he sense making of novice social studies teachers in regards to their emerging identities as civics teacher s a constructivist framework seemed ideally suited to elicit the personal narratives of participants. As a theoretical perspective, constructivism c onstitutes a radical break from the positivist tradition of empirical research, which claims to encode reality in terms of substances and phenomena that are independent of the observers involved (LaRochelle & Bednarz, 1998). Instead of trying to describe s ome reality or truth, constructivism describes individual human subjects engaging with objects in the world and making sense of them (Crotty, 1998). In this way, constructivism implies that knowledge is always knowledge that a person constructs. From an e pistemological standpoint, constructivism rests upon the assumption that learners construct knowledge as they attempt to make sense of their experiences in the everyday world. This stands in stark contrast to traditional teaching strategies and procedures,
87 perceptions is there, readymade, for the students to pick up, if only they had the will to constructiv ist researcher, is there to remind us: knowledge does not exist outside a implications for how we approach instruction. A constructivist perspective holds that reality or unde rstanding can only be created or constructed by each individual. Constructivism then affects the way in which we view learning and how learners are perceived. Unfortunately, as Fleury (1998) posits, while constructivism holds great promise for empowering students to understand their social worlds, it is unlikely that such potential will be realized in American style social studies, which continuously places historical understanding at the center of knowledge. Moreover, as Chapter 2 illustrated, the social studies, especially its civic s components, represents a field of knowledge that is particularly important for maintaining the dominant culture and consecrating a one, legitimate national culture. There is little room for constructivism when these are the i nstructional goals. Therefore it will presented as having emerged ex nihilo ( qualitative studies in educational settings where civics instruction occurs. While the constructivist researcher seeks to uncover how civics teachers make sense of their ident since most civics teachers unknowingly embrace positivism.
88 While constructivism is often used interchangeably with constructionism, Crotty (1998) offers a helpful distinctio n that can be made between the two. He suggests that it constructivism for epistemological considerations making activity of the individual mind and to use constructionism where the us, while constructionism refers to the hold that our culture has on us. As Richards (1995) articulates th (pp. 58 59). This distinction is partic ularly useful for the goals of my study as I investigated the experiences of a small sample of novice social studies teachers and explored their sense making surrounding their identities as civics teachers, rather than larger meanings and discourses related to teaching civics. In this way, my study was inherently co nstructivist. Research Settings St. Johns County, Florida is located along the northeast coast of the state, just when Spain ceded Florida to the United States. Named after St. John the Baptist, St. Johns County comprises oldest city, St. Augustine, as well as the incorporated towns of Hastings, Marineland, and St. Augustine Beach. St. Johns County is considered part of the greater Jacksonville metropolitan area and has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, as many people who work in Jacksonville have chosen to buy or build their homes south of the county line and send their children to what they pe rceive to be
89 better schools in St. Johns County. They have good reason: a 2011 Forbes.com article B etween 2000 and 2009, the population o f St. Johns County rose by 52.2% (United States Census Bureau, 2010a) and the number of students enrolled in grades pre kindergarten through twelfth grade in the St. Johns County School District rose from 20,918 students in 2002 to 29,334 students in 2010, an increase of 40.2% (St. Johns County School District, 2011). The school district is the largest employer in the county, with 3,422 full time employees (46% of which are teachers) and continues to build new schools and hire new teachers, includ ing the tw o participants in my study, even as many other counties in the state are experiencing layoffs and furloughs as a result of a statewide economic and budget crisis. When compared to nearby and surrounding counties, St. Johns is anecdotally considered a desir able place for teachers to work due to its high quality schools and competitive salary schedule. The most recent census data ( United States Census Bureau, 2010b) reveal a racially homogenous population in St. Johns County. Of its 187,436 residents, 89.9% a re White, 6.5% are Black, and 4% report Hispanic origin. Germane to my study, 94% of St. Johns County residents are native to the United States, including 36% who were born in Florida. Among people at least five years old living in St. Johns County, only 8 % speak a language other than English in the home. Ninety two percent of people 25 years and over have at least gr aduated from high school and 38% degree or higher. The leading industries in St. Johns County are educational services, heal th care, and social assistance.
90 When compared to other counties in Florida, St. Johns County is considered wealthier and more conservative, a point which became quite relevant to my study throughout data collection and analysis. With the inclusion of Ponte Vedra Beach, home of famed The Players Championship Golf Club, St. Johns County is one of the highest income counties in the state with a median household income of $63,630 and a median home price of $181,700 (Fisher, 2011). Still, 7% of all residents and 8% of children under 18 live below the poverty level. Of the 142,891 registered voters in St. Johns County, 53% are registered Republicans, 27% are registered Democrats, and 17% have no party affiliation. In the 2008 presidential election, over 65% of vot ers in St. Johns County voted for Republican candidate John McCain (St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections, 2011). Selection of Participations In qualitative studies, researchers frequently work with small samples of participants who are studied intense ly and in depth (Miles & Huberman, 1994). For my selection of participants, I used a purposeful sampling approach (Denzin & Lincoln, information rich cases whose study will Viewed as antithetical to random sampling in which participants are recruited to ensure that the characteristics of the subjects in the study are commensurate to those in the total population, purposeful samp ling permits the researcher to choose particular subjects for whom the processes being studied are most likely to occur (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007; Riessman, 2008). Therefore, in order to explore how novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers, I recruited two participants who
91 are f ull time public school teachers; have less than three years o f classroom teaching experience; are currently teac hing at the middle school level; are currently teaching a new, yearlong sev enth grade civics course. This purposeful sampling procedure produced a small, albeit meaningful sample of participants who were able to provide rich narratives on which I based my analysis. To However, my prerogative was neither to represent a population nor to articulate generalizations. Rather, my purpose in undertaking my study was to represent with great depth their emerging identities as civics teachers. Description of Participants My first participant, Erin, is a 26 year old White female. She was born and raised in St. Johns County, Florida and even attended the middle school at which she currently teaches seventh grade, Pre Advanced Placement c grew up, were born and raised in Florida. Upon graduation from high school, Erin attended a large, land grant university in north after extended coursework and fieldwork, could not find her niche. Then, during an internship with the Student Conservation Association and the Forest Service, she realized that she enjoyed the teaching opportunities that the internship afforded her Accordingly, she decided to pursue a
92 holds opposite viewpoints from her on most issues. My second participant, Matt, is a 24 year old White male. He was born in New Jersey and, when he was ten, moved to Florida where he is f central Florida as Erin where he majored in American history and received a minor in geography and education. When asked about his political background, Matt presented identified with celebrated Republican presidents such as Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Reagan to a more moderately liberal adult that continues to use history, rathe r than politics, as his ideological compass. Data Collection After forming a research question, choosing a site and a number of participants, and determining a reasonable period of time in which to undertake a study, the next step for the researcher is to identify a data collection strategy that is best suited to the study (Janesick, 2000). In any research project, data are the particulars that form the basis of analysis. In qualitative research, they are both the evidence and the clues about which the rese archer must think soundly and deeply in order to describe and make sense of the aspects of life he or she is exploring (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007). Qualitative researchers depend on a variety of methods for gathering data and, most often, use some combination of participant observation, interviews, and document interrelated activities aimed at gathering good information to answer emerging research
93 reswell, 1998 p. 110). For my study, those activities were interviewing participants and asking participants to journal about their experiences. At the earliest stages of designing my qualitative study, participant interviews were a clear and obvious choice for data c ollection. Interviews are consistent with the constructivist perspective in that they allow for participants to speak candidly, in extended turns of talk, about past experiences and current perceptions related to the research question. Additionally interv iews permit the researcher to elicit responses that illuminate how participants construct meaning from these experiences, which, in turn, uncovers the ways in which participants make sense of their identities. Asking participants to journal about their exp eriences offers similar benefits. More importantly, journaling allows participants full expression of their ideas without researcher obtrusion. Interviews The use of interviews to acquire information is so extensive today that it is said that we live in an Indeed, both qualitative and quantitative researchers tend to rely on the interview as the basic method of data gathering, regardless of their varying research objectives (Fontana & Frey, 20 00). The difference is, rather than eliciting facts or laws, the purpose of the qualitative interview is to derive interpretations (Warren, 2002) by gathering descriptive int erviews are viewed as special kinds of conversations (Kvale, 1996; Mishler, 1986) consisten t with the constructivist paradigm adopted in my study in that the purpose of the interviews was to elicit responses from novice social studies teachers that would
94 illuminate the ways in which they make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers Therefore, as the researcher, I assumed an unobtrusive stance and tried to position the participants as the main producers of knowledge (Koro Ljungberg, Yendol Hoppey, Smith, & Hayes, 2009; Spradley, 1979). That is not to say that my role in the intervi ews lacked meaning As Holstein and Gubrium (1995) posit, both parties to any interview are necessarily and unavoidably active. That is, each is involved in meaning making work, and therefore meaning is not just elicited by apt questioning nor discovered t hrough respondent responses. Instead, meaning is actively and communicatively assembled in the interview encounter. It was therefore important that I acknowledged the contributions of both the participants and myself and consciously incorporated them into the production and analysis of interview data. According to Bogdan and Biklen (2007), good interviews are those in which the participants feel at ease and talk freely about their experiences. These experiences are commonly given to us in the form of narra tives. Drawing on the work of Eliot Mishler, Gubrium and Holstein (2002) elaborate on this view: When we communicate our experiences to each other, we do so by storying them. When, in turn, we encourage elaboration, we commonly use such narrative devices a storylike communication . Consequently, we must leave our research leading to less formal control in the interview process. (p. 18) With these considerations in mind, I used three semistructured interview protocols to interview the two participants. They were semistructured in that I came to the interviews informants
95 deliberately worded each question to elicit a story, beginning many of my prompts with constructivist perspective I had adopted and the analysis method I planned to employ. My d octoral eviewed and approved all three protocols as a matter of promoting epistemological consistency and maintaining ethical standards in research practice. Journaling Although interviews are important and certainly the most widely used method of data collection in social science research, they represent only one source of knowledge access or encourage the production of other data sources, such as journals. Journaling allows for and potentially guides the direction of other data collection methods, including future interviews. When journals are solicited that is, when the researcher specifically requests that a participant keep one the researcher is able to direct the author foc us and, when desired, get a number of people to write on a single event or topic (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007). As Hatch (2002) acknowledges, journal data are unique in that they come directly from the participant and are therefore not processed by the researcher, although the researcher will still interpret these data as analyses are made. For the pu rposes of my study, these data allowed me to unobtrusively explore how the pa rticipants make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers. Accordingly, as part of the recruitment and research bargaining process, I asked participants to keep a written record of their experiences and reflections during the data collection pe riod.
96 Interview Process After contacting participants using the recruitment email included in Appendix B I arranged individual interview sessions to be conducted durin g the first week of February 2011. Together we decided tha t their classrooms would have to o many distractions. Both participants voiced concern about students, faculty, and janitorial staff coming into their classrooms after school and one participant seemed particularly concerned about the number of announcements that streamed through the i ntercom system once the school day had ended. Accordingly, we decided that a study room in a local college library would provide both a quiet and confidential space for holding the interviews. ng is to ask questions about a topic before promoting a level of trust that allows respondents to be spend a few minutes, if not an entire interview session, getting to k now the participant and helping to put the participant at ease. With that in mind, the first interview protocol was devoted primarily to learning about each participant. In fact, the first three questions provided an opportunity for Erin and Matt to speak freely and extensively about their educational backgrounds: 1. First, tell me a little bit about you: where you grew up, where you went to school, etc. 2. What kinds of civics learning experiences do you reca ll from your own K 12 education? 3. Tell me about your de cision to become a teacher (probe about decision to be a middle school, civics teacher). 4. How would you describe the purpose of civic education? 5. How would you describe the role of a civics teacher?
97 6. Tell me about the types of learning experiences that w ould you consider best practice for students in a civics classroom. 7. Describe experiences that you have had that you believe have prepared you to be a civics teacher. 8. Tell me about your expectations for the new, yearlong seventh grade civics curriculum you are u sing. 9. Tell me a little bit more about you: your upbringing, your political background, your take on the current educational climate, etc. During these initial interviews, I made a series of memorable observations that seemed important enough to document in my research journal. First, talking to Erin and Matt felt like talking to an old friend. Both participants seemed genuinely at ease and excited to respond to my questions. That said, I could not help but notice the degree to which Erin was telling stories in response to my questions and the degree to which Matt was not. To be fair, when I asked about his background and political beliefs, Matt seemed to provide responses that followed a more narrative structure. However, when asked about civic education and being a civics teacher, he provided more direct answers to my questions. Second, I thought it was important that Erin did not gro w u p wanting to be a teacher. For h er the decision came early into her adult life It was also interesting to learn that neit her Erin nor Matt chose to be a civics teacher rather, civics chose them. Third, e nd of c ourse examinations, which will go into effect in St. Johns County during the 2011 2012 school year, came up multiple times throughout both interviews. I ended this first interview by discussing the personal online journal s (blog s ) to which I hoped each participant would contribute. I tried to be consistent in my directions to each participant:
98 Over the next 2 months, I would like for you to use a blog to journal abou t what you would consider notable experiences with teaching the new, yearlong seventh grade civics curriculum. There is no set number of entries that I expect from you. I am simply asking you to reflect upon all experiences, positive or negative, that you would consider significant or memorable. In addition to these directions, I told participants that I wanted this to be an enjoyable exercise for them and that I hoped it would not feel like an obligation. They both mentioned a belief in the importance of teacher reflection and seemed genuinely excited about the opportunity to discuss their teaching experiences with me through this very confidential online medium Before the second interview, I spent a lot of time reviewing the blog posts that Erin and Mat t had written so that I could construct a series of additional questions to supplement the interview protocol. To provide time and space for these supplemental questions, this protocol listed only six questions, most of which focused on the teachers classr oom experiences and being a civics teacher: 1. Tell me about your current teaching placement. 2. Talk to me about some notable teaching experiences you have had this year. 3. Tell me about characteristics or particular elements of the curriculum that you like teach ing? 4. Tell me about characteristics or particular elements of the curriculum that you do not like teaching? 5. Tell me about any support you have as a civics teacher. 6. In your role as a civics teacher, how do you feel? By this point, Matt had written seven post s. Erin had only written two. I interviewed Erin first and, despite her limited number of blog posts, I found that I had little problem drafting a series of meaningful probes related to school pressures, positioning herself as
99 a non expert, identifying and adapting to student privilege, and Novice Teacher of the conversation starter, I probed about parent phone calls following third quarter grades, teacher reflection, the ins tructional activities that make him happiest as a teacher, and his love for historical content. The third and final interview session afforded the participants an opportunity to share any final thoughts about teaching civics. The official protocol only inc luded three questions: 1. Talk to me about some notable teaching experiences you have had since we last met. 2. Overall and up to this point, how have your expectations for the new, yearlong seventh grade civics curriculum been met? 3. Ho w, if at all, have your vie ws on teaching changed over the past school year? In addition to these three question s and similar to the previous interview session, I had related to what had been writt en. For Erin, I probed about her experiences teaching Project Citizen. For Matt, I asked him about disruptions to his instructional time. This final interview session also served as an opportunity for member checking. For both participants, it was importan t to me that I was accurately interpreting th e ways in which the looming end of course examination played into their civics teacher identity. the interviews and blog p osts, you have brought up end of pretend that today is May 3, 2012 (rather than May 3, 2011). How do you feel as a civics teacher today in light of the immediately pending examination ? that both were tremendously uneasy about the examination and felt unsure of their
100 teaching. Additionally, because I suspected that the type of student Erin once was influences the type of teacher that she now is, I asked her to speak about that assessment. Matt was always mentioning notable teaching experiences. Accordingly, I asked him about student satisfaction and the ways in which it plays into his identity as a civics teacher. Once the interview data have been collected, the researcher two dominant modes: naturalism, in which every utterance is trans cribed in as much detail as possible, and denaturalism, in which idiosyncratic elements of speech (e.g., 1274). As one would expect, these positions accompany certain views abo ut the representation of language. Kvale therefore, suggests a more constructive question: to conduct a structural narrative analysis, I decided that my transcripts did not need to be fully equivalent to the interview talk. Idiosyncratic elements of speech would tell me little about the ways in which the participants make meaning through narration and their presence would only distract my attention from important structur al features and content. Journaling Process Once the decision was made to collect journal data, my committee chair suggested that I create two blogs one for each participant through which participants would record their reflections. The immediate ben efit was that such a medium would allow for dialogic interaction between researcher and participant. Instead of collecting a
101 series of journal entries at the end of the data collection period, I could read the entrie s as soon as they were written, promptly ask participants to elaborate (if I felt that I my analysis would benefit from more information), and use the entries to guide future interview sessions. The immediate concern was confidentiality. Fortunately, it is possible to create an invite only, pass word protected blog. I therefore created two such blogs, set myself as the administrator, and the n invited Erin to one and Matt to the other. Both participants understood the technology (including the confidentiality protections) and Matt made his first po st within a couple of days. As already indicated, Matt blogged about his experiences teaching civics more frequently. When we first met, he told me that Wednesdays are early release days in his county and that he anticipated blogging on those days. As such I could count on a new post from Matt at least once a week. For Erin, the posts were far less frequent. However, when she did blog, she wrote long, extended narratives that seemed to cover multiple days of classroom instruction. For Matt, the narratives were usually about one lesson or one day in particular. Data Analysis Qualitative researchers study spoken and written records of the human experience (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000). Once those records have been collected, the formidable task of analyzing them r emains. In qualitative research, data analysis refers to the systematic search for meaning. It involves organizing, interrogating, and synthesizing data; identifying themes, patterns, and relationships; crafting descriptions, explanations, and stories; fra ming ideas and interpretations in relation to other scholarship; generating Biklen, 2007; Glesne, 1998; Hatch, 2002). In a word, data analysis refers to the ways in
102 which the researcher makes sense of the dat a he or she has collected. For my study, data analysis refers to the theory I adopted and the systematic procedures I utilized in order to draw meaning from the ways in which novice social studies teachers make sense of th eir emerging identities as civics teachers. Here I will present both the methodology (the theory that governed my choice and use of methods) and the methods (the techniques and procedures I employed) that constitute data analysis for my study Narrative An alysis A primary way that people make sense of experience is by casting it in narrative form (Bruner, 1990; Mishler, 1986; Riessman, 1993). In doing so, they choose the ways in which they tell the story and the details they i nclude based on the meaning the y want to convey (Bailey & Tiley, 2002). Narratives, then, recount past experiences at the same time as they provide ways for individuals to make sense of their past, their present, and even their identities. Narrative analysis then, is a technique for in terpreting the ways in which people perceive reality, construct meaning from their worlds, and perform social actions. It refers to a family of methods for interpreting texts (e.g., oral, written, and visual) that have in common a storied form. For my stud y I employ ed a structural narrative analysis procedure based on the approach of Riessman (2008 ). This approach invokes the theory of narrative structure formulated by Labov and Waletzky (1967), which suggests that a fully formed narrative consists of six structural categories: Abstract, Orientation, Complicating Action, Evaluation, Resolution, and Coda. Analysis includes both identifying each element and exploring the underlying descriptions, emphasis, and word choice used by the interviewee. In this way, structural narrative
103 Rosenberg, & Kearns, 2005 p. 94), which helped me to see how the participants made sense of their experiences as novice teachers and constructed th eir identities. The total of six interviews I conducted during the spring of 2011, as well as the journal entries that the participants wrote using our private blogs, produced a large number (71, to be exact) of rich and insightful narratives, which I beli eved would reveal the underlying forces and sense making processes that inform the teacher emerging identities as civics teachers. The data analysis procedure began with a process of identifying these narratives, assigning each a number and a n in vivo name, and conducting an initial structural identification in which I labeled the elements of a narrative Abstract (summary and/or point of the story); Orientation (time, place, characters, situation); Complicating Action (the event sequence, or plot, usually with a crisis or turning point); Evaluation (where the narrator steps back from the action to comment on meaning and communicate emotions); Resolution (the outcome of the plot or the solution to the crisis); and Coda (ending of the story) that were present in each For each narrative, I recorded the question to which the narrative was a response, the number and name that I previously assigned it, topics that the narrative addressed, a word or two relating to structure, and my thoughts on the narrative (e.g., if the content and structure warranted in depth analysis). As a next step, I organized the narratives into three categories: Comparing Erin and Matt, Erin, and Matt. The first category included narratives in which the participants
104 offered immediate responses to the same question, which I believed would allow me to home in on the similarities and differences across the content of their responses while focusing my analysis on the structure of their responses The second and third cate gories simply included those narratives that remained, organized by participant. Because 71 narratives were far too many on which to conduct an in depth and meaningful analysis, I needed a system for selecting the most valuable ones. With each narrative i n place under one of the three categories, I then color coded narrative in green, yellow, or red to indicate its analytical value. My first criterion was the degree to research goals. My second criterion was related to structural adequacy and/or that were structurally complete and that I believed would tell me something about the sense ma king. Accordingly, I focused on those narratives that contained most if not all of the six elements of a narrative and were structurally significant (e.g., elements were out of order, narrative included one or more sub narratives, narrative included length y or multiple Complicating Actions). Having finished this lengthy process of identification and organization, I began my in d to the digital recording while reading the transcript, oftentimes twice. Mainly, I wanted to ensure that my initial structural
105 identification was accurate. That is, I listed for conversational cues that helped me to determine if, for example, I correctly labeled the Complicating Action of a narrative as such. Finally, I tried to make sense of how the participant told the story and looked for meaning in the organizational structure. I asked questions such as w hy did the participant tell the story in this o rder (t his is particularly important with a non traditional structure; that is, if a participant provides an Evaluation prior to a Complicating Action); w hat element of the nar rative did the participant focus on; w as there a R esolution or did the C omplicat ing A ction remain unresolved in the participant 's mind? emphasis is on language how people say what they do and who they are and 1993, p. 40). As such, while pondering these questions, the content of the story and the language used to tell it were always central to my analysis. With these steps complete, it was time to present my findings, and, more importantly, make decisions about how to represe nt them. Accordingly, for each analyzed narrative, I chose from three representation options: include separate elements/excerpts of the narrative as I discussed them, include the entire transcript, or include a visual representation and supplement it with narrative elements/excerpts. I most frequently selected the first option and only used the third option once. As for the second option, University editorial restrictions prevented me from including the entire transcript in the body of the dissertation. Acc ordingly, they are presented in separate appendices. After making the decision for each narrative, one by one, I began writing my findings. Naturally, writing itself served as a level of analysis, and I oftentimes found
106 myself returning to my research jour nal to record new observations or to the analyzed narrative to reassess the element labels I applied to certain parts of the story. Subjectivity During the first minutes of our first interview together, I spent some time explaining my study to Matt. I ga ve him a topical preview of some of the questions I would ask him course and how t hose experiences and perspectives have informed your civics teacher you co course is garb I am far more interested in you As I think about my study, this brief exchange helps me to understand both the nature o f the knowledge that I seek, as well as how I am situated in the research. For Rather, identity is a constructed reality. Definitions and explanations are left to the individual, in this case, the participants, to decide. Likewise, as a progressive educator, I reject notions of objectivity and truth that are based on the positivistic premise that absolute knowledge can be deposited into passive students. Naturally, thi s rejection affects my theoretical stance as a researcher as much as it affects my philosophical stance as an educator. As a constructivist researcher, I believe that all knowledge is constructed. As a constructivist educator, I believe that learners const ruct knowledge as
107 they work to make sense of their surroundings. From both stances, I am constantly reminded that For the latter, I know that I viewed the participants of my study from my particular positio nality and understanding as an American white woman who is married, 28 years of age, quite liberal, and intricately connected to the new, yearlong seventh grade participants use in their classrooms. I am also in tricately connected to the teacher participants themselves, as both were graduate students in the teacher preparation program for which I teach and supervise interns, and both attended a four day training that I conducted, which provided an orientation to the civics curriculum. Consciously or not, I viewed the participants as former students and made sense of their responses in the context of my prior knowledge of their teacher training, their personalities, and my perceptions of their strengths and weaknes ses as novice teachers, and I subconsciously anticipated responses that confirmed what I thought I already knew. Additionally, I approach ed my study as a former K 12 civics teacher who has spent the past three years studying and conducting civic education research and developing curricular materials for civics teachers, which, again, includes the civics curriculum that was implemented by my st sense of perceptions and experiences in the context of my curr ent identity as a civics teacher educator, and my not so distant past identity as a novice civics teacher. I must therefore acknowledge that it is likely that I made sense of participant responses in the context of my own life and my own identity, and anti cipated responses that confirmed my experiences and perceptions.
108 Validi ty While this defini tion remains true independent of the type of research one is conducting, the growth of qualitative research has led to increased interest in the topic of research validity (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). Indeed, prevailing concepts of validity, borrowed from q uantitative research, rely on realist assumptions and are therefore irrelevant to most qualitative studies. Still, the qualitative researcher must be able to answer the question, adopt alternative terms and rely upon alternative procedures. For the former, she can look to and confirmability replace positivist criteria of internal and external va lidity, reliability, for ensuring quality and rigor: audit trails, verisimilitude in writing, crystallization of data sources, member checking, peer examination, and negative case analysis. Whereas validation measures were once intended to inspire confidence in the ultimate truth to be found in a phenomenon under study, the purpose today, especially in qualitative studies, is to present multiple perspectives, gain more holistic understanding, and represent diversity (Koro Ljungberg, 2002). This, in turn, inspires In order to enhance the trustworthiness of my study that is, to make it more believable I maintained an audit trail (primarily through a detailed research journal), crystallize d two data sources (interview transcripts and participant blog posts) obtain ed and analyze d verbatim participant accounts (again, interview transcripts and participant blog posts) c onduct ed member checks during the
109 analysis stages (specifically, during the third interview with each participant) and confirm ed findings with pa rticipants at the conclusion of my analysis and write up. Having implemented these measures I feel confident that my explanation of my provides a dependable representation of the phenomenon. Moreover, I believe it meets eve my explanation is persuasive (in that it is both reasonable and convincing), coherent (in that is more than ad hoc), and pragmatic (in that it may become the basis for later work). Cautions In reflecting upon the findings and conclusions that emerged f rom the data that guided my study, I could not help but think that some words of caution were in order, reach theoretical levels of abstraction, comparative work is desirabl e. Yet sample sizes (p. 70). This was certainly the case for my study, in which I drew personal narratives from only two novice social studies teachers, making it exceed ingly difficult to make substantive points that would necessarily apply to a different sample. This is compounded by the specific context of the study, which was confined to one county in northern Florida. Given this localized nature, the conclusions drawn from my three interviews with each participant, as well as their blog posts, may not be generalizable to and many of the factors that seemed to play into their identit ies were specific to their schools, their district, and the nature of their student populations. It was only when they spoke of the impending end of course examination that their experiences took on a
110 statewide context, although it could be argued that the ubiquity of standardized testing allows for conclusions to be considered in larger, perhaps even nationwide, contexts. Another cautionary element concerns the lack of observational data. To be sure, this was a deliberate choice. Because of the constructiv ist perspective that I adopted, I purposefully restricted my data to sources that would allow me to explore how the participants experienced teaching civics and made sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers. Given this perspective, the ways in which I might view their classroom experiences are irrelevant. More importantly, the interview and journal data I collected construction. Nonetheless, both participants on more than one occasion mentioned that student behaviors, and instructional dilemmas to which they referred in our conversations and in their blog posts. While I certainly would have enjoyed such visits, I am hesitant to acknowledge any value in them, at least so far as the immediate study is concerned. Likewise, I am confident that the data produced during our limited meetings together and in our online correspondence were sufficient to fully exploring my research question and to making a significant contribution to the scholarship regarding civic education, novice teachers, and teacher identity. Concluding Remarks In the rich field of social education research, many studies have examined civic education purposes, programs, and pedagogies, and have lamented the declining emphasis on the civic mission of schools and civics as a subject matter. In the broader realm of educational research, we have benefitted from a panoply of s ubject driven inquiries that explored the experiences and perspectives of teachers, including those
111 who might be considered novice. However, with the recent and renewed drive to educational stakeholders have few sources of empirical information regarding the ways in which social studies teachers experience and perceive civics instruction or the ways in which novice social studies teachers makes sense of their identities as civics teachers. Interestingly, because a full civics program has been missing from the public school curriculum for the past few decades, most current teachers of civics are novice civics teachers, regardless of the length of their classroom tenures. Nonetheles s, my study was designed to elicit the stories of actual novice teachers, teachers in their first or second years of teaching, by exploring the unique structural and substantive patterns embedded in their narratives. In this way, I hoped to describe their sense making processes in regard to their civics teacher identities and report meaningful findings that might be of service to those who work to provide civics teachers with high quality curricular materials, training, and other support. When I first enter ed my doctoral program, I was certain that I would be a in science and objectivity, I found comfort in numbers and formulas, and I figured that my research agenda would e xplore important questions of educational impact. This did not last. As I progressed deeper into my studies, especially surrounding qualitative methodology, everything I knew about the world including my conceptions of reality, truth, and knowledge beg an to unravel. I began to suspect that numbers were
112 epistemology was a better match to my long held political ideology. Having always been wary of standardized tests and their ability to measure student achievement, teacher effectiveness, or any other superficial construct related to educational quality, I could now embrace a methodology that was consistent with my understanding of the nature of students, teachers, and classrooms and that would allow me to explore questions that I truly believed were worth answering. As I jokingly said at the end of my second Every step of my study was deliberately undertaken with the theory of qualitative research in mind. From crafting a research question to adopting a theoretical perspective, and from choosing a methodolog y to actually analyzing my data, I was cautious to avoid the trap of mainstream positivist thinking that privileges what I believe g bold claims that I inferred from my analysis. But that is the nature of qualitative analysis. It is a long, tiresome, and oftentimes uncertain process. However, I believe that it is a process that yields the deepest and most meaningful understanding of t he phenomenon under study. In Chapter 5, I present the initial understanding that I was able to reach regarding the ways in which novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers.
113 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS Introductory R emarks As I worked to make sense of my data, a series of substantive questions guided my analysis: How do novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers? More specifically, how and why did they decide to become ci vics teachers? What types of learning experiences do they consider best practice for teaching civics? What notable teaching experiences do they recall? What types of students were they and how do they feel their student identity, past or present, influence s their civics teacher identity? What is it about civics that they enjoy teaching it, or perhaps do not? What issues or experiences have shaped their identities over the past year or two? How do they reflect upon those issues and experiences as novice civi cs teachers and what meanings do they construct from them ? This chapter confronts these analytical questions with the primary aim of understanding the ways in which the two teacher participants made sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers th rough narrative telling of their recent experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom. Through storytelling, each presented an autobiographical self that is how he or she wants to be known (Riessman, 2008). Rather than quantify or generalize, these findings seek to describe these selves and the sense making processes through which they were constructed by exploring the issues, experiences and perceptions that define the former and investigating the idiosyncrasies and structural trends that constitu te the latter In the end, they will help us to better understand what it means to be a civics teacher and the ways in which novice teachers arrive at such an identity.
114 I present findings in three sections. In the first section I discuss findings from my c omparative analysis of the teacher narratives surrounding similar topics by exploring their decisions to become civics teachers, the types of learning experiences they consider best practice, and notable experiences they had over the course o f the study. In the second section I focus on teacher participant Erin and discuss findings from my analysis of notable narratives from my three interviews with her. In the third section, I shift my focus to teacher participant Matt and discuss findings fr om my analysis of notable narratives from my three interviews with him, as well as his many blog posts. For these latter two sections, I selected three to five narratives to analyze in depth. These narratives were structurally complete and/or significant and spoke meaningfully to my research question. When my analyses of those three narratives were complete, I went back to my nine or ten narratives those that were less structurally and substantively significant, but still mean ingful and conducted a snapshot analysis on each. That is, I conducted analyses equally systematic. This step allowed me to glean substantive insights and discern structu ral patterns across a larger sample of narratives. As a general point, all narrative titles are in vivo and represent a good faith effort to capture the essence of the content of the narrative. The chapter ends with a general summary and discussion of my f indings Erin and Matt: Comparing Topically Similar Narratives In this section, I present the findings from my analysis of the teacher narratives surrounding similar topics. These narratives were in response to three interview prompts that I presented to each participant: Tell me about your decision to
115 become a civics teacher; What types of learning experiences do you consider best practice for teaching civics; and Tell me about a notable teaching experience you have had since we last met (no te: this last question was asked during both the second and third interviews). Methodologically, I chose to do this for two reasons. First, I felt that their responses to these prompts formed a sort of foundation to their identities as civics teachers. Tha t is, describing why they became civics teachers, how they perceive good civics instruction, and what they find memorable in their civics classrooms helps us begin to conceptualize their teacher identities. Second, this method allowed me to home in on the similarities and differences across the content of their responses while actually focusing my analysis on the structure of their responses. That is, I found it easy to compare the content of their responses when they were responding to the same prompt or q uestion which allowed me to focus more of my attention on structure. At the outset of my first interview with each participant, I asked Erin and Matt to tell me about her or his decision to become a teach er. While Matt always knew that he wanted to be a teacher superlative in seventh grade for Erin, the decision was more of a realization that occurred late in her undergraduate education. I then p decision to teach middle school. While working at a summer camp, Erin realized that she liked middle school aged students because e American history classroom, Matt realized that he liked teaching middle school, although he is more concerned with teaching his preferred content area American history than he is with teaching a preferred grade level. Lastly, I probed each participan t about his or her decision to
116 Erin Civics was probably not a big love of mine When asked about her decision to become a civics teacher Erin provided a complete, yet somewhat messy narrative. She began with a short Orientation about her At this point, Erin returned to her Orientation and, in doing so, qualified her hesitation toward civics: Orientation: definitely more of the geography side. Through our grad program I probably became more interested in history. I always liked learning about history, but But, I don when you appreciate history American history because how could you not want easy to just take the plunge into that (( l aughs)). By explaining that geography is her natural inclination, but that she also learned a lot about history during her graduate studies, Erin tried to set reasonable expectations regarding her ability to teach civics. At the same time, by focusing on American history which many view as intrinsically related to civics, she logically prepared me for her next point, which came in the form of a Complicating Action, that she is at least marginally qualified to teac h the subject: Complicating Action: So then with civics, this job opened up and I was like we had that class where we were kind of introduced to it. You guys were awesome at ma might want to put that on your repertoire kind of thing, like keep it on the
117 It was here that Erin began to justify her decision to teach civics. It was also here that the temporal sequence came to an end. The telling concluded. assessment followed Interestingly, what remain ed wa s longer than what precede d it. In her Evaluation, Erin expla in ed that she is just has qualified to teach civics as anyone else in her county: Evaluation: And the best part, which is probably funny for your research, I other teacher. Nobody else has been teaching civics for 20 years, so why because nobody who is teaching right now was ever teaching when it was when she was, you know, ere. So methods these standards yet. So it was in light of Eri Erin then jumped to her Resolution in which she emoted gladness in her decision to teach civics: Resolution: good time learning about myself and learning about our curriculum, so like the definition of home rule, and I knew what that was before I taught it to l augh s)). And I mean, doing it over and over six times over two days is helpful.
118 en ded with an unusually long Coda that remained true to her Abstract and brought her narrative full circle: Coda: But I think it was like the opportunity to be in this, like a combination ortunities. I was trying to snatch up St. Johns County. And when I saw the school and pick, I would w teach World h Taken as a whole, this narrative communicates an image of a somewhat unlikely, but highly energetic ci vics teacher. More importantly, it is a narrative with a happy ending. Erin got the job she wanted, she had a good year, and, if given the choice, she will stick with civics next year. By the time the story concluded, the listener has all but forgotten tha studies, and he or she feels confident that civics is a good fit for Erin. Matt But I love civics too In response to the same question about decision to become a civics te acher, Matt provided a short yet well structured narrative, presented in Appendix D in its entirety. He began with an Abstract (lines 1 2) where he admitted that his passion is American history but then quickly countered with a declaration of love for ci vics. As he continued with his Orientation (lines 2 5) the longest part of this short narrative, he shared that civics is a close second to his love for American history and that he would only consider an instructional position that would allow him to tea ch American history and/or civics. Then in an almost fleeting Complicating Action (lines 5 6), so short that it could easily be missed, Matt acknowledged that the legislative decision to mandate civics in seventh grade helped in steering him toward civics. What followed was a short,
119 but telling Evaluation in which Matt seem ed t o be justify not only the legislative mandate, but also his decision to leave behind his passion American history to teach civics. In this way, he implied that the availability of the civics teaching position was not reason enough, and that there is good and perhaps even admirable reason to his decision. M att brought his narrative to a conclusion with a short Resolution in lines 9 11 that left the listener with a feeling that all is well. Then, like many of his narratives, he signals the end of the story with a one word Taken together, the conte nt of these two narratives reveal an important first clue teachers: neither entered the field with such an identity. Matt viewed himself as a teacher of American history Er in of geography. However, like so many novice teachers, what each wanted more than anything was a teaching job. By telling the story of their respective decisions to become civics teachers, both Erin and Matt were able to convince me, and perhaps even them selves, that civics is a good fit. For Erin, comparing herself to other teachers in the county was a way to signal her qualification. For Matt, talking about a general lack of civic awareness was a way to signal the importance of civics, thereby justifying his decision to teach it. In addition to what was said, how it was said also offers an important insight into she bounced between her Orientation and Complicating A ction, signaling a sort of uncertainty in her response. It is as though she never faced this question before. Also,
120 length of these sections implies self consciousness abou t her civics teacher identity. For Matt, the Orientation is the longest section of his traditionally structured narrative. He spent a lot of time telling me who he is as a teacher, and then briefly explained why he was comfortable teaching civics. I found this to be in direct opposition to Erin who spent only a moment talking about who she is as a teacher, and then loquaciously explained why she thinks she is qualified to teach civics. This difference in structure points to less self entity as a civics teacher. During our second interviews, I asked the participants about their ideas of best practice in teaching civics. Through their responses to this question, I believed that Eri n and Matt could offer me a glimpse of the type of instruction in which they typically engage their students and the types of instructional activities that help them to feel good about themselves as civics teachers. What I received were two narratives c ont aining very similar content, expressed through very different structures. Erin Anything that is applicable and engaging meta narratives that include two to four sub nar ratives. When I asked Erin about the types of learning experiences that she considers best practice for teaching civics, she provided one such narrative. The structure is both traditional and complicated: Abstract, Orientation, Sub narrative one Evaluatio n, Sub narrative two Sub narrative three and Coda. In terms of the overall structure, the narrative is missing a Complicating Action and a Resolution. However, it can be argued that the first Sub narrative serves as the
121 Complicating Action for the meta n arrative and that the third Sub narrative serves as the Resolution, as I will soon illustrate. at is ongoing conversation she had with her students about the relevance of civics. After the Orientation, Erin took an unexpected turn by launching into her first sub narrative, which serves as the Complicating Action for the meta narrative: Complicating Action sub narrative At least he gets it Orientation: And I have one student who is hilarious who came into my ve to take that for Complicat ing Action: l aughs)). Evaluation: jokester. He wanted to start a communist dictatorship in our classroom, like trying to form his own opinion and his own civic identity. And it is hilarious to me because of all things that he picks he wants to be a communist. Resolution: Like other kids are on a totall yet. Coda: In addition to serving as the meta his impressively structured sub students. While at surface level, it seems tangential, a closer look at its Evaluation reveals the significance of the sub hfully, he is one of my
122 student engagement. A fter concluding her first sub narrative, Erin returned to the meta narrative with an Evaluation: Evaluation: So anything that g ets them thinking about them in any subject I so much easier in this. Because I mean, like I e l know, and then Again, she brought her story back to the content with which she began, this time going back to the content of the Orientation where she spoke about consta ntly engaging her students in a conversation about applicability. Interestingly, she extended her Evaluation with a second sub narrative: Evaluation sub narrative How does this not relate to you? Orientation: But it has a more, I mean, we were talking ab out utilities so I brought in my utility bill. Complicating Action: families and their big houses. But we talked about it, so go home and ask your parents if you can see yours and see what you pay Although this sub narrative is grossly incomplete, it continues the important work of the Evaluation by providing anecdotal evidence of the ways in which Erin is able to make civics relevant to students. As previously mentioned while this meta narrative does not have a stand alone Resolution, it does have a sub narrative that serves as a Resolution: Resolution sub narrative
123 Orientation: Complicating Action: were told to go home and quiz their parents on whether or no t their parents Evaluation: And l aughs)). Erin used this sub n arrative/Resolution to close her story and to communicate an even more relev ant and engaging. Then, returning to her meta narrative, Erin officially neat, the Mat t The classroom was ssssilent When responding to the same question What types of learning experiences do you consider best practice for teaching civics? Matt did not provide much of a narrative. That said, I felt comp elled to include it in my analysis for two reasons, one structural and one substantive. Structurally, this narrative provides a superb contrast to narrative was a page and a half long and included three sub
124 comprised only one paragraph and offered an incomplete structure, with both a Resolution (arguably unnecessary) and a Coda absent from the story. Substantively, participants believe that the best activities in civics engage the students and are ay, you know the use of technology, of Orientation: Engaging the students in actually, like one of my favorite things is the iCivics website. I love the games. They are so great. And misleading name for them. They learn more from that It could be argued that the absence of important details, especially related to iCivics, would leave listeners confused ab did not have an audience of listeners. He had me, and he knew that I know all about iCivics .org a website that contains games and simulations of civic processes and experiences for middle school students Accordingly, without delay, Matt launched into a short telling of an event to illustrate the power of an engaging learning activity, such as an iCivics game: Complicating Action: I had a classroom the other day; we were doing down, they finally all logged on. The classroom was ssssilent dead silent In less than 60 words, Matt provided anecdotal evidence of a best practice for teaching civics. Because he was talking to another educator, he knew that classroom silence teacher code for good classroom management and, in some circles, good teaching
125 would convince his liste ner that the activity was effective, especially once he shared that The remaining half of the narrative was all Evaluation. Matt stated: Evaluation: ked a bout this, I said it in my blog: I love the technology aspect because, times of so many different things, it only makes sense that we incorporate technology when we can. And, you k now, keeping them engaged with the technology keeps it relevant Why would they come to school and just put their heads on their desks and go t what the rest of the world is doing? He brought his narrative full circle by retu rning to the theme of his Abstract (technology) and reminding me of why he prefers this best practice: because it keeps students engaged. He also referred to the ubiquitous nature of technology in the students and in society at large to further just ify its inclusion in his instructional repertoire Lastly, he ended his narrative with a hypothetical yet poignant question that implies common would be a bad civic civics teachers, it is necessary to describe the types of classroom activities they feel best about implementing. As a teach while teaching, and naturally, a teacher feels best when he or she is implementing the types of activities he or she believes to be best practice. These two narratives reveal the central importance of two elements engagement and relevance in providing high that both Erin and Matt feel the best about their teaching, and therefore themselves as civics teachers, whe n they are delivering lesson plans that they believe to be engaging
126 so much easier a consistent message about the degree to which civics is a relevant subject. For Erin, this is a truism, and she feels confident in her ability to regularly demonstrate that fact, as evidenced by three separate sub narratives that speak to it. While complic ated narrative structures can oftentimes indicate incoherence on the part of the speaker, much of a narrative at all, being both incomplete and exceptionally short. Ho wever, I view these two characteristics as being positive. Matt was concise in his response. He knew the answer and he had a quick story to back it up. And because his Complicating Action did not center on a negative experience, he had no reason to resolve the story. Notable Teaching Experiences During both the second and third interview, I asked Erin and Matt to tell me about a notable teaching experience she or he had since we last met. I explained that tionally negative, or, for any number negative experience she had with her students. Matt, on the other hand, began both of his narratives with negative Abstracts, but in the end, told stories that had strong Resolutions and left the listener with a positive impression of the experience he narrated. These four narratives are presented here in alternating form, beginning with Erin.
127 Erin I do The first time I asked Erin to tell me about a notable teaching experience, she narrated a brief story presented in Appendix E in its entirety, about delivering new co ntent through in class readings. plai she indicated in her Abstract (lines 1 2). Without providing any orienting information, she then gave a traditional narrative opening in her Complicating Action (line 2). Quickly, however, she shifted from telling about a specific past event (the narratives are less dramatic than blow by blow reports of a single occasion; they tell of the general course of events over a period of time with verbs and adverbs marking instead In the next sentence, Erin stated her first of three Evaluations, beginning with, class reading. She admitted that she does not know how to make in cl ass reading a worthwhile instructional activity, especially because there is no individual accountability. Erin then returned to her Complicating Action to explain the accountability issue in lines 7 ally smart and they know that they can get away, like they know how to 10 12, this time using the pre sent tense to signal that this wa s not a specific past event, but an ongoing problem.
128 by f events over a period of time Lines 12 14 provide her final Evalua tion and the crux of the story: Erin does not like to talk all the time and she wants a more effective strategy for content delivery. In lines 14 17, she resolved the narrative by talking about strategies whereby iently learn important vocabulary before moving on to the fun activities. Erin concluded with a brief Coda in lines 17 19 through which she share d her conception of a good Matt Wh en I asked Matt the same question during our second interview, I received an uncharacteristically long and layered narrative about a bad experience he had teaching a federal budget simulation that is part of the FJCC Applied Civics curriculum. However, unl tertiary. To more clearly illustrate this impressive structure, I indented the levels and included the entire transcript in Appendix F. The meta narrative began simply and traditionally enough. Matt offered an Abstract (lines 1 4) followed by an Orientation (lines 4 8), a short Complicating Action (lines 8 19) that tells us that the students d id not understand the simulation, a pre Evaluation Resolution (lines 10 11), and then an Evaluation (lines 11 16) in which Matt opined about the core problem with the lesson. With Matt, I would not have been surprised if the narrative had ended at line 16,
129 quick conclusion. However, this experience left such an impression on Matt that, by line 16, he was just getting started. Line 17 marks the beginning of the secondary level of this narrative and the sub narrative narrative. The structure of this sub narrative is quite traditional. Matt began with an Abstract (lines 17 18) and Orientation (lines 18 22) where he discussed the time he spent rev isiting the budget. In his Complicating Action (lines 22 31) he introduced the new lesson that he devised in which students were asked to pretend they had their own country and then create a national budget. In line 31, Matt shifts to the Evaluation of the sub narrative and, over the next 10 lines, offers what I believe to be the heart of the entire meta narrative. In addition to twice mentioning the value of the new exercise, the exercise he created, he expressed his disappointment with the curriculum for failing to 40), especially considering the emphasis that the curriculum tends to place on student centered activities. Next, in a Resolution (lines 40 42), Matt appea red to be bringing the sub narrative, if not the entire meta narrative to a close, but then quickly began a tertiary sub narrative, which signaled an extension to the Complicating Action of the secondary sub narrative. In his tertiary sub narrative You g Matt offered more details about the success of his alternative budget lesson, this time homing in on an interactive New York Times w ebsite that illustrates the federal budget and outlined President narrative consists only of an Orientation (lines 4 3 46) and a Complicating Action (lines 46 66). Rather than directly stating his
130 Evaluation of the story and then offering a Resolution, Matt weaved evaluative clues into a dialog between his students and h im, which is presented in the Complicating Action. For example, when students wisely identified defense as one of the largest parts identified Social Security as the biggest expenditure, 56). Through this dialogue, Matt conveyed his positive Evaluation of the experience and even provided a Resolution to the story. When I first analyzed this narra tive, I incorrectly labeled the next ten lines (lines 67 76) as the Resolution to the primary meta narrative. Upon closer reading, I realized that Matt actually returned to the secondary sub narrative to continue its Resolution. It is not a Resolution for the failed budget simulation. It is a Resolution for his successful alternative exercise in which students acted as their own countries and created budgets. line 68), but was pleased by the serendipitous timing of a real life federal budget crisis and possible government shutdown that offered the perfect material for a teachable moment. At last, in line 77, Matt returned to the meta narrative to offer his fina l remarks in lines 12 16 the re was no introduction to the budget . B ut these kids are too youn Continuing with the line of thinking, Matt stated in lines 77 en know what the words are . two sub
131 narratives spanning two different layers, Matt was able to bring his narrative back to the beginning by restating the true problem with the budget game and, consequently, the point of his story. He then brought the narrative back to the present, di scussing the Erin Complete c Again, during our third interview, I asked Erin to tell me about a notable teachin g experience she had since we last met. This time, I received an earful. In fact, Erin really wanted to talk about a recent and particularly upsetting experience she had, which she se I so What followed were four teaching an Economics lesson about limited resources and supplies. The narr ative structure is complicated: Abstract, Orientation, Complicating Action, Evaluation, Sub narrative one, Complicating Action, Evaluation, Sub narrative two, Evaluation, Sub narrative three, Evaluation, Sub narrative four, Evaluation, Resolution, and Coda Most sig nificantly, Complicating Actions and Evaluations dominated the meta narrative and the Resolution was brief. That alone is quite telling. For space considerations, I will only include what I judged to be significant parts of the narrative, while summarizing details that are necessary to under standing the story. The lesson wa s a simulation. Students we re told that they are stranded on a deserted island. With limited resources (e.g., paper, scissors, rulers), they had to provide for their basic nece ssities such as food, water, and shelter (e.g., for food, they must make fish out of paper). After a short Orientation, Erin launched into what would be the first of
132 three Complicating Action sections, not including a sub narrative that also serve d as a Co mplicating Action: Complicating Action: I had kids about to literally kill each other. So then the second period, like thank god we teach six periods over two days so I can be lik aughs)), how can I fix that for the next class p Oh, way to go! You just completely ou if you (( l Erin already told me first Complicating Action section helps me to understand why: the kids were trying to hurt one another and were breaking classroom supplies. In a following Evaluation, Erin briefly talked a bout her failure to anticipate their lack of maturity before returning to her Complicating Action of her six classes. To this, she respond ed with a brief Evaluation that illustrates the tru e aughs)) exemplify the topic that Through a short sub narrative, which only included an Orientation and Complicating Actio n, Erin extended her Complicating Action by talking about her Complicating Action sub narrative A standard civics teacher Orientation: And what cracks me up is that a standard civics teacher because I have all the pre AP and gifted students she came up to me and
133 know how i Complicating Action: was awesome. It worked just like it was Even though Erin does not harp on this encounter, there is one very telling part that reveal s that it made her feel poorly: Erin makes it a point to c lassify the teacher as being ubling realizatio n for Erin. Given the upsetting nature of the first sub narrative, it is not surprising that Erin followed it with another full Complicating Action section when she returned to her meta narrative This time, she talked about adjustments she made in vain, ending the section ent classroom experience to a pessimistic outlook about the future: Evaluation: know, the higher level aughs)) in such bad game. Like, they were literally about to hurt each other grabbing rulers. narrative. This time, her sub narrative was about a particular student who, upon realizing that he would not survive, started going around the room and sabotag ing other groups. She likened his behavior to that of a terrorist. In another Evaluation, she told me that the lesson
134 con cluded The meta narrative does not end here. Erin provided a third sub narrative about a similar teaching experience that failed and followed it with yet another Evaluat ion that truly emotes the despair this experience has caused her to feel: Evaluation: year to truly create a community within our classroom where they cared that each other compassionate and loving but bottom line, who do they care about most? Them! She subsequently began a fourth and final sub narrative about a female student who admitted that she is too selfish to volunteer. Erin described the student in the Evaluation of that sub empathy and compassion and who is smart enough to be a future leader of our country This meta narrative does have a Re solution. However, when compared to the entire narrative, it is rather short and the tone is somewhat defeated: Resolution: know; it was really interesting. So economics in the sense has been really sense to t hem. And I understand why, because in everything that they exhibited, it was the only thing that was successful for them. Cause they would tear down everyone else to survive and to make it. I feel like maybe next year we should read The Lord of the Flies i
135 In one breath, she admit ted that they are still young. In the next, she lament ed that she alluded to an issue of student privilege tha t comes up in another interview and that I will discuss lat er in this chapter The meta narrative comes to an end with a Coda in which Erin returns to the first sub idea that her advanced students only care about themselves: Comp licating Action: But it was a shocker for me to hear that the other civics class they worked together as a class the y could have achieved more. They were were they trying to survive, they were trying to keep everyone else from. It was bad enough that the lesson failed so miserably in her classes without knowing that it was such a success in the standard civics classes. Moreover, despite all of E efforts, not one class was able to realize that collaboration was the key to survival. This realization is particularly stressful in a civics class where Erin was tryin g to build a sense of community Again, her despair is quite evident, this time as her voice trailed off without finishing her sentence. Matt That was interesting When during our third interview I asked Matt to tell me about a notable teaching the on political parties and then taking that survey. That was inte resting ((l
136 mov ed unexpectedly to a Resolution without providing addit ional Orientation information. I n his Abstract he gave a clue as to why he withheld important details, nd then taking that Orientation bec ause he knew that I am familiar with the lesson plan and the survey. Instead, he stated: Resolution: do the survey, okay, due to its content. Not just the content in terms of the pornography question, but (( h earty laugh)) some of it was just too elevated for them. Here, before explaining the ways in which the survey is problematic, he told me that he plans to fix it, wh ich would resolve the as of yet unknown problems. After I gave Matt a slightly confused look, he shifted to the Complicating Action of the story, which described in detail how the survey is flawed: Complicating Action: unions. So there were just some issu wanted to give a fair explanation if they were going to take this survey, you know. I wanted them to try and make the best, well informed decisi on without me putting in too much of my bias. But it was just trying to give a basic like y anymore, okay? Yes or k the government should step in and say know what I mean? So, it took forever. More than anything, Matt wanted me to understand that some of the content was just too mature or c omplicated for seventh grade students. However, in the middle of his Complicating Action, he also spoke to a ubiquitous challenge related to teaching about
137 His Complic ating Action was followed by a very brief Evaluation that seemed to At its core, this narrative is a troubled one. As such, it is not surprising that Matt the n devoted quite some time to offering a second Resolution; again presenting ideas that would make the lesson stronger. He spent about three minutes talking about technical improvements he would like to make to the lesson. Finally, after one more quick eval uative statement he wrapped up his troubled narrative with a longer Coda than I had come to expect from him : Coda : There were a lot of things I had to explain, you know. We talked abo ut that, fr om abortion to the porno one ((l aughs)) to, you know, just even gun control rights. Some of them they got. Most of them knew the abortion enjoyed that moment. So. While i entity construction. For all four of these narratives, it hardly seems constructive to compare the content. Because the lessons are so different, it is difficult to equate, for teaching a political ideology survey. The difference in structure, I believe, is far more and Evaluation sections. The defining features s a re his Resolutions,
138 with which the negative experiences happen ed over an d over again, as evidenced by the habitual answers, as evidenced by the four separat isolated and ones from which he felt he had learned. At two separate times he talked about modifications he would make next year an In this section, I present the findings from my analysis of notable narratives from my three intervi ews with Erin. I selected the narratives based on two criteria. The first and most important criterion was related to the content of the narrative. Specifically, I chose narratives based on the degree to which they spoke to my principal research question: her feelings of success or failure as a civics teacher, the reasons she likes teaching civics, or second criterion was related to the structure of the narrative. Specifically, I looked for narratives that were structurally complete and that I believed would tell me something ab six elements of a narrative Abstract, Orientation, Complicating Action, Evaluation, Resolution, and Coda and were structurally significant (e.g., elements were out o f
139 order, narrative included one or more sub narratives, narrative included lengthy or narratives to analyze in depth. When my analyses of those three narratives were c snapshot analysis on each, which allowed me to glean substantive insights and discern structural patterns across a larger sample of narratives. Erin The Type of Student I Was Tota lly Reflects the Kind of Teacher That I Am Over the course of our first two interviews together, Erin referred to the type of student she was during her own K 12 education at least a handful of times. For this reason, I asked her the following member check ing question during our third and final interview: noticed that the type of student that you once were, and probably still are expecting teachers to really know their stuff seems to influence the type of teacher that you are. Would you agree with that assessment? then provided a two and a half page narrative presented in Appendix G, to support her immediate answer. The narrative beg an with an extended Abstract (lines 1 10) through which Erin directly answered my question. She made it clear that the type of student she was influences the type of teacher that she is, and that as a teacher, she has two options: pretend like she has all of the answers or admit that she does not. Because she was the type of student who would call out any teacher who chose the former, she chose the latter At this poi nt, it was unclear if Erin was going to provide a narrative to support her answer. However, halfway through line 10 Erin began a brief Orientation, which
140 signaled that there would indeed be a narrative, and that it would, at least at first, be a habitual o ne (as evidenced most clearly by her use of the present tense). In lines 12 17, Erin provided the first of two Complicating Actions (not counting another Complicating Action that will be presented in the Coda sub narrative), by recreating dialog, a ubiquit example of her admitting that she does not have all of the answers and then supporting In line 18, Erin restat 22 that reaffirmed her commitment to being honest about her shortcomings as a content expert. She believes this makes her more real something she also believes comes naturally in the civics curriculum. This set her up to return to her Complicating Action (lines 22 33) where she continued to provide habitual classroom examples to support her point, only this time focusing on the ways in which civics naturally lends itself to an being a World h istory teacher and teaching about the Renaissance to further illustrate the degree to which civic s is a more Over the next 22 lines, Erin provided equally lengthy Evaluation and Resolution sections that seemed to be drawing her story to a conclusion. She talked about the importance of being real and achieving student buy in, and she talked about the ways in which she is going to try to allow student choice for every assignment she gives during the next year. At this point, I fully expected that Erin would provide a Coda to officially conclude her narrative, and in a way, she did. However, this Coda came in the form of a
141 sub narrative that brought the focus back to the original subject of my query: Erin as a student. She began with an Orientation (lines 56 59) that indicated a return to the adolescent Erin who was always challenging her teachers. She then began her Complicating Action in line 59 where she shifted back to her as a teacher having a conversation with her students. Through this recreated dialog she told her story about being a seventh grade student who challenged a bad t eacher and actually walked out of class. The story allowed her to prove two points. The first point was for her students: As long as they do not want to walk out of class, everything is okay The second point was for me: The type of teacher Erin i s reflect s the type of student that she was. Erin then provided a brief Evaluation in which she expressed a little bit of remorse for being the type of student that she was, and ended with a Resolution in the form of a recreated dialog with her students and a one w narrative and her meta narrative. Erin I Just Love How Pertinent It Is As one of my final questions during our last interview together, I asked Erin simply, provided a notable narrative for two reasons. First, the content of the narrative spoke directly to my research question in that Erin talked about what she liked about teaching civics and how it made her feel. Second, the structure, though incomplete, was significant in that elements were provided out of order, and Erin bounced back and forth between Evaluation and Complicating Action sections seven times before concluding her story with a brief and unexpected Coda.
142 Erin began her narrative in a traditiona side is so interesting. I just love how pertinent it is. And I love how we can watch the nce of civics was three interviews and many of the narratives I selected for in depth analysis. Her Orientation served to continue this point and introduce the evidence she would provide to illustrate it: Orientation: And my kids see that too, because now that we watch CNN have block scheduling, because if I had a 45 minute period and ten minutes be able to do it. But with 90 minutes, we can sacrifice ten to watch Carl Zeiss every day and Although she went on a brief tangent in discussing the realities of instructional time, she effectively articulated the importance o f news in a civics class. Additionally, present was forthcoming. Then, rather unexpectedly, Erin provided an Evaluation that marked the beginning of a remarkable Evaluat ion Complicating Action sequence that ends with a brief Coda: Evaluation: And, I mean, it just makes sense. Everything that he talks already learned. Complicating Action: And my kid s are yelling out the answers to the quiz Evaluation: It makes me so happy. And so no matter what I was teaching I xcited about civics, and that makes learning, like the whole teaching part so much more fun, because their notebooks.
143 Complicating Action: I mean, there are days his never do can be engaged. Evaluation: And so I just love that. And I love um, just the ability to like, things. Complicating Action: years is it goin Evaluation: mean, I like poems, I can write a poem, but like, this is so much more fun (( l aughs)). So much more fun and applicable to everyone. Coda And so I like that part, but yeah. To be fair, the Complicating Actions in this nar rative do not serve as plot twists; they do not indicate turning points, crises, or problems as is often assumed in structural actions that help to illustrate the points E tone is positive Evaluations this narrative is, firs t and foremost, an evaluative one. In providing this response, Erin was more concerned with making a point than telling a story. Nonetheless, her stories comprised a large portion of her response and gave it a narrative feel.
144 In addition to its interestin g structure, the content of this narrative provided and no doubt contributes However, widespread student engagement also provides Erin with a great deal of very teacher, regardless of experience, calling, or subject matter, wants her students to learn and is most satisfied when she perceives that to be occurring, Erin finds additional joy in learning herself, alongside her students. Erin Be The Spokesperson minute response she provided. To be sure, the story that Erin narrated in response to this question was the most impressive and most complicated one that I received, including all of the narratives that Matt shared with me, throughout the entire study. In total, the transcribed meta narrative spanned eight pages and included three secondary and six tertiary sub narr atives. Despite its coherence and clarity is all the more remarkable considering that Erin was struggling to make sense of her identity as a civics teacher as she narrated the story, and even
145 Of all the narratives I analyzed in depth, this one prese nted the most difficult challenge in terms of presentation. That is, given the length and complexity of the narrative, I had trouble deciding on a method for presenting it here. Including the entire eight page transcript seemed out of the question. Similar ly, walking through each sub narrative, one by one, while describing and offering analysis of all of its structural elements, would pose a challenge of space and would be tiresome for both me and the reader. After weighing several options, I decided to cre ate a figure (Figure 1 1) to represent the narrative, and then use it as a reference to explain some of the its most structurally and substantively significant elements. As the figure illustrates, the meta narrative included three secondary sub narratives: narrative and seemed to split the meta ide ntity inside outside of the classroom. The third secondary sub narrative came much later in the narrative and seemed somewhat tangential as Erin talked about her relationship with her politically opposite husband and how she uses it to illustrate political respect and understanding for her students. As the figure also illustrates, the meta narrative included six tertiary sub narratives across the first two secondary sub narratives (The secondary sub narrat narratives). Two of the tertiary sub narratives fall under the secondary sub the secondary sub
146 themes from the first two secondary sub narratives. Interestingly, and as the figure shows, these tertiary sub narratives do not fall linearly below their respective secondary sub narratives. Rather, Erin bounced back and forth among the secondary topics and thus, among the themes of her civics teacher identity inside of the classroom and outside represent spaces in the story where Erin returned to her meta narrative, oftentimes to provide Evaluative comments. In the Abstract of the meta narrative, Erin quickly but effectively summarized the main themes of her story: Abstract: et nervous. classroom. Because she was named Novice Teacher of the Year for her school district and because she teaches civics, she feels as though she should be more civically engaged in her community, which, in turn, would model civic activism for her students. However, because she is a novice teacher, s he has reservations about taking a publicly political stand. That said, she feels confident about what is going on inside her classro om, which she discussed at length in her first secondary sub classroom and, for the most part, it is all Complicating Action. After a brief Ori entation and an equally brief Evaluation
147 Erin launched into a page long Complicating Action section tha t illustrate s most significant part of this secondary sub narrative is the sentence long Resolution with which she end ed about like showing my narrative that Erin provide d a Resolution, a structurally significant occurrence that I will address later in my analysis. The reassurance of Eri lived. In her next breath she started another secondary sub narrative, which served as the main Complicating Action of the meta narrative. Complicating Action secondary sub narrative What the parents are going to think Abstract: (( that I get really nervous about crossing because a lot of my parents I fear are hypercritical. Orientation: I went to great lengths to explain to my students why I would and would not tell them about certain things in certain ways, so that if they then they would also, if a parent came back, I would also be able to easily explain what I told their child and what gre at lengths I went through to not, you know, expose them to any indoctrination and biases or whatever. Evaluation: Complicating Action: li Evaluation: I know that when people get nervous about that.
148 Resolution: So, I think I just need to start manning up and just doing it. The Abstract and Orientation powerfully express the expec tation that she carry a political identity. Namely, she feels insecure about dealing with parents and, as she soon revealed, the larger community. That is exactly why she is hesitant to picket on behalf of informally be a civics teacher. Given her precarious position, it is not surprising that she stated narrative. It is equally unsurprising that her Resolution has a reluctant tone. What followed we re three tertiary sub faculty at department and school wide meetings. that Erin discussed her inclination to avoid current political issues with her students, unless they bring them up. This is somewhat incongruous with previous statements that expressed confidence in teaching political subject matter. In the third tertiary sub disagreement with colleagues over state legislation that might affect teacher pay, which helps explain her lack of motivation to rally against it. While the content of these three tertiary sub narratives is interesting, and in some cases illuminating, their most significant characteristic is structural. Specifically, all three are d ominated my Complicating Actions and none of them includ e a Resolution As previously stated, I plan to return to this structural issue later in my analysis. Briefly, Erin returned to the primary meta narrative to offer one Evaluative e recall, Erin
149 began her meta brought up the topic of modeling as a question, which she seemed to be t rying to answer through storytelling. Here, about halfway through the entire meta narrative, she seemed to arrive at a negative answer to her own question. To support her Evaluation of not modeling civic activism, Erin then launched into a tertiary sub nar rative through which she meshed the two themes of civics teacher identity inside of the classroom and civics teacher identity outside of the classroom: Complicating Action tertiary sub narrative attention Orientation: And at this me eting today, one of the civics teachers was anything about her political stuff. Complicating Action: would just get us more off task and she would not be happy with it, and alking about how she was on the side of the road and one of her students saw her and they pulled off and had to ask her a homework question. So there she is holding Evaluation: Structurally, this sub narrative followed a pattern that has become characteristic of Erin in that it is dominated by Complicating Action s and, to a lesser exten t in this case, Evaluations Substantively, Erin showed signs of wavering in her commitment to disclose her political viewpoints to her students. Again, as Novice Teacher of the Year, Erin seems to perceive different expectations for her behavior and sense that certain stakeholders may be out to get her, an issue to which she returned later in her third
150 secondary sub narrative. Whether perceived or real, these factors seemed to be limiting as not fulfilling her duty as a civics teacher. Ipso facto Erin felt unsure about her civics teacher identity. After this very powerful sub narrative, Erin returned to her primary meta narrative with a lengthy and powerful Evaluation: Evaluation: And so and, and maybe that would help for my students like modeling for them often as a lot of other people are. And that kind of like makes we weary, that I will be standing on the side that I complete This paragraph quite possibly represents the best example of Erin struggling to make sense of her identity as a civics teacher. Looking at it through a con v er s ational or discourse lens, she showed signs of struggling to articu sentence twice, and she used adjectives teacher. It is truly the darkest point in the narrativ e. To illustrate her uncertain stance when it comes to political issues, Erin provided another tertiary sub her fear of parental backlash. Specifically, she talked about being a membe r of the in the event that comes to major issues on which the union takes a clear stance, Erin gets
151 Action s and Evaluations dominate this sub narrative, with only a brief Abstract at the beginning. At this very late point in the meta narrative, Erin presente d her third and final secondary sub narrative seemed somewhat tangential as Erin talked about her relationship with her politically opposite husband and how she uses it to illustrate political respect and understanding for her students. However, a closer examination of structure revealed a potential reason for Erin including it. Here is the full sub narrative: Evaluation secondary sub narrative Is it really what matters? Abstract: Be husband is completely the opposite, Orientation: go home an arguments Complicating Action: though, and this is what I think is a bigger these kinds of things. Evaluation: spectrum. My husband is way on this side of the spectrum. Next year will not be a happy year in our house. But can we get past it? Do I still live with Resolution: their ideologies fell an
152 Coda: ll like laughing about that. Structurally, this is the only complete narrative in the entire meta narrative. The meta narrative itself, as well as all of the other secondary and tertiary s ub narratives, are incomplete. Most importantly, this sub narrative has a Resolution and a strong one at that. The more I examined it, the more I felt that it represented Erin relocating her voice and her positive sense of her civics teacher identity. It was know how to use my weaknesses to teach my students about civil discourse and inside of her classroom. Erin then returned to her primary meta narrative where she began with an forth between Complicating Action s an d Evaluations as she talked about teaching political issues and modeling her political thinking for her students. Most significant from a substantive standpoint, in one of two Complicating Action sections, Erin talked about appreciating CNN Student News fo r bringing political issues into her classroom: Complicating Action: I do, then I know it can get totally twisted into something, because there have already through school email and then teachers have passed it on to their parents and they had a parent who did not appreciate receiving the information and just go off at th e School Board about how they received, how the appropriate.
153 For Erin, any confidence she fe els in teaching political subject matter inside of her classroom is tempered by her fear of what can occur outside of the classroom. This fear is vividly illustrated by her final tertiary sub bar after someone said that the news might be coming. In one memorable recreated dialog that comprised just a fraction of the entire Complicating Action section, Erin articulated her worst fear: Complicating Action: exactly the person they want to catch doing something wron g so they can Notably, this was the third time Erin brought up being Novice Teacher of the Year, and for the third time, she did not refer to it as an asset. Also another sub narrative came and went without a Resolution. The same can be said for the larger, primary meta narrative. At this point, Erin returned to h er meta narrative with one last Evaluation and one last Complicating h er entire seven everyone wants to talk to me about it and just get my opinion, just like teachers around then shrugged her shoulders and looked at me as if to
154 As previously mentioned, when my analyses of the above three narratives were complete, I went b snapshot able to glean substantive insights and discern structural patterns. For the former, I found that Erin spoke at length about the kind of teacher she is, her unexpected realization of student privilege, end of course examinations, and the idea that next year she will do things differently. For the latter, I found that three structural patterns use of sub narratives, Complicating Action Evaluation sequences, and weak or absent Resolutions help to illuminate the ways in which Erin makes sense of her civics teacher identity. The kind of teacher Erin is While it can be argued that every story Erin narrated provided insight into the kind of teacher that she is, three in particular spoke directly to the topic. In sum, Erin is the kind of teacher who really loves teaching, bounces between taking responsibility for her shortcomings in the classroom and sometime s placing the blame on students, and is helped her realize that she wanted to be a ke this part. I really like telling somebody else about stuff that I like more than I like just being around all of the stuff I h as Erin likes teaching, she sometimes finds that not everything goes as planned in the classroom. When this occurs, she struggles to articulate the
155 blamed hers elf when a lesson failed to meet expectations, but then in her Resolution Perhaps the most powerful insights into the kind of teacher that Erin is were neatly packaged in a narrative entitled, written a blog post in which she discussed her decision to be honest with her students about her inexperience with the large scale student activism curriculum tify a community problem, draft an action plan for addressing the problem, and then take action to attempt to solve or improve the problem takes pressure off me when they start asking what is intrigued by her willingness to admit her instructional vulnerability and devolve so much power, so I asked her a bout it when we met. In response, she narrated a three page story about her experiences, offering multiple examples of her honesty with her students. Then, in an Evaluation she stated: ly what was going on and that this was going to be a success and that they were before. I do not know what co mes next. This might be bad and we might While most teachers would readily admit to themselves and other adul ts that they do not have all of the answers, few would make such an admission to their students, which Erin acknowledges in her narrative. Still, Erin embraces her non expert stance and values the culture of trust, initiative, and creativity that she is ab le to build in her classroom by assuming it.
156 Realization of student privilege Early in our first interview, I asked Erin about the types of civics learning experiences she recalls from her own K 12 education. After speaking somewhat flippantly about the tr aditional one semester American government course in twelfth grade that was dominated by lectures and worksheets, Erin became very serious and changed the topic of our conversation to the privilege she sees in her students by tudents are high socioeconomic class. They are privileged continued: you have in your community really privil eged lives for the most part. Later that week, in a follow have been surprised. Nonetheless, given the focus of my study, I found myself drawn to the ways in which student privilege and relative apathy u pset Erin as they hindered the citizen activism she was trying to inspire. Accordingl y, I asked her about it during our second interview. Specifically, I wanted to know how this issue of privilege played out while the privilege was most evident when they were selecting community problems to tackle. As she stated in an Evaluation section:
157 When I look at their problems I think their privilege plays into it because have a school lunch their to solve their own problems, so really want to criticize it or put a lot of focus into it. but t hen she transitioned into another Complicating Action section followed by another Evaluation. I should also add that her narrative had a weak Resolution and that she il impedes their activism. End of course examinations Of all of the topics that came up throughout our three interviews together, the most powerful was the looming end of cou rse examination that will be implemented at the conclusion of the 2011 2012 school year. First, I never once initiated the topic. On the contrary, every time it came up (more than ten times), it was Erin who brought it to the table. Second, every time Erin spoke of it, she did so with a strong sense of foreboding. To be fair, she has good reason to be apprehensive about the examination. By the 2013 2014 school year, seventh grade students must pass this examination in order to be promoted to the eighth grad e and aggregate student data from this examination will be factored into school grades (CS/HB 105, Civics Education). Moreover, at the time of our interviews teachers had not yet seen the examination and were uncertain of its format, time limitations, and approach to assessing some of the performance based standards included in the NGSSS for middle school civics.
158 Throughout the nine yellow light narratives for which I conducted snapshot analyses, Erin brought up the examination seven times across two sepa rate narratives. that you have had that you believe have prepared you to be a civi development experiences, she still managed to talk about the examination three separate times. Her most telling reference to the examination came at the very end of her narrative in an out of place Complicating Action (another telling feature) in which she stated: It will be really interesting for us next year when we have end of course exams, where they have to be tested on their level of achievement, bec these kids to like wanted to ask them about what do they do if what is going to be on the end of course exam. spoke about how she would feel if it were the end of the next school year when the end of course examination will be administered. While the title of the narrative (which I pulled from the Abstract of ut how her students would perform on the examination, her Complicating Action further illuminated her anxiety: Because if it was the end of course exam for next year no way. I feel like s I could think that it was very rigorous. I think a lot of that was me not knowing what was coming next, not, you know, literally not busting my ass every like afternoon to make e verything above and beyond for the next day. I was
159 se of her identity this year is very different from what it will most likely be next year when the end of course examination is implemented. Doing it di fferently next year Related to the topic of the end of ll do things differently next year. For novice teachers, such thinking is common; they believe that they are learning and growing and that they will continue to get better at teaching with each passing school year. ferently is just as much about doing things better as it is about adapting instruction in response to an end of activities, which, as we have already learned, is when Erin f eels best as a civics teacher. In another narrative, she took this thinking a step further: I will tell you that I have loved my opportunity to teach my curriculum before standards bas not my kids did something really cool and fun and interactive and had a great time or if they provide ((nervous laugh)) accomplishment and mastery As this statement sadly demo that she will be less inclined to incorporate such activities into her future instruction.
160 To be fair, Erin di d speak about doing things better next year in the context of simply improving upon her teaching. Most notable was her discussion of Project Citizen In two separate narratives, Erin discussed making changes to this project during the next school year. In the Evaluation of one narrative, she spoke specifically about the changes: more about getting I want to get them more involved in their communities, previous to this. Like requiring them to do community service, which, who them to get out into the community. The opportunity to implement such changes seems to have a positive influence on years was severely overshadowed by her apprehension regarding high stakes tests. Sub narratives narratives was her use of sub narratives. Out of the 16 total Erin narratives that I analyzed, six of them included sub narratives. Of those six narratives, three of them included both secondary and tertiary level sub narratives. When I conducted my snaps hot analyses yellow light narratives, I found that two of them contained sub narratives. both incredibly complex and impressively coherent. By narrating five separate life experiences that influenced her
161 education and career choice, Erin effectively narrate d one large narrative that thoroughly explains how she arrived at her important decision to become a teacher. In anot her layered narrative focus and one of the sub narratives might more accurately be descri bed as a tangent. Interestingly, this narrative was shorter and far less complex than the preceding narrative. By comparing the respective topics of the two narratives, I found this difference in coherence to make sense. In the more coherent one, Erin talk ed about her decision to become a teacher a decision with which she is very satisfied. The absence of multiple Complicating Actions and the presence of strong Resolutions through out the multi layered narrative further demonstrate her satisfaction. In the less coherent one, Erin talked about the experiences that prepared her to be a civics teacher. This narrative cont ains three Complicating Actions and zero Resolutions. Taken together, the substance of the narrative and the structural features demonstrate an uncertainty regarding her qualification to be a civics teacher, which helps to explain the lack of coherence in the narrative. Complicating Action Evaluation sequences of Complicating Action Evaluation sequences. Out of the 16 total Erin narratives that I analyzed, 12 of them included such sequences. When I conducted my snapshot yellow light narratives, I found that six of them contained these sequ ences. These narratives we re usually characterized by negative foci, feelings of hopelessness or desperation, and the presence of multiple Complicating Action s and Evaluation s, which tend to appear together in a linear sequence. During these
162 sequences, Eri n typically talked about a negative cl assroom experience and evaluated it, and then talked about another negative cl assroom experience and evaluated it. Sometimes, she offered as many as four or five negative experiences, all of which serve the purpose of illustrating or emphasizing the main point she was trying to make in telling her story. The in vivo titles of many of these narratives tend to reveal the negative foci and help us to anticipate the Complicating Action Evaluation sequences. Examples from h er ot more interested in Evaluation sequences: Complicating Action: They came in with a really bad attitude. Evaluation: Complicating Action: Um, but when I was trying to teach them the teaching. Evaluation: as me. They really are 12. Like, where have they ever been, and like when they do or why it Here, we see Erin talking about a negative classroom experience. Namely, her students entered her classroom with a bad attitude about civics. She then evaluated that experience by reminding herself (and explaining to me) that it was not pers onal, that it was a reflection of their age. She then talked about her failure to convey the importance
163 of civic activism to them, which she followed with another E valuation that again discussed their age. Weak or absent Resolutions Oftentimes when an Eri n narrative included a Complicating Action Evalu ation sequence, it also included a weak Resolution or had no Resolution at all. This makes sense given the characteristics of these narratives (e.g., negative foci, feelings of hopelessness or desperation). O ut of the 16 total Erin narratives that I analyzed, six of them either had a weak Resolution or no Resolution at all. When I conducted my snapshot yellow light narratives, I found that three of them sported this structural feature either very short, unconvincing, or both. s. There is a very short Abstract and Orientation before Erin immediately dove into a long Complicating Action Evaluation sequence. Then, in one sentence at the very end she et them more involved in their community, supporting more community service like that where Resolution very short in comparison to the other structural elements of the narrati ve, but it is also very defeatist. This is confirmed by a short and negative Coda with which Erin In this section, I present the findings from my analysis of notable narratives from my three interviews with Matt, as well as his many blog posts. In the same way as I
164 tt narratives based on two criteri a. As a first criterion, I chose narratives based on the degree to which the content embe selected narratives in which Matt spoke about his feelings of success or failure as a civic reactions to the civics curriculum. The second criterion was related to the structure of the narrative. I looked for narratives that were structurally complete and that I believed narratives that contained all six elements of a narrative Abstract, Orientation, Complicating Action, Evaluation, Resolution, and Coda and were structurally s ignificant (e.g., elements were out of order, narrative included one or more sub narratives, narrative included lengthy or multiple Complicating Actions). Using these two criteria, I selected five ses of those five narratives were complete, I went back to my ten conducted a snapshot analysis on each, which allowed me to glean substantive insights and discern structural patterns across a larger sample of narratives. Mat t She loved it and I was livid In Florida, new teachers can expect to have at least two classroom observations a year by an administrator and a formal evaluation at the end of the school year. The classroom observations typically last one class period a nd are followed by a one on one meeting between teacher and administrator. Sometimes the administrator will use an oftentimes, he or she just takes a few informal notes. The forma l evaluation typically
165 consists of a one page, carbon copy evaluation form in which teachers are rated in a number of competencies. The rating scale is as follows: High Performing, Outstanding, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory. The admin istrator completes the form prior to meeting with the teacher and then reviews it with the teacher during their one on one meeting, which usually takes place during the final month of the school year. R ath er serendipitously, Matt had a classroom observatio n on the same day as our second scheduled interview. Then, a month later, Matt had his official end of year evaluation meeting on the day before our third and final interview. Naturally, Matt wanted to talk about both of these encounters, and considering t he recent proximity of each event to an interview, the details and emotions surrounding them were easy for him to recall. Additionally, both of these encounters lent themselves to two very telling narratives in terms of of the similar topics yet very different experiences recounted in the two narratives, I decided to analyze them side by side. estimation, did n ot. As a cursory glance at the structure of the narratives reveals, Matt was happy to recount the experience of the observation and was upset as he narrated prised only one transcribed page and was very well structured. It included an Orientation, a Complicating Action, an Evaluation, another Complicating Action, a meaningful Resolution, and a typical structure of th
166 comprised two transcribed pages, an Orientation, seven Evalu ations, six Complicating Action s, two sub narratives (both serving as Complicating Actions), and an angry Coda. Most notably, there was no Resolution. positive classroom observation helped Matt to feel confident and secure in his civics teacher identity. Interestingly, the majority of the narrat ive was dedicated to explaining a scheduling snafu that threatened to cancel the planned classroom visit. However, the administrator eventually made it to his classroom and was very pleased with what she observed. As Matt recounted in a lengthy Evaluation: Eval uation: She thought it was excellent. It went well. Um, it was nothing fantastic. We were talking about the federal budget and then we were doing want us to be working on FCAT the federal budget and I had them go through and find examples of captions, textboxes, subheadings, headings, bold and italicize, index, related. just, you know, familiarizing yourself with non fiction text for the FCAT. So uh, she loved it. We talked about debt a little. I showed them the debt clock in New York City. The kids loved it. Multiple times throughout the three interviews, Matt arti culated a positive classroom his students were really enjoying his class. The same appeared to be true when he perceived that a superior approved of his instructional choices, as he demonstrated in The other telling element in the narrative was its Resolution through which Matt brought h is narrative to an end and also reiterated the positive reception of his lesson: Resolution: So they were, you know, they were excited. But it went awesome. It went well. The first observation went well. Um, very
167 complimentary, and I think she just has a l feel compelled to stay very long and actually she did the same thing with that teacher and they love that teacher. She was in there for 20 minutes and peaced out. Matt began the Resolution by once again proclaiming his lesson. Quickly, however, he shifted to the observation, which he believed went well, about 20 minutes. Matt interpreted this short vis are important to keep in mind as we now explore the structure and content of the As already mentione d, this narrative was double the length of the previous one and had a far more complicated structure. In fact, in a structural style that is very Evalua tion sequence that in cluded 12 transitions between the two elements. From the beginning, I could tell that Matt would be narrating a negative experience when he because rely begun and his story already included sarcasm and an incomplete sentence. He then continued : Orientation: surprised because administration has had nothing but wonderful things to say about my class two times, both formal observations. While this section mostly served as an Orientation to the story that was to come, it also preparing me for bad news while also communicating that he was not embarrassed by
168 it. Second, he told me that he was surprised by the bad news beca use, up until that point, he thought that everything was just fine and that his administration was satisfied credibility because she only visited his class twice and t hose two times were for the formal observations that were required by school district policy. Rather unexpectedly, Matt provided a brief Evaluation where he admitted that the teacher about it. Then he showed me the official evaluation form and began his first of six Complicating Actions: Complicating Action: This was my observation sheet and, like I said, they evaluation, she had nothing to critique my teaching style, she said I taught like a veteran teacher, that she was amazed at how well I could connect talk to kids and just be on their level and then I get my evaluation and ((clears throat)) nothing b Matt finished that t t ] att was narrating this experience, I admittedly was looking over the evaluation form trying to quickly discern the source of his anger (note: at this point, he had n ot stated that he was angry, but his tone certainly emoted anger). Later, while analyzing the narrative, I realized that the majority of the Complicating Action was anothe ik e I ce again, up until the formal evaluation, he thought that everything was just fine and that his administration was satisfied with his that indeed, it was not a terrible evaluation. Still, it was not glowing and therefore to Matt, it was bad.
169 It means Evaluation that served as the heart of his narrative. For that reason, I will include the entire section here : Evaluation: one o utstanding. Mostly I got satisfactory and four high performings. And this really ticked me off. And, mmm, I was conversing with my mentor teacher that really annoyed me, being, you know me, being the nerd that I am knowledge and breaths)). I was livid. Give me an outstanding for that! I went to college for double but I deci ded not to do, I pretty much majored in it. Political science Satisfactory? Are you kidding me! I am known as the resident nerd at this school, okay. My mentor teacher sends her kids to me wh en they have questions about government. I know I am not going to be humble at any point in this. I know more history than anyone in here. I am a history freak. I know politics and government more than anyone in here. I went to school and I understand it. I will not be humble about that because I know, I am a political genius, you know. To them, they think I am. For her to say satisfactory completely just unbelievable, just unbelieva ble. In so many ways, this Evaluation section speaks for itself. Matt was livid. He said so himself, though he hardly needed to. His deepest anger came out when we spoke about s ledge as a content specialist, particularly in history and political science This tells us something powerful about his civics teacher identity. Namely, a major p emerging civics teacher identity is related to his pride in his knowledge. That is, he feels
170 confident in his civics teacher identity because he feels confident that he holds the knowledge that is necessary for effectively teaching civics. Na turally, when that content knowledge comes under attack, Matt takes it personally. As he stated in a later Toward the en d of his story, Matt provided two short sub narratives that served as additional Complicating Actions for the meta narrative. In the first, he reflected on his formal observations in which he b elieved he had more than demonstrated his healthy content knowledge. In the second, he recounted his discussion with his mentor teacher: Complicating Action sub narrative Complicating Action: And so then my mentor teacher w year and they marks teacher, who was observed for room Miss Got all outstandings and high Evaluation: As many people would do, Matt compared himself to another teacher. He was frustrated that this teacher received higher marks than he did, which disproved the theory that the administrator teacher is a fantastic teacher, but in the absence of any criticism from his administrator,
171 Matt concluded his story by providing another Complicating Action and another Evaluation, but no Resolution. Along with the rest of the narrative, the Coda revealed that the wound was still raw and that Matt had yet to resolve his anger with the teacher got all outstandings and absolved himself of receiving the lower marks ( or the administrator for assigning them) by referring to the fact that he is a first year teacher, although his mentor teacher did mention it. This reveals the high expectations he has for himself and the confidence he has in his civics teacher identity. H receiving them now, just as his mentor teacher with five years of experiences receives them. Matt Presidential purgato ry and I loved that lesson During the three month period that I collected data, Matt was very diligent about blogging. He would usually post once a week, typically about a particularly good or bad day in the classroom. Good days were usually a result of an engaging and successful lesson plan and bad days were usually the result of distractions (e.g., students being pulled for testing, mandatory writing assignments). One particularly good day for Matt surrounded a lesson on appropriate use of presidential po wer in which students were asked to place presidential actions along a spectrum ranging from appropriate use of presidential power to abuse of presidential power. Matt really enjoyed teaching this lesson, so much so that he wrote a blog post about it and l ater brought it up during an interview.
172 I was provided with two separate narratives covering the same event a fan tastic opportunity for analysis. Despite some flaws with more lower achieving students, the content of both narratives was inherently positive ving. Both contained Complicating Action weak Resolutions. This served as a powerful lesson for me in the nature of narrative analysis: one cannot just look at structure. In narrative analysis, content and structure are intricately connected. Still, the focus should always be more on how one says what he or she says rather than what one says Chronologically, Matt wrote the blog post about the lesson before he talked about it during an interview, so I will begin with the narrative contained in the post. This narrative contained all six elements of a fully formed narrative. The Orientation prepared Overall I' d say the lesson actually went over quite well. The students enjoyed the lesson, and I enjoyed Because I actuall y authored this lesson plan, I knew the exact nature of the
173 written at a high school level, and I had anticipated problems with middle school implementation. To support his E valuation, Matt offered an example in the form of a second Complicating Action: Complicating Action: For instance, the CIA covert operations of overthrowing vast foreign governments went right over their heads. Also, the steel mill industry one was a compl ete swing and a miss. For a short term fix, I simply went to the group and explained in layman's terms what happened. Once I did this, the students had a better understanding of the ev ent, and I received a synchroniz ed "Ohhh" from each group. This offered a great deal of insight into why Matt enjoyed this lesson: despite its shortcomings, Matt was able to make it work. As he continued in a second Evaluation: Evaluation: I do believe one of the reasons this worked is because I already have my classes in lev eled groups. In each group, there is at least one level five reader or potentially gifted student. I noticed as each of the brighter students helped the others understand the scenarios. Once the groups gained a basic understanding of what happened, that's when things started to get interesting! Bringing the entire class back together and Toward the end of his post, Matt narrated one more Complicating Action and one more Evaluation, both similar in co ntent to the previous ones, before concluding with a brief P Before analyzing this narrative in greater depth, it would be helpful to take a look interview. In the same way as the blog post, the Orientation of this narrative prepared I know I al ready blogged about this love any lesson that has to do with the presidents. And this lesson was just so much fun g that Matt realized that he had already told me this story, so we can expec t that this telling will be different. Indeed, Matt transitioned directly to an
174 extended Evaluation in which he offered his analysis of the lesson plan and how it unfolded in his classroom. Here is a powerful selection that represents just about half of th e entire Evaluation: Evaluation: Obviously I love it because I have interests, I have enthusiasm, trying to brownnose, but it is so much fun. I love that lesson so much. I reall order level thinking, it just garners so much thought and discussion and I love that. I love it when my thing, like I said in the blog, what I would do, what I will do next year when I level for them. There are some important things taking place in this Eval uation. First, Matt acknowledged that I created the lesson plan, something that I have to keep in mind as I try to make sense of his enthusiasm. Still, I read the blog post and I was there for this telling of the narrative, and I do not believe that Matt exaggerated his enthusiasm on my account. In my estimation, it was genuine. Second, Matt spoke about his students being civics teacher identity. Third, Matt recreated classroom dialog a feature we have come to expect from Erin, but have not seems to further reflect his enthusiasm for the lesson. Fourth, despite his enthusiasm, Matt was being critical of the lesson a behavior that helps to explain his extended Evaluation. Excluding a very br included a Complicating Action Evaluation sequence in which Matt talked about and
1 75 evaluated what happened in class, and then a short Resolution Coda Below are the four Evaluations that he interspe rsed among the Complicating Action sections: Evaluation: So, it was just such a fascinating exercise and just watching them and what and they all loved it! They all were genuinely engaged. It was one of the most engaging lessons. And it was just very powe rful and I actually submitted [their spectrums] to my principal. And she loved it. She them thinking about things. Evaluation: But um, the best part was, I loved reviewing with th em after each scenario and telling them who the president was. Evaluation: And it was just really interesting. Evaluation: But they, they just, they thought it was great. ed it. I kept it, you know. I kept all the things they did because I enjoyed it so much. And uh, I Taken together, these two narratives surrounding the same classroom experience provide powerful insights regarding the ways in which Matt makes sense of his emerging identity as a civics teacher. Substantively, while Matt has energetically embraced the civics curriculum, he certainly clings to its more historical elements, such as the presidents. While this lesson tea ches important government topics related to executive power, it does so b y asking students to analyze presidential actions across history For that reason, among others, Matt loves this lesson. Structurally, Matt tends to be more analytical in his storytel ling, which might account for some of his more deceiving structural features. For instance, while Complicating Action Evaluation curately interpreted as signs of reflection. Whereas Erin tended to give a play by play in her Complicating Actions and then
176 provide her emotional response in her Evaluations, Matt tended to follow his Complicating Actions with commentary, which may or may not have been emotionally charged. Matt At the conclusion of our third and final interview, I asked Matt for one more favor: to write one last blog post that would capture his entire first year of teaching civics. More about Matt kindly obliged with a three page post, whic h he divided into 10 paragraphs. At first, the paragraphs were self contained Complicating Action Evaluation sequences that represented time frames. Later, they ceased to follow any clear pattern. The first two paragraphs that Matt wrote served as an Ori entation: Orientation: task. As I type this, I am purposefully attempting this with all deliberate speed. Why? Simply because I'm trying my absolute best to r ecall everything of substance. I'm not a particularly sentimental or obsessive person when it comes to memories, but there were certainly moments that will resonate with me for the rest of my life. The best way to go about this is by means of chronological order, so I'll begin with the weeks l eading up to the first day of school. Other than providing an introduction to his narrative, his Orientation does not serve a strong substantive purpose. Matt admitted to being non sentimental, which is something that I perceived over the course of our int erviews together. However, he also admitted that his first year of teaching, or at least moments of his first year, had a strong impact on him, but did not yet reveal how or why.
177 In the next paragraph, Matt wrote about the few weeks leading up to the start of the school year: Few Weeks Prior: I was insanely petrified, well prepared, but petrified nonetheless, and I was excited and anxious to begin my new job. The FJCC Civics training helped, but it was the actual lessons that proved most valuable. The curri culum helped me conceptualize ideas and plans for the year to come. I labeled the first sentence as the Complicating Action. Here, Matt recalled his most recent training that he believed prepared him. Considering that Matt was about to be a first year teacher, this paragraph does not reveal much by way of his sense making or identity. To be certain, most first year teachers are very fearful and anxious during the days leading up to their first days, and at least Matt took comfort in feeling well prepared. ed in his next paragraph: First Day: I remember thinking to myself, "Oh geez, what have I gotten myself into?" Fortunately, my ambivalent emotions waned as the rest of the week continued. In my defense, my first class was and remains an absolute DOOZY: one helluva way t o commence a teaching career. Truth be told, it was never the teaching or the children that made me question my choice, it was EVERYTHING else; the nagging from parents, the dominion of administration, all the bureaucratic B.S. that's not included in the j ob description. I realized how much I genuinely enjoyed my job (for the most part) and this has brought to me a rare semblance of peace. I made the correct choice. Teaching is my passion. Again, I labeled the first sentence as the Complicating Action. Here Matt told me what he was thinking on his first day on the job. Again, he follow ed this with an Evaluation, which reveal s much about the ways in which novice teachers make sense of their
178 told me the true nature of his anxieties regarding his decision to become a teacher. As Fortunately, Matt did not focus on the negative aspec ts of his job for too long, which is confident in his teacher identity. The next t ime frame upon which Matt reflected was the first semester of the school year, to which he devoted four paragraphs. The first paragraph was entirely regarding disruptions to his instructional time: There were moments where I felt I had already reached the apex of cynicism in the world of education. Here I am, a fresh, new, 23 year old straight out of college student prepared and ready to change the world. NOT. I try not to be cyni cal and aim for more of a realist perception, but the field of education hardly creates an auspicious atmosphere. My first feeling of dissatisfaction came within the first few weeks when I realized the students would be on the computers doing a reading pro gram every Wednesday, thus taking away from MY instructional time. When it comes to teaching my kids and relaying content, I am as watchful as a shepherd over his flock of sheep. It's my class time damn it, and nobody else's. Regrettably, administration di d not share the same sentiment. Matt frustration with such disruptions was certainly a recurring theme throughout our interviews and his blog posts. In fact, of his 11 blog posts, he brought up instructional disruptions in five of them, usually citing th e fact that the social studies is not tested and therefore undervalued by school officials. As this Complicating Action reveals, Matt takes this issue personally. He considers himself a content oriented teacher and takes deep pride in teaching his content to his students. Accordingly, he feels as though he is not fulfilling his teacher identity when he cannot teach his students.
179 Never one to dwell on the negative for t o o long, Matt wrote an Evaluation in which he discussed the aspects of teaching civics tha t he enjoys most: I will however say the topic of civics seem to genuinely peak the stu interest. This was particularly fun for me to watch unfold, as their eyes gazed upon this new information for which they had held no real previous acclimation. SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! This I positively loved, and for the most part I believe they were genuine. When my students are asking questions, I become infatuated with the moment. I love seeing their interests be piqued by whatever new topic we were discussing. All in all, life was PRETTTAAAY good. Student enthusiasm for civics was another recurring theme for Matt. Previously, he referred to when students are raising their hands as his favorite classroom moment. To put it colloquially, this is how Matt gets his kick s as a civics teacher. Shifting back to the negative, Matt launched into another Complicating Action where he revealed another issue for novice teachers: the life transition. He wrote about the teaching part of his life being manageable, but the living pa rt as being a huge adjustment. For the first time, he had his own house and he lived in a place where he had no support system. Perhaps most importantly, he saw all of this as an end to his ? No more late night rumpuses on the campus ground? How on earth would I survive such an extreme But by the second half of the year I had become far more comfortable and s table in the classroom and at my school. I was beginning to feel less and less like a newbie, and more as my individual self. I still feel I am growing, and I can't wait to be an even better teacher come next August. Here, Matt spoke directly to the quest and more as himself. He felt that he could stand on his own and emerged into as I would put it,
180 As Matt began to draw his narrative to an end, he offered a series of closing thoughts to encapsulate the year. These came in the form of an Evaluation and a then listed the largest stresses that he anticipate s for next year: the end of course exam ination standard mastery (a new district posts, he certainly mentioned the exam ination and the F CAT on multiple occasions, and it would be fair to say that both deeply factor into his sense making as a civics teacher. To end his narrative, Matt offered this very telling postscript: aching Civics, but in an ideal world I am an American history person teaching Civics. Don't get me wrong, it's my second favorite subject to teach, but nothing would give me greater pleasure than teaching American history I've also become more disenchante d with the idea of remaining in the middle school setting. I feel I'd be able to delve deeper into the content with my students and there is a whole lot less babysitting. That being said, it will be a sad day when I leave this school. The school, the p eopl e, the students are all abso lutely marvelous. Even at this moment, I am not sure I can accurately label this a Resolution. Although it ended with a positive sentiment, the regretful tone of the larger paragraph seems to dominate it. As for message, Matt s As previously mentioned, when my analyses of the above five narratives were and conducted a snapshot
181 able to glean substantive insights and discern structural patterns. For the former, I found that Matt spoke often and at length about the kind of teach er he is, the degree to which his students lack the intellectual foundation for higher order thinking and learning, and standardized testing and the disruptions they cause. For the latter, I found that three structural patterns short narratives, one word or otherwise very brief Coda s and multiple and oftentimes lengthy Evaluations help to illuminate the ways in which Matt makes sense of his civics teacher identity. The kind of teacher Matt is There is an old education joke that reads something like t his: Elementary school teachers love their students, secondary school teachers love their content, and college professors love themselves. I can say with certainty that for one secondary teacher Matt the saying is quite accurate. Matt loves his content or, as he once stated, and his eleven blog posts, Matt explicitly declared his passion for content, although most often, he defined his content as American history r ather than civics or government. just loved school. I was such a nerd And middle sc hool, you know I enjoyed geography and history, and especially American history I loved American history passion for content factors heavily into the type of teacher that Matt believes himself to be and even the type of teacher that he be lieves all teachers should be. As he tangentially opined in one lengthy Evaluation section in a narrative about a professional development workshop:
182 Evaluation: I also believe, and it comes down to philosophy, I really believe the best teachers okay, you content well. But I fight about this with people. I strongly believe the teacher has to be passionate and knowledgeable about content. And civics is something I already knew a lot so important and the kids can tell. which knew a lot content knowledge surrounding civics. love for content would come as no surprise. S econdary teachers, unlike many elementary teachers, usually how to teach and generally view themselves as content specialists Still, many second ary teachers, while embracing their content, would point to a different passion that drives their work such as the child, the curriculum, teaching strategies and techniques (Erin would point to this passion) or advocating for equity and social justice (Na tional School Reform Faculty, Lack of intellectual foundation in students ability to teach them new content, an issue he brought up multiple times throughout our interviews. Matt struggled with this challenge, particularly because his student teaching
183 experience in an academically accelerated magnet program was wholly different, which was something that Matt acknowledged in an Evaluation section: Evaluation: M y whole internship experience with the academy magnet tune with willing to learn, all of them, e ven the little rascals. I mean, they, in the end they were there to l earn. So it was like an honors I know because I work with an honors level teacher and her students are level kids. And all of those controversial iss ues lessons that we did during my student teaching, I mean, I was just floored. I could not do that with these kids. No way. Later at the end that same interview, I asked Matt if there was anything else he wanted to talk about, at which point he provided a narrative devoted entirely to this issue of his I labeled the nar (see Appendix H) something Matt stated three separate times throughout the story, which consisted mostly of two large Evaluat ion sections (lines 3 13 and 21 27). While Matt devoted most of the story to the way in which he wavered between assigning blame and taking responsibility as the teacher to accommodate what he perceived to be an academic deficiency in his students. the h igher order thinking skills to fully grasp the content are interrelated. Taken together, they negativel y affected both his mental well being and his identity as a civics teacher. In other words, because content is so important to Matt and because his stude nts lacked the skills to fully understand the content, he oftentimes felt down about his job and, to some extent, his job performance. As he stated at the end of our last interview
184 Stand ardized testing and disruptions Unfortunately, standardized tests and the instructional disruptions they in variably cause have a ubiquitous presence in American schooling For most teachers, they are ex pected, if not fully frustrating, inconveniences. For most social studies teachers, they are the bane of their professional existences as the tests and disruptions rarely cater to their content area. This is certainly the case for Matt, who brought up test ing on multiple Because there was no standardized, high stakes social studies test during t he the instructional time that was taken from the social studies to accommodate test preparation for reading, writing, math, and science. As he began in the Abstract of a post and his verb choice for his first sentence, I knew that this was going to be a The students are tested on a rea ent that measures their reading level ability and learning gains. There is no specific social studies test, so the students are tested only on reading udies takes the brunt of all blows to its curriculum, because there is no FCAT. Personally I detest standardized tests, and I enjoy not having to worry about teaching to a test (at teachers.
185 While there was no social studies test during the year of my study, Matt, like Erin, knew that there would soon be an end of course examination for civics, a subject he initiated in the form of more negative narratives. As he wrote in the Complic ating Action of a sub be the district test. And then the yea narrative was part of a larger meta narrative entitled, All of the narrative elements included words a the last of which he said eight times throughout the story. Needless to say, standardized testing factors strongly entity. Short narratives narratives. To be sure, there were more than a couple of two to three page transcribed narratives that he provided, but more often than not, the transcripts would be less than a page and sometimes less than half a page. Take, for example, this 229 word narrative, the first narrative Matt provided durin g our first interview together. It is I always wanted to be two things : I wanted to be a teacher and a zoologist. I gave up on the zoologist later on because I realized it just financially was not what I wanted to be. And I considered veterinary, dual majoring, but I wanted to do some kind of dual career whether it was teaching zoology or teaching history, and then doing zoology part time. You know, I always wanted to do those th ings. And it was in 7 th grade, I won a superlative at middle school. This is how much of a nerd I was ((laughs)). I was, and you
186 th i you know, I always, I just loved school. I was such a nerd And middle school, you know I enjoyed geography and history, and I just, especially American history I loved American history Impressively, despite the brevity of the story, it contains all six narrative elements in order, including a one wo narratives that I discuss in the next sub narrative elements, althoug h many were out of order and he had a few transitions between Complicating Action s and Evaluations. At first, I was not sure what to make of these short narratives, other than to say that Matt tends to be brief (although not curt) and to the point. However when I thought about these short narratives in relation to Erin occurred to me. First, unlike Erin Matt was a history major. Having taken many history courses and seminars myself ( even at the same u niversity as Matt), I know that two virtues are highly valued during discussion: not speaking until one has an original and meaningful point to make and making that point as quickly and succinctly as possible. These virtues are equally prized in written assignments on which professorial evaluations frequently encourage the writer to remove unnecessary words and clauses. Second, unlike Erin Matt frequently posted journal entries on our blog and so I already knew a lot of what was occurring in his class before we had ou r interviews. This allowed him to gloss over contextual details and get to the point of his story. Still, I am left wondering how and in what ways his brevity and his sense making are related. For Erin long winded narratives allowed for a large degree of
187 actually see her identity forming and shifting as she narrated her experiences. For Matt, this happened less frequently Brief Codas If there was one structural trend I came to expect from Matt, it was the way in which he of tentimes ended his narrative s with either a very short or one word Coda. In and one word Codas in three. For example, Matt concluded an uncharacteristically long t wo end did not follow a Resolution in which Matt seemed to be winding the story down or bringing it to a natural stopping point. On the contrary, Matt was in the midst of a Complicating Action and had just recreated a dialog between him and his students me followed Evaluations and others followed Complicating Actions. feature of his narratives. The simple fact that a particular structural feature appears frequently does necessarily make the feature significant. Moreover, this feature is not so uncommon in everyday conversation. Many people have difficulty concluding their stories or clearly restating their main argument at the end of a persuasive monologue. As a result, they do exactly what Matt did when he realized he was out of points or narrative details challenges the significance of this structural feature, it was not accompanied by another struc tural trend. As already noted, these brief Codas followed Complicating Actions, Evaluations, and Resolutions, and can be found in both short and long narratives.
188 his s tories, a potential sign that Matt was not always sure of where he was going with a story or the kind of identity he was trying to articulate for himself through his telling of the story. Herein l ie M ultiple and lengthy Evaluat ions the quantity and length of their Evaluations. In all but a few, I found multiple Evaluations, 309 of the 532 words (58% ) that Matt evoked to tell me about his first year as a teacher were devoted to one Evaluation in which h e explained his feelings about givin g too e were four Evaluation sections comprising 54% of the entire story. As I was trying to make sense of this structural feature, I went back and read through my research journal entries that followed my interviews with Matt. One entry stoo d out. Following our very first int erview together, I recorded these thoughts: Like Erin, Matt is very energetic and very passionate about teaching. Chatting with him was like chatting with a fellow graduate student and ardent supporter of education and th e social studies. Matt answered my questions a lot more directly than Erin. There were definitely some narratives interwoven into his responses, but certainly not as many as in Matt makes statements more than he tells stories. To be certa in, Matt made sense of his identity as a civics teacher by narrating his experiences in the classroom and beyond. He just did not do it to the degree that Erin did. In many instances, Matt seemed to have already thought a lot about some of the issues I bro ught I up during our interviews. As such, his responses were far more direct. Still, he used stories to support his beliefs and, in doing so, continued to construct new
189 meanings from the experiences that have shaped his beliefs. Just as his beliefs cannot be separated from these experiences, his statements cannot be separated from the narratives in which they were located. Concluding Remarks The narratives that emerged from my interviews with Erin and Matt illustrate that their experiences, and, more impor tantly, the meanings they have constructed from these experiences, have led to the emergence of very individual civics teacher identities. These nascent identities began with their decisions to become civics teachers and continued to evolve as each teacher spent more time in the classroom and became increasingly comfortable with his or her role. Interestingly, neither Erin nor Matt originally envisioned themselves as civics teachers, with the former favoring geography and the latter favoring history. Noneth eless, each embraced their assigned subjects over the course of the year and routinely felt invigorated by the teaching. With the exception of the looming and anxiety inducing end of course examination, which both participants feel will n egatively influenc e their instruction, Erin and Matt were excited about another school year of teaching civics and neither expressed regret that they would not receive new teaching assignments. Both Erin and Matt were able to readily detail their classroom experiences and make meaning from them, as expressed in their unique but equally fascinating narrative structures. From Erin, I came to expect longer and untraditionally structured narratives with many sub narratives, long Complicating Action Evaluation sequences, and wea k or absent Resolutions. From Matt, I saw shorter, more structured narratives with multiple and lengthy Evaluations and brief Codas. Sometimes, these structures told me more about the participant than the actual substance of his or her responses. However, taken
190 together, both structure and substance proved invaluable to my own sense making regarding the meaning making processes. In terms of substance, from each participant I was able to glean a strong set of insights regarding their civics te acher identity. Erin is the kind of teacher who really loves teaching, bounces between taking responsibility for her shortcomings in the classroom and sometimes placing the blame on students, and is perfectly comfortable not knowing all of the answers. The type of student she was has a strong influence on the type of teacher that she is, and she finds much job satisfaction in learning alongside her students Matt is a content driven teacher. This passion for content seems to affect everything he does in his classroom and everything he feels regarding his teaching. His favorite lessons are the ones in which he can focus on more historical elements, and he oftentimes feels depressed when his students are unable to fully understand such historical content due t o what he believes to be poor critical thinking skills. For both participants, the engaging and relevant qualities of the civics curriculum provide a great amount of satisfaction. To be sure, Erin and Matt feel the best about their teaching, and therefore themselves as civics teachers, when they are delivering lesson plans that
191 Figure 4
192 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS Here they come. How co uld I be? the job. Frank McCourt, Teacher Man. Introductory Remarks Popular media is saturated with depictions of novice teachers struggling to survive their first teaching assignments and ultimately achieving great suc cess with their rowdy and incorrigible, if not downright hostile, students. Oftentimes, the protagonists are idealistic second career educators who find their teaching positions to be in less than desirable schools and classrooms. For instance, in the 1967 classic, To Sir, with Love Sidney Poitier played an engineer turned teacher who throws out the textbooks in an office hit, Dangerous Minds Michelle Pfeiffer, a former Marine, uses her under privileged, inner understand literature. Both films end with the now beloved teacher leaving the school, y idealistic first career teachers find themselves in simila r settings, achieving similar results. For example, in the 1967 drama, Up the Down Staircase, Sandy Dennis play ed a rookie teacher who tries to apply the teaching theories she learned in college t o her uncooperative students in a racially diverse high school In the 2007 hit, Freedom Writers, Hillary Swank starred as a young and excited schoolteacher who finds herself in the unfamiliar territory of a n formerly high achievin g Los Angeles school which recently implemented a racial integration plan. Using culturally relevant themes and student journals, she transforms all of her students into writers. Again, both films conclude with
193 an astonishing turn around in student attitu de and achievement and with the teacher emerging victoriously as inspirational role model to her students. While the stories enacted in these films are heartwarming, they often have little basis in reality. To be fair, many are adaptations of books that ar e based on true stories. However, few match the experiences of everyday novice teachers who find themselves in far less extraordinary environments, struggling with far less exciting obstacles. That was certainly true for the two participants in my study, o ne of whom teaches in the same school she attended as a middle school student a decade earlier. Indeed, both participants faced far less intimidating student populations in far more welcoming school environments with far more resources, support, and teache r training than the teachers portrayed in these films. That is not to say that they did not confront similar feelings of vulnerability, self doubt, and anxiety. As Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt (2005) wrote in Teacher Man teachers. McCourt (2005) continued: On the first day of my teaching career, I was almost fired for eating the sandwich of a high schoo l boy. On the second day I was almost fired for mentioning the possibility of friendship with a sheep. Otherwise, there was nothing remarkable about my thirty years in the high school classrooms of New York City. I often doubted if I should be there at all At the end I wondered how it lasted that long. (p. 11) I would venture to guess that, looking back over 30 years in the classroom, most veteran teachers would hold similar sentiments. They might remember an extraordinary event or two a couple of good s tories but most would say that there was nothing remarkable about their three decades in the classroom, and just about every single one
194 would wonder how it lasted that long. However, for novice teachers who just finished their first or second year on the job, every day probably seemed remarkable and every day probably has a story. This was true in my study in which my two participants shared countless narratives that allowed them to reflect upon their novice experiences, and in doing so, construct their e merging teacher identities. But what about their emerging civics teacher identities? What do their narratives reveal about their commitment to teaching civics, the reasons they believe civics should be taught, or the degree to which they enjoy civics subj ect matter and learning activities? Do they even view themselves as civics teachers, or would it be fairer to say that their teacher identities are couched in the broader discipline of the social studies? These are important questions, particularly in ligh precarious position in the public school curriculum, at least over the past 50 years. The tem, is an important first step in improving the their professional identities n eglect the civic mission of schools, perhaps we are nave to believe that pro civic education legislation will realize its intended purposes. With this in the u nderst and ing I gleaned from their experiences and perceptions, constantly considering with th e ways in which they view the important task of educating the next generation of republicans.
195 Discussion of Findings and Implications In this section, I will explore fin dings across six categories best practices for teaching civics, high stakes testing, types of teacher, being evaluated, optimism about as they relate to novice social studies entities and connect them to the corresponding literature. For each section, I will end with a focused discussion of the implications stemming from those findings. Best Practices for Teaching Civics I asked the participants about their ideas of best practi ce in teaching civics. Through their responses to this question, I believed that Erin and Matt offered a glimpse of the type of instruction in which they typically engage their students and the types of instructional activities that help them to feel good about themselves as civics teachers. and keeps them engaged. Generally speaking, E rin and Matt feel the best about their teaching, and therefore themselves as civics teachers, when they are delivering lesson plans that they believe to be engaging and relevant which they also believe is comparatively easy to do with the civics curriculu m. As mentioned in Chapter 2, CIRCLE and the Carnegie Corporation of New York held a series of meetings in 2002 lea rning and engag ement and to offer recommendations Their work is summarized in the 2003 report entitled The Civic Mission of Schools The report is clear in its dismissal o f stereotypical civics classes and urges schools to offer civic learning experiences that
196 1. Provide instruction in government, history, law, and democracy. 2. Incorporate discussion of current, local, national, and international issues and events in the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives. 3. Design and implement programs that provide students with the opportunity to apply what they learn through performing community serv ice that is linked to the formal curriculum and classroom instruction. 4. Offer extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities. 5. Encourage student participation in school governance. 6. Encou rage student participation in simulations of democratic processes and procedures. (p. 6) in direct response to my question about best practices, Matt discussed his use of iCivics, a popular educational site for teaching civics through video games, as an example of a technology he likes to use in his classroom. These games represent digital l isted in the Civic Mission of Schools report. Additionally, throughout the interviews, both Erin and Matt referred to classroom discussion. When combined with their belief that classroom activities should be relevant to students, I feel confident that they were also implementing the second promising approach. activities be engaging and relevant finds much support in the larger report itself, as well as the greater body of lit erature related to civic education, social studies education, and education in general. But why are Erin and Matt so convinced that engaging and
197 relevant learning activities are best? Research on novice teachers reveals that their perceptions of best pract background, beliefs about students, beliefs about subject matter, and messages from the school culture (Bullough, 1990, 1994; Bullough, Knowles, & Crow, 1992; Cornett, 1990; Grant, 2003; van Hover & Pierce, 2006). However, from her review of research on the professional growth of preservice and novice teachers, Dona Kagan (1992) programs of teacher education usually re main inflexible. Candidates tend to use the information provided in coursework to confirm rather than to confront and correct their neglect to acknowledge the centrality of c onceptions of self to teacher development. It is certainly difficult to pinpoint the exact origins of novice teacher beliefs about considerable impact on their understanding of what it means to be a teacher and what good teaching looks like (Cook, 2009; Deal & White, 2005; Sugrue, 1997; van Hover & Yeager, 2004). Interestingly, neith er Erin nor Matt spoke at length about good teachers or even good civic learning experiences that they encountered during their K 12 schooling. In fact, Erin spoke at length about bad teachers, leading me to think that she ap systematically employs the types of learning experiences that she did not encounter in her own education. Regardless of the origins of novice teacher beliefs about best practices, the implications for teacher e ducation programs and early professional
198 experiences are quite obvious: they must pay attention to the centrality of conceptions of self to teacher development. In other words, such programs must encourage novices to make their personal beliefs explicit, w hich, in turn, will allow them to positively reconstruct the image of self as teacher (Bullough, 1994; Kagan, 1992). civics serve as a reflection of their commitment to the civic mission of schools. That would be a leap. It would also be disingenuous, as I believe that Matt and Erin would hold similar conceptions of best practices for teaching World history, geography, or even economics. Nevertheless, I am pleased that their conceptions find support in the literature related to best practices for teaching civics High Stakes Testing As discussed in Chapter 1, t in the summer of 2010. In addit ion to other instructional mandates, the act r equire s the administration of an end of course examination in civics at the middle school level and the inclusion of results from this examination in determining school grades (CS/HB 105, Civics Education). Wit hin this highly centralized, performance based context, novice social studies teachers begin their careers in Florida. As they begin to work through the complex process of learning to teach, they do so in a context that requires content specific standards and a fact recall, multiple choice, end of course examination that directly affects student promotion and school rank. It should therefore come as no surprise that a major substantive finding that emerged from my study is the role that high stakes testing making processes. As mentioned multiple times throughout Chapter 4, both participants
199 spoke frequently and sometimes at length about the pending end of course examination for seventh grade civics, a subject that I never initiated d uring our interviews. Both spoke about the examination in a negative light, oftentimes bringing it up during a Complicating Action section of a narrative, and both indicated that it would affect their pedagogy. In other words, Erin and Matt believe that th ey will no longer be able to teach the interactive and engaging lessons they enjoy ones that would be considered best practice because, in their estimation, such teaching would not translate into test preparation. We can expect that their identities as civics teachers will be deflated during the coming years as the examination takes on increased importance for their students and their schools, and their pedagogy shifts in response. Researchers have not ignored the likely influence of high stakes tests o n the instructional decision making of novice social studies teachers. Specifically, Stephanie van Hover, from the University of Virginia, has teamed up with other researchers in her state and one in Florida to conduct a handful of studies that focus on th is very issue. As she and a co year history teachers perceive and respond to the high stakes tests will, in a large part, influence how they conceptualize and develop their instructional practice and, possibly, determine whether or not they stay in the a powerful contextual presence that collides with novice teacher identity development and interferes with the already messy work of trying to loca capacity for thought . And the last thing I want to
200 Other findings from van Hover and Pierce (2006) suggest that novice teache rs begin in a sort of survival mode, oftentimes unconcerned with high stakes tests. However, as the test dates near, they become a great deal more anxious about them, qui ckly preparing the students. Although Matt and Erin never came so close to the end of course examination during my study, they certainly anticipated that such instructional shifts would occur in the future. Additionally, as both participants in the van Hov er and this means, in the context of either study, is difficult to determine. The good news is, studies by Yeager and van Hover (2006) and van Hover, Hicks, and Irwin (2006) (2010) conception of ambitious teaching which I will now explain. Testing critics argue that, within individual classrooms, teachers routinely plan and deliver rich and engaging lessons and that high stakes tests stifle this creativity. Many see the relationship between teachers and tests as being defensive, a notion that assumes that teachers exist primarily in a reactive mode to educational policy. Interestingl y, Grant (2010) argues that there is little evidence pointing to wholesale instructional change as a result of high stakes tests and offers an alternative to the notion of defensive teaching. This alternative notion, which Grant refers to as ambitious teac is nuanced, complex, and contextualized both
201 Grant explains that ambitious teaching develops when teachers know their subject matter well, when teachers know their students well, and when teachers know how to create the necessary space for themselves and their students in environments in which others may not appre ciate their efforts. Although it remains to be seen, I predict that Erin and Ma tt will develop ambitious teaching over the next few school years as they work to provide the most meaningful instruction possible and preserve their teacher identities. They know their subject matter well, they know their students well, and I am optimisti c that they will know how to persevere in the hostile environment that high stakes tests naturally create. The effects of high stakes testing, particularly on instructional decision making and novice teacher identity formulation, have strong implications f or teacher educators. As van Hover and Pierce (2006) poignantly ask in the context of history education: What is the responsibility of teacher educators to prepare their students for ambitious teaching in the age of high stakes testing? What, exactly, does this type of teaching look like? Can we reconcile research based notions of best practice, with their emphasis on deep coverage of key issues in history and historical thinking skills, with high stakes tests that require superficial, fact based coverage o In the context of civic education, I wonder if we can reconcile research based notions of best practice, with their emphasis on deep instruction, discussion, and simulations, among other engaging classroom activities, with high stak es tests that require superficial, fact based coverage of many benchmarks. This reconciliation should be viewed as one of the most pressing tasks for teacher educators today, especially if they hope to preserve even the smallest presence of the civic missi on of schools in social studies classrooms. Because civic education legislation in Florida represents a double
202 edged sword increased civics instruction with high stakes testing attached this reconciliation has been necessary from the moment of the legi Types of Teacher As discussed in the last section of Chapter 4, Erin is the type of teacher who really loves teaching, bounces between taking responsibility for her shortcomings in the classroom and sometimes placing the blame on student s, and is perfectly comfortable not knowing all of the answers. She is also, to a considerable extent, very concerned mastery of standards (rather than teaching of standar ds). Matt is a content driven teacher. This passion for subject matter seems to affect everything he does in his classroom and everything he feels regarding his teaching and teacher identity. While he views teaching as much more than the transmission of kn owledge, he firmly believes that teachers require a deep and full understanding of their assigned subject area. Beijaard, Meijer, and Verloop ( 2004 ) considered three categories of teacher pr ofessional identity, which served as their theoretical framework: teacher as a subject matter expert, teacher as a pedagogical expert, and teacher as a didactical expert. Most teachers in their study saw themselves as subject matter and didactical experts, which seems to be consistent with many secondary teachers, including the participants in my study. Further, m ost social studies teachers in their study saw themselves as subject matter expert s, which certainly matches my observations as a social studies t eacher educator. The teachers in their study who perceived themselves as subject matter experts often clarified this by stating that without expertise in subject matter, one cannot be a teacher: they frequently wrote that subject matter is the basis for a
203 seriously by students I strongly believe the teacher has to be pas sionate and knowledgeable about content. And civics is something I already knew a lot about . But I just feel content is so important Erin, on the other hand, was forthcoming about her weaknesses as a subject matter expert fo r civics. Unlike Matt, she is easily categorized as a didactical expert. In Beijaard, Meijer, 2004 who perceive themselves mainly as didactical experts frequently clarified this by referring to conditions for student learni ng and lesson planning as important features of their work consistently the case for Erin. Whenever I arrived for another interview and asked her what she wanted to talk about, her responses always included references to lesson plans, classroom activities, and her struggles to create learning experiences that best with her subject matter expertise than Matt was consistent with the findings from Beijaard Meijer, teachers perceive themselves as subject matter experts. Of additional interest in Beijaard, Meijer, 2004 ) study are three categories of factors that might influenc professional identity: teaching context, teaching experience, and the biography of the teacher. Teaching context consists of the ecology of the classroom and the culture of the school. For my study, the former always seemed more important for Matt while the latter which includes expectations of the community, students, members of the school
204 board, and colleagues was evidently important for Erin. As the authors acknowledge, probably t o a large extent the stories of individual they cannot be overlooked in narrative studies of teacher identity. The second category teacher experience has obviou s relevancies to any study Beijaard, Meijer, & Verloop, 2004 p. 753), which means that novice teachers experience greater cognitive exertion. In turn, they are more likely to feel worn down, despite their younger average age. Still, as very much. We learn not from having an experience, but f emphasis in original p. 104). Returning to age, the generational cohort of a teacher is also a factor increases when they have school age children themselves. This insight can be interpreted as an experience from private life that has a profound effect on a novice e teachers, such as the two in my study, have school age children. The implications of perceptions of professional identity including the type of teacher one perceives him or herself to be are important for teacher educators to consider. Not only are they useful for helping inservice teachers understand their self image, which would potentially foster self reflection and increased feelings of self confidence (especially during the early years), they are also useful for preservice
205 teachers as part of t heir teacher education and orientation. If preservice teachers are provided opportunities to craft an identity prior to entering the classroom, they are more likely to feel confident in that identity once they enter the classroom. The implications for th e civic mission of schools are less obvious. In a perfect world, all teachers who are charged with the important task of educating the next generation of republicans would view themselves as subject matter, pedagogical, and didactical experts. In reality, this is unlikely to be the case. If I could choose a type of teacher for the civics classroom, I would choose a civics subject matter expert, because, in my experience, such teachers are extremely passionate about civic education and hold teaching philosop hies that consider and reference the civic mission of schools. Matt is a subject matter expert, but I would hesitate to call him a civics subject matter expert. On the contrary, I would consider him to be an American history and government expert, which do es not necessarily include an understanding of the important role that citizens play in the American polity or society in general. This helps to explain his difficulty articulating the importance of civic education when I asked, for example, why he believe d the Florida legislature thought it wise to pass a civic education bill. Erin, as a didactical expert and as someone for whom World history was her first social studies passion, had similar difficulties. Being Evaluated Being observed and evaluated by sch ool administrators is a universal experience for teachers, and a particularly stressing experience for novice teachers. In Florida, new teachers can expect to have at least two classroom observations a year by an administrator and a formal evaluation at th e end of the school year. Although the system likely differs a great deal across states, school districts, and even schools themselves,
206 the experience of being evaluated, including the feelings of vulnerability that it fosters, is likely similar for all no vice teachers. For this reason, among others, it has been included in many studies of their experiences. As one would expect, many novice teachers report feelings of anxiety and stress leading up to a classroom observation or evaluation meeting (Romano & G ibson, 2006). administrator rescheduling his observations, and then only staying for a short time, signaled a level of annoyance with having to go through the troub le of preparing and worrying, only to be slighted by the administrator. Still, teachers report being far more annoyed when classroom observations are spontaneous (Romano, 2008), so despite the anxiety that precedes a planned visit by an administrator, novi ce teachers still appreciate having advance warning and time to prepare. More relevant to my study, novice teachers oftentimes report frustration with the feedback they receive from administrators (Fry, 2007, 2009; Romano, 2008; Romano & Gibson, 2006). T his frustration is present regardless of the nature of the feedback. That is, novice teachers are just as frustrated with positive feedback that leaves them with no constructive suggestions for improvement as they are with negative feedback that they might find either inaccurate, unconstructive, or both. Matt fell into the latter category, to be a subject matter expert and the lukewarm evaluation he received in this area, factors heavily into his teacher identity. Considering the strong emotions that he shared during
207 our interview, I think it would be fair to say that retention of teach ers like Matt is heavily influenced by their perceptions of their evaluation experiences. teacher evaluation is frustration. Accordingly, induction programs would be wise to reform their approach to this important practice. At the end of her manuscript, Fry (2007) offers a list of suggestions for improving the induction experience. In the area of teacher evaluations, she recommends that administrators: Schedule post observation conf erences within a week of the classroom observation; Offer feedback on the teaching goals novices have self identified; Offer constructive feedback about deficit areas; and Help beginning teachers brainstorm ways to improve their self identified concerns. (p. 233) Notably, two of these recommendations promote self reflection by the novice, requiring him or her to identify goals and concerns. In the end, the administrator will still share his or her own concerns about deficit areas and offer constructive fee dback, but a large part of the onus rests with the teacher. Such exercises have the potential to assist teachers in positively formulating their professional identities. Still, regardless of strategy, research on novice teachers consistently supports deemp hasized teacher evaluation (Conderman & Johnston Rodriquez, 2009; Griffin, Winn, Otis Wilborn, & Kilgore, 2003; Romano & Gibson, 2006) and emphasized teacher development (Bullough, 1994). These implications are just as helpful when considering ways to prom ote the civic mission of schools through teacher induction programs. At one point during his lengthy diatribe against the administrator who performed his evaluation, I asked Matt if the administrator had any background in civics or social studies. Before f inishing the
208 assessment of his content expertise even more. In my mind, this undermined the on, as part of the larger realm of the civic mission of schools. Perhaps one great way to support the mission is to have mentors and administrators who understand and value it. Then, instead of giving teachers marks for their civics subject matter expertis e, or lack thereof, mentors and administrators can engage their novice charges in conversations about important civics knowledge, skills, and dispositions, and the ways in which teachers can responsibly foster those in their students. It is not uncommon for novice teachers to resolve uring their first year or two, they learn some things about classroom management and about how to fulfill curricular expectations, but they also begin to reexamine prioritie s, to plan ways to increase their own competence in certain subject areas, and to work on ways to teach that are more interesting t o themselves and their students (Featherstone, 1993). As I already mentioned in this chapter, for Erin doing things about adapting instruction in response to an end of course examination than it was about making her teaching more interesting for herself and her students. This might help explain why van Hover and Pierce (2006) named their manuscript o n novice stakes However, there is a difference in thinking between Erin and the primary infor mant in the van Hover and Pierce (2006) study. In preparation for the examination, Erin
209 anticipated giving more worksheets and not allowing students to engage in so many activities As she stated: I will tell you that I have loved my opportunity to teach m y curriculum before not my kids did something really cool and fun and interactive and had a great time or if th ey provide ((nervous laugh)) accomplishment and mastery of a true standard. On the other hand, the primary informant in the van Hover and Piece study anticipated delivering engaging lessons that would help students to think. Specifically, he stated: Next y and a far greater awareness of pacing. My thinking is this: If I prepare lessons that are efficient and engaging lessons that uncover conceptions and teach kids HOW to think the n the scores will take care of themselves. year will be different. (p. 46) Needless to say, the presence of high stakes tests had a profound impact on both ion making. The question that needs further exploration is kind of impact do high decision High stakes tests notwithstanding, most novice teachers express true optimism marked improvement (Cook, 2009; Fry, 2007, 2009; Tait, 2008). In my study, this was true for Erin and Matt, as both expressed hope for doing things better next year outside of the context of the end of course examination. Such feelings would certainly have a positive influence on their civics teacher identity and increase the likelihood that they will stay in the teaching profession, if not the civics classroom. Returning to my pr evious comments on teacher evaluation, and the implications that my study and previous studies hold in that regard, I believe that an understanding
210 the minds of many novi ces would help them to provide more meaningful support. Rather with an optimistic outlook toward the following school year. Further, if the mentors and administrato rs were civics educators themselves, they could facilitate a discussion regarding the extent to which the novices felt they achieved important civic outcomes with their students, as well as strategies for improving in that area during the following school year. Novice Teacher Identity The novice years of classroom teaching are easily characterized as a struggle to ( Dotger & Smith, 2009). In addition to learning on the job to transition their nascent preservice philosophies int o daily practice, novice teachers of a culturally scripted, often narrowly defined professional role while maintaining ll order for a cohort that is often dealing with feelings of self doubt and instability. Nonetheless, this identity work occurs at the intersection of their professional training, their own experiences as students, the ir former te achers whom they hope to m odel [or not model] and their understanding of the classroom teacher (Samuel & Stephens, 2000; Sugrue, 1997). As Dotger and Smith The dissonance between these concepts places teachers in a position where they must organize and make meaning of their past, present, and future exper iences in order to construct an In my study,
211 work and its accompanying her anxieties about being a civics teacher and her desperate a ttempts at what [she] preach work is characterized by forces inside of her classroom, forces outside of her classroom he community, and her husband), her understanding of what a good civics teacher should be and do, and the extra vulnerability she felt after having been named Novice Teacher of the Year for her school district. This is a complex intersection one that ext ends far beyond professional training, experiences as students, the apprenticeship of observation, and understanding of what it means to be a classroom teacher With so many forces at play, it is difficult for novice teachers, or any teachers for that mat ter, to converge upon a stable, unified identity. This reality, as Zembylas (2003) identity formation as articulated through talk, social interaction, and self presentation, subjectivity emphasis in original experience as intense and as extended as the first years of classroom teaching imag sense of their identities and to present a self that is desirable, if not also complex, changing, and uncertain.
212 Working from this perspective, I had to abandon the assumption that Erin and Matt would present singular civics teacher identities that might serve as windows into their experiences as novice social studies teachers. Such an assum ption, according to This became clearer throughout data collection, but specificall y during data analysis, I could hope to accomplish would be to reach some understanding of the ways in which they make sense of those identities. Partway through hi s first chapter of Teacher Man McCourt (2005) offered this small window into his novice teacher psyche, illustrating the intersection of narrative, performance, and identity: Instead of teaching, I told stories. Anything to keep them quiet and in their se ats. They thought I was teaching. I thought I was teaching. I was learning. And you called yourself a teacher? high school classroom you are a drill sergeant, a rabbi, a shoulder to cry on, a disciplinarian, a singer, a low level scholar, a clerk, a referee, a clown, a counselor, a dress code enforcer, a conductor, an apologist, a philosopher, a collaborator, a tap dancer, a politician, a therapist, a fool, a traffic cop, a priest, a mother father brother sister uncle aunt, a bookkeeper, a critic, a psychologist, the last straw. (p. 19) After rereading this section, I knew I had heard something similar during one of my interviews with Matt. The question was about his teaching philosop hy, which he had
213 difficulty explaining. Still, it was easy to understand the gist and see parallels to I believe enthusiasm, being an entertainer is all part of the job, you know being that corny, being able to sort of mystify them, definitely brings to the A Our teacher still has a way of kind of making it en that enough of a person and I just cause the way I look at it is, okay, maybe I never put become a fun for them stat e of mind. Just as McCourt hesitated to call himself a teacher, Matt hesitated to call himself a good teacher. Instead, both narrated a complex identity that presented their teacher selves as performers who are simply trying to do the right thing. This is constantly on stage and urgently needs to develop a perfoming self with whom he or she can live comfortably represent stage, it brings us back to Erin and her struggle with her identity both inside and outside of her classroom. Further, it helps use to realize that formulating a teacher identity i s not as simple as merely standing in front a classroom of students and being the teacher one strives to be. On the contrary, it is a complex negotiation between teacher and self that oftentimes fails to achieve a resolution (Cook, 2009). As I will soon di scuss, there is still much to be learned about novice teacher identity. Nevertheless, what we already know, in addition to what my study reveals, has important implications for teacher educators, schools, and teachers. First, as Cook Unfortunately, the self is almost always neglected in teacher education programs. For
214 this to change, Samuel and Stephens (2000) assert that designers of teacher education programs must address the following questions: Are student teachers afforded sufficient time, space, and curriculum input to develop critical conceptions of themselves as learners; their peers as future learning; the school culture in which they practice; the teaching and learning practices of teacher colleagues and administrators; and their conceptions of themselves as teachers in a rapidly changing environment? Should teacher education institutions ser ve to reinforce and/or challenge student What should be the nature and content of the experiences that novice student teachers are presented with in their training in order t o realize the development of critical reflective skills. (pp. 489 90) These critical questions, among others, need to be addressed by researchers and identities and to adj of the charge for colleges and universities to take more responsibility for the beginning years of teaching, we need to embrace and practice comprehensive pedagogies in teacher education t hat address the whole teacher the emotional, intellectual, and Second, current trends in teacher evaluation (e.g., quantitative measures tying student achievement to teacher effectiveness) place unnece ssary stress on all teachers and get in the way of more meaningful evaluation strategies that allow teachers to make sense of their developing selves. School leadership would be wise to downplay mainstream evaluation measures and encourage practices that h elp teachers, especially novices, to better understand their teacher selves. Third, teachers themselves must make it a priority to engage in identity work, making self reflection a regular part of their workday. There is a strong need, according to Cook (2 009), for
215 291). It is nave to believe that such dispositions are to be fostered without deliberate and systematic attention to the teacher self. Future Investigation s It is important to do research on how novice teachers perceive their professional identities. Their perceptions, in addition to the factors that influence their perceptions, play strongly into their professional judgment and behavior, especially in the classroom. Moreover, the degree to which novice teachers develop positive professional identities most certainly influences the likelihood that they will remain in the classroom. The more we know, the more we can support our most vulnerable teachers. In tu rn, novice teachers will feel better about their professional selves and, presumably, stay in the teaching profession. This is just as true in the social studies as it is in the sciences, and it is just as true for civics teachers as it is for history teac hers. Moreover, I would argue that the task takes on increased importance and immediacy for civics teachers who are likely to lack a strong philosophical understanding of the civic mission of schools, and therefore neglect to include that mission in their professional identities. As I thought about the knowledge I would find most beneficial as a teacher educator, I looked to some of the authors whom I cited in this chapter. Regarding the type of teacher one views him or herself to be, I agree with the wonde rings of Beijaard, Meijer, and Verloop (2004): It remains unclear to what extent learning experiences regarding subject perceptions of their professional identity. How such experiences i nfluence future research. This may contribute considerably to our understanding of
216 Indeed, throughout my study, both during data collection and analysis, I was curious experiences, and the degree to which those backgrounds and experiences influenced the ways in which they perceived their professional identi background as a history major factored heavily into his emphasis on subject matter, but I failed to see such an obvious connection with Erin. relation ship between professional persons (i.e., teachers), the practical contexts (i.e., school family communications) they will encounter, and the resulting impact on pract ical contexts, such as her personal history in the community and her perceptions of relationships, both positive and negative, with her principal and other teachers at t he school. Looking across a larger sample, I believe more powerful insights can be gleaned regarding this important intersection insights that can help us prepare novice teachers for the potentially difficult identity work that awaits them. Personally, I classroom practice toward the end of the 2011 2012 school year to explore the ways in which they feel their practice, and, in turn, their identity has actually changed (if indeed it has) in pr eparation for the end of course examination. This type of longitudinal research is precisely what we need in order to determine the true impact of high stakes testing on teacher identity, teacher practice, and perhaps even student learning. It was one thin g
217 for both participants to report their expectations that their instruction would change. It is another thing entirely, and more importantly, for their instruction to actually change. ivics and their sense making regarding their identities as civics teachers could be revealed through such additional data sources as lesson plans and formal classroom observations. Because my study was entirely subject driven, I resisted such data sources and their potential to betray the constructivist perspective I adopted, a perspective that values the perceptions of the participant over the researcher. Nonetheless, such data sources have immense value, particularly when one is concerned with teacher pra ctice and student learning, and even when one, such as practice. Given the focus of my study, I am profoundly interested in the ways in which teachers think about, ack nowledge, understand, and instructionally embrace the civic missions of schools. Spending more time in classrooms would likely reveal important insights in this area. Concluding Remarks I would like to end my discussion of my study on the same topic with w hich I began the preservation of the American republic. Benjamin Franklin response as he was leaving the Constitutional C onvention in September of 1787 A Republic, if you can keep it remains the most poignant and concise summary of fragile experiment in republican democracy. It also, in my opinion, remains the primary reason for public education, even if the public fails to realize it. Indeed, has always rested upon an educated citizenry,
218 and for this reason, civic education must be fully restored in American schools, albeit, in different form than the Founding Fathers would have envisioned it. If educational stakeholders are to take this restoration seriously, they need to look beyond legisla tive mandates and accountability measures. Yes, making civics a mandatory part of the public school curriculum is a necessary step, and in an educational milieu that is marred with high stakes testing, I suppose that including civics in accountability syst ems is a necessary step as well. However, in order for classrooms to fulfill the civic mission of schools, we must look at the teachers who are charged with teaching their students about republican government and the responsibilities of citizenship. If the se teachers fail to recognize the value of such an education, surely they will fail to achieve the mission that inspires it.
219 A PPENDIX A IRB PROTOCOL UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research Protocol Submission Form This form must be typed. Send this for m and the supporting documents to IRB02, PO Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611. Should you have questions about completing this form, call 352 392 0433. Title of Protocol: civi cs teachers Principal Investigator: Emma Humphries UFID #: Degree / Title: M.Ed./Doctoral Candidate Mailing Address: ( If on campus include PO Box address ): College of Education PO Box 117048 Gainesville, FL 32611 Email : Department: School of Te aching and Learning Telephone #: Co Investigator(s): None UFID#: Email: Supervisor (If PI is student) : Elizabeth Washington UFID# : Degree / Title: Ph.D./Professor Mailing Address: ( If on campus include PO Box address ): College of Education PO Box 117048 Gainesville, FL 32611 Email: Department: School of Teaching and Learning Telephone #: Date of Proposed Research: February 2011 November 2011 Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitted with this protocol if funding is involved): Unfunded Scientific Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to explore how two novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers
220 Describe the Research Methodology in No n Technical Language: ( Explain what will be done with or to the research participant. ) The principal investigator will ask two novice middle school classroom teachers from north Florida to participate in three 45 60 minute, semi structured, individual in terviews to ascertain their sense making of their emerging identities as civics teachers (see interview protocols attached). I ndividual interviews, which will be conducted by the principal investigator, face to face in a quiet space that is convenient for participants, such as a local library study room. The interviews will be audio recorded and transcribed by the principal investigator. In addition to the interviews, the principal i nvestigator will ask the participants to use a blog to record their thoug hts and reflections regarding any notable experiences teaching a new, yearlong seventh grade civics curriculum. The primary investigator will also ask participants for copies of lesson plans that correlate with the experiences about which they blogged. Blo g entries and lesson plans will serve as probes for the second and third interviews. Describe Potential Benefits: The investigation will illuminate how novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers as they tea ch a new, yearlong seventh grade civics curriculum that is being used across the state. There are potential benefits for social studies curriculum developers who seek to provide high quality curricular materials for middle school social studies teachers in Florida who are being legislatively mandated to teach civics for the first time. Additionally, the investigation has potential benefits for social studies teacher educators who wish to prepare their students for future teaching in middle school civics cla ssrooms. Describe Potential Risks: ( If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.) No more than minimal risk. Occasionally, the research participant may feel uncomfortable participa ting in the interviews or blogging about their experiences, but participation is voluntary and all data will be coded and anonymity assured. There are no perceived risks to the research participant. No person other than the principal investigator will have access to the data. The research participant will be assured that the collected data will not be used in any evaluation of performance. The principal investigator will use fictitious names in any written reports and omit references to the specific time du ring which the data were collected. Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited : The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship ( http://www.floridacitizen.org/index.php ) which sponsored the new, yearlong seventh grade curriculum, holds a database of socia l studies teachers who are using the curriculum. The principal investigator has already accessed this database and identified seventh grade civics teachers who are in their first or second year of teaching. Once IRB approval has been obtained, the principa l investigator will email these teachers to request their voluntary participation in the study. The principal investigator will then contact the volunteers she has selected for permission and scheduling of the interviews. Maximum Number of Participants (to be approached 5 Age Range of Participants: 18+ Amount of Compensation/ course credit: None
221 with consent) Describe the Informed Consent Process. (Attach a Copy of the Informed Consent Document See http://irb.ufl.edu/irb02/samples.html for examples of consent.) (SIGNATURE SECTION) Principal Investigator(s) Signature: Date: Co Investigator(s) Signature(s): None Date: Date: Department Chair S ignature: Date:
222 APPENDIX B EMAIL RECRUITMENT SCRIPT Dear Participant: My name is Emma Humphries and I am a doctoral candidate in Social Studies Education at the University of Florida. I am currently gathering data for a research project to explore h ow two novice social studies teachers make sense of their emerging identities as civics teachers What I would like to do is interview you and another teacher in an individual interview setting, and then ask you to use a blog to journal about your teaching experiences. This would entail a time commitment of roughly five to ten hours total. No compensation is available, but I would appreciate your participation. If you are interested in participating in this study please reply to: Emma Humphries ekhumphrie firstname.lastname@example.org Tha nk you for your consideration. Sincerely, Emma Humphries
223 APPENDIX C NARRATIVE INVENTORY COMPARING ERIN AND MATT Interview 1 Question Narrative Topics Structure Other comments Tell me about your decision to become a teacher. Erin No. 3 W ell, I could always be a teacher, right? Wanted to be Indiana Jones, high school human geography course, museum studies internship, talking to Mom, tried subbing, type of student she was Good, but complicated structure; long meta narrative, with about thre e sub narratives 1 page. This is an awesome narrative. I definitely need to include it. Tell me about your decision to become a teacher. Matt No. 1 I always wanted to be a teacher Always wanted to be a Good structure 1 paragraph Very short. long response to this question. Tell me about your decision to become a teacher. Matt No. 2 Veterinary was not working out Zoology and veterinary out, knew early on wanted to be a teache r. Very good structure 1 paragraph. Again, very short. Not sure if I should use this one or Matt No. 1 response. Tell me about your decision to become a civics teacher. Erin No. 4 Civics was probably not a big love of mine Mor e of a geography person, not as big on history, online course, no one is qualified to teach it anyways, I am a learner, civics is real and relevant Good structure O A CA O CA E R C 1. 25 pages. Long narrative; I probed once at the end after she brought up civics being fun. Tell me about your decision to become a civics teacher. Matt No. 4 But I love civics too Passion is American history even know what civics is, a political person Good, traditional struc ture O A CA E R C 1 paragraph. Very short. good contrast to Erin No. 4. Tell me about the types of learning experiences that you consider best practice for civics. Erin No. 7 Anything that is engaging and applicable Engaging and applicable, combating apathy, being real with the students (showing her utility bill) Good, but complicated structure. Meta narrative with 3 sub narratives: A O Sub1(CA Narrative) E Sub2(Eval Narrative) Sub3(Res Narrative) C 1.5 pages. I need to include th is.
224 Tell me about the types of learning experiences that you consider best practice for civics. Matt No. 5 The room was sssssilent Technology, games, engaging, relevant Incomplete structure A O CA E 1 paragraph. Good contrast to Erin No. 4 in terms of length and structure, but also good comparison in terms of content. Tell me about the types of learning experiences that you consider best practice for civics. Matt No. 6 Kids love it Videos (Frost Nixon interview), media literacy No CA 1 paragraph. I think Matt No. 5 offers a better compare/contrast to Erin No. 4. Can probably ditch this one. Describe the experiences that you have had that you believe have prepared you to be a civics teacher. Erin No. 8 My parents were very supportive of like my wei rdo gifted tendencies Parents had different political backgrounds, Student apathy, penguins, married to political opposite, can see the other side, still trying to figure it out Good, but complicated structure; long meta narrat ive, with about 3 4 sub narratives 2.25 pages. Wow. So much good stuff in here. The privilege stuff (she brings it up at 2 separate times) makes me want to include it. Not much to compare with Matt, but good for Erin by herself. Describe the experiences t hat you have had that you believe have prepared you to be a civics teacher. Erin No. 9 I forgot about all these parts of government FJCC workshop and online methods course, put civics on her radar, very helpful, she brings up te ach the way she was taught, compares herself to other teachers Good, but complicated structure; long meta narrative, with about 3 4 sub narratives 2.25 pages. Brings up EoC at two different points in the narrative Describe the experiences that you have ha d that you believe have prepared you to be a civics teacher. Matt No. 7 The workshop was great The content was too much, you lost us, appreciated the pedagogy part; then transitions to long soap box on importance of content Good structure; first 2 layer narrative 1.25 pages. Good content comparison to Erin No. 9. question leads Erin to talk about the EoC and Matt to talk about content. Tell me about your political background. Erin No. 11 Students are really, really conservativ e Strong Democratic roots, really liberal/Democratic, married to conservative, open to other side, learning with students, feel, what them to think, Good, but complicated structure; long meta narrative, with about 2 3 sub narratives 3 pages. Long narrative. Talks a lot about who she is and how that influences her teaching.
225 really conservative students, (responsibility to be) honest with students, modelin g citizenship Tell me about your political background. Matt No. 8 more liberal Was a Young Republican, became more liberal in college, more of a historical than political person, not reactionary Weak structure 1 page. Good when paired with Matt No. 9 Tell me about your political background. PROBE: do you see yourself i n your students Matt No. 9 about Students conservative, but opinion. Matt does not share his opinion. Good structure 1 paragraph. Together with Matt No. 8, this narra tive covers the same topic as Erin No. 11 does. For her, clean cut across two short narratives. Interview 2 Question Narrative Topics Structure Other comments What support do you feel like you have in this sch ool? Erin No. 14 No one wants to collaborate No collaboration, criticism from principal, hurts the kids Good structure 1 paragraph. A pretty short narrative coming from Erin. Would be a nice content contrast to Matt No. 11 What support do you feel like you have in this school? Matt No. 11 Support is awesome Strong cohesion, no fear to ask for help, fantastic mentor teacher, very supportive admin No CA 1 paragraph. Good contrast to Erin No. 14, although she is speaking more directly to collaboration whi le he is speaking to overall support Tell me about some notable teaching experiences you have had since we last met. Erin No. 15 to talk the whole time In class reading, kids need easier way to get content, Good structure A CA E CA E CA E R C 1 paragraph. Habitual narrative. Very short narrative for Erin. Tell me about some notable teaching experiences you have had since we last met. Matt No. 14 Not a Budget game, not an important standard, c ame up with a different activity Decent structure A O CA R E Secondary Sub (Res. Narrative) Tertiary Sub (CA Narrative) Secondary Sub (Resolution) E R C 2.25 pages. Very long narrative for Matt, which is interesting considering that Erin had such a short one for this question. How do you feel as a civics teacher? Erin No. 24 make me be the Taking a public stand, teacher disclosure, fear Another complicated meta narrative with 6 page s. Incredibly long.
226 spokesperson community backlash, multiple sub narratives How do you feel as a civics teacher? Matt No. 18 I almost feel like I am empowering these kids Such a valuable subject, feels like empowering kids, real world, creating aware citizens, very opinionated, being a young teacher No CA .5 page. Not much to this. Not sure it qualifies as a narrative. Interview 3 Question Narrative Topics Structure Other comments Tell me about a notable had since we last met. Erin No. 25 Complete Catastrophe Survival Econ game student competition and selfishness, worked fine for other teacher Good, but complicated structure. Meta narrative with 4 sub narratives: A O CA E CA E Sub1(CA Narrative) CA E Sub2(Eval Narrative) E Sub3(Eval Narrative) E Sub4(Eval Narrative) E R C 4 pag es. This is a quintessential Erin narrative. Tell me about a notable had since we last met. Matt No. 19 That was interesting Political spectrum survey, took a long time, too hard for students, will change it in the future Gre at structure A R CA E R E C 1.25 pages. This is a great narrative. How, if at all, have your views on teaching changed over the past school year? Erin No. 27 something bigger Being part of something bigger, taking risks, crying in front of students Poor structure 1. 25 pages. Not sure it entirely qualifies as a narrative How, if at all, have your views on teaching changed over the past school year? Matt No. 23 Most of them have stayed the same Dealing with bureaucratic stuff, becoming m ore pessimistic, having fun Good structure 1 page. This and Erin No. 27 might not be work delving into do you feel as a civics teacher? Erin No. 29 really horrible Feeling horrible, standards, class not rigorous en ough Decent structure 1.5 pages. Good comparison to Matt No. 24 Perhaps I should conclude Chapter 4 with the content of this narrative and Matt No. 24? do you feel as a civics teacher? Matt No. 24 Freaked out Stress, testin g will change students will confuse amendments and articles Decent structure 2 pages. Such an important topic Perhaps I should conclude Chapter 4 with the content of this narrative and Erin No. 29?
227 ERIN Ques tion Narrative Topics Structure Other comments What kinds of civics learning experiences do you recall from your K 12 education? Erin No. 1 Very minimal amounts Not a lot of civics, 12 th grade government, civics activities because of gifted program. Inc omplete structure. 1 paragraph. Very short. What kinds of civics learning experiences do you recall from your K 12 education? Erin No. 2 They are privileged people Students being privileged and apathetic. Convoluted structure (all elements present) 1 p age. Privilege topic. about yourself? Erin No. 5 supposed to keep up with the news Keeping up with the news, current events, kind of student she was. Weak structure, if any 1 paragraph. Not quite a narrative. over the place. How would you describe the role of a civics teacher? Erin No. 6 To teach the standards Relevance of civics (as opposed to the subjects), citizenship, standards Very poor 1.25 pages. Not quite a narrative. Traces of hypothetical narrative You had mentioned earlier in the interview about being somewhat disappointed that you knew the background of these kids, you were prepared for them probably to be more conservative, but you were somewhat disappointed. Erin No. 10 Disappointed that they were not more interested Kids not really caring at kids being good citizens at schools. Good structure 1 paragraph. Definitely shows how Erin struggles with her of civics. Tell me about your politic al background (she then started talking about the Imperial Presidency lesson plan) Erin No. 12 But it was hard. I taught it bad Students could not opinions, Erin felt she taught the lesson ready yet, no critical th inking skills. Good structure. 1 paragraph. What was the stated purpose of the training you attended today? Erin No. 13 What are we doing here Training had no clear purpose, pre AP civics, rigor, projects, Project Citizen, the type of student Erin is. C onvoluted structure 1 page. Not one fluid narrative. Would only include it because she talks about the type of student she was and how that affects the type of teacher she is.
228 How much pressure are you under to integrate reading and writing activities int o your instruction? Erin No. 16 what history is homework, no collaboration, other teachers feel understand why, grading, standards. Decent structure. 2 layers 1.5 pages. Not sure that the content is quite the re to warrant inclusion. How do you feel on those days when engaging civics activities? Erin No. 17 I like both Enjoys teaching No CA 1 para graph. How do you feel on those days when engaging civics activities? Erin No. 18 Why Teaching English, covering other standards, teaching projects, group work, student s evaluating students Convoluted structure 1.25 pages. Not quite a narrative. All over the place. How does it feel when you put yourself out three as this non expert? Part of the crew, not the captain anymore? Erin No. 19 It all Ad know the Project Citizen Convoluted structure 2.25 pages. This is quintessential Erin. How did this issue of privilege play out through the project up to this point? Erin No. 20 That ean that allowed to try to solve their own problems Gifted kids, students chose privileged set it up differently next year Good structure. 2 layers. Very clear evaluation. 1.5 pages. Privilege topic. Shows h ow she wavers in her sense making regarding student privilege. How do you feel as a civics teacher? Erin No. 24 Please spokesperson Taking a public stand, teacher disclosure, fear community backlash, Another complicated meta narra tive with multiple sub narratives 6 pages. Incredibly long but awesome content. Congratulations on making it so far in the curriculum! Erin No. 26 I actually accomplished something Happy about getting through curricula, not sure students grasped everyt hing, simulations were tricky Good structure. Strong CA 1 paragraph. noticed that the type of student that you once were challenging teachers and expecting Erin No. 28 Totally reflects the kind of teacher I am Students will challenge you, with civics it is easier to be real with students, growing the Decent structure. Multi layer story 2.25 pages. Amazing content. Really good Erin stuff.
229 teachers to really know their stu ff seems to influence the type of teacher that you are. To what extent you agree with that. whole student, bad teachers when I was a student, I walked out of class as a student As a civics teacher, what makes you tick? Erin No. 30 I just love how pertinent it is Relevan ce and applicability of civics, kids like it, kids participate more in her class, everyone is engaged. Good structure. Weak CA 1 paragraph. Really gets to the heart of her identity as a civics teacher. about? Erin No. 31 economics Project Citizen, nervous about compiling results, will plan it out better next year. Great structure 1 paragraph. Might get to the heart of the research question the idea that next year will be better. Erin Blog No. 1 Teaching Civics Project Citizen, Rookie Teacher of the Year Great structure 2 pages. Should use of two usable blog posts from Erin Erin Blog No. 2 Project Citizen Logistics about Project Citizen Poor structure 2 page s. Not really a narrative. Just a reporting. MATT Question Narrative Topics Structure Other comments Tell me about the experience in Dr. Matt No. 3 Those kids are brilliant Internship, gifted students, current students not sam e level Incomplete structure 1 paragraph. This narrative speaks to a sort of these with Matt regarding the way in which he views his students. Is there anything else you could like to talk about? Matt No. 10 not getting it Content so important t o me, need to make modifications, slothful kids, I blame parents Good structure 1 page. Again, this narrative speaks to with his students Tell me about your mentor teacher. Matt No. 12 get stressed out No mental breakdown, great mentor, teaching is hard Weak structure 1 paragraph.
230 Tell me about some notable teaching experiences you have had since we last met. Matt No. 13 I love that lesson so much Imperial presidents lesson, tough vocabulary, leveled groups, they loved i t! They were engaged Good structure 2.25 pages. Has a corresponding blog post. Did you ever get that deluge of parents phone calls you were worried about? Matt No. 15 Your son cheated Kid cheated, heated phone exchange with Mom, kid eventually admitted it, I felt vindicated Fantastic structure! 1.25 pages. Interesting because this happened to him and he is a novice teacher, although he does not speak to that. When are you happiest as a teacher? Matt No. 16 When I see a lot of hands go up Students eng aged, asking questions No CA 1 paragraph. Not quite a narrative Can you tell me about your formal observation? Matt No. 17 She loved it Formal evaluation, admin only stayed for 20 minutes, she really liked it Good structure 1 page. I think this might go well alongside the Matt No. 26 where he talks about his evaluation. How did you feel trying to explain political things to students? Matt No. 20 I wanted to do my best not to sway them heads, trying to be unbiased, no political agenda Incomplete structure 1 paragraph. Not quite a narrative How were you able to explain these political ideas to them? Matt No. 21 You have to change your vocabulary Being educated and having a better vocabulary, his weakness, keeps dic tionaries in class Very good structure 1.25 pages. Great structure. Again, seems to speak to his How do you feel about skipping over parts of the curriculum? Matt No. 22 practical person Internship experience, glossed ov just 7 th graders, will get to it in high school Good structure 1.25 pages. Again, seems to speak to his Is there anything else you would like to talk about? Matt No. 25 I really do enjoy it exhaus myself, I could be better Good structure. Many bounces between CA and evaluation 1 page. Really good stuff. Really gets at heart of how he feels as a teacher. Is there anything else you would like to talk about? Matt No. 26 I was livid Formal evaluation, received mostly Good structure 1.5 pages. This is huge and speaks directly to
231 satisfactory (even for content), was really upset about it my principal research question. NA Matt Blog No. 1 Technobabble Testing, re ading only, caught up on grading, iCivics, student interest and engagement Good structure 1.25 pages. Pretty good due to talk of NA Matt Blog No. 2 And the hits just keep on coming Reading testing stuff again, caught up on grading, entire week of instruction lost Good structure .5 pages. Combined with Matt Blog No. 1, makes a strong point about the hits that social studies instruction regularly takes. NA Matt Blog No. 3 Legislative Leviathan Disruptions over, teaching about Congress, legislative branch, student bill video Good structure 1.25 pages. Talks about an instructional hurdle that Matt was able to overcome. NA Matt Blog No. 4 Video Killed the Radio Star Another instructional d isruption, teaching legislative branch Poor structure .5 pages. Not really a fluid narrative. NA Matt Blog No. 5 An Extraordinary Executive Teaching the executive branch, kids enjoying it, favorite topic to teach No CA 1.25 pages. Not really a narrative Just a happy reporting. NA Matt Blog No. 6 Presidential Purgatory Right or Wrong Teaching Imperial Presidents, some scenarios to complex, explained things in Strong structure 1 page. This can accompany Matt No. 13. NA Matt Blog No. 7 get criminal, criminal Teaching the judicial branch Incomplete structure .5 pages. Really boring. Not much of a narrative. NA Matt Blog No. 8 FCAT: My favorite four letter word Administering the test, Social Studies is not tested, not looking for ward to social Strong structure 1 page. Maybe combine with Matt Blog Nos. 1 & 2 to make a larger point about
232 studies next year testing? NA Matt Blog No. 9 My Executive Privilege Being in total charge of class, not having to report to a boss Incomplete s tructure 1 page. Not really a narrative. Pretty boring. NA Matt Blog No. 10 The Neo cons and the Hippie Liberals Teaching his favorite subject, political spectrum test Good structure 1 page. Talks about teaching his favorite subject: political parties, elections, and pressure groups! Had a lot of fun. Tell me the story of your first year as a civics teacher. Matt Blog No. 11 What a long strange trip Chronological telling of his first year. Interesting structure: long orientation and then 5 rounds of CA, evaluation, and resolution. No coda. 2.25 pages. I definitely want to include this and first year narrative, if I ever get it from her.
233 APPENDIX D TRANSCRIPT OF MATT BUT I LOVE CIVICS TOO 1 Well my passion honestly is American history But I love civics too. I really do. I 2 American history and then civics. Honestly, I would 3 only take a job if it was American history 4 narrow in this job, people 5 My decision came down, you know, once we took your class and we realized 6 7 8 9 10 11
234 APPENDIX E TRANSCRIPT OF ERIN 1 2 get th 3 home to read something and then apply it in the classroom. So any kind of like 4 content reading that we do, we do it in class together. Like that sucks. No matter 5 how know how to make that good. Because whether they read on their 6 7 8 9 10 11 if I read it 12 13 to 14 sit up here and lecture it from PowerPoints either. So, I try to like mix it up where like 15 16 definition, and then we can move forward. I promise you this will be fun. Please just 17 18 good activities are always the ones where they actually get to do it. Like, the create a 19 campaign project so fun.
235 APPENDIX F TRANSCRIPT OF MATT NOT Primary meta narrative 1 This is probably my highest criticism of the FJCC thing that federal budget game. 2 3 D id it with them. 4 That is a complete nix. At least for my kids. It was awful. Talk about a nightmare. I 5 mean, I had to go through, I went through, I did it on the screen, I made sure their 6 computers wer e closed first. I tried everything. Cause I knew if they had the 7 8 9 then it was bas ically them just clicking buttons and trying to figure out. Oh, no. 10 This is not. Fortunately I only had allotted for a half hour of time, so we just kind of, 11 we went through it and I more or less, I ended up taking over and doing it, but it was 12 just, it was too much, way to o 13 tha t lesson, because there was no 14 stand 15 stand 16 this. Resolution secondary sub narrative They loved it! 17 And, so what I ended up going back and doing, we actually revisited this 18 week, spent the whole week on the budg et. We did the game, we talked about it. I 19 basically broke it down and tried to bring it to their terms. I used, even the quote 20 21 the game, they had to pick three values, and w e talked about on Monday I 22 showed them the budget from 2010. And what I did was, um, to, with the time 23 24 I had them, I just, before I did anything, I asked, I explained to them, 25 the government is going to spend money and you guys, I want you all to 26 27
236 28 m, no maximum. Just go and write for me 29 everything you think the government, the federal government should be 30 responsible for spending money one. And this is your own country. You 31 as a 32 group and, you know, to me that was a far more valuable exercise, cause it got, 33 you know, their heads turning and then I got to explain to them the differences in 34 35 couple of groups had um churches. Religion. And having to just explain to them, 36 37 me what far more valuable. And to see something like that activity, I would have 38 expected more in tha t curriculum, because they love when the kids come up with 39 their own stuff, and this is what they were doing. They were their own country. 40 To me it was a no brainer. They had their own country and they loved it! They sat 41 there, they wrote down, and you would be surprised how many came up with, and 42 then we compared it to the actual 2010 budget. Complicating Action tertiary sub narrative You guys are right on! 43 And New York Times had a great little Website, um, and it had a 44 grade out with what w e spent money on and percents and all that and then 45 46 um, related to the actual budget. So, and of course you can believe how 47 many of them had defense down. Um, defense was, alwa ys at least a 48 49 50 knew this 51 they included Social Se 52 53 54 55 56
237 57 let me ask you guys: Social Security enacted by FDR. This is, you 58 know, around the 1940s. Let me 59 60 61 62 o 63 64 average American. They were dying off. They collected Social 65 66 Return to Resolution secondary sub narrative They loved it! 67 So, you know, it was really interesting to me see, and they were really, believe it 68 69 interested in the budget. They genuinely were. And, and I told them to, they got a 70 71 want you to know I wrote a letter to DC and I asked t hem if they could hold up on 72 73 74 75 Hello! So we talked about the shutdown today and um, tied into that I introduced 76 vocab. Return to primary meta narrative 77 o this game, 78 79 how much? That game is way too complicated. So we went through today, I was like, 80 81 82 budgets, um, we also, what did we do, we went, we actually went through the text today, 83 just to kind of give them, um, for FCAT stuff, we were doin g it for FCAT. But it worked. 84 I treated it as a scavenger hunt. So anyways, budget game flopped.
238 APPENDIX G TRANSCRIPT OF ERIN THE TYPE OF STUDENT I WAS TOTALLY REFLECTS THE TYPE OF TEACHER THAT I AM 1 And I find myself in the position a lot because I g et nervous when I come into the 2 3 comfortable teaching. And ((l 4 take one path or you can take the other. And you can be stra 5 6 7 8 for it when you go down that road. So there are times when, cause that would have 9 10 se students. I so have 11 12 13 looking at Wikipedia and 14 15 16 17 18 oh, the type of student I was totally reflects the kind of teacher that I am. I try really 19 hard to not only combat that and my students 20 21 Or, just be willing to like show that you are real, which I think is really easy in our 22 curriculum. Like, if I was a World h ist 23 know, like they can talk all they want about the Renaissance, but like, what do you 24 25 26 27 28 ne? 29
239 30 31 can print out a fake one, but they know, 32 33 34 much respect for that. And you really 35 you really do have to win them over, 36 37 38 39 40 41 relationship or tell the anecdotal story or do whatever, even if it gets you off on a 42 th aughs)). But like 43 the whole expe rience, like growing the whole person is so much more important, um, 44 45 46 book. So I 47 some point at least 48 49 multiple ways and more than just one way. And not just more than one way 50 throughout the year, but like more than one way every time. Like, how come you 51 52 a paper or create a diagram or act something out or write a song or perform something 53 or make a PowerPoint or Prezi or all these other cool things I learned about in my 54 55 just, again, they own it. And Coda sub narrative But are you ready to walk out?
240 58 you questions to either expose it or, like, when I was in 7 th grade, walk out of like, th grade at this school and my 62 teacher turned around to write on the board, I grabbed my backpack and I 63 straight walked out of class. Because she was my geography teacher and she ee ah New Gwinn ee 65 66 nd in 67 the middle of my project my country had a civil war and split into two 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77
241 APPENDIX H TRANSCRIPT OF MATT THEY 10. 11. 12. and 13. I mean, I feel if I took this over to Asia, they 14. 15. a degree of slothfulness. You know, 16. does so ciety I blame the parents ((laughs)). I blame the parents. I blame society. 17. I think parents, there are some genuinely interested kids, but some of it is just too 18. 19. plays a factor in it, for me. But this is an introduction, and the introductory parts 20. are great, but some of the things, like going through the Constitution and just 21. trying to reach that higher 22. there yet. I mean, even the civility strips activity that we did. And I like 23. this activity, and I get it, even with the George Washington Rules of Civility, I cut 24. the strips out, handed them out to everyone, and they were to underst they had 25. the most d ifficult time with some of them trying to figure out what they meant. 26. And I always keep dictionaries, give them out to them, and still they not quite 27. getting there. And I would put it, you know, I would even go around to them and 28. even eventually help them, you know, decode this word, decode that word, they 29. 30. 31. at the most rudimentary level. In yo 32. 33. 34. 35. level 36.
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256 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Emma Kiziah Humphries was born in Hollywood, Florida to Gwyn and Phyllis Kiziah She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Teaching and Learning of the College of Education at the University of Florida in the spring of 2012. Emma graduated from South Pl antation High School in Broward County, Florida in 2001. She subsequently earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in secondary education at the University of Florida in 2004 and a Master of Education degree in social studies educ ation from the same institution in 2005. Emma began her career in education in 2005 as a social studies teacher, teaching American history, American government, and economics at Middleburg High School in Clay County, Florida. During her time at Middleburg High School, she served as county Youth in Government club and coached an honors American We the People program. Emma has co authored professional journal articles a nd book chapters in the field of social studies education. She has presented her research at numerous state and national conferences, including the National Council for the Social Studies and American Educational Research Association annual meetings. Durin g her four years in the doctoral program at the University of Florida, she taught four different courses for her department in social studies education and social foundations, including a new, she developed.
257 In August of 2011, Emma assumed the position of Assistant in Citizenship at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida where she has been tasked with helping the Center implement a three millio n dollar Knight Foundation grant to promote civic engagement on campus. Her career goals include teaching and mentoring preservice social studies teachers, publishing scholarship on civic education, and advocating for increased civics instruction and progr essive social change in K 12 and undergraduate education.