Theory and research in social education

Theory and research in social education

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Theory and research in social education
National Council for the Social Studies -- College and University Faculty Assembly
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Theory and research in social education.
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THEORY AND RESEARCH in Social Education Vol XII No .1 Spring 1984 Schober t An Analysis of the Impact of Teacher Training in Economics Adler t A Field Study of Selected Student Teacher Perspectives Toward Social Studies LeSourd t An Exploratory Comparison of Two Methods for Assessing Teacher Attitudes Toward Instructional Strategies Commentary Thornton t Social Studies Misunderstood : A Reply to Kieran Egan Romanish t A Brief Response to Watts and Walstad Book Review Ferguson t Compelling Belief : The Culture of American Schooling


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume XII t Number 1 t Spring 1984 TRSE is the official journal of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Published quarterly, it is a general review open to all social studies educators, social scientists, historians and philosophers A general statement of purpose, and submission, subscription and advertising information may be found at .the end of the journal € 1984 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved i


Editor : Jack L Nelson Rutgers University Editorial Board : Beverly Armento Georgia State University Cleo Cherryholmes Michigan State University Millard Clements New York University Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Lee Ehman Indiana University Janet Eyler Vanderbilt University Patrick Ferguson University of Alabama Jack Fraenkel San Francisco State Henry Giroux Miami University, Ohio Jean Grambs University of Maryland Carole Hahn Emory University Robin McKeown University of California, Riverside Lawrence Metcalf University of Illinois John Napier University of Georgia Murry Nelson Pennsylvania State University Thomas Popkewitz University of Wisconsin JoAnn Sweeney University of Texas Stanley Wronski Michigan State University 11 Associate Editor : Kenneth D Carlson Rutgers University Editorial Assistant : John Phillips Book Review Editor : William Stanley Louisiana State University The College and University Faculty Assembly Executive Committee 1983-4 Chair € Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Secretary : William Stanley Louisiana State University Treasurer : Samuel R Bell Bradley University 1983 Program Co-Chairs : Richard Jantz Nancy King Judith Torney-Purta University of Maryland Members : Janet Alleman-Brooks Michigan State University Millard Clements New York University Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Lee Ehman Indiana University Charles Myers Vanderbilt University John Napier University of Georgia Kathy Scott Florida State University William Stanley Louisiana State University Judith Torney-Purta University of Maryland Jane White University of Maryland


The National Council for the Social Studies Officers 1983-4 President : Jean Craven Albuquerque School District President-Elect : Donald Bragaw New York State Department of Education Executive Director : Fran Haley Reviewers for this Issue of TRSE The editors wish to express special appreciation to the following scholars who served as referees of manuscripts submitted Ambrose Clegg, Kent State University Catherine Cornbleth, University of Pittsburgh Richard Diem, University of Texas, San Antonio Jack Fraenkel, San Francisco State University Judith Gillespie, Indiana University Jean Grambs, University of Maryland Mary Hepburn, University of Georgia Guy Larkins, University of Georgia James Leming, University of Southern Illinois Gerald Marker, Indiana University Peter Martorella, Temple University David Naylor, University of Cincinnati Anna Ochoa, Indiana University Stuart Palonsky, Mendham, New Jersey Schools Thomas Popkewitz, University of Wisconsin Paul Robinson, University of Arizona Linda Stone, Stanford University Robert Tabachnik, University of Wisconsin Stanley Wronski, Michigan State University


Volume XII Number 1 Spring, 1984 V CONTENTS Howard Schober An Analysis of the Impact of Teacher Training in Economics 1 Susan Adler A Field Study of Selected Student Teacher Perspectives Toward Social Studies 13 Sandra J LeSourd An Exploratory Comparison of Two Methods for Assessing Teacher Attitudes Toward Instructional Strategies 31 Commentary Stephen J Thornton Social Studies Misunderstood : A Reply to Kieran Egan 42 Bruce A Romanish A Brief Response to Watts and Walstad 49 Book Review Patrick Ferguson Compelling Belief : The Culture of American Schooling 53


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring, 1984 Volume XII Number 1, pp 1-12 € by ; The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies An Analysis of the Impact of Teacher Training in Economics Howard M Schober Louisiana Council on Economic Education Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA 70893 Introduction Teacher training workshops have long been a major approach used in efforts to upgrade public understanding about economics, and it is commonly assumed that students in our nation's classrooms will be the indirect beneficiaries of teacher participation in such programs The rationale behind teacher inservice training hinges on the notion of a "chain reaction" of teachers-students-opinions-actions That is, economic knowledge, transmitted in these workshops, will bring about a change in teacher opinions Upon returning to their classrooms, these teachers will transmit the economic knowledge to their many students, thereby changing student opinions Having experienced a change in opinions, the students and their teachers will alter their behavior in ways that are deemed desirable by the workshop supporters and instructors, e .g ., students will tell their friends about the economics they have learned, teachers will strengthen the economics component in their classes It can be seen from the proliferation of teacher inservice training workshops that this approach to economic education has gained in popularity over the last few years Among the many types of inservice workshops are those offered by the Joint Council on Economic Education through its affiliated State Councils and Centers for Economic Education The number of these workshops offered nationwide has increased from 112 in 1954 to 1


385 in 1979 (JCEE, 1979, p 81) The typical workshop is offered by one of the Centers for Economic Education during the summer months Graduate credit is awarded through the host university The participants, drawn from all grade levels and subject-areas, meet every day for a one to three-week period The recent surge of interest in this approach to economic education has highlighted the need to examine the effectiveness of these workshops as instruments for transmitting knowledge of economics and changing economics opinions of those involved directly and indirectly To date, there exists relatively little research concerning the effect of these programs on participating teachers, and even less research concerning their effect on students enrolled in classes subsequently taught by these teachers Early studies appear to support the contention that workshops affect the economics achievement of the teacher participants (Dawson and Davison, 1973 ; Thornton and Vredeveld, 1977, pp 93-99 ; Walstad, 1980, pp 41-48) as well as their economics opinions (Hazlett, 1973 ; Hibner, 1959) Additional studies have shown a connection between inservice training and achievement and opinions of students of the participants (Highsmith, 1974, pp 77-81 ; Thornton and Vredeveld, 1977, pp 93-99 ; Walstad, 1980, pp 41-48) Some of the more recent of, these studies employ simultaneous equations techniques to also prove the relationship between achievement and opinions (Walstad, 1979, pp 1-12 ; 1980, pp 41-48) Design This study involved teacher participants in each of seven inservice workshops offered by the Louisiana Council on Economic Education (LCEE) in the summer of 1981, along with comparison groups of nonparticipant teachers In addition, it involved public school students in fall semester, 1981, economics classes taught by participant and nonparticipant economics teachers .' A comparison design was used, with two treatment groups and two comparison groups The treatment groups consisted of the entire populations of all non-economics teacher participants in the workshop and all economics teacher participants in the workshops .' The comparison groups consisted of two stratified, random samples which were drawn from the populations of all non-participant, non-economics teachers in Louisiana and all non-participant economics teachers in Louisiana The samples were stratified in order to enhance comparison with members of the treatment groups Treatment and comparison groups were then matched in order to insure no significant difference among a select group of characteristics .' In addition, each economics teacher was asked to select one of his classes of economics students for the study In an effort to provide a more consistent comparison among student groups, it was suggested that each of these teachers select his "best" class A total of 247 teachers were involved in the experiment Of this number, 2


150 were participants in the workshops, while 97 were non-participants ; 227 were non-economics teachers and 20 were economics teachers One hundred forty-three of the non-economics teachers participated in the workshops and 84 did not Similarly, 7 economics teachers participated in the workshops while 13 did not Participants were drawn from 22 of the 64 parishes in the state of Louisiana The total number of students participating in the study was 642 Of this number, the treatment group consisted of the 219 students enrolled in economics classes designated by workshop participants The comparison group consisted of the remaining 423 students, who were enrolled in classes designated by non-participants The Test of Economic Literacy (JCEE, 1979) was used for purposes of measuring achievement Preand post-test achievement was measured by forms A and B of the TEL, respectively Opinions about economics were measured by the "Survey on Economic Attitudes" (JCEE, 1979) Part I of the SEA, measuring opinions about economics as a subject, was used in the study .' Each test instrument showed suitable validity and reliability .' The TEL and SEA were administered to the treatment and comparison groups of teachers at the beginning and end of the summer workshops In addition, economics teachers administered these instruments to their classes of students at the start and close of the fall semester .' Findings Ordinary least squares regression (OLS) was used to analyze workshop impact on teacher achievement The results are shown in table 1 Workshop participation was shown to have a significant impact on teacher posttest achievement scores Specifically, the expected increase in teacher achievement scores due to workshop participation was 7 .26 points out of a possible 46 points on the TEL In constructing the OLS equations for achievement and opinions, pretest score was used as an independent variable This permitted a more accurate delineation of the difference in posttest score that could be attributed to workshop participation alone Pretest score was presumed to reflect the individual's cumulative experiences prior to the period being studied (Murnane, 1975) In addition, a dummy variable was used for "workshop participation ." One indicated participation in an LCEE summer 1981 economic education workshop Zero indicated no participation in either an LCEE summer 1981 economic education workshop or in any previous graduate economic education workshop Similarly, a dummy variable was used for "population," with one indicating a parish with a population greater than 50,000 and zero indicating a parish with a population less than 50,000 Of additional interest is the coefficient on the undergraduate economic background variable When contrasted by the fact that the workshop coefficient was significant, this finding could appear to lend support to the contention that inservice training has a greater impact on teacher achieve3


Table 1 : Regression Results for Teacher Posttest Economics Achievement (t statistics are shown in parentheses, N = 247, Dependent Variable = Posttest Economics Achievement Score) Independent variables Intercept Pretest Economics Achievement Score Workshop Dummy 1 = treatment 0 = comparison Undergraduate Economics Population Dummy 1 = parish population more than 50,000 0 = parish population less than 50,000 Per Capita Income aSignificant at the .01 level ment than does preservice training The finding may also indicate a poor retention rate for economics information Ordinary least squares regression was also used to analyze workshop impact on teacher opinions (see table 2) Again, workshop participation was shown to have a significant impact upon scores for teacher opinions about economics as a subject The expected increase was 5 .435 points, a range of 14 to 70 points, significant at a t-value of 4 .928 The low R 2 in relation to the teacher achievement equation would seem to indicate a greater randomness in the opinion formation process The impact of the workshops on students of the participants was analyzed by combining teacher and student data in a two stage least squares regression equation (TSLS) There were two primary reasons for using this technique First, in using OLS to test for teacher achievement and opinions, a limiting assumption had to be made It was assumed that achievement and opinions are independently, rather than simultaneously determined Accordingly, neither achievement nor opinions were used as independent variables in the OLS equations Finding a simultaneous relationship between them would have R 2 = 549 F = 58 .79 Coefficients .004 (0 .0) .693 (13 .57)a 7 .260 (8 .21)a .318 ( .96) -7 .067 (.11) 4


rendered the parameter estimates in the OLS equations inconsistent (Walstad, 1979) TSLS allows us to circumvent the assumption of a non-simultaneous relationship between achievement and opinions and measure the impact of each of these variables upon the other (Walstad, 1979, pp 1-12 ; Johnson, 1979, p 3) In effect, the use of TSLS in gauging this relationship constituted a check on the proper specification of the teacher impact equations If no simultaneous relationship was uncovered, this would lend support to the contention that the OLS equations were properly specified (Kmenta, 1971) Secondly, the reduced form TSLS estimates permitted examination of the total effect of the workshops on the students and teachers There were a couple of reasons for combining the teacher and student data sets First, this would allow a more general test of the simultaneous relationship between teachers and students Secondly, it permitted the model to have the maximum degrees of freedom, thus allowing for more efficient parameter estimates Figure 1 depicts the learning model upon which the TSLS equations were based Inservice workshops were presumed to have a direct impact on the achievement of teacher participants, and the additional economic knowledge of these teachers was presumed to have a direct impact on students in Table 2 : Regression Results for Teacher Posttest Economics Opinions (t statistics are shown in parentheses, N = 247, Dependent Variable = Posttest Economics Opinion Score) Independent variables t Coefficients Intercept Pretest Economics Opinion Score Workshop Dummy 1 = treatment 0 = comparison Population Dummy 1 = parish population more than 50,000 0 = parish population less than 50,000 Per Capita Income aSignificant at the .01 level R 2 = t 311 F = 27 .25 5 9 .045 (1 .240) .557 (8 .960)a 5 .435 (4 .928)a .00002 (-1 .888) .002 (1 .673)


Figure 1 : Hypothesized Teacher Training Flow Independent Variables Workshop Participation Pretest Achievement Posttest Opinions Population Teacher/Student Per Capita Income of Parish Pretest Opinions Per Capita Income of Parish Population Teacher/Student Posttest Achievement Teachers t Students 6 Student Achievement Student Opinions courses that they teach More specifically, the workshops, along with several other independent variables, were presumed to affect teacher achievement Similarly, the workshops, along with other independent variables, were presumed to affect teachers opinions However, the workshops were not presumed to affect the teachers' opinions directly Rather the opinions were affected through achievement Having had an impact upon the teacher, there is a spillover effect, through the teacher, to the student .' The TSLS equations were as follows : I Posttest opinions ; = -y o + A 1 pretest opinions ; + A 2 per capita income of parish ; + A 3 dummy (population) ; + A 4 dummy (teacher/ student) ; + A 5 posttest achievement ; + u ; 2 Posttest achievement ; ~o + B 1 pretest achievement ; + B 2 posttest opinions ; + B 3 dummy (population) ; + B 4 (workshop participation) ; + B5 dummy (teacher/student) ; + B 6 per capita income of parish ; + u ; 8 The t-test was used to measure the significance of workshop participation as it effects achievement, and in turn, opinions In addition, the signficance of workshop participation as it effects opinions, and in turn, achievement,


was tested for Table 3 portrays the TSLS estimates for the structural equations Table 4 presents the reduced forms The TSLS coefficient estimate for the workshop dummy variable (2 .005) indicated a significant effect of teacher workshop participation on posttest achievement scores of teachers and students (t = 4 .086 ; p < 05) In addition, posttest achievement score was shown to have a significant impact on the posttest opinion measure for teachers and students Specifically, the estimate for posttest achievement score ( .183) indicated a significant effect on opinions about economics as a subject (t = 1 .916 ; p < .05) Conversely, the coefficient estimate for posttest scores for teacher and student opinions about economics as a subject (.069) indicated an insigTable 3 : Results for Two Stage Least Squares Regression for Economics Achievement and Opinions -Structural Equations (t statistics are shown in parentheses, N = 889) Independent Variables Intercept Pretest Opinion Score Pretest Achievement Score Population Dummy 1 = Parish population more than 50,000 0 = Parish population less than 50,000 Teacher Dummy 1 = Teacher 0 = Student Per Capita Income Workshop Dummy 1 = Treatment 0 = comparison Posttest Achievement Score Posttest Opinion Score R 2 F aSignificant at the .05 level bSignificant at the .01 level 7 Dependent Variables Posttest Achievement Score Posttest Opinion Score 12 .016 26 .738 (4 .281)b (6 .819)b .413 (10 .835)b .598 (17 .498)b -1 .353 1 .489 (-1 .976)a (1 .211) 5 .236 3 .088 (7 .833)b (2 .187)a .00003 .0009 ( .103) (-1 .775) 2 .005 (4 .086)b .183 (1 .916)a .069 (-1 .477) .473 .162 131 .71 34 .14


Table 4 : Results for Two Stage Least Squares Regression for Economics Achievement and OpinionsReduced Form Equations (N = 889) Independent Variables Dependent Variables Intercept Pretest Opinion Score Pretest Achievement Score Population Dummy 1 = Parish population more than 50,000 0 = Parish population less than 50,000 Teacher Dummy 1 = Teacher 0 = Student Per Capita Income Workshop Dummy 1 = Treatment 0 = Comparison nificant impact on posttest achievement scores (t = 1 .477 ; p > .05) Therefore, no simultaneous relationship between achievement and opinions was found to exist at the .05 level of significance However, it should be mentioned that a significant recursive relationship was identified The regression showed that the workshop had a significant, positive impact on achievement score and that achievement score, in turn, has a significant impact on opinion score In addition, the TSLS reduced form estimates indicate a total workshop impact on students While one would expect the reduced form estimate to be higher than the structural equation estimate, there was no significant difference between the two . The structural equations indicate that a student whose teacher took the workshop (teacher dummy = 0, workshop dummy = 1) scored approximately two points higher than the student whose teacher did not take the workshop (teacher dummy = 0, workshop dummy = 0) Since there is a priori, knowledge that the students did not take the workshop, the dummies (teacher = 0, workshop = 1) account for the direct impact of a participant teacher on student achievement, while the dummies (teacher = 1, workshop = 1) estimate the direct impact of the workshop on the teacher As a final note, the TSLS findings provide a check on the OLS equations used in the study The results would appear to bolster the findings with respect to the impact of the workshop on teacher achievement In the OLS 8 Posttest Achievement Score Posttest Opinion Score 6 .747 34 .682 .096 .614 .594 .105 -1 .575 1 .150 5 .400 3 .360 .00003 .0008 1 .592 1 .717


teacher achievement equation, opinions had been omitted as an independent variable However, when they were included in the TSLS equation, they were found to have an insignificant impact Therefore, it would appear as though the OLS equation for teacher achievement was well specified Conversely, TSLS results point to some possible specification problems in the OLS equation used to test workshop impact on teacher opinions In that equation, achievement was not used as an independent variable However, when achievement was included as an independent variable in the TSLS equations, it was found to have a significant impact on opinions Therefore, the OLS teacher opinion equation might have been misspecified However, the two procedures yielded mostly the same results, except for the fact that the TSLS analysis' points to only a significant indirect impact of the workshop on teacher opinions Conclusions Several conclusions were drawn from the study First, participation in an economics workshop has a significant positive impact on the economics achievement of the teachers involved Both OLS and TSLS techniques yielded findings of a direct impact of the workshops on teacher economics achievement Secondly, participation in a workshop has a significant positive impact on teacher opinions about economics as a subject In addition, TSLS findings suggest that the impact on teacher opinions could occur as a result of the prior impact of the workshops on teacher achievement Third, there is no significant simultaneous relationship between economics achievement and economics opinions of both teachers and students Economics achievement has a significant influence on economics opinion formation However, economics opinions do not significantly influence economics achievement Finally, teacher participation in an economics inservice workshop has a significant, though indirect, positive impact on both the economics achievement and opinions about economics of students in subsequent economics classes that they teach Specifically, workshops affect student achievement through their prior impact on teacher achievement and opinions Similarly, workshops affect student opinions through their prior impact on teacher achievement and opinions, and student achievement The identified economics learning model is depicted in figure 2 Implications The findings of this study suggest the need to use TSLS, along with OLS, in further research into the effectiveness of various economic education programs This study corroborates Walstad's findings that achievement affects opinions, but opinions do not affect achievement (Walstad 1979, 1980) This suggests a need to re-examine previous studies showing opinions to have an effect on achievement (Karstennsen and Vedder, 1974, pp 101-111 ; 9


Independent Variables Workshop Participation Pretest Achievement Posttest Opinions Population Teacher/Student Per Capita Income of Parish Pretest Opinions Per Capita Income of Parish Population Teacher/Student Posttest Achievement Figure 2 : Identified Teacher Training Flow 1 0 Teachers t Students Teacher Achievement 1 Teacher Opinions Student Achievement Student Opinions Hodgin and Manahan, 1979 ; Deboeck and Sloane, 1972) TSLS may be most useful as a check on the consistency of OLS parameter estimates In addition, this study suggests a need for further research modeled according to common conceptions of the impact of teacher training on students of the participants It carries previous research a step further in applying the workshop treatment solely to the teachers, while tracing the impact to subsequent economics classes taught by these participants The design and statistical techniques were grounded in the notion that a workshop's impact on students is indirect, occurring solely through an induced change in the achievement and opinions of the teacher participants Accordingly, no treatment was given directly to the students, thereby marking a departure from previous studies in this area (Thornton and Vredeveld, 1977, pp 93-99 ; Walstad, 1979, pp 1-12) The findings support the concept of a chain reaction of workshop effect Future studies should attempt to calculate a teacher-student multiplier for achievement and opinions As an example, it would be useful to find the expected net addition to all the students' achievement scores that would result from an additional point in one teacher's achievement score The multiplier


would be helpful in comparisons of the cost-effectiveness of inservice training for students and teachers vis a vis inservice training solely for teachers References Dawson, George and Davison, Donald The Impact of Economics Workshops for Elementary School Teachers on the Economic Understanding of Their Pupils New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1973 Deboeck, Guido and Sloane, Peter "Values, Instructor Characteristics, and Student Attitude as Explanatory Variables of Student Achievement in Economics ." Paper presented at meeting of the Southern Economics Association, Washington, D .C ., 1972 Hazlett, Emerson "A Study of Changes in Economic Knowledge, Attitudes, Value Orientation, and Teacher Behavior, and Relationships Among these Changes for Participants in Selected Kansas Economic Education Workshops ." Doctoral dissertation, Kansas State University, 1973 Hibner, Evelyn Mary "Attitudes of Secondary School Teachers Toward Various Aspects of the American Market System ." Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University, 1959 Highsmith, Robert "A Study to Measure the Impact of Inservice Institutes on the Students of Teachers Who Have Participated ." Journal of Economic Education Spring 1974, 5, 77-81 Hodgin, Robert and Manahan, John "Student Attitude Toward Economics in the Principles Course and the Effect on Cognitive Performance ." Paper presented at meeting of the Midwest Economic Association, Chicago, Illinois, April' 1979 Johnson, Thomas "Research in Economic Education : How Well Is It Answering the Questions Asked?" American Economic Review May 1979, 69, 23 Joint Council on Economic Education Handbook and Resource Appendix for Affiliated Council and Center Directors New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1979, p 81 Joint Council on Economic Education "Survey on Economic Attitudes," comprehensive evaluation design New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1979 Joint Council on Economic Education Test of Economic Literacy : Discussion Guide and Rationale New York : Joint Council on Economic Education, 1980 Karstennsen, Lewis and Vedder, R K "A Note on Attitude as a Factor in Learning Economics ." Journal of Economic Education Spring 1974, 5, 101-111 Kmenta, Jan Elements of Econometrics New York : Macmillan Publishing Co ., 1971 Murnane, Richard The Impact of School Resources on the Learning of Inner City Children Cambridge, Massachusetts : Ballinger Publishing Co ., 1975 1 1


Thornton, Daniel and Vredeveld, George "Inservice Economic Education and its Effects on Secondary Schools : A New Approach ." Journal of Economic Education Spring 1977, 8, 93-99 Walstad, William "Effectiveness of a USMES In-service Economic Education Program for Elementary School Teachers ." Journal of Economic Education Fall 1979, 11, 1-12 Walstad, William "The Impact of Trade-offs and Teacher Training on Economic Understanding and Attitudes ." Journal of Economic Education Winter 1980, 12, 41-48 Endnotes 'Louisiana's Act 83 (1976) requires all public high school students to take a one-semester course in "the essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system" as a prerequisite to graduation The course, entitled "free enterprise," provides an overview of basic capitalist economic principles and the operation of the American economy Students enroll in the course during their senior year 'For purposes of highlighting the indirect effect of the workshops on economics classes, the economics and non-economics teachers were considered separate populations An economics teacher was defined as a public school teacher who had taught the state-mandated economics course at least one time prior to the summer workshop involved in the study, and who taught at least one section of the economics course in the fall semester immediately following the summer workshop 'Match factors included mean age, mean years teaching experience, mean number of undergraduate economics courses previously taken, and mean population and per capita income of the parish (county) in which the school is located Difference in means tests indicated no significant differences between treatment and comparison groups regarding any of the above background characteristics 4 A likert scale format is used for responses to the SEA In scoring Part I, it was necessary to reverse-code some of the fourteen items in order to establish a one-directional scale Specifically, items that were considered "pro economics" were reverse coded A scale of 14 (very negative opinions about economics) to 70 (very positive opinions about economics) was then designed I Content validity of the TEL and SEA were established by panels of reviewers Relationship to the content of the TEL was one of the criteria used to evaluate each item on the SEA In addition, pilot testing produced TEL reliability statistics of 3 .02 standard error of measurement for Form A and 3 .01 for Form B, along with a Cronbach Alpha of .875 for Form A and .872 for Form B Finally, pilot testing for Part I of the SEA yielded reliability statistics of 3 .177 standard error of measurement and .881 Cronbach Alpha "Teacher testing during the summer was conducted and closely monitored by the workshop coordinators, while the fall testing was conducted by the economics teachers and monitored by the social studies supervisors for the various parishes involved in the study 'The model is consistent with the rationale for teacher training as conducted by the Joint Council on Economic Education and its state affiliates In particular, workshops are always geared primarily toward upgrading teacher achievement It is only through the change in teacher achievement that teacher opinion change occurs "The coefficient B 4 measures the direct impact of the workshop on teacher achievement along with the direct impact of a workshop teacher participant on the student While the information could have been disaggregated into teacher and student data sets, the resulting parameter estimates would have had fewer degrees of freedom, thereby producing less conclusive evidence of the general efficacy of the workshops 1 2


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring, 1984 Volume XII Number 1, pp 13-30 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies A Field Study of Selected Student Teacher Perspectives Toward Social Studies Susan Adler Rockhurst College Kansas City, MO 64110 Introduction Despite repeated observations and reports about the lecture and textbook orientation of most social studies teaching (e .g Gross, 1977 ; Morrisett, et al, 1980 ; Shaver et al, 1979), case study data (e .g Jarolimek, 1977) suggest a greater diversity of teaching practice than reports of general trends indicate It is the teacher who is recognized as the key to this diversity and therefore, at the level of particular classrooms, understanding the teacher is important to knowing and understanding classroom social studies What, then, do we know about the social studies classroom teacher? We have demographic and survey data (e .g Shaver et al ., 1977 ; Superka et al ., 1980) which provide an overview, a general idea, about teachers' concerns and frustrations But we are only just beginning to understand the links between these concerns and frustrations and day to day teaching practice (e .g McNeil, 1977) We know little about how practitioners, rather than scholars, give meaning and purpose to social studies and how these meanings, rather than scholarly definitions, give direction to classroom practice We know little about the intentions and beliefs which underlie practice Perspectives The beliefs and abstract ideas which teachers express about social studies often seem to have little effect on their teaching practice While their con1 3


ceptions of social studies may be influenced by the terminology of various trends such as `inquiry' or `values education,' their practice appears not to be In order to understand the meanings teachers give to social studies then, we must inquire into more than these abstract conceptions ; we must look at their ideas in the context of teaching practices A concept of teacher perspectives as it has come to be used in the literature, captures the ideas, behaviors and contexts of particular teaching acts (Becker, 1961 ; Boag, 1980 ; Cornbleth, 1982 ; Grace, 1978 ; Hammersley, 1977 ; Janesick, 1978 ; Sharp & Green, 1975) Perspectives are the meanings and interpretations which teachers give to their work and their work situation Unlike more abstract statements, perspectives are set in the concrete world of actual situations and have reference to particular behaviors They are a kind of operational philosophy developed out of experiences in the immediate and distant past, and applied to specific situations Perspectives are not to be understood apart from the behaviors they lead to in particular situations Teacher perspectives take into account how the situation of the school and classroom is experienced, how this situation is interpreted given the teacher's background of experiences, beliefs and assumptions and how this interpretation is manifested in behaviors In their recent work, Berlak & Berlak (1981) offer a useful way to talk about teacher perspectives They suggest conceptualizing teachers' acts as ongoing resolutions to a set of competing demands or dilemmas The language of dilemmas provides a way to take into account teachers' beliefs and actions as they are situated in particular contexts The dilemma language represents the interconnectedness, as well as the apparent contradictions, of teacher behavior and thought within the schooling context Dilemmas represent the thought and actions of teachers involved in ongoing negotiation within themselves and with the social world They are linguistic devices which provide a way to talk about the contradictions and conflicts which arise as human beings interact in social settings While dilemmas acknowledge the possibilities for consciously selecting from and creating alternatives, they also provide a means of becoming aware of and describing teacher actions which are not consciously chosen In a study of teacher perspectives, a researcher may choose to focus on teachers, and the dilemmas they face, at various stages in their careers One stage of concern to teacher educators is, of course, the stage of pre-service education The Pre-Service Teacher The field experience of a pre-service teacher is generally regarded as a formative period in a teacher's career The study reported here sought to examine the relationship of the field experience to preparation for teaching social studies in the elementary school In general, literature on field experiences and social studies teaching generally is not very illuminating The major focus has been on the effectiveness of particular training techniques de1 4


signed to get student teachers to successfully use certain teaching strategies (e .g Grannis 1970) But this research tells us little about how these student teachers incorporate these experiences into their thinking about social studies or their future practice This criticism can be made about research on student teaching generally Although hundreds of studies have been conducted on the impact of student teaching, only a few have explored the dynamics of the experience itself Rather, much research on teacher education has focused on teaching behavior apart from beliefs and intentions, or on student-teacher attitudes, and the influences on these attitudes, as expressed through various survey instruments (Zeichner, 1979) A few recent field studies have inquired into the perspectives of studentteachers, although these have focused on perspectives toward teaching generally, rather than toward curriculum or, more specifically, social studies From these studies, in which student-teachers are observed and interviewed in the context of their teaching, we learn that student teachers are, in general, concerned with order, management and survival It is not clear, however, what impact this might have on perspectives toward social studies Furthermore, most of these studies focus on a dominant perspective among student teachers With some exceptions (e .g Goodman, 1982 ; Lacey, 1977 ; Tabachnick, 1982), we do not have much insight into the possible complexity of this perspective or into other varieties of perspectives or how this complexity and variety may manifest itself in perspectives toward teaching areas This study, then, was undertaken to contribute to our knowledge of teachers' perspectives by focusing on student-teacher perspectives toward social studies Methodology In order to investigate student teacher definitions and interpretations of social studies in the elementary school classroom, it was necessary to observe and talk with informants about concrete teaching experiences A field study methodology, entailing indepth, study, was deemed most appropriate Student teaching in this study, was regarded as a social event involving extensive interaction with people, situations and settings over an extended period of time A field study approach focusing on a small number of informants would allow the researcher to determine the ways in which these informants made sense of their teaching experiences For indepth study, four student teachers were selected from an elementary teacher education program at a large mid-western university This number of informants allowed opportunity for extensive observations and interviews The researcher sought to select student teachers who appeared to hold conceptions of social studies deemed "desirable" in social studies literature This was determined through the use of a Conceptions of Social Studies Inventory developed for this research and administered to all students beginning their elementary field experience (Adler, 1982) ; 1 in addition rec1 5


ommendations of social studies method professors were sought The four students selected were those whose conceptions of social studies were characterized by : a belief that worthwhile social studies knowledge is that which is personally meaningful to the knower ; a process orientation or desire to involve pupils in the process of critical thinking ; a view of social studies as part or potentially part of an integrated curriculum ; a belief that social interaction is an important component of social studies learning ; a desire to involve pupils in making decisions about social studies curriculum and learning activities ; a desire to use resources other than or in addition to the text The research took place over a four month period Data were collected primarily through observation and interview Each student teacher was extensively observed teaching social studies lessons at least five times during the semester ; often non-social studies teaching was observed as well Each observation was followed by an interview probing the student teacher's thoughts on the conduct of the lesson observed and on the teaching experience in general The observations, then, provided a concrete focus for talk about social studies More structured interviews were conducted at the beginning and the end of the semester These interviews, not based on particular observations, probed the student teachers' understanding of rationales for teaching social studies and what they thought ought to go on in the social studies classroom These interviews also explored the general value orientations and background characteristics which may have been influential in the formation and development of perspectives In addition, each cooperating teacher was interviewed for his or her perception of the student teacher Finally, each student teacher completed two writing activities designed to elicit his or her abstract conceptions of social studies .' Interviews were not organized into predetermined protocols ; rather, they were guided by orienting questions and concerns, often arising out of observations Such concerns included the informants' rationale for a particular lesson, their perceptions of the teaching experience, their interpretation of the learners' actions and reactions as well as their perception of their own roles as teachers After reviewing field notes, more specific questions emerged and these were asked in subsequent interviews This interaction of data review and analysis with subsequent interviews allowed the researcher to clarify misconceptions and to gain deeper insight into the informants' perspectives The data were analyzed on two levels One level was the preparation of individual profiles describing each student teacher's perspective toward teaching and toward social studies as it emerged in observations and interviews The second level looked across the cases at the similarities and differ1 6


ences among the people observed The individual profiles show how abstract ideas about social studies developed into, or were replaced by, ideas about what would actually be appropriate in the classroom As each student teacher developed his or her definition of the teaching experience, particular dilemma resolutions and perspectives emerged The comparison and contrast dimension of the analysis focused on a few key issues or dilemmas Portrayals The main actors in this study were Sally, Laura, Peter and David .' The portrayals which follow, briefly describe each informant's perspectives toward teaching generally and toward social studies more specifically The more general perspectives will be discussed first since it would be misleading to describe perspectives toward social studies without illustrating each informant's pattern of concerns That is to say, perspectives toward social studies were intertwined with perspectives toward children, toward learning and toward the teacher's role Following this more general description of perspectives will be a description of each informant's perspectives toward social studies These descriptions make use of the language of dilemmas described earlier .' Rather than placing the informants in static categories, these descriptions aim to capture the dynamic quality of teaching For example, while each informant expressed a conception that worthwhile social studies knowledge is that which is personally meaningful to the knower, each had at least been exposed to the idea that worthwhile knowledge is the knowledge of experts found in textbooks and other authoritative sources What social studies knowledge meant to each in practice, was the resolution (or lack of resolution) of these contrasting ideas Similarly, each of the conceptions noted earlier may be contrasted with an opposing, although not necessarily mutually exclusive, point of view The dilemmas described in these portrayals were not necessarily conscious dilemmas for the informants For some, resolutions to at least some possible dilemmas came with ease and, in such cases, it makes more sense to talk about patterns of resolutions than about contradictory pulls In some cases,' dilemmas were more conscious and troubling and the teaching and talk about teaching were characterized more by contradiction than by resolutions In both cases, the dilemmas served as linguistic devices to describe the variety of teaching acts, chosing from the even greater variety of possibilities This portrayal section will be followed by a discussion of the conceptions of and perspectives toward social studies which emerged from the field study data and analysis Sally Perspectives Toward Teaching Sally began her student teaching experience with both enthusiasm and anxiety More than once, she expressed the concern that she "wasn't ready to teach" ; but she also repeated her determina1 7


tion to be a teacher : "I like teaching I want to do it ." The major theme in Sally's teaching perspectives was her developing sense of teacher identity, her relationship with her pupils For Sally, student teaching was a time of uncertain identity, not quite a teacher, no longer a student During this time, she was self-consciously both a teacher and learner, coming to grips with her own sense of authority and developing confidence in her own expertise Not untypically, Sally was very attracted to structure, order, and control Throughout the semester she worked to develop ways to establish the structure and order she believed were necessary for a productive learning environment But she was also attracted to the notion that children must control learning if real learning is to take place : "hopefully, they'll carry the ball, keep learning and wanting to learn ." It was the teacher's responsibility, she explained, to control the classroom and the learning environment But a good teacher must be responsive to children : flexible, caring and patientnot merely an autocrat And so Sally came to her teaching with a propensity for both high and low teacher control of children's activities On one level teaching behavior appeared as movement toward greater teacher control It may be more accurately characterized, however, as finding a middle-ground, a satisfactory resolution, at least tentatively, to a dilemma of control While the overriding theme of Sally's perspectives toward teaching focused on issues of control, it is important to say something about other aspects of her perspectives toward teaching Her talk about teaching reflected a concern with the diversity and individuality of the children Her lessons, however, often had all the children doing the same thing at the same time, suggesting contradiction between conception and practice However, she explained that she was striving to use a variety of materials and to implement a variety of activities so that all the children would have access to the information and concepts being taught Finally, while Sally worried about order, she also worked to implement her belief that it is important to get children actively involved in the learning process Thus Sally worked to maintain an orderly classroom while structuring a learning environment which would provide stimulation and the opportunity for involvement Perspectives Toward Social Studies Sally's abstract conceptions of social studies knowledge were characterized, like those of the other informants, by a view of knowledge as personal, process-oriented and integrated But the meaning of these conceptions, when examined in relationship to actual teaching, reveal a complexity of thought and intention Sally was attracted to a view of knowledge as both "public" and "personal ." Knowledge as personal meant, to Sally, the development of empathy in children, empathy for people of other times and other places Giving pupils a sense "of what it was like to live then" was crucial, in Sally's thinking, to really understanding history or other social studies Personal knowledge also meant that children's experiences must be incorporated into 1 8


the curriculum Ways must be found, argued Sally, to make the social studies curriculum something that touches children's lives At the same time, she was attracted to a concept of public knowledge ; that is, that there is a body of information, facts and skills which is accepted as worthwhile by a community of scholars While espousing and acting on a view of knowledge as personally meaningful to children, Sally taught a publicly accepted curriculum She never questioned whether it was worthwhile for children to know about New World exploration, only how she might make this body of knowledge personally meaningful to them Similarly, a view of social studies as process oriented was counterbalanced by belief that content is important She wanted children to learn a process of asking questions, of gathering and evaluating information and reaching conclusions But she also was concerned that they develop general background knowledge that they learn content Sally was vague about just what that background knowledge entailed She often used the term awareness -children ought to be aware of history and of current events ; but facts to be memorized for their own sake are just going to be forgotten anyway In brief, Sally was attracted to both a content and a process approach to social studies and saw the two as interrelated and worked to find a balance of the two in her own teaching Sally also acted, to a certain extent at least, on her conception of social studies as part of an integrated curriculum in which there is considerable overlap in skills, content and concepts of various disciplines At the same time, she was pulled toward a view of social studies as unconnected to other curriculum In her classroom, there was clearly a period of time designated as social studies, a discipline separate and apart from other disciplines As the semester progressed, Sally became increasingly comfortable with her ability to satisfactorily resolve dilemmas of teaching, at least in that particular setting For example, maintaining an orderly classroom and providing diverse activities for a variety of children had, at first, seemed like an unsolvable dilemma But with the support of her cooperating teacher, she learned to establish classroom order in the midst of diverse activities Similarly, she found what she felt were satisfactory resolutions to other dilemmas ; she felt she was coming close to finding ways to satisfactorily balance sometimes conflicting pulls Laura Perspectives Toward Teaching Like Sally, Laura also said that teaching was something that she'd always wanted to do She stated that she wanted to work with children who "just seemed to need more, more love or more attention Then you can make more of a difference with them ." This desire to work with individual children, especially those with problems, was a strong factor in her view of teaching and the teacher's role But equally important was her concern with order and structure Unlike Sally, and indeed unlike many student teachers, Laura was not uncertain about the authority she wanted in the classroom, and discipline was rarely a 1 9


problem for her She implemented an ordered view of the classroom which was comfortable and, apparently, workable for her Her preference for a highly structured classroom was reflected in the thoroughness and detail with which she prepared lessons, the care which she took to state and enforce classroom rules, and the specific directions and supervision she gave to students as they worked It is important to note that Laura saw herself as developing responsibility in children, not as simply enforcing the rules of the institution But at the same time Laura was uncomfortable with the possibility of creating order at the expense of creativity and independence She tried to build into the curriculum (which was largely established by a school committee) some opportunity for student creativity : "I hoped that they would take what they learned and apply it to something creative of their own ." The students, however, seemed confused by these activities and had trouble working on their own Another, and related, aspect of Laura's perspectives toward teaching was her concern with the school as an organization On the one hand, she stressed the importance of coordinating curriculum across grade levels and having an institutional set of expectations and goals which everyone would adhere to On the other hand, she felt this coordination should come from the teachers themselves and was not willing to carry out a set of impersonal, institutional demands To Laura, communication and interdependence with other people were an important part of "being a professional ." Laura's concern with individual problem children demonstrated her perspective toward children as unique She spoke about children as individuals She gave individual children a good deal of attention outside of class "I don't think of kids in groups," she commented during our last interview, "but as individuals ." However, in her actual teaching, Laura was attracted toward a view of children as having "shared characteristics ." That is, generally children were all taught the same thing at the same time During her student teaching semester, Laura resolved this dilemma by making a distinction between her relationships as a teacher with the whole class and her relationships with them as a helping adult out of class Perspectives Toward Social Studies Laura too, showed evidence of an attraction toward social studies as personal knowledge To Laura, social studies curriculum was personally meaningful in that it prepares children for adult life : "before too many years they are going to be part of the voting population that decides these things ." Furthermore, much of what Laura would label social studies, although not taught during the time officially designated social studies, is that which deals with young people's problems : "We try to be alert to the problems kids are having If it's something that affects a lot of kids we can bring it up in class ." Laura stressed that a primary emphasis in social studies for her would be what she called values education' and personal development 2 0


While leaning toward an attraction toward personal knowledge, Laura's teaching and talk about teaching indicated a strong attraction toward knowledge as certain rather than problematic The lessons observed consisted of the teacher presenting information which the pupils would write down and later apply This was consistent with her perspectives toward control and order, toward childhood as a time of preparation for the years to come and toward a concern for the organization, for preparing children for the next grades Interestingly, while Laura's conceptions of social studies as indicated on her inventory, showed a tendency to see knowledge as process oriented, this did not enter into her talk about actual teaching The lessons she taught had a content emphasis and she never talked about teaching children thinking skills Laura defined inquiry in social studies as "a way of learning through asking questions ." But, she added, "I don't know how to teach someone to ask questions ." During her student teaching semester, Laura expressed little conscious sense of dilemmas She saw knowledge largely in terms of information and facts to be learned for their own sake Her social studies teaching seemed to have more to do with her attraction for order and structure than did her abstract conceptions of social studies Peter Perspectives Toward Teaching The theme of integration was an overriding one for Peter "I guess I've seen myself as a real integrator," he said The classroom to him was a place where diverse interests and knowledge should be connected to one another and to the real world Peter entered education because he saw the elementary school classroom as a perfect outlet for a man with diverse interests and a desire for socially responsible work To Peter, teaching was a job to which he could bring himself and still have the time and energy to pursue those interests which he could then, in turn, bring back to the classroom : "The elementary classroom seemed like a place where you could do a lot of different things as an adult . yet still be doing a job that contributes to the common good ." Unlike many student teachers, Peter did not have to struggle with classroom management or with defining his relationship to the children Teaching for him was an opportunity for self expression and learning, as well as for instructing His perspectives toward teaching were characterized more by a concern for learning and curriculum than by concerns for developing a comfortable teacher role and learning to relate to children Peter sought to resolve a dilemma of high vs low teacher control of pupil action in a way that would find a balance between teacher and pupil control "I like to think that you take the interests of the kids and because you have more knowledge, more background, you can build that into a meaningful educational experience ." 2 1


Although Peter occasionally encouraged children to work independently, his predominant teaching behavior reflected the idea that learning is, to a large extent, a collective endeavor Peter believed that learning best takes place when people are motivated by and learn from interaction with others Children, as well as teachers, can stimulate and contribute to one anothers' learning For Peter, this was a clear resolution Perspectives Toward Social Studies The idea that knowledge is integrated and that school knowledge needs to be connected to life were essential to Peter's talk about social studies Making "connections between otherwise isolated and meaningless facts and knowledge" is, said Peter, basic to his philosophy of education and of social studies These connections are crucial to real learning and, this being the case, provide what Peter called the "greater context ." He was strongly attracted toward a resolution of knowledge as personally meaningful and viewed social studies as that which helps make the connections between school knowledge and "real life systems ." The theme of connecting learning in school to "real" life recurred throughout Peter's talk about teaching and curriculum and was demonstrated in his teaching as well Peter's cooperating teacher noted that one of Peter's strengths was that "he tried to make the lessons meaningful to them as ten and eleven year olds, not just a body of information they were given by an adult or a textbook that they are expected to memorize ." Furthermore, in Peter's perspective, knowledge which is personally meaningful primarily emphasizes knowing as a way of thinking and reasoning Each lesson observed presented the children with open-ended questions or problems, something to `figure out .' It was not sufficient for children to learn the process of inquiry, Peter, in addition, encouraged children to develop a critical stance toward knowledge He spoke of knowledge as problematic and taught in a way that would encourage skeptical questioning It is important, he explained, that children learn not put too much faith in experts but learn to examine evidence, ideas, and values for themselves Peter's conceptions of social studies as demonstrated on the Social Studies Inventory and during our first interview, were given greater meaning in the context of his teaching experiences and beliefs He chose teaching because he saw the classroom as a place to develop his wide range of interests rather than having to specialize He was strongly attracted to knowledge as integrated -to not making artificial distinctions between domains of knowledge and to relating knowledge to life and to the children He sought to establish connections not only among what was being taught but among the learners as well, by structuring and supporting group learning and interaction He sought, throughout the semester, to actively engage the students in learning and teaching, as he himself was engaged Finally, he had chosen to work in classroom where he perceived it would be possible for him to implement his teaching philosophy For Peter, dilemmas of teaching manifested them2 2


selves in occasional problems of implementation rather than ambivalence in his conceptions of teaching David Perspectives Toward Teaching An introspective, thoughtful and religious man, David was eager to develop in young people the ability to use their minds He spoke often of wanting to stimulate a "joy of learning" in the youngsters he worked with A joy which would come as learners were enabled to discover things for themselves One reason David chose his student teaching site was that he felt that that cooperating teacher was teaching social studies in a stimulating way which was compatible with his own goals : "getting the kids to process information and draw conclusions seemed worthwhile to me ." For David, student teaching turned out to be a frustrating experience He was forced to face conflicts between his ideas and hopes about teaching and his actual experience Unlike the other student teachers I observed, David was unable to come to a satisfactory resolution to the dilemmas of teaching he faced during this experience His idealized notions of teaching and learning were contradicted by his actual experiences in the classroom He found children who, it appeared to him, were unmotivated to learn At the same time David believed that school is a place where learning must occur Hence, while it would be ideal for students to have a high degree of control over their activities .and time, there "has to be some way to insure that work is taking place ." Ideally there would be "no need for telling them what they have to learn without giving them any choices But that's difficult to do in a situation where they have to learn ." And indeed, the lessons observed were all tightly teacher structured and implemented, and consisted primarily of lecture and worksheets The resolution of high teacher control was not a happy one for David His original conceptions about ideal learning did-not change and he was uncomfortable with his teaching practice He regarded his role as teacher as too coercive for real learning, although necessarily coercive given his perceived demands of the schools He felt pressure to "cover the material," to be "sure that children learn ." Yet he explained, and his cooperating teacher confirmed, that he had a good deal of leeway in deciding what to teach Indeed, David's assumptions about what the school demanded seem to have been more important than actual constraints imposed at this particular school David's relationship with his pupils was characterized, on one hand, by respect and consideration But he was also reluctant to develop personal relationships with his pupils Despite his expressed interest in working with troubled children, he was careful not to intrude where he felt he may not have been wanted While maintaining respect for his pupils, he kept some 2 3


distance from them and never seemed to arrive at an understanding of them or of his relationship to them David was similarly perplexed about how to motivate children's learning He believed that real learning had to be intrinsically motivated, but he daily faced the reality of a seemingly unmotivated class And so, although David would like to have facilitated self-motivated learning, he was at a loss as to how he might stimulate motivation The pupils, said David, seemed only to enjoy "filling in blanks and things ." While this was unsatisfactory to him, he felt he was unable to successfully ask them to do anything else Interestingly, David, like Peter, felt that school should be connected to "real life" to be meaningful But when asked whether he could make connections in his own classroom he replied : "I don't know You could theoretically, I don't know if you could bureaucratically I've heard of people who try to start things like that The principal or somebody says `you have to do this .' So they hurry up and do that and if there's some time left they do what they wanted to do ." Perspectives Toward Social Studies David's perspectives toward social studies were similarly characterized by frustration and unsuccessful dilemma resolutions He felt, on the one hand, that knowledge should be personally meaningful and useful On the other hand, he was concerned that children learn the concepts and information he saw as basic to the discipline The study of history, in itself, ought to stimulate pupils' "sense of wonder," ought to be meaningful for them And yet it was readily apparent to David from the beginning of the semester that most pupils simply didn't care about the history he was trying to teach David, as teacher, would like to have been the vehicle for making public knowledge personally meaningful, but he was unable to find a way to do so Similarly, David was very attracted to a process resolution of the processcontent dilemma He talked about the importance of teaching "thinking skills" and trying to get pupils to make inferences At the same time he was concerned that his students learn information, the facts and theories laid out in lectures and texts Observations of his teaching revealed a strong tendency to emphasize knowledge as content ; but his talk about his teaching showed that this was not satisfactory Throughout the semester he was unable to find a way to integrate the two ends of the dilemma Aspects of David's ambivalence were shown in his talk about social studies knowledge as integrated On the one hand, he argued, integrating disciplines is a good idea since in our ordinary thinking we don't make distinctions On the other hand, maybe it would be better to teach social studies (and other disciplines) separately so as to be sure not to neglect or short change one area David's perspectives toward social studies could not meaningfully have been determined by simply knowing his conceptions or ideas about social 2 4


studies and teaching Only in the context of the particular classroom, did the ambivalence and uncertainty which characterized his thinking and his actual teaching emerge I should add that David ended the semester without working out these conflicts to his satisfaction and did not intend to go into teaching Conceptions of Social Studies Not surprisingly, it was found that the student teachers' abstract conceptions of social studies seemed to guide practice only superficially While each of the four was able to articulate conceptions about social studies, practice did not always reflect the ideas Nonetheless, conceptions of social studies did exist and did play some part in guiding teaching Through interviews and writing, each student teacher expressed beliefs and ideas about what social studies is and why it ought to be taught Each informant gave the term a very broad and general definition "To me there is no definition because it involved so many things," said Sally "Social studies is dealing with man in general, his past, his present, his future," Laura explained To Peter, social studies "encompasses almost everything ." And David argued that social studies is "the study of the interaction of people on a personal, community, society, national and international level ." In discussing the reasons why social studies ought to be taught, all four of the student teachers stressed the importance of having pupils learn such knowledge in order to become educated people ; but just what that knowledge ought to be was not clarified, even when asked directly Peter, Sally and Laura also emphasized that social studies ought to enable young people to make informed personal and public choices Peter and Sally talked about the development of empathy or perspective taking as an important goal for social studies and Laura stressed what she called "values clarification" or learning about oneself David questioned whether there was any practical value to social studies, given the nature of our society and the decisionmaking process But he still advocated including social studies in the school curriculum Perspectives toward Social Studies But these abstract ideas only began to suggest what social studies meant to these four people and thus the focus on their perspectives was crucial Despite similarities in their initial ideas about social studies and despite the differences among all four which emerged in their teaching, their perspectives toward social studies can be roughly grouped into two categories, one group exemplified by Sally and Peter, the other by Laura and David Sally and Peter tended to see worthwhile social studies knowledge as that which is personally meaningful Each stressed the importance of the children's personal experiences and the development of empathy in children They each tended to emphasize developing in children the skills of learning and reason2 5


ing and sought to implement a social studies curriculum which would emphasize this process approach Peter demonstrated an understanding of social studies knowledge as tentative and constructed, and encouraged in his pupils skepticism and doubt as well as reasoning and inquiry Both Sally and Peter emphasized the need to integrate knowledge in the classroom and in their teaching methods, both sought to implement a variety of learning activities .' Laura and David represented a different set of perspectives toward social studies They both stressed the importance of "public" over personal knowledge That is, they were concerned that children learn the insights and information developed by scholars Both emphasized the teaching of content over processes of learning and reasoning and saw this content as certain rather than tentative knowledge Both Laura and David did integrate some of their class curriculum, but each stressed the importance of doing so only when it was "appropriate ." More often, they felt, integrating various subjects would be forced and counter-productive In their teaching methods, Laura and David relied heavily on textbook or other pre-packaged materials This was consistent with their emphasis on having children absorb information already well structured .' A description of the conceptions and perspectives of these four informants toward social studies gives only a partial view of the perspectives relevant to their social studies teaching Their perspectives toward social studies curriculum, knowledge and activities were best understood by considering their perspectives toward teaching and learning in general Assumptions about social studies alone did not fully illuminate practices in social studies The perspectives of each of the four student teachers could be seen as a matrix or pattern of interrelated dimensions with an overriding theme, or themes, which threaded throughout their talk and practice These themes may be described as major concerns which acted as filters or lenses through which the student teaching experience was viewed and interpreted Sally struggled with developing her teacher identity, with becoming comfortable in the teacher role and in her relationship with pupils Laura's perspectives were characterized by her emphasis on structure and order in her teaching and in her view of the school and the process of schooling Peter's perspectives were characterized by the theme of "connections," his view that diverse interests and knowledge can be connected with each other and with the "real world ." And David's perspectives were characterized by a concern with joyful learning and by the contradictions he perceived between his idea of teaching and the reality These themes wove together the perspectives of each toward teaching, learning and children as well as toward curriculum and knowledge The social studies teaching of each informant was best understood in the context of this broad pattern of perspectives, as described above, rather than simply in their perspectives toward social studies as such 2 6


Conclusions This study began by addressing the conceptions of social studies held by each informant In many ways, the beliefs they expressed were not unlike those held by many social studies educators They talked about the importance of having pupils gain knowledge, but warned against blind indoctrination They emphasized the development of "thinking skills :" gathering and processing data, developing decision-making abilities and interpersonal skills It would seem that, for some student teachers at least, the "gulf" between scholars and teachers may not be so vast when one looks at the level of abstract ideas Not surprisingly, however, there is a different picture when social studies teaching is observed Among Sally, Peter, Laura, and David, one finds greater variety than their conceptions of social studies alone would suggest Given this, one might infer that expressed beliefs about social studies are little more than slogans, unrelated to teachers' social studies practice However, Sally, Laura, Peter, and David did have ideas about social studies and they did not discard these when planning and teaching But these ideas were only one element in a broader framework This broader framework took into account the immediate situation, past experiences and other beliefs and assumptions Social studies teaching was shaped then, not only by beliefs about social studies but by such things as a concern for developing an appropriate teacher role, ideas about what school is about and what ought to be learned there, as well as by past experience in social studies and in community activities The perspectives toward social studies which emerged during the student teaching experience of the four informants were influenced by a variety of factors The institutional features of schooling helped to determine what was seen as possible and feasible At the same time, background factors of biography and beliefs served as filters through which the immediate situation was viewed and the possible and feasible were interpreted No one factor alone shaped these informants' perspectives toward social studies -not their beliefs about social studies, nor the institutional nature of school, nor their uncertainties as novice teachers Rather it was the interaction of a variety of features, and their own actions which in turn helped to shape their situations It is important here to note the dynamic quality of the perspectives each student teacher held Apparent contradictions or inconsistencies emerged in actions of each and between beliefs each held and practices observed It seems useful to acknowledge that people often hold apparently contradictory ideas' and beliefs, the various aspects of which may be called up in specific situations Within the broad, interrelated framework of an individual's pattern of perspectives, an apparent contradiction can be seen less as a puzzle or inconsistency and more as a particular resolution for a particular situation 2 7


Implications This study involved a small number of informants, thus generalizations must be made with caution However, the descriptions and analysis which emerged do suggest some implications for both teacher educators and researchers First, the findings indicate that while conceptions of social studies may have some bearing on social studies teaching, perspectives toward social studies are embedded in teacher's interpretations and understandings of the teaching situation more generally Professors may be able to influence their students' conceptions of social studies But the issues and strategies raised in methods classes may have more impact if raised in the context of broader questions such as the role of the teacher, the nature of the learner and the function of schooling Such issues are often addressed in foundation courses, but in addition preservice teachers may need to explore and be helped to articulate their personal, and often taken for granted, assumptions about these foundations questions and to integrate them with ideas and techniques presented in methods classes and, eventually, with their actual social studies teaching Preservice teachers can be encouraged to explore links between what is desirable and what is possible in social studies teaching, to consider ways to work within, or around, given school structures, to explore the possibilities of becoming change agents within a school without alienating staff or administrators In short, social studies methods may best have meaning within the context of prospective teachers' understandings of and experiences with broader questions of life in the classroom Implications for research in social studies may be derived as well The four informants in this study held conceptions of social studies not unlike those advocated in the literature In the classroom, however, a broad range of factors and assumptions affected teaching and thus practice did not always conform to conceptions expressed What factors then do influence teachers perspectives toward social studies? Are there some factors which seem more important than others? Are there, in fact, some factors which teacher educators can control or at least influence? What factors might modify or develop the perspectives of beginning teachers and of experienced teachers? Finally, more needs to be known about the perspectives themselves Although the perspectives of the four informants in this study could be roughly grouped in two categories, such categorizations are indeed "rough ." No simple dichotomy can capture the complexity of actual perspectives, nor their dynamic quality Some categorization, however, provide us with greater understanding of teaching and of the practioners' interpretations of classroom situations What categories of perspectives toward social studies might emerge given the input of a greater number of informants? What do teachers in practice regard as worthwhile knowledge, as appropriate definitions and rationales? 2 8


Research on teacher perspectives may be one way to help bridge the gap between theory and practice Certainly it is important to develop thoughtful rationales and meaningful curricula for social studies education But successful implementation will only come with the collaboration of teachers Research on teacher perspectives would seek to understand the dynamics of teaching and to acknowledge and value the interpretations and insights of practitioners Endnotes 'The Conceptions of Social Studies Inventory asked students to respond on a scale of 1 through 5 (strongly disagree to strongly agree) to a series of twenty-five statements about Social Studies These included such statements as : "Social studies should be integrated with other areas like reading or science ." "Elementary school children are not emotionally prepared to handle learning about problems in our society ." "When there is not enough time for everything, it is better to cut social studies than to cut math ." For the complete inventory see Adler (1982) 'One activity asked students to write a definition of social studies, and of key terms such as inquiry, values and inferences Another presented students with brief descriptions of four social studies lessons Students were asked to write several paragraphs expressing their thoughts about these lessons For more detail see Adler (1982) 3 All names have been changed for purposes of anonymity The material quoted in this section has been taken from interviews with the informants 'In the Dilemmas of Schooling, Berlak and Berlak suggest sixteen dilemmas which characterized the teaching they observed While the descriptions in this paper rely on the language of dilemmas, they do not refer necessarily to the specific dilemmas the Berlaks outlined 'When Laura talked about values clarification or values education she was not referring to Simon et al Values Clarification (N .Y : Hart Publishing Co ., 1972) nor to any other particular approach to values education She simply felt that students should be given the opportunity to discuss value issues and to examine their personal values "This is not to say that there weren't important differences between Sally and Peter, especially at the level of practice Peter, for example, was more successful at implementing an integrated curriculum in which he used social studies as a thread to tie classroom activities together He was also better able to develop a variety of learning activities and rely less on the textbook David and Laura also had a number of differences For example, although David's teaching emphasized established facts and information, he wanted to be able to find a way to teach pupils to "figure things out for themselves ." Laura was confident in her teaching, David was not References 1 Adler, S Elementary School Social Studies : Student Teacher Perspectives Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1982 2 Berlak, A & Berlak, H The Dilemmas of Schooling : Teaching and Social Change New York : Methuen, 1981 3 Becker, H C Boys in White : Student Culture in Medical School Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1961 2 9


4 Boag, N H Teacher Perception of Curricular Change Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Alberta, 1980 5 Cornbleth, C "On the Social Study of Social Studies ." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York City, March, 1982 6 Goodman, J Learning to Teach : A Study of a Humanistic Approach Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1982 7 Grace, G Teachers, Ideology and Control : A Study In Urban Education London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978 8 Grannis, J C "The Social Studies Teacher and Research on Teacher Education ." Social Education, March, 1970, 34 (3), 291-301 9 Gross, R E "The Status of the Social Studies in the Public Schools of the United States : Facts and Impressions of a National Survey ." Social Education, March, 1977, 194-200 ; 205 10 Hammersley, M Teacher Perspectives Milton Keynes, Great Britain : The Open University Press, 1977 11 Janesick, V J "An Ethnographic Study of a Teacher's Classroom Perspective : Implications for Curriculum ." East Lansing, MI : Institute for Research on Teaching, No 33, Nov 1978 12 Jarolimek, J "The Status of Social Studies Education : Six Case Studies ." Social Education, Nov .-Dec ., 1977, 574-601 13 Lacey, C The Socialization of Teachers London : Methuen, 1977 14 McNeil, L M Economic Dimensions of Social Studies Curricula : Curriculum as Institutionalized Knowledge Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1977 15 Morrisett, I ., Superka, D & Hawke, S "Project SPAN," Social Education, Nov .-Dec 1980, 44 (7), 557-592 16 Sharp, R & Green, A Education and Social Control : A Study in Progressive Primary Education London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975 17 Shaver, J P ., David, O L & Helburn, S W "The Status of Social Studies Education : Impressions from Three NSF Studies ." Social Education Feb 1979, 43, 150-153 18 Superka, D P ., Hawke, S & Morrissett, I "The Current and Future Status of the Social Studies ." Social Education, May, 1980, 44 (5), 362-369 19 Tabachnick, B R ., Zeichner, K ., Densmore, K ., Adler, S ., Egan, K "The Impact of the Student Teaching Experience on the Development of Teacher Perspectives ." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York City, March, 1982 20 Zeichner, K "Field Based Experience : A Question of Purpose ." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, 1979 3 0


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring, 1984 Volume XII Number 1, pp 31-41 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies An Exploratory Comparison of Two Methods of Assessing Teacher Attitude 'toward Instructional Strategies Sandra J LeSourd Houston Independent School District Houston, TX 77027 This paper reports a research project combining quantitative and qualitative approaches to research methodology Two data collection procedures, one representative of each approach, were employed to discover practicing teachers' attitudes toward selected instructional strategies The data obtained from each collection procedure were examined and compared Subsequent analysis of the qualitative data produced tentative empirical generalizations t The study is exploratory in respect to its focus upon a methodological goal The purpose was to compare the responses of participants to two data collection procedures differentiated by the degree of researcher-controlled structure inherent in their design A semantic differential attitude questionnaire was chosen from the quantitative tradition, and a nonschedule standardized interview represented qualitative methodology Background Multiple methods are needed to increase research validity, because one method alone cannot be expected to produce a complete and accurate representation of empirical reality (Denzin, 1978 ; LeCompte & Goetz, 1982) A researcher may not develop a full description of participants' meanings if a single highly structured method is used Although structured protocols, such as paper-and-pencil attitude surveys, have advantages of rapid and ef3 1


ficient administration to large numbers of subjects, they rely upon implicit constructs which may be interpreted variably among the subjects responding to them (Mehan, 1976) The researcher has no opportunity to discover the subjects' interpretations of the survey instrument A remedy for this problem is the addition of an unstructured research method such as a nonschedule interview which elicits more variable participant expression on the topic (Becker & Geer, 1960 ; Schatzman & Strauss, 1973) Teacher attitude toward selected social studies instructional strategies was chosen as the substantive area for investigation with the combined data collection procedures The research question was formulated in accordance with the methodological goal How are teachers' responses to an attitude survey instrument comparable to or contrastive with the attitudes which they express in a nonschedule interview? Theoretical Perspective The substantive aspect of this study was initially conceived as an attempt to discern teacher attitudes As analysis of the interview data progressed, a need for a broader conceptualization of the meanings generated became apparent Attitude, defined as a positive or negative predisposition toward a social object, did not account for all the participant meanings obtained in the interviews The classical social-psychological framework of Thomas and Znaniecki (1927) serves as an appropriate theoretical guide Thomas and Znaniecki described attitude as a subjective phenomenon which interacts with the objective features of a social situation to form an individual's definition of the situation Attitude is conceptualized as a process of individual consciousness which may influence action toward a social object Attitude alone, without consideration of the social context, does not provide adequate explanation for behavior Each social situation contains social objects toward which attitudes are directed Social objects have culturally recognized objective features which Thomas and Znaniecki describe as content In addition, individuals ascribe meanings to social objects as a consequence of their personal association with the objects The total definition of the situation, described as the interplay between the objective content and meaning of social objects and individual attitude toward the objects, determines behavior Individuals act in accordance with their definition of the situation which includes the content and meaning of social objects and attitude toward the objects The definition of the situation provides a relevant theoretical perspective for interpretation of the interview data, because it appeared that the teachers were cognizant of a situation as they spoke Their descriptions of classroom interaction, as they had experienced it, were definitions of social situations The teachers introduced content and meaning associated with social objects and predispositions to act toward those social objects as they described influences upon decisions made prior to and during the teaching 3 2


process They relied upon a definition of their own situation when asked to express their attitude toward the instructional strategies presented in an inservice course The theoretical perspective is relevant to an analytic method, typological analysis, used in the study The framework, definition of the situation, provided a unit of analysis for the categories which constitute the empirical generalizations resulting from the study The theoretical base increases the replicability of the study by providing typological categories for subsequent attitude assessment investigations Research Setting The research project was conducted during a university summer school graduate education course in methods of teaching social studies in the middle school The course was taught by a social science education professor on the faculty of the university As a graduate student intern, I attended all the class sessions and taught a few of them There were 14 students enrolled in the course, 7 experienced teachers and 7 undergraduates in pre-service training It was not possible to interview all 14 students in the limited time available for the study I decided to use the experienced teachers as research participants because their responses were likely to provide a greater amount of data, and because they were being presented with choices they could accept or reject during the following school year The course content was a review of instructional techniques which could be implemented in grades four through eight Instructional purposes and implementation procedures were discussed Each strategy was demonstrated with the teachers simulating student roles and, in effect, experiencing each instructional procedure through class participation Participation in the course assured that each research participant was familiar with the strategies to be presented in the attitude assessment By occasionally joining in small group work, by answering individual questions as the teachers worked, and by talking with them about their teaching background during coffee breaks, I developed an informal relationship with the teachers By the end of the 4-week course, the teachers appeared to be accustomed to me as an intern and assented willingly to be research participants Methodology The procedures included the construction and administration of an attitude survey form, an unstructured interview with each participant, and analysis of the data The data analysis involved a comparison of the data yielded by the survey and the interviews and classification of the interview data to form empirical generalizations Attitude Survey The first data collection procedure, construction and ad3 3


ministration of a survey form, typifies attitude research in the quantitative tradition The semantic differential was chosen as the measurement instrument because it is a highly controlled method of attitude assessment Respondents indicate their attitude on scales defined by researcher-selected adjectives Semantic differential responses provide a measure of the direction and intensity of the respondent's evaluation of a social object However, the respondents are limited to the assumed meanings built into the semantic differential by the researcher, and their own meanings cannot be inferred There is no opportunity for them to reveal the complexities of their attitude by describing the factors of consciousness which determine their response In the semantic differential technique, the respondent judges a concept against a series of bipolar, seven-step scales defined by opposite adjectives The response to each scale, indicated by a check mark, is assigned a numerical value (e .g ., -3 extremely bad, + 1 somewhat good) An attitude index is formed by averaging the respondent's ratings on the various scales (Osgood, Suci, & Tannenbaum, 1957 ; Pelto & Pelto, 1978) Five instructional strategies presented in the social studies methods course were selected as concepts for the semantic differential The selected strategies were making graphs, inquiry teaching, concept development, directed reading, and values clarification The strategies represented social objects toward which attitudes could be directed Ten adjective pairs (valuable . worthless, unsuccessful . successful, meaningful . meaningless, regressive . progressive, important . unimportant, inept . skillful, approve . disapprove, harmful . beneficial, willing . unwilling, useless . useful) were selected from those which Osgood et al (1957) report as appropriate for attitude assessment The instrument was administered during a class session 5 days before the end of the course I gave instructions for responding to the instrument and described its purpose as an assessment of the teachers' attitudes toward some of the strategies taught in the course The following question was addressed to the teachers : "What is your attitude toward these instructional strategies?" Interviews The second data collection procedure, unstructured interviews with the seven participants, is a technique commonly used by qualitative researchers The nonschedule standardized interview format discussed by Denzin (1978) was chosen as the appropriate alternative for this study Since the purpose of the study was a comparison of the information obtained from two data collection procedures, a less structured procedure was needed to contrast with the highly structured survey instrument Also, participants' meanings are more likely to be revealed in a less structured interview than in a highly formalized interview with a predetermined question format (Becker & Geer, 1960 ; Schatzman & Strauss, 1973) In the nonschedule standardized interview the same type of information is sought from each participant, but the interviewer varies the wording and 3 4


sequence of questions to fit the participant's response pattern (Denzin, 1978) To maintain equivalence of meaning between the two data collection procedures, the opening interview question corresponded to the semantic differential instructions : "What is your attitude toward these instructional strategies?" The interviews approximated a conversational style in which the participants were given opportunity to volunteer any information which occurred to them as they discussed the strategies Situational factors may affect the reporting of subjective data in interviews and pose serious threats to reliability and validity (Dean & Whyte, 1958 ; Denzin, 1978 ; LeCompte & Goetz, 1982) A potential researcher-setting interaction effect was the prime situational threat to this study Because I occupied a status position within the group, participants may have sought my approval or tried to appear knowledgeable about their profession I attempted to control for these threats by asking essentially the same question in different ways, checking with the participants several times to give them a chance to change, amplify, or clarify their meanings, and avoiding the introduction of researcher bias by giving no indication of agreement or disagreement The interviews were conducted privately during the last two class sessions in a conference room adjacent to the classroom in which the course was taught I explained how the information collected was to be used and identified the purpose of the interview as the same as the purpose for the semantic differential : a procedure for collecting information about teacher attitudes The interviews were taped and transcribed verbatim Data Analysis A recording system was devised for listing the data in two columns thus achieving a simultaneous display of instrument and interview data for each participant This format satisfied the requirements of the methodological purpose of the study Comparing the data yielded by the two research methods required a reduction of the data to forms suitable for systematic inspection The semantic differential data were recorded using a simple arithmetical averaging procedure, and a process of summarizing incidents was used for the interview data (Becker & Geer, 1960 ; Osgood et al ., 1957 ; Pelto & Pelto, 1978) The following steps were used 1 Each teacher's average semantic differential score was derived for each of the five instructional strategies and for all the strategies combined 2 Each teacher's interview script was examined for statements which were clearly evaluative and for statements'which indicated a rationale for the evaluations This involved dividing the data into separate incidents 3 Each incident from the interview data was summarized in succinct language while maintaining the participant's meaning 4 On a paper divided into two columns, each semantic differential score was recorded in the first column and the interview summary state3 5


ments which pertained to each strategy were recorded opposite the corresponding score in the second column 5 The scores and summary statements were compared across columns to determine their degree of correspondence Following is an example of the data reduction achieved through this analysis technique In Column 1, one participant's semantic differential responses to inquiry teaching are listed Reduction of these data required a simple averaging of the responses to the 10 adjectival scales In Column 2, the same participant's verbatim interview transcript was reduced by delimiting and summarizing separate verbal incidents A manageable comparison across columns is facilitated by the reduced data In the example, the positive attitude toward inquiry teaching indicated on the survey is supported by the meanings expressed during the interview Column 2 Interview Data Verbatim Transcript And I like the inquiry teaching a lot I think it has given me a new perspective on what to do You know when you want to get an idea across But I don't think it has to be limited to Social Studies Everything was specific, but it was general enough so that it could be translated into almost any discipline Summarized Verbal Incidents I like inquiry teaching It has given me a new perspective It can be used in other subjects A high density of participant meanings in the interview data became apparent during the data reduction process A potential emerged for discovering empirical generalizations about teacher attitude toward social studies instructional strategies Additional analysis strategies were needed for the purpose of interpreting participant meanings and constructs in the interview data (Goetz & LeCompte, 1981 ; Lofland, 1971) Analytic induction involves examining the relationships among data for the purpose of creating categories Typological analysis involves organizing data using a predetermined unit of analysis The definition of the situation, described by Thomas and Znaniecki (1927) as the interaction between the objective content and meaning associated with social objects with a subjective attitude toward the objects, was the unit of analysis for the typological classification The following steps were used to discover empirical generalizations in the interview data 3 6 Column 1 Survey Data Adjectival Scale Response meaningful . meaningless + 3 inept . skillful + 2 willing . unwilling + 3 regressive . progressive + 3 important . unimportant + 3 harmful . beneficial + 3 valuable . worthless +3 useless . useful + 3 approve . disapprove + 3 unsuccessful . successful + 3 Average Survey Response = +2 .9


1 All the interview summary statements were analyzed for participant meanings, organized into categories, and relevant category names were listed (analytic induction) 2 The derived category names were coded, further categorized, and labelled on the basis of their similarities and differences using definition of the situation as the unit of analysis (typological analysis) 3 Empirical generalizations were formulated by consulting the summary statements included in each labelled category Results Methodological Comparison The results of the quantitative and qualitative data collection procedures were compared While similarity of results was manifested in the comparison, some unanticipated meanings were expressed in the qualitative procedure The results of both research methodologies indicated a positive attitude toward the social studies instructional strategies In addition, the qualitative results introduced some teacher reservations about effective implementation of the strategies The semantic differential scale ranges from 3 through -1 indicating a negative evaluation, to 0 indicating neutrality, to + 1 through + 3 indicating a positive evaluation Teachers placed most of the check marks at the + 2 or + 3 position on the scale The average score for the group of respondents was + 2 .6 A dominant rationale for the positive response, relating to the usefulness of the instructional strategies, appeared throughout the interview data It is typified by the following statement They're very useful And I don't think it requires somebody who is an experienced teacher either An experienced teacher could incorporate easier, but anybody can do these things I think Nineteen check marks from the total of 350 were placed at the 0 and + 1 positions They were the only exceptions to the dominant highly positive rating Two teachers, who checked the neutral position, reported instrument ambiguity, not a negative attitude, as their motivation When I started thinking about skillful and inept, I was wondering does that mean that I have to be skillful to teach it? If I'm inept, I'm not going to do it well Or is it something that requires skill on the part of the students? I was afraid my answer would be interpreted in the wrong way I didn't know what you meant by those adjectives When I come to one when I'm afraid that if I go to one end or the other it's going to be totally misinterpreted, then I'll just put it in the middle On the semantic differential there might have been some confusion in my mind about what exactly I was evaluating Was it the course? Was it the instructor? Was it my way of dealing with this particular thing in my own classroom? 3 7


When examined independently, the semantic differential scores suggest a uniform and enthusiastic attitude toward the instructional strategies However, a qualification of this attitude is evident when the interview data are examined Even though the teachers supported their positive evaluation during the interviews by citing the practicality and flexibility of the strategies, they also expressed a number of reservations about successful implementation The reservations relate to the realities of their teaching situation The following are examples With values clarification I think you have to be careful about the topic you choose Abortion might be a topic I might not choose because, depending on the community, parents might not like that If you have a good library in your area, the inquiry would flourish If you do not have other resources outside the textbook, you're going to have a little bit of trouble with your inquiry Sometimes in inquiry teaching it's hard to get them to cooperate with discussion You'll have 4 or 5, but the majority are going to sit there They're not going to volunteer any information or participate I'm in favor of inquiry and concept discussions if the teacher can keep control and not let it get completely out of hand Additional Interview Results The analysis of the interview data revealed participant meanings which were obscured by the structure of the semantic differential The teachers were asked how they felt toward the instructional strategies named on the instrument I had assumed the interview responses would be derived from the group's common experience, that is, their membership in the university summer course However, the teachers introduced different content and meaning They chose instead to express their attitudes by citing the objective conditions operative in the classroom situations where the strategies are to be implemented A suitable interpretation may be that the teachers were referring to their own definitions of situations and reacting to content which they knew to be operative in those situations When the interview data were analyzed to discern the teachers' situational definitions, three categories emerged Summaries of the content of the three categories constitute the substantive generalizations generated by the typological analysis Student needs Teachers believe they have a responsibility for fulfilling the diverse intellectual needs of students and adjusting instruction to accommodate group and individual differences Following are some relevant statements The adolescent child goes from a concrete basis, at about age 10, to a more formal thinking basis at 13 to 15 Value clarification gives them a chance to develop by forming their own opinion I've used directed reading as a tool for slow learners more than I do for accelerated learners In a regular classroom situation, the acceler3 8


ated students might tend to be a little bored by the directed reading You're going to have students with a very wide background and students with limited background So in concept development you will have to choose concepts which fit the background of your students Teacher responsibility Teachers show a concern for the interaction between strategy and teacher They are keenly aware that successful implementation is dependent upon the teacher as well as upon the presumed effectiveness of procedure This concern is evident in the following statements Not every teacher can handle values clarification I think if somebody's uncomfortable with it, they shouldn't do it Directed reading can have a big pitfall in it-if teachers use it simply as busy work In other words they would not necessarily motivate the student They would put questions on the board and ask the students to fill out the questions without really guiding them Using open-ended questions may be a good way of getting 7th graders involved Especially if they know their teacher is not going to hold it against them for what they say and put them down for what they say Instructional utility Teachers expect to achieve results with a new teaching procedure The participants emphasized their expectation that a strategy prove useful, but did not define usefulness or elaborate on methods of assessing usefulness Following are typical statements in this category Most of my attitudes about teaching go back to the actual experience of working with the children and seeing what works and what does not work When you have tried something and you see that it works, and then you get in a course with other people and they talk about that it works, then you go back and use it again because you see that there's results I would judge a strategy by whether it does what I wanted it to do in the first place, and if the kids enjoyed it and learned something from it If it was beneficial to them, I would continue to do it The classical social-psychological construct, definition of the situation, was used as the theoretical base for the substantive analysis Three empirical generalizations, containing meanings of apparent importance to the research participants, were generated by a typological analysis The generalizations were labelled student needs, teacher responsibility, and instructional utility In brief, teachers' attitudes toward instructional strategies are influenced by the diverse intellectual capabilities of their students, the role which the teacher plays in implementation, and the expectation that implementation will produce results Teachers appear to judge social studies instructional strategies by considering the realities of the teaching situation 3 9


Discussion Discussion of the conclusions must be qualified by the limitations of the study The small number of participants and the possible researcher-setting interaction effect are two limitations upon the generalizability of the findings However, as an exploratory project in research methodology, this study illustrates the value of using more than one data collection procedure to investigate an educational question The validity of the findings was enhanced by the combined methods approach Administration of the semantic differential provided an index of the direction and intensity of teachers' attitudes However, had I relied upon the attitude survey alone, the outcome of this study would be deceptive in its simplicity Clearly, the interview data provided a more detailed portrayal of the teachers' attitudes The interview data extended the survey results by introducing an entirely new set of participant meaning, conceptualized as the definition of the situation This study's methodological comparison suggests that the opportunity for free expression produces richer data and introduces meanings which may not be discovered in a researcher-controlled data collection procedure The semantic differential results contributed to the study by providing a rationale for the unstructured interview format Strong positive attitudes were reflected in the semantic differential results Avoiding the use of specific questions in the interviews was a test to determine if the obtained ratings indicated a real attitude The unstructured interviews contributed to the study by serving as a validity check upon the survey instrument References Becker, J S ., & Geer, B Participant observation : The analysis of qualitative field data In R Adams & J Priess (Eds .), Human organization research : Field relations and techniques Homewood, Illinois : Dorsey, 1960 Dean, J P ., & Whyte, W F How do you know if the informant is telling the truth? Human Organization, 1958, 17(2), 34-38 Denzin, N K The research act : A theoretical introduction to sociological methods (2nd ed .) New York : McGraw-Hill, 1978 Goetz, J P ., & LeCompte, M D Ethnographic research and the problem of data reduction Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 1981, 12(1), 51-70 Lofland, J Analyzing social settings : A guide to qualitative observation and analysis Belmont, California : Wadsworth, 1971 LeCompte, M D ., & Goetz, J P Problems of reliability and validity in ethnographic research Review of Educational Research, 1982, 52(1), 31-60 Mehan, H Assessing children's school performance In M Hammersley & P Woods (Eds .), The process of schooling : A sociological reader London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976 4 0


Osgood, C E ., Suci, G J ., & Tannenbaum, P H The measurement of meaning Urbana, Illinois : University of Illinois Press, 1957 Pelto, P J ., & Pelto, G H Anthropological research : The structure of inquiry (2nd ed .) New York : Cambridge University Press, 1978 Schatzman, L ., & Strauss, A L Field research : Strategies for a natural sociology Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice-Hall, Inc ., 1973 Thomas, W I ., Znaniecki, F The Polish peasant in Europe and America New York : Alfred A Knopf, Inc ., 1927 4 1


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring, 1984 Volume XII Number 1, pp 43-47 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Social Studies Misunderstood : A Reply to Kieran Egan* Stephen J Thornton School of Education Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305 Kieran Egan believes that social studies should be allowed to die quietly In his words, the aims of social studies are so vague and unfeasible that social studies "has not worked, does not work, and cannot work ." (1983, p 195) He advances three arguments to support his view : 1) that social studies is based on incorrect theories of child learning, 2) that social studies aims to "socialize" (where history aims to "educate"), and 3) that the idea of social studies is confused Consequently, Egan writes, students ought to be taught academic history rather than social studies These are serious charges -both for social studies educators and for curricularists generally-and I would like to deal with each in turn Social studies, Egan asserts, is based on misguided notions of children's cognitive development To blame for this widespread misunderstanding of what and how children learn best, Egan says, are the child-centered psychological theories popular at the turn of the century and a misguided application of the "expanding horizons" truism Significantly, at this early stage of his argument, Egan refers to the educational theories of John Dewey and identifies these theories as the source of many mistaken notions about education I would like to thank Nel Noddings and David Flinders for their assistance in the writing of this paper 4 3


I will quote John Dewey as the source of ideas influential in structuring the social studies curriculum This is a dangerous procedure, as Dewey is interpreted so variously by different people (1983, p 197) But Egan does not leave it at that, as his references to Dewey are interspersed with comments on how Dewey's theories have been interpreted Egan's stance on Dewey, of course, makes it next to impossible to argue against his interpretation of Dewey and Dewey's influence Certainly Dewey has been the subject of many conflicting interpretations and misinterpretations But Egan's facile movement between what Dewey said and how Egan claims that Dewey has been interpreted, leaves Egan free to make any claims he wishes about Dewey's supposedly deleterious influence As Egan's article is sprinkled with epigrams such as "the usual interpretation" (p 198) and "the typical interpretation" (p 198) the reader has no way of assessing these claims Moreover, as I shall point out below, I believe Egan himself has made some serious errors in his reading of Dewey One particularly important idea that Egan attributes to Dewey's influence is the formulation of the "expanding horizons" model for social studies This model posits that children should move from the known to the unknown Consequently, in the lower elementary grades children should learn about what they are already familiar with (e .g ., families, local neighborhoods) After children make conceptual sense of what is familiar, the exotic world outside children's direct experience is then added to their conceptual frameworks Egan is correct in asserting that the expanding horizons model has been an important influence in the design of social studies programs But in his quest to discredit the "expanding horizons" model, Egan's analysis is shallow More specifically, Egan fails to offer a satisfactory stipulation of what he means by "knowing ." Indeed, his entire argument rests upon his contention that he has an explanation that in some way is better than Dewey's of how children come to know Egan says that children come to school already knowing the most "fundamental categories" of thought (p 199) He contends that children "know love and hate, pleasure and pain, . ." (p 198) Such a claim is the crux of Egan's epistemological argument Yet surely, this epistemological claim is, at best, odd ; we do not normally talk about "knowing" feelings (except perhaps in an idiomatic fashion) We may well "know" that certain of our emotions are associated with particular behaviors For example, when you are angry you may "know" that it is best to watch your temper But to say, for instance, that one "knows" love would be a strange epistemological claim : What would such a statement mean? That one "knows" what love is? That one has experienced love? That one "knows" the definition of love? Despite the strangeness of his epistemological claim, Egan continues that children have direct access to "knowing" such emotions as love and hate How seriously can we take Egan's claim that children "know" these things? Egan confuses feeling various emotions with knowing these emotions 4 4


While feeling and knowing are associated, they are not the same Children do feel, for instance, pain, and yes, children also express jealousy But surely to make sense of these concepts, children need to do more than feel Do children organize their emotions in a fashion that makes coherent intellectual sense? Are children capable of providing reasoned explanations of their feelings of love and anger? It is precisely because children do feel emotions that we need to lead children to reason about them The categorization of their emotions that children do perform is intellectually haphazard ; the way they feel about their emotions is precisely the major difference between their way of knowing and a more mature way of knowing Children need to be educated about their emotions because they have no deep understanding of what emotions mean and how they have affected the course of human life Now, this may be just what Egan meant, but if it is he needs to say so, and most important of all, he needs to tell us what he means by "knowing ." Egan's second group of arguments focuses on his belief that social studies "socializes" while history "educates ." He states this as a dichotomy : the aim of socialization is making people more alike ; the aim of education is making people more different (p 202) Egan posits that history provides a sound basis for children's educational development He argues that history, with its eye on past human experiences, holds educational potentialwhile social studies, with its eye on present concerns, is an agent of socialization How valid is the dichotomy that Egan has constructed? There are at least two crucial questions that must be answered if Egan's case is to be sustained : 1) What does he mean by "socialization" and "education"? 2) How accurate is his argument concerning the role of history in education? Egan believes that "socialization" and "education" are incompatible ; this incompatibility stems from their disparate aims Curiously, as Egan's thesis for his entire essay rests upon upholding a distinction between "socialization" and "education," he offers little stipulation of what he means by either term But, this matter aside, why and how are the aims of "socialization" and "education" disparate? Egan asserts that "socialization will lead to its products sharing attitudes and values, and images of their nation ." (p 202) Such outcomes are at odds with "education ." What remains quite unclear, however, is why (beyond Egan's assertion that they are) "socialization" and "education" must necessarily be at odds Are they mutually exclusive processes? Dewey thought not : Any education given by a group tends to socialize its members, but the quality and value of the socialization depends upon the habits and aims of the group (1916, p 83) Dewey's insight here raises the crucial issue, which is not whether school programs should aim to "socialize" or to "educate," but what types of "so4 5


cialization" and "education" should be adopted -surely any planned school program will include both "socialization" and "education ." The difference between the two becomes greater or lesser depending on the nature of the community Now, Egan may object that this attack on his socialization/education dichotomy is an abstract avoidance of the real issue-that schools, since Dewey, have neglected rigorous "education" for trivial "socialization ." In such a light he may dismiss Dewey's claim that socialization and education are ideally one as starry-eyed dreaming It may be true (although Egan offers little evidence in this regard) that a multitude of sins have been committed in Dewey's name But surely the objections that Egan raises, such as basing curricula on the child's experience alone, represent gross distortions of Dewey's ideas Dewey went to great lengths to correct his more misguided "disciples" on this issue For instance, he makes quite plain that the child's experience is "only the first step" in curriculum planning (Dewey 1938, p 73) Moreover, Egan makes the assumption that certain types of subjectmatter (e .g ., ancient Greek houses, p 198) are inherently trivial At least two remarks need to be made here : First, Dewey made quite clear that, while the child's experience was a starting point, this must be balanced with progressive organization of subject matter (1938, chapter 7) Second, subject matter, whether it be ancient Greek houses, the Civil War, or atomic physics has no inherent educational value unless it can be made meaningful to the student History, Egan says, allows escape from preoccupation with the present He believes that the attention to the concerns of the present in the teaching of history (as happens in social studies) robs history of its educational worth Here Egan has simply gone too far Is he seriously arguing that history, any history, can be written or taught without reference to contemporary society? As E H Carr put it : we can view the past, and achieve our understanding of the past, only through the eyes of the present (1964, p 24) Apparently Egan does not agree, for he states that : in the study of history students' opinions are irrelevant, what they think about the past does not matter What matters is what happened, what someone else's opinion was, what other people thought (1983, p 203) Egan is claiming, in effect, that students need not reach their own interpretations of history How can children (or anyone else) make sense of human experience unless they process others' experience in the light of their own? Egan's view of the educational potential of history remains obscure Egan's third group of arguments is concerned with what he sees as confusion in the "idea" of social studies Again he resorts to his dichotomy between socialization and education (p 205) Here we see in full flower Egan's 4 6


failure to specify who holds the extreme view that social studies is "socialization" divorced from "education ." I know of no social studies educator who holds such a view Notably, Egan refrains from quoting Dewey at this point in his argument Perhaps this is because Dewey specifically warned that if history is used for the type of "socialization" purposes that Egan attacks that it would have no educational benefit Lest the reader should think I exaggerate, allow me to quote Dewey : using history as a kind of reservoir of anecdotes . [produces at best] a temporary emotional glow . . (1916, p 217) Yet, Egan seems to have missed this entirely His final stab at Dewey makes the point for me : My argument is that the betrayal [of North American societies] has been wrought by Dewey's style of socializing social studies, . (Egan 1983, p 212) In conclusion, let me summarize my chief objections to Egan's arguments First, Egan's definition of "knowing" is unclearhe rejects one explanation of how children come to know, but never satisfactorily explains or argues for what "knowing" entails Second, he thinks history would do a better job of educating youngsters than social studies In this argument, he fails to make plain how students make sense of history, and why history is more "appropriate" in educational terms than social studies Third, Egan believes that the "idea" of social studies is confused-here his evidence is based on unspecified applications of Dewey's theories and his arbitrary dichotomy between socialization and education For such an ambitions task as the killing of a major component of the North American curriculum, Egan is poorly armed References Carr, E H What is History? Harmondsworth, England : Penguin, 1964 Dewey, John Democracy and Education New York : The Free Press, 1916 Dewey, John Experience and Education New York : Macmillan, 1938 Egan, Kieran "Social Studies and the Erosion of Education," Curriculum Inquiry Vol 13, no 2 (Summer 1983) : 195-214 4 7


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring, 1984 Volume XII Number 1, pp 49-51 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies A Brief Response to Watts and Walstad Bruce A Romanish College of Education St Cloud State University St Cloud, MN 56301 The response of William B Walstad and Michael W Watts to my recent article, "Secondary Economics Textbooks and Ideological Bias" (TRSE, Spring 1983), sets forth several interesting challenges and accusations I'd like to offer some commentary regarding their concerns Their first point of contention centers around the question of consensus in economic education To begin with, I see this as a minor point in my paper and it leaves my general thesis intact Pages 4-5 of my article discuss the nature of economics and demonstrate that as a discipline there is no solid consensus world wide If the discipline lacks consensus, I fail to see how one can then leap to a consensus for the economic education of American youth I realize that my critics are satisfied because they cite Joint Council on Economic Education and AEA pronouncements on the matter However, that represents an authoritarian mentality I reject I have no quarrel with the JCEE, but my critics' position is equivalent to proving the earth is flat by relying on the declarations of the Flat Earth Society Another analogy would be to claim that massive nuclear build-up is wise and correct because that's the way the military "experts" see it What's more, the texts themselves demonstrate that there isn't a consensus The offerings in each text vary widely and it isn't simply a matter of using different examples to make the same point, as Walstad and Watts allege At bottom isn't the question of consensus but what is reflected through the consensus In many parts of the world, curriculum and economics "experts" also restrict their guidelines to the "consensus ." 4 9


On a related point, Walstad and Watts hurry to illustrate that most texts include coverage of other economic systems and then misrepresent my rationale completely Social studies educators have long realized that the global dimension is a fundamental aspect of sound social education across the disciplines If we accept the posture that it's unnecessary to include other systems in a high school text-the position of Walstad and Watts-that's fine My point is only that once a text broaches a subject it is obligated to give an unbiased treatment to the subject The point my critics never seemed to grasp is that "how" things are treated in a text is as important as "what" is included Another objection they levy refers to my concern that some texts lead students to conclusions about "free enterprise economics" instead of providing them with economic literacy Walstad and Watts then present their biases regarding the nature of economic literacy and distort my position For the record, I have no objection to emphasizing positive economics I do object to the notion that a positive approach guarantees conclusions that are objective My critics chose to ignore my reference to positivist assumptions Next is the matter of the framework I used for evaluating bias A difficulty I confronted in selecting categories for examination was that the texts contained such varied contents Again, it's difficult to see how a positive approach could yield such wide ranging points of focus Nonetheless, it isn't necessary to examine each text from every possible category to glean bias Since Walstad and Watts suggest that a large number of categories could be used, the issue turns into little more than a debating point When I used an example of bias from a text or several texts, I cited the example and listed the texts On each point, texts which couldn't be included weren't listed Or, in the case of the "right to work" issue, texts which were silent on the matter weren't categorized in any waythey were simply labeled as silent Again, for the record, I didn't select "right to work" as a yardstick for bias as my critics charge I assessed how the concept of labor was treated and discovered that "right to work" was important to some authors and not to others Am I now to assume that "right to work" is included in some texts merely as a "positive economic conclusion," to quote Walstad and Watts? Is it the position of these professors that the texts are not biased? Or, are they holding open the option that a more thorough analysis than mine (or one more intelligently constructed in their view) would yield a more convincing case? Is it the findings that are most upsetting, or a preference for particular methodology and format? Is it the message or the messenger that's really at issue for them? If they're certain they want to stake out the position that no bias exists, let me share a discovery made after my analysis of the texts was completed In a discussion with a publisher of one of the texts I was informed that it was the purpose of the text to promote "free enterprise ." That's a curious approach to economic literacy it seems to me and it means bias was not only 5 0


present, it was intended Can that be used to support my case, or was that datum collected with a methodological flaw? There are numerous other points I could address from their "response," but there comes a juncture where nothing further is served by it For whatever reason, several parts of my article, as described by my critics, weren't even recognizable to me ; my thoughts had been either completely misunderstood or grossly misinterpreted I make no claim to have offered the definitive statement on ideological bias in economics textbooks Rather, I've attempted to contribute to a growing array of similar analyses (many using similar methodologies) that have pointed to bias in other social studies texts I encourage social studies educators to examine these texts to determine for themselves if ideological bias is in fact to be found My concern about the issue of bias relates to my interest as an educator I realize that I have biases of my own, yet I've not met the person who doesn't have them including authors of textbooks and college professors The issue hinges on how bias is managed in a text, for at stake is the intellectual integrity of the young As I indicated in my article, bias can be avoided in great measure by providing various perspectives when addressing topics that are open to dispute Through all this I've come to see the virtue in John Kenneth Galbraith's assertion that the main reason for studying economics is to avoid being deceived by economists But my hope is that through the process of focusing on important issues such as ideological bias, social education can be improved I want to thank the Editors of Theory and Research in Social Education for the opportunity to respond to the critique of my article 5 1


Book Review Section Book Review Editor : William Stanley College of Education Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803 We are seeking critical reviews of scholarly works related to the concerns of social educators This includes books on education, the social sciences, history, philosophy, research and any other works which might make a contribution to the field Normally, textbooks will not be reviewed with the exception of those which appear to advance theory and research Essay reviews of two or more works on the same topic will be considered if they conform to manuscript guidelines for reviews Reviews which exceed the guidelines for length must be handled on a case by case basis as space permits Reviewers who have suggestions for reviews which might exceed the guidelines are urged to contact the book editor prior to submitting the review Reviewers should provide sufficient detail regarding the book's substance and approach, including positive and negative evaluations where relevant Finally, the review should include the specific importance of the book for social educators Manuscript Form The length may vary from 1,000 to 2,000 words ; the manuscript must be typed, double-spaced (including quotes) on 8'/2" x 11" paper The format is as follows for the top of the first page of the review, left side : Book Author's Name (Last Name first), Title, City of publication : Publisher, Date ; Total pages ; list price (if known) Reviewer's Name (Last Name Last) Institution Submit review manuscripts to : Professor William B Stanley, Book Editor Department of Curriculum and Instruction 64 Long Field House Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA 70803 5 2


Book Review Stanley Arons COMPELLING BELIEF : THE CULTURE OF AMERICAN SCHOOLING New York : McGraw-Hill Book Co ., 1983, 228 pp ., $19 .95 Patrick Ferguson The University of Alabama Here is yet another publication dedicated to the proposition that our educational system is in need of fundamental reform Arons, a lawyer and educator at the Center for Law and Education at the University of Massachusetts, contends that our educational system is so devoted to the task of engendering commitment to the conventional values of American society that school authorities act to repress the constitutional rights of those who seek to avoid or resist this indoctrination Has Arons provided us with new insights into the problems of reform and socialization? In presenting his case Arons discusses three areas of conflict ; censorship, home-based education and private schooling A major section of the book is devoted to each of these topics followed by the author's assessment of the constitutionality of our majoritarian-based system of public education After a short introduction, the author devotes nearly one-third of the work to a discussion of censorship or, as he prefers to describe it, "the war over orthodoxy in the public schools ." Arons presents interesting interpretations of some the well-known, as well as the less publicized, censorial incidents of the last decade There is an in-depth analysis of the Warsaw book-burning incident as well as reference to a number of other censorial incidents including Island Trees, Mailloux and several of the creationist cases Educators, predisposed to believe that they are the defenders of intellectual freedom will probably find fault with the proposition that what educators refer to as censorial attacks are in actuality battles among ideologues over whose orthodoxy will prevail in the schools Goldstein (1976), Carlson (1978), Hocutt (1983) and others have already challenged the assertion that educators have the exclusive right to determine what is taught in the public schools While Arons essentially reiterates the arguments advanced in these earlier works, he does shed some new light on the subject by discussing the problem within the context of the state's asserted right to compel public orthodoxy The second section of the book is devoted to a discussion of the recent controversy over home schooling Arons contends that school authorities oppose home-based education out of a fear of losing control over the socialization process He works so hard at convincing the reader of the validity of his compelling belief hypothesis that the result is a rather lop-sided interpretation of a select group of cases There is no mention of the cases where 5 3


school systems have approved policies permitting and even facilitating home education as, for example, in Barnstable and Rockland, Massachusetts (Divoky, 1983) After reading this section on the controversy over homeschooling, the reader is likely to conclude that school authorities are singularly opposed to home education Yet John Holt, one of the more prominent leaders of the home-schooling movement, has recently observed that while opposition to home schooling is widespread, there has been a shift away from recalcitrance to "grudging tolerance" and that resistance is largely a function of idiosyncratic and localized attitudes (Holt, 1983) This would seem to be a more plausible assessment than Aron's contention that school authorities monolithicly view the home education movement as a threat to public orthodoxy and the survival of democracy Arons presents no evidence to support his contention and it could be just as cogently argued that, in this age of financial exigency, school officials oppose the home education movement out of a concern over declining enrollments or that they genuinely believe that compulsory public education guarantees that every student will be taught the skills requisite to the exercise of their rights of democratic citizenship and survival in our economic system Arons is right when he says that home education is still a highly controversial subject but his treatment, while informative, is much too restricted and slanted to serve as an accurate assessment of the current status of the home education conflict Readers searching for an objective and comprehensive assessment of the current controversy over home education will have to consult other sources on the subject In the third section of the book Arons describes some of the altercations that have taken place between the state and various groups struggling to preserve their unorthodox views through the control of socialization in their own schools The author recounts the endeavors of the Amish, a countercultural group and Christian fundamentalists, to establish control over the education of their children It is Aron's view that the conflict over the regulation of non-government schools constitutes an attempt by the state to prevent the formation of competing ideologies and to thwart the creation of alien communities of belief This reader was not convinced that the desire to control orthodoxy serves as the primary catalyst for the intolerant behavior displayed by the school officials in such cases Arons does raise some serious questions about the motivation of the state in resisting the establishment of private schools but it is a complex question and it is doubtful that it can be solely attributed to the motives discussed in this book In the concluding chapter, Arons turns to a discussion of the purpose and function of compulsory schooling in a democratic society He contends that the American public school operates in violation of the constitution by denying the rights of dissenters through the mechanism of majoritarian politics Following a short discussion of the unsuccessful attempt to establish a tuition tax credit scheme in the District of Columbia in 1981, the book ends 5 4


Disappointingly, the author offers no recommendations for moving toward a resolution of the problems of censorship, home-based education or private schooling nor does he provide any assessment of what the future holds with reference to the problems of socialization, reform or majoritarianism With reference to organization and mechanics an index is provided but there is no bibliography and only infrequent and incomplete citations provided for the few sources cited in the text Despite its shortcomings, this book maintains the reader's interest and presents some thought-provoking observations on the problems of socialization and reform in American education It should be of particular interest to social studies educators who are charged with the chief responsibility for inculcating the majoritarian orthodoxy so roundly condemned in this book References Carlson, Kenneth Censorship should be a public, not a professional decision Social Education February, 1978, 118-119 Divoky, Diane The new pioneers of the home-schooling movement Phi Delta Kappan February, 1983, 395-398 Goldstein, W The asserted constitutional right of public school teachers to determine what they teach, University of Pennsylvania Law Review 124, 1976, 1293 Hocutt, Max Is it proper to prohibit high school students from reading certain books? Social Education 46, April, 1982, 268-269 Holt, John Teach Your Own Delacorte, 1981 Holt, John Schools and home-schoolers : A fruitful partnership Phi Delta Kappan February, 1983, 391-394 5 5


Abstracts An Analysis of the Impact of Teacher Training in Economics Howard M Schober This study investigated the impact of inservice teacher training in economics on the achievement and opinions of participants and the students in subsequent economics classes that they teach A comparison design was used, with the teacher group consisting of participants in seven inservice workshops offered by the Louisiana Council on Economic Education during the summer of 1981 In addition, each economics teacher was asked to select one of his fall, 1981 economics classes for the study Achievement and opinions instruments were administered to teachers at the start and close of the workshops and to their students at the start and close of their fall semester economics course Ordinary and two stage least squares regression revealed a significant direct impact of the workshops on teacher participants' achievement and opinions and an indirect impact on achievement and opinions of their students A Field Study of Selected Student Teacher Perspectives Toward Social Studies Susan Adler This paper is the report of a field study conducted to investigate the perspectives toward social studies, and the factors which influenced those perspectives, of four pre-service teachers during their field experience semester Perspectives were defined to include the behaviors and contexts of particular teaching tasks as well as the ideas and assumptions about those tasks The perspectives expressed by the student teachers during their field experience were complex and varied Social Studies teaching could best be understood in relation to several interconnected dimensions of perspectives toward teaching and learning rather than just perspectives toward social studies alone An Exploratory Comparison of Two Methods of Assessing Teacher Attitudes Toward Instructional Strategies Sandra J LeSourd A study was conducted to compare data collected in quantitative and qualitative research procedures Two methods were used to investigate practicing teachers' attitudes toward selected instructional strategies for teaching social studies in the middle grades The attitudes of seven teachers were assessed, using first, a semantic differential instrument, and second, an unstructured interview The data were analyzed to determine comparability between the evidence derived from the two methods Positive attitudes indicated by the semantic differential results were supported in the interview data In addition, the teachers introduced new meanings into the interviews which could not be detected in the semantic differential results The meanings expressed in the interviews were conceptualized as the teachers' definitions of the teaching situation Some empirical generalizations about implementation of the strategies were generated from the interview data 56


ERIC/ChESS Documents Following are selected resources from the ERIC data base Documents are available from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), (P .O Box 190, Arlington, Virginia 22210) in either microfiche (MF) or paper copy (PC) as indicated in each abstract Postage must be prepaid Documents are also available in microfiche in libraries throughout the United States that subscribe to ERIC Check the library nearest you Additional relevant documents can be found by searching the ERIC index, Resources in Education ED230425 SE041920 Studies of Scientific Disciplines An Annotated Bibliography Weisz, Diane ; Kruytbosch, Carlos National Science Foundation, Washington, D .C 1982 176p Report No : NSF-83-7 EDRS Price-MFO1/PCO8 Plus Postage Language : English Document Type : BIBLIOGRAPHY (131) Geographic Source : U .S ; District of Columbia Journal Announcement : RIEOCT83 Government : Federal Provided in this bibliography are annotated lists of social studies of science literature, arranged alphabetically by author in 13 disciplinary areas These areas include astronomy ; general biology ; biochemistry and molecular biology ; biomedicine ; chemistry ; earth and space sciences ; economics ; engineering ; mathematics ; physics ; political science ; psychology ; and sociology In addition, each area is cross-indexed by 23 topics of social and organizational interest, permitting users to make quick reference to the range of topics studied within a disciplinary area, as well as to the range of disciplines in which a topic has been explored Index words in parentheses indicate the principal topics examined in each item Each of the 285 annotations briefly describes the focus of the book or article and makes note of the data and methods used in the study In cases where an item deals with more than one discipline, a full annotation appears only once, and subsequent entries refer back to the full annotation The bibliography concludes with a short section of conceptual and methodological studies with general relevance to the study of disciplines An index of topics, glossary, and a matrix which classifies the distribution of annotations by discipline and topic are provided at the end of the bibliography (JN) Descriptors : Citations (References) ; Engineering ; Ethics ; Financial Support ; Graduate Study ; Higher Education ; *Intellectual Disciplines ; Mathematics ; *Natural Sciences ; Productivity ; Professional Associations ; Profes5 7


sional Recognition ; Researchers ; *Research Methodology ; *Social Science Research ; *Social Sciences ; Social Stratification Identifiers : *Career Patterns ; National Science Foundation ED232898 S0014731 A Survey of the Status of Perception and Behavior in Geography Good, James K 25 Apr 1983 16p ; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (Denver, CO, April 25, 1983) EDRS Price-MF01/PC01 Plus Postage Language : English Document Type : RESEARCH REPORT (143) ; CONFERENCE PAPER (150) Geographic Source : U .S ; Maryland Journal Announcement : RIEDEC83 The degree to which perception and behavior are incorporated in geography instruction and the attitudes of geographers towards perception and behavior in contemporary research are examined In 1981, a survey was mailed to 332 undergraduate and graduate departments of geography in the United States The 174 respondents provided data as follows, listing : (1) the frequencies at which teachers of various topics implement perception and behavior in their teaching ; (2) the course and departments placing the most emphasis on perception and behavior ; (3) the perceptual and behavior topics taught ; (4) an evaluation response to questions to determine the status of perceptual and behavioral utilization in current geographical literature and instruction ; (5) specific strengths and weaknesses considered inherent to perceptual and behavioral research ; and (6) responses to semantic differential items on perception and behavior as a check against the write-in responses Foremost among findings concerning courses best suited as vehicles for instruction using perception-behavior were human, urban, cultural, and economic geography ; natural hazards was the most common topic taught, followed by economic decision making, resource conservation and management, and cognitive maps (LH) Descriptors : Behavioral Sciences ; *Educational Research ; *Educational Trends ; *Geography Instruction ; Higher Education ; *Human Geography ; National Surveys ; *Perception ; *Social Behavior Identifiers : United States ED231719 S0014885 The Treatment of Limits-to-Growth Issues in U .S High School Textbooks : Report of a Research Project Conducted for Hudson Institute's "Visions of the Future" Program Final Report 5 8


Newitt, Jane Hudson Inst ., Croton-on-Hudson, N .Y May 1983 71p Report No : HI-3583/2-RR Available from : Hudson Institute, Publications Dept ., Quaker Ridge Road, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520 ($12 .50 for educators, $25 .00 for others) EDRS Price-MF01 Plus Postage PC Not Available from EDRS Language : English Document Type : RESEARCH REPORT (143) Geographic Source : U .S ; New York Journal Announcement : RIENOV83 Sixty-three basal high school textbooks from 18 publishers were reviewed to determine their treatment of population growth, resources, environmental problems, economic development, and "package" handling of these limits-to-growth (LTG) topics The textbooks included 21 U .S histories, 9 economics texts, 5 civics texts, and approximately (there is overlap between the categories) 15 geographies and 13 world histories The key criteria employed in the review were objectivity and adequacy Adequacy is defined as the quality of what is offered (e .g ., Are there factual errors? Are materials outdated?) General impressions are discussed and detailed findings are presented for each topic Regarding adequacy, most of the texts contain misinformation and sloppy writing For example, although 52 of the textbooks reviewed have 1980's publication dates, none alludes to the fact that the world's population rate has declined Most texts were also found to have a lack of objectivity that was associated with a sense of urgency to change students' attitudes and behavior Of the 63 texts, 4 made no reference to any LTG topic The most commonly treated topics were energy (in 48 texts), environmental problems (in 46), and population (in 42) Only the energy crisis is treated in a balanced, informative way by a significant number of textbooks (RM) Descriptors : Civics ; Controversial Issues (Course Content) ; Economic Development ; Economics Education ; *Energy ; *Environmental Education ; *Food ; Futures (of Society) ; Geography Instruction ; Global Approach ; High Schools ; History Textbooks ; Pollution ; *Population Education ; Population Growth ; Population Trends ; Social Sciences ; *Social Studies ; *Textbook Content ; Textbook Evaluation ; Textbook Research ; United States History ; World History ; World Problems 5 9


The American Historical Association Announces The James Harvey Robinson Prize for 1984 The James Harvey Robinson Prize was established by the AHA Council in 1978 and is awarded triennially to the association member for the teaching aid which has made the most outstanding contribution to the teaching of history in any field "Teaching aid" encompasses textbooks, source materials, audiovisual and computer-assisted instruction, and public history or museum materials Items to be submitted for the 1984 competition should have been published or produced during the period June 1, 1981 to May 31, 1984 The members of the prize committee are : Earl A Reitan, Illinois State University (Chair) ; Gerald M Straka, University of Delaware ; F David Roberts, Dartmouth College ; Daniel J Walkowitz, New York University ; and Judith Lippmann, United Nations International School Those wishing to enter the competition should first send a brief description of the teaching aid to Samuel R Gammon, executive director, AHA, no later than June 15 ; arrangements will then be made for the committee to review the materials Office of the Executive Director American Historical Association 400 A Street S .E Washington, D .C 20003 6 0


Journal Information Theory and Research in Social Education is designed to stimulate and communicate systematic research and thinking in social education The purpose is to foster the creation and exchange of ideas and research findings that will expand knowledge about purposes, conditions, and effects of schooling and education about society and social relations We welcome manuscripts on a variety of topics including : Purposes of social education ; Models, theories, and related frameworks concerning the development, diffusion, and adoption of curricular materials ; Instructional strategies ; The relation of the social sciences, philosophy, history and/or the arts to social education ; The politics, economics, sociology, social psychology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and/or the history of social education ; Alternative social organizations and utilizations of the school for social education ; Comparative studies of alternative models of social education ; Models of and research on alternative schemas for student participation and social action ; Relationship of different preand in-service patterns of teacher training to social education ; Models of the utilization of objectives in social education and related research findings ; Implications of learning theory, child development research, socialization and political socialization research for the purposes and practice of social education ; The relationship of different independent, explanatory variables to educational achievements in the area of learning about society and social relations ; The social climate and cohesion of schools and other school characteristics as independent, explanatory variables predicting general achievement 6 1


Submission of Manuscripts In order to facilitate the processing and review of manuscripts, authors are asked to follow these procedures : 1 Manuscripts should be typed with a dark ribbon or clearly mimeographed, multilithed, or photocopied Some corrections in dark ink will be accepted 2 Four copies of each manuscript should be submitted 3 The author's name and affiliation should appear on a separate cover page, along with an abstract of approximately 100 words 4 Only the title of the article should appear on the first page of the manuscript 5 All text, references, abstracts and endnotes should be double-spaced Manuscript Style 1 When citations are made, the name of the author, publication date, and any necessary page number should be enclosed in parentheses and located directly in the text The complete reference should be included in section labeled "References ." For example, "Teachers commonly assume that students must acquire background information before they can be expected to think or to test their insights ." (Hunt and Metcalf, 1968, p 54) 2 Endnotes should not be used to cite references Substantive endnotes should be numbered sequentially and inserted in text 3 References should be alphabetized and located at the end of the manuscript The reference list should contain only those sources which are cited in the text Examples of references to a chapter in an edited work, a book, and a journal article follow Ehman, Lee H and Hahn, Carole L "Contributions of Research To Social Studies Education ." In Howard D Mehlinger and O L Davis, Jr (Eds .), The Social Studies, Eightieth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1981 Hunt, Maurice P and Metcalf, Lawrence E Teaching High School Social Studies (2nd ed .) New York : Harper & Row, 1968 Egan, Kieran "John Dewey and the Social Studies Curriculum ." Theory and Research in Social Education 1980, 8, 37-55 4 Each table and/or figure should be placed on a separate page and placed in a separate section at the end of the manuscript Arabic numerals should be used for numbering both figures and tables, and their location in the text should be indicated by the following note : Table/Figure t about here 5 Send manuscripts to : t Jack L Nelson Editor, TRSE Graduate School of Education Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ 08903 6 2


Subscription Information A subscription to Theory and Research in Social Education may be obtained by membership in the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for Social Studies Membership information is available from the Membership Department, NCSS, 3501 Newark St ., NW, Washington, D .C ., 20016 Institutional and non-CUFA subscriptions are $25 .00 per year, foreign subscriptions $35 .00 Write to the Editor for these orders Back Issues/Reprints Back issues may be obtained for $4 .95 each and reprints of individual articles (beginning with Volume 7) are available Write to the Editor for these orders ; do not send payment until advised of availability of issue/reprint Change of Address/Missing Issues Send change of address notices and a recent mailing label to the Editor as soon as new address is known Also send queries about missing issues to the Editor Be sure to include a complete, proper address with such queries Advertising Information about advertising will be sent upon request 63


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