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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in Social Education Vol XIII No 3 Fall 1985 i^ VanSickle t Research Implications of a Theoretical Analysis of John Dewey's How We Think Milburn t Deciphering a Code or Unraveling a Riddle : A Case Study in the Application of a Humanistic Metaphor to the Reporting of Social Studies Teaching Kickbusch t Ideological Innocence and Dialogue : A Critical Perspective on Discourse in the Social Studies O'Brien, t Effects of Teachers' Use of Objectives Meszaros and t on Student Achievement in Social Studies Pulliam BOOK REVIEW Gilmore t Elementary Social Studies : Developing Reflective, Competent, and Concerned Citizens


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume XIII t Number 3 t Fall 1985 College and University Faculty Assembly 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 € 1985 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved i


Editor : A Guy Larkins University of Georgia Associate Editors : Charles Berryman Judith P Goetz University of Georgia Book Review Editor : C Warren McKinney University of Southern Mississippi Editorial Board : Mary Jo Brown University of Georgia Charles K Curtis University of British Columbia Janet Eyler Vanderbilt University John Haas University of Colorado Richard C Hunnicutt Georgia Pacific Corporation Sandra J Lesourd Washburn University Jack L Nelson Rutgers University James P Shaver Utah State University William Stanley Louisiana State University 11 The College and University Faculty Assembly Executive Committee 1984-85 Chair : Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Secretary : William Stanley Louisiana State University Treasurer : Samuel R Bell Bradley University 1985 Program Co-Chairs : Charlotte Anderson American Bar Association, Chicago Samuel R Bell Bradley University Members : Janet Alleman-Brooks Michigan State University Millard Clements New York University Catherine Cornbleth University of Pittsburgh Charles Myers Vanderbilt University Susanne M Shafer Arizona State University S Samuel Shermis Purdue University William Stanley Louisiana State University Mary Kay Tetreault Lewis and Clark College Jane White University of Maryland


The National Council for the Social Studies Officers 1984-85 President : Donald H Bragaw, New York State Department of Education, Albany President-Elect : Paul Shires Glendale-Nicolei High School Milwaukee, WI Vice President : Jan Tucker Florida International University Executive Director : Frances 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 Mary Jo Brown, University of Georgia Dianne L Common, University of Lethbridge Allison Gilmore, Mercer University-Atlanta Wayne Herman, University of Maryland Robert Heslep, University of Georgia Richard Hunnicutt, Georgia Pacific Corporation Milton Kleg, University of Northern Illinois Peter Martorella, Temple University Fred Newmann, University of Wisconsin Sally Oldham Buss, Mt Clemens, Michigan Bruce Romanish, Saint Cloud State University James P Shaver, Utah State University Bruce Smith, University of Cincinnati George Stanic, University of Georgia


A subscription to Theory and Research in Social Education may be obtained by membership in the College & University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Membership is $20/year, $15 of dues are allocated for subscription to TRSE Institutional and non-CUFA subscriptions are $35 .00 per year Membership and subscription information are available from NCSS, 3501 Newark St NW, Washington, DC 20016 Application to mail at second class postage rates is pending at Washington, D .C and additional locations Postmaster : send address changes for Theory & Research in Social Education, 3501 Newark St NW, Washington, DC 20016 ISSN 0093-3104 iv


Volume XIII Number 3 Fall, 1985 CONTENTS Ronald L VanSickle Research Implications of a Theoretical Analysis of John Dewey's How We Think 1 Geoffrey Milburn Deciphering a Code or Unraveling a Riddle : A Case Study in the Application of a Humanistic Metaphor to the Reporting of Social Studies Teaching 21 Kenneth W Kickbusch Ideological Innocence and Dialogue : A Critical Perspective on Discourse in the Social Studies 45 Lynn M O'Brien, Bonnie Meszaros, and William E Pulliam Effects of Teachers' Use of Objectives on Student Achievement in Social Studies 57 BOOK REVIEW Allison C Gilmore Elementary Social Studies : Developing Reflective, Competent, and Concerned Citizens 67


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall, 1985 Volume XIII Number 3, pp 1-20 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Research Implications of a Theoretical Analysis of John Dewey's How We Think Ronald L VanSickle University of Georgia Abstract John Dewey's theory of reflective thought as presented in How We Think (1933) was analyzed Forty-seven variables were identified and categorized as : (1) behaviors which facilitate reflective thought ; (2) outcomes of reflective thought ; (3) perceptions of problems/subject matter ; (4) attitudes toward reflective thought ; (5) teacher characteristics and behaviors which may facilitate reflective thought ; (6) problem/ subject matter characteristics ; and (7) setting characteristics Research implications were identified in relation to : (1) each category of variables ; (2) cognitive and social psychological issues not addressed by Dewey ; and (3) theoretical development This research is part of a fundamental reconsideration of the profession's views of inquiry teaching and learning John Dewey's theory of reflective thought has been the conceptual and philosophical basis for much curriculum research and development in education generally and social education in particular (Barr, Barth, & Shermis, 1977) The analytical research project reported in this paper was designed to work toward the achievement of two goals by subjecting Dewey's theory of reflective thought as expressed in How We Think (1933) to theoretical analysis The first goal was to identify a comprehensive set of components and relationships in the processes of reflective thought and teaching people to think reflectively The second goal was to identify implications for research regarding reflective thought and teaching people to think reflectively Dewey's How We Think was selected for analysis because numerous scholars to be considered in succeeding analyses used Dewey's conceptions as a base for further intellectual development (e .g ., Hullfish & Smith, 1961 ; Hunt & Metcalf, 1968) Reflective Thought and Social Education The idea of reflective thought has been incorporated into other conceptions of inquiry Labels commonly applied to these varieties of reflective thought processes include problem solving (Bruner, 1966), inquiry (Beyer, 1979), jurisprudential thinking (Oliver & Shaver, 1966), hypothesis testing 1


(Ehman, Mehlinger, & Patrick, 1974), discovery (Bruner, 1960), critical thinking (Feely, 1976), decision making (Engle, 1960), and inductive thinking (Taba, 1967) Although meaningful differences exist, these approaches are generally consistent with Dewey's definition of reflective thought "Active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends constitutes reflective thought" (Dewey, 1933, p 9) The analysis reported here was motivated by a concern that important conditions necessary to teach people to think reflectively about social phenomena and issues have been neglected, which may have led to ineffective instructional efforts The new social studies curricula developed to teach reflective thought were adopted initially in the schools at modest levels and then declined in use (Shaver, Davis, & Helburn, 1979 ; Schneider & VanSickle, 1979) New social studies projects which published results of their field evaluations reported limited success in teaching higher-order thinking skills (e .g ., Levin, 1972 ; Patrick, 1972) One hypothesis is that the new social studies failed in the area of inquiry skills because of inadequate designs for teaching those skills to teachers and students This research project was intended to generate clues relevant to assessing the validity of that hypothesis Methodological Considerations There are various conceptions of theory, such as theory as classics, theory as criticism, and taxonomic theory (Larkins & McKinney, 1980) However, scientific theory conceived as an ordered set of theoretically and operationally defined concepts and statements relating those concepts is the kind of theory relevant to this analysis (Hage, 1972 ; Steiner, 1978 ; Zetterberg, 1965) Extracting concepts imbedded in literature is the first step in one strategy of analyzing and constructing scientific theories (Hage, 1972) When a concept is identified in or induced from a piece of literature, oftentimes a general variable or variables can be generated from it General variables are continua or dimensions which can be used to describe a phenomenon Reflective thought and teaching people to think reflectively, like many theoretically and practically important phenomena, are complex phenomena Identifying general variables may help one clarify such complexity and assess the importance of relationships among the variables Also, such a scientific theoretical analysis creates the possibility of measurement which could lead to more precise, and possibly simpler, formulations and tests of a theory Scholars have elaborated on Dewey's theoretical explication (e .g ., Hullfish & Smith, 1961) and attempted to operationalize it for instructional purposes (e .g ., Beyer, 1979) However, the ambiguity in Dewey's statement regarding key concepts and their linkages remains Dewey did not articulate specific causal relationships between variables ; however, he noted 2


numerous factors that could influence students' thinking in general He also did not articulate the necessary and sufficient conditions for reflective thought Consequently, the representation of Dewey's ideas in this paper is more ambiguous than a theory ideally should be Nevertheless, Dewey's presentation does clarify many aspects of reflective thought and provides the basis for more intensive, focused work The process of identifying general variables facilitated analyzing Dewey's work, clarifying ambiguities in it, and constructing a clearer theoretical statement of Dewey's conception of reflective thought and teaching people to think reflectively The variables identified in Dewey's description of reflective thought are divided into four broad categories : student/reflector ; teacher ; curriculum ; and setting (see Figure 1) These categories are also divided General causal relationships consistent with Dewey's presentation are indicated by arrows Analyzing Dewey's theory into a set of discrete variables, conceptualizing those variables as continua, and identifying relationships among those variables might seem at odds with Dewey's categorical language However, the process is consistent with Dewey's explanation of reflective thought A complete act of reflective thought involves both analysis and synthesis Data and categories are emphasized for clarity and consideration (i .e ., analysis) and then related to each other and to new situations (synthesis) to increase their meaning (Dewey, 1933, p 129) Furthermore, Dewey recommended quantification as a means of facilitating inference and relating things often categorized separately (Dewey, 1933, p 181) This project emphasized analysis and moved tentatively in the direction of measurement Tasks, such as this analysis, which are needed to produce a new and useful synthesis of ideas about reflective thought and teaching people to think reflectively are discussed in this paper Theoretical Analysis Some variables identified here were abstracted from Dewey's prose Consequently many variable labels used in this paper are not used in How We Think Also, Dewey did not state clearly definitions for numerous variables and sometimes he only illustrated concepts Many of the definitional statements are the results of efforts to induce and interpret Dewey's meanings The variables are presented in the following order First, variables describing reflective thought and behavior which facilitate reflection are identified Next, perceptions and attitudes Dewey regarded as important preconditions for reflection are explicated Teacher characteristics and behavior are then examined Finally, curriculum and setting characteristics are noted Variables are italicized in the text to facilitate reference to the appendix at the end of the paper in which the variables are referenced to chapters in How We Think 3


TEACHER Teacher Characteristics CURRICULUM t SETTING Problem/ Subject Matter Characteristics Teacher Behavior S Setting Characteristics i I STUDENT/REFLECTOR I t I t Perceptions Of ~! t I t Problem/Subject Matter I Behavior Which Facilitates Reflection I Of And Attitudes Toward Reflection Figure 1 Categories of variables in Dewey's theory of reflective thought I I I I Outcomes Of Reflective Thought


Reflective Thought Reflective thought is a process which begins with intellectualizing a felt problem followed by refinement of inferences and clarification of definitions One describes the conditions and causes of a problematic situation as fully as possible This description is revised periodically and elaborated as new information is obtained and relationships are perceived Hypotheses or inferences are identified regarding what must be true if the problem is accurately perceived and described In a classroom or other social setting, key terms used in intellectualizing the problem are defined in ways that result in interpersonal agreement Refining inferences and clarifying definitions are likely to produce changes almost immediately in the description of the problematic situation Inferences are tested using data collected through an orderly sequence of direct or indirect observation and secondary source data collection Data collection ideally involves the observation of dynamic phenomena under varying conditions and with numerous data sources and techniques .' Direct or indirect sensory observation methods promote skill in testing inferences Observations of dynamic phenomena tend to promote greater insight than observations of static phenomena Also, inferences can be tested more adequately when the phenomena are observed under a variety of conditions rather than in only one situation Observations of phenomena are not always or even usually possible Consequently, personal observation is supplemented by data obtained from authorities whose claims can not be verified personally by observation of appropriate phenomena Numerous sources and techniques are utilized in order to check reliability and validity of the data In a classroom setting, students' observations are ordered so that there is some degree of uncertainty regarding the conclusions to be based on the data collection efforts Discussion with others and verbal thought are most effective when relevant subject matter vocabulary is used in the context of consecutive discourse Subject matter vocabulary relevant to the problem facilitates thought and discussion regarding the data collected and the tests of the inferences Making series of successively ordered statements rather than disconnected comments further enhances the quality of thought and discussion of data and tests Summarizing periodically and at the end of reflection includes assessment of the observations' quality (i .e ., reliability and validity) These tasks are repeated whenever insights into the nature of the problem or thinking process occur There are three criteria for assessing the adequacy of the outcomes of reflective thought Grounding involves stating conclusions in terms of the degrees to which the beliefs are consistent with evidential and logical tests Internal validity focuses on the extent to which rival hypotheses have been eliminated based on the evidential and logical tests External validity is the degree to which implications of the conclusions and other possibly relevant 5


situations are identified These are the characteristics of successful reflective thought processes Reflector's Perceptions and Attitudes Several perceptions characterize a person who thinks reflectively and are preconditions for reflective thought Reflection begins when the reflector experiences a sense of uncertainty regarding an appropriate intellectual or behavioral solution to a problem Also, the reflector assigns a relatively high degree of importance to finding a solution to the problematic situation In the context of school, the reflector perceives the relevance of subject matter for the problem That is, the reflector perceives relationships between subject matter problems presented at school and personally experienced issues or questions These perceptions enable the reflector to utilize the subject matter in reflective thought The reflector also possesses certain attitudes to adequate degrees so that reflective thought is likely to occur often and effectively The reflector is sufficiently open-minded to seek and consider evidence that tends to refute his or her preferred hypotheses as well as evidence that is more consistent with his or her inferences The reflector has enough intellectual selfconfidence to believe that it is worth his or her time and effort to try to seek and test answers to problems rather than just to accept others' answers uncritically Furthermore, the reflector is willing and able to postpone judgment or action regarding a problem until he or she has considered it reflectively Another attitude necessary for successful reflective thought is the willingness to test one's beliefs with evidence and logic and modify those beliefs when the tests indicate that those beliefs are inadequate The reflector values knowledge and thinking intrinsically as well as for their practical value Effective reflective thought is motivated by a fairly intense demand for closure on a solution to a problem Finally, reflective thought is enhanced when the reflector desires intellectual consistency and consequently seeks the implications of a tested belief for other beliefs Teacher Characteristics and Behaviors A teacher who promotes reflective thought on the part of students possesses certain psychological characteristics and engages in a set of facilitating instructional behaviors The teacher is able to think reflectively (see Reflective Thought) Also, the teacher possesses adequate levels of the same attitudes toward and perceptions of reflection identified for the reflector (see Reflector's Perceptions and Attitudes) In addition to these prerequisites, there are more necessary personal characteristics The teacher is highly knowledgeable regarding the subject matter relevant to problems to be studied in the class The teacher has a high degree of personal interest in the subject matter and is strongly interested in developing students' intellectual skills Furthermore, he or she is able prior to instruction to match subject matter and student experiences in order to facilitate relevant appli6


cations of the subject matter to student problems Appropriate student experiences and applications maximize students' understanding of the subject matter and the problem A key instructional task is problem-setting Dewey (1933, p 268) stated that the teacher must prepare students for reflection by arousing a "perception of something that needs explanation, something unexpected, puzzling, peculiar ." He presented examples throughout How We Think that suggest that problem-setting is the degree to which data related to .problematic situations in students' experiences are presented in formats that are internally inconsistent, inconsistent with students' beliefs, dramatically incomplete, incompletely interpreted, or that point out logical inconsistencies in students' beliefs These formats tend to produce the needed sense of uncertainty in students' minds Teacher behavior in discussion is characterized by certain kinds of questioning Students routinely are asked to articulate the meaning and testable implications of their ideas After students elaborate ideas, the teacher frequently asks them to justify their ideas with tests and applications to new concrete cases The teacher frequently requires students to clarify inconsistent perspectives regarding the focal points in the discussion Students regularly are asked to summarize progress toward solving a problem Students sometimes are asked to identify and explain information received from authorities A reflection oriented teacher focuses and refocuses a discussion whenever necessary as indicated by a high proportion of time spent on key questions and topics related to a problem The teacher infrequently paraphrases students' ideas but states the relevance of student experiences to the subject matter Whenever a discussion falters, the teacher reactivates student development of ideas by injecting additional information and ideas The teacher utilizes the relevance of the problem or subject matter rather than personal influence to focus students' task behavior The teacher usually phrases judgments about the adequacy of student performance in terms of the task requirements of the problem rather than evaluative authority as the teacher Also, the teacher maintains the problem solving relevance of student study time by requiring students to use information in reflecting about a problem rather than memorizing information for further recitations Curriculum and Setting Characteristics The curriculum for a reflection-oriented course of study possesses three characteristics which promote reflective thought The subject matter is relevant in the sense of being applicable to solving problems The curriculum has a low degree of problem technicality after the problem-setting stage of reflective thought Technicality can be assessed in terms of the number of elements students can identify which the subject matter and their problems have in common The curriculum is fruitful in that problems and subject 7


matter selected for study are logically prerequisite to other important problems The only setting characteristic is the degree to which problems of human conduct are resolved reflectively in the classroom and school This setting characteristic can be considered part of a school's hidden curriculum If the school setting is authoritarian in nature, then the possibilities for improving students' reflective thought processes are diminished seriously Implications For Research Many implications for research emerge from this theoretical analysis of Dewey's How We Think Key research and measurement tasks are identified for each category of variables Conceptual research is needed to define and operationalize variables Empirical research is needed to evaluate Dewey's claims and claims derived from his work Measurement efforts are needed to identify and develop ways of assessing those variables The identification of relevant, currently available measurement instruments is beyond the scope of this paper Instruments in sources like Buros' The Seventh Mental Measurements Yearbook (1972) and Simon and Boyer's Mirrors For Behavior (1974) need to be inventoried prior to much of the research recommended here The following questions and tasks can be addressed through research reviews, development and adaptation of instruments, and original inquiries Affective Preconditions for Reflective Thought Reflective thought begins when the reflector experiences a sense of uncertainty regarding an appropriate intellectual or behavioral solution to a problem and assigns a relatively high degree of importance to finding an appropriate solution Given this statement, three aspects of problems need to be explored (1) How can the emotional response of uncertainty which indicates the existence of a problem be characterized? (2) What are the characteristics of situations people experience as problematic? (3) What characteristics of problematic situations affect the degree of importance people assign to finding solutions? Conceptual research and descriptive research need to be conducted, and measurement instruments need to be located or developed A sense of uncertainty is the indicator that a reflector perceives a problem In order to conduct research on reflective thought and the conditions which promote it, procedures are needed to assess the degree to which a reflector perceives a problem Consequently, a scale is needed to measure uncertainty in a potentially problematic situation ; it probably will be related to the concept of cognitive dissonance Uncertainty is multidimensional For example, doubt, confusion, and anxiety indicate different experiences although each indicates uncertainty about how to think and act A scale to measure the uncertainty a potentially problematic situation evokes will be a fundamentally important tool in investigations related to reflective thought 8


Dewey claimed that a situation one perceives as problematic but which one can safely ignore is not likely to initiate much reflection What criteria do people use in judging importance? Can problems be framed to address those criteria? A simple measure of the degree of importance people assign to the task of finding a solution to a problem they perceive will help address those questions and complement the assessment of uncertainty A typology of problems is needed to clarify the characteristics of situations which produce uncertainty in people's minds and influence their judgments of importance Reflectors probably perceive a problem and regard it as important when conditions they value are damaged or threatened These conditions can be either external (e .g ., economic conditions threatening one's job) or internal (e .g ., confusion threatening one's sense of professional competence) or both People probably also perceive a problem when an opportunity occurs to create conditions they value An opportunity may be a problem only when there is a substantial risk to be taken in attempting to exploit an opportunity ; this again implies a threat to conditions one values (e .g ., one's resources, current goal achievement) Conceptual clarification of problem types and their characteristics should be followed by empirical work to assess the degrees to which they induce a sense of uncertainty A reflector's perception of the relevance of subject matter to a problem is another key factor in initiating and sustaining reflective thought This affective precondition is also linked closely to school curricula which might be used to teach people to think more reflectively than they do What characteristics can be used to connect subject matter and problems? Analytic concepts useful in describing problems and framing questions might be one way to connect them Can those characteristics be used to articulate personal experiences and problem statements and thus increase the perceived relevance and utility of subject matter? The process of reflective thought requires data with which to generate and test inferences It is plausible that increasing the perceived relevance of subject matter would facilitate the process An important measurement task is to develop an instrument to assess the degree of relevance or number of connections between a problem and a subject matter Dewey claimed that a person must have certain attitudes in order for reflective thought to occur Measures are needed to assess open-mindedness, intellectual self-confidence, willingness to postpone judgment, willingness to test one's beliefs, valuation of knowledge and thinking, demand for closure, and desire for intellectual consistency With such measures, the hypothetical relationships between these variables and the process of reflective thought could be tested Also, relationships among the attitudes could be determined Some of the necessary attitudes Dewey identified might overlap, such as open-mindedness and willingness to test one's beliefs Explorations might reveal more fundamental attitudinal dimensions underlying these variables 9


Minimally and maximally effective levels of those attitudes could be sought It seems likely that reflective thought will not be sustained if a reflector has a low level of intellectual self-confidence Similarly, reflective thought could be curtailed prematurely if a reflector's demand for closure was too intense Attitudinal measures could be useful in diagnosing people's readiness for reflective thought or for instruction to improve reflective thought Reflective Thought The outcomes of reflective thought are a set of conclusions (i .e ., answers to a question) evaluated in terms of three criteria First, grounding is the degree to which the conclusions are consistent with relevant evidential and logical tests Second, internal validity is the extent to which rival hypotheses have been tested and eliminated Third, external validity is the applicability of the conclusions in other intellectual and practical contexts Research on reflective thought requires ways of assessing the complex outcomes of reflective thought that are valid and reliable Conclusions or solutions are the ultimate dependent variables ; consequently, their dimensions must be effectively operationalized Since that task is definitional in part, the field of rhetoric could be a useful source of ideas regarding the statement of these ultimate outcomes (Russell, 1985) Perhaps a set of prototype problems, accompanying stimulus materials, and assessment instruments could be developed ; see Oliver and Shaver (1966) as an example Standard research tools could facilitate doing research on reflective thought and reduce the complexity of assessing validly and reliably the outcomes of reflective thought The process of reflective thought involves clarifying a problem, collecting and organizing data, considering the data in relation to one's inferences, and formulating conclusions Measurement tasks are again central Ratings of verbal behavior might be appropriate while observational systems could be used to assess data collection activities Several of Dewey's claims could be tested For example, do observations of dynamic phenomena produce more and better articulated inferences than observations of static phenomena? Do direct or indirect observations of phenomena produce better articulated insights and tests than secondary source data collection? What are the effects on reflective thought outcomes of varying degrees of consecutive discourse? Numerous other relationships could be tested Relationships between reflective thought process variables and affective preconditions could be tested For example, does the amount of time spent in data collection vary with the degree of willingness to postpone judgment? Does the number of data sources and techniques utilized vary with the willingness to test one's beliefs? Does the number of inferences identified vary with the value placed on knowledge and thinking? Operationalizing variables and testing hypotheses will probably result in a more adequate, and possibly simpler, formulation of the theory 1 0


The Teacher's Psychological Characteristics According to Dewey's theory, a teacher who intends to teach students to think reflectively must meet the same affective preconditions required of the student/reflector Also, the teacher must be able to implement effectively the reflective thought process These variables can be measured in ways similar to those used with students Additional affective preconditions for a teacher are strong interests in the subject matter and in teaching students to think reflectively Developing and adapting measures for these two variables probably will be a relatively straightforward process Two knowledge-related preconditions are likely to be more difficult to handle According to .Dewey, a teacher must be highly knowledgeable regarding the subject matter relevant to problems to be studied in the class This knowledge base includes at least an indepth knowledge of subject matter content Conceptualizing and operationalizing the relevance of the knowledge will be difficult This measurement task will be related to the previously discussed conceptualization of problems The other knowledge-related precondition is the ability to match subject matter to be studied and student experiences and problems prior to instruction This matching will enable the teacher and students to apply reflectively the subject matter to the solution of students' problems The knowledge underlying this ability to match subject matter and student problems is closely related to what Shulman (1985) called pedagogical knowledge Pedagogical knowledge is characterized by an intellectual organization which facilitates retrieval of data from the knowledge base, exemplary ways of explaining concepts and generalizations, and understandings of students' typical subject matter conceptions and misconceptions Representing and assessing such knowledge is likely to be a difficult and important task Three characteristics of a curriculum which facilitate or inhibit reflection are related to teacher knowledge They are relevance of subject matter for problem solving, degree of problem technicality, and fruitfulness Relevance of the subject matter for problem solving and fruitfulness are functions of teacher knowledge and decision making Teacher decisions also affect the degree of problem technicality ; however, this variable can be assessed in part through student perceptions Since teachers usually determine the specific nature of a curriculum, these variables can be studied profitably in relation to teacher knowledge and decision making Teacher-Student Interaction Teacher-student interaction is the aspect of teaching people to think reflectively that has been articulated most clearly as evidenced by most teaching methods textbooks Problem-setting techniques have been conceptualized (Beyer, 1979 ; Hunt & Metcalf, 1968) ; their effectiveness in creating a sense of uncertainty as discussed previously is an experimental issue Teacher and student discussion behaviors have been analyzed extensively ; numerous observation systems exist which can be adapted and applied (Simon & Boyer, 1974) Relationships between students' reflective thought 1 1


processes and frequencies of teacher and student discussion behaviors or configurations of those behaviors can be investigated An unconventional classroom variable is the proportion of study time students spend collecting and using information to reflect about a problem No teacher behaviors have been identified specifically to produce a high proportion of student on-task reflection time Techniques designed to assess covert task behavior can be applied to assessing this variable The Social Psychological Context Since Dewey articulated his theory of reflective thought and teaching people to think more reflectively, scholars have refined and extended his ideas although gaps remain Hunt and Metcalf (1968), for example, differentiated between reflection about empirical, value, and definitional questions much more clearly than Dewey did They articulated distinct ways of clarifying those questions and testing their proposed answers Oliver and Shaver (1966) critiqued alternative ways of resolving value conflicts They developed a jurisprudential framework for teaching public issues which was much more sophisticated than Dewey's approach in the realm of values Dewey gave scant attention to the social psychological context in which reflective thoughts occurs Social educational researchers and developers have also neglected the social psychological dimension of reflective thought A review of major social studies teaching methods textbooks revealed little space devoted to social psychological factors in instruction (Banks & Clegg, 1985 ; Beyer, 1979 ; Ehman et al ., 1974 ; Fraenkel, 1980 ; Joyce & Alleman-Brooks, 1979 ; Nelson & Michaelis, 1980 ; Newmann & Oliver, 1970) Hunt and Metcalf (1968) developed the social psychological dimension beyond the conventional recommendations regarding an open, nonthreatening classroom climate They discussed conditions promoting social cohesion in the classroom and the implications for reflective thought However, they considered social psychological topics briefly as secondary issues Given the field's inadequate attention to social psychological issues as they relate to reflective thought, implications for research in this domain beyond the boundaries of Dewey's theory are explored in this paper Dewey assumed a school-based classroom group setting ; however, he gave little explicit attention in How We Think to the social conditions which promote reflective thought and facilitate efforts to teach people to think reflectively Dewey framed his theoretical statement in terms of a teacher and student interacting in relation to a curriculum related to the student's problems and experiences The classroom and school environments were peripheral although not absent from his statement Only one social variable was identified : the degree to which problems of human conduct in the classroom and school are resolved reflectively Reflective thought is inhibited, according to Dewey, in an authoritarian environment Dewey's perspective on human rationality necessarily constrained his conception of reflective thought and teaching to improve it Shulman and Carey 1 2


(1984) explained three conceptions of human rationality : (1) humans as rational ; (2) humans as boundedly rational ; and (3) humans as collectively rational These alternative conceptions of human rationality will be considered in order to identify social psychological implications for research From the humans as rational perspective, a human thinks logically and acts consistently in terms of his or her own best interests He or she perceives the world as it is and mentally represents it validly A human makes mistakes due to incomplete information or logical errors ; however, the capacity for rational thought and action increases with additional experience, knowledge, and intellectual skills A teacher's task is to transmit effectively knowledge and skills which the student can use in thinking and acting rationally From the humans as boundedly rational perspective, a human is a creature of more modest potential He or she has insufficient information processing and short-term memory capacities to formulate and solve most real world problems Consequently, a human constructs greatly simplified models of the world which necessarily omit much of the available data A human thinks and acts rationally with these models, but the effectiveness of those actions is only moderate at best due to the reduced complexity of the models compared to the actual situations Teaching people to think reflectively is very difficult because the teacher's knowledge affects the students in ways not considered in the humans as rational perspective First, students will not learn the teacher's models ; instead, they will construct simplified models of the teacher's models The degree of fidelity which the students' models have to the real world will be in part a function of the validity of the teacher's models Second, the teacher acts in the complex world of the classroom in terms of his or her model of that situation which greatly simplifies the multidimensionality, simultaneity, and unpredictability of classroom events This simplification leads to problematic but understandable behaviors, such as setting performance expectations for categories of students, using a few students as referents for instructional decision making, grouping students by ability, and waiting very briefly for student responses in discussion and recitation Reflective thought can easily be subverted, from this perspective, due to the students' and teacher's limited capacities to perceive, formulate, and explore a problem The humans as collectively rational perspective incorporates the boundedly rational perspective and develops the social context Humans are boundedly rational ; however, their insufficient information-processing and short-term memory capacities can be coordinated Such coordination enables people to construct shared models of the world which are more valid than models the same people would construct individually Rational human thought and action based on cooperatively produced models tend to be more effective because the complexity of the real world situation is represented more adequately From this perspective, a key element in teaching students to think


reflectively is to teach skills of cooperative problem solving and decision making A classroom group is one set of social relationships in which reflective thought processes can be learned and refined Dewey's theory of reflective thought fits most clearly the humans as rational perspective The focus is on the individual's thought processes If certain affective preconditions are met, reflective thought begins and is sustainable A teacher provides subject matter knowledge, opportunities to collect data, and questions which serve as inputs to the student's reflective thought processes When a teacher questions a student in a classroom setting, the other students are expected to experience and answer the question vicariously Dewey was aware of human cognitive limitations and the group experiences of schooling ; however, his explication fits poorly the boundedly rational and collectively rational perspectives Dewey's theory does not address some key questions raised by the other two perspectives Can limitations created by limited cognitive capacities be overcome or productively managed? How do immediate and more distant human relationships facilitate and inhibit reflective thought? These questions are beyond the scope of Dewey's theoretical statement Answers to these questions will not necessarily contradict Dewey's theory, although the answers will lead to a reformulation A social psychological interpretation of the conditions within which reflective thought occurs and can be improved is needed Some research findings are available which indicate the relevance of a social psychological analysis for understanding reflective thought and teaching people to think reflectively In a review of social psychological research on small group instruction, VanSickle (1979) described how student relationships and stratification in classroom groups as a whole affect students' rates of participation in instruction, degrees of influence, and task performances Morris (1977) observed that the frequencies of requesting and offering reasons in group decision making were related to perceived reading ability status differences even though the subjects were objectively equal Doyle (1983) observed students question and challenge teachers who posed inquiry tasks until they clarified and reformulated assignments into memory-level tasks with little ambiguity or risk There were clear classroom norms that ambiguity and risk were to be minimized and teacher resistance could be challenged explicitly in terms of justice and fairness Tjosvold, Marino, and Johnson (1977) reported that student acceptance of inquiry instruction was affected positively by cooperative learning strategies and negatively by competitive strategies These findings demonstrate the relevance of social psychological research for a more adequate theory of reflective thought and teaching people to think more reflectively Theoretical Development Hage (1972) outlined a set of tasks which must be accomplished to articulate a theory fully First, identify theoretical concepts and use them to 1 4


make theoretical statements Second, specify the theoretical and operational definitions of the concepts and the linkages which relate the concepts in the theoretical statements Third, logically order the concepts and their definitions and then the theoretical statements and linkages composed of the concepts and definitions Each step produces a major refinement in the statement of a theory It is tempting to proceed with the articulation of a theory of reflective thought and teaching people to think reflectively along the lines Hage recommended However, that effort is premature Several other theorists built on Dewey's work and incorporated other intellectual perspectives Hunt and Metcalf (1968), for example, incorporated ideas from Kurt Lewin's field theory and Oliver and Shaver (1966) utilized concepts from jurisprudence Bruner (1960, 1966) added a perspective on cognitive structure which influenced the ways people conceived of reflective thought Newell and Simon (1972) articulated the implications of bounded rationality for human problem solving Analyses of these theories are needed to undergird a more adequate formulation of reflective thought and teaching people to think reflectively Consequently, major efforts to refine concepts and relationships derived from Dewey's theory probably will be less productive than some additional theoretical analyses . Four types of research reviews are likely to contribute to a more adequate formulation of a theory of reflective thought First, the affective variables identified in Dewey's theory appear to have been neglected in research and development efforts as they relate to reflective thought Reviews of research related to them in whatever contexts they were studied should suggest how they might influence reflective thought The ways those variables are oper. ationalized and measured probably will suggest more useful formulations of their definitions and effects Second, research reviews related to how knowledge can be represented (Anderson, 1977) might clarify some issues of how knowledge influences reflective thought Third, a review of existing measurement instruments relevant to reflective thought variables will clarify the kinds of instrument development which are needed Fourth, reviews of social psychological research are likely to clarify the social aspects of reflective thought Some important topics are group problem-solving, social constraints on performance in group settings, and cooperative learning These kinds of research reviews will complement additional theoretical analyses and new original inquiries Together, they will strengthen the intellectual base for formulating a testable, general theory of reflective thought and teaching people to think more reflectively References Anderson, R C ., Spiro, R J ., & Montague, W E (Eds .) (1977) Schooling and the acquisition of knowledge Hillsdale, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Banks, J A ., with Clegg, A A ., Jr (1985) Teaching strategies for the social studies (3rd ed .) Reading, MA : Addison-Wesley 1 5


Barr, R D ., Barth, J L ., & Shermis, S S (1977) Defining the social studies Washington, DC : National Council for the Social Studies Beyer, B K (1979) Teaching thinking in social studies (rev ed .) Columbus, OH : Charles E Merrill Bruner, J S (1960) The process of education New York : Vintage Books Bruner, J S (1966) Toward a theory of instruction Cambridge, MA : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press Buros, O K (Ed .) (1972) The seventh mental measurements yearbook (2 vols .) Highland Park, NJ : Gryphon Press Dewey, J (1933) How We Think (rev ed .) Boston : D C Heath Doyle, W (1983) Academic work Review of Educational Research, 53, 159-199 Ehman, L ., Mehlinger, H ., & Patrick, J (1974) Toward effective instruction in secondary social studies Boston : Houghton Mifflin Engle, S H (1960) Decision making : The heart of the social studies Social Education, 24, 301-304, 306 Feely, T ., Jr (1976) Critical thinking : Toward a definition, paradigm and research agenda Theory and Research in Social Education, 4(1), 1-19 Fraenkel, J R (1980) Helping students think and value (2nd ed .) Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice-Hall Hage, J (1972) Techniques and problems of theory construction in sociology New York : John Wiley Hullfish, H G ., & Smith, P G (1961) Reflective thinking : The method of education New York : Dodd, Mead Hunt, M P ., & Metcalf, L E (1968) Teaching high school social studies New York : Harper and Row Joyce, W W ., & Alleman-Brooks, J E (1979) Teaching social studies in the elementary and middle school New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston Larkins, A G ., & McKinney, C W (1980) Four types of theory : Implications for research in social education Theory and Research in Social Education, 8(1), 9-17 Levin, M A (1972) Teaching public issues : Some evaluation data from the Harvard Project Social Education, 36, 883-889 Morris, R A (1977, April) Equalizing participation between status groups through a normative intervention Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York Nelson, J L ., & Michaelis, J U (1980) Secondary social studies : Instruction, curriculum, evaluation Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice-Hall Newell, A ., & Simon, H A (1972) Human problem solving Englewood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice-Hall 1 6


Newmann, F M ., with Oliver, D W (1970) Clarifying public controversy Boston : Little, Brown Oliver, D W ., & Shaver, J P (1966) Teaching public issues in the high school Boston : Houghton Mifflin Patrick, J J (1972) The impact of an experimental course, "American Political Behavior," on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of secondary school students Social Education, 36, 168-179 Russell, T (1985, April) Questions and arguments Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago Schneider, D 0 ., & VanSickle, R L (1979) The status of the social studies : The publishers' perspective Social Education, 43, 461-465 Shaver, J P ., Davis, O L ., Jr ., & Helburn, S W (1979) The status of social studies education : Impressions from three NSF studies Social Education, 43, 150-153 Shulman, L S (1985, April) The growth of knowledge in teaching Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago Shulman, L S ., & Carey, N B (1984) Psychology and the limitations of individual rationality : Implications for the study of reasoning and civility Review of Educational Research, 54, 501-524 Simon, A ., & Boyer, E G (Eds .) (1974) Mirrors for behavior III (3rd ed .) Philadelphia : Research for Better Schools Steiner, E (1978) Logical and conceptual analytic techniques for educational researchers Washington, DC : University Press of America Taba, H (1967) Teacher's handbooks for elementary social studies Reading, MA : Addison-Wesley Tjosvold, D ., Marino, P M ., & Johnson, D W (1977) The effects of cooperation and competition on student reactions to inquiry and didactic science teaching Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 14, 281-288 VanSickle, R L (1979) Neutralizing status constraints on student performance in small group activities Theory and Research in Social Education, 7(2), 1-33 Zetterberg, H L (1965) On theory and verification in sociology (3rd ed .) Totowa, NJ : Bedminster Press Appendix Definitions of Variables Behaviors Which Facilitate Reflection Intellectualizationdegree of description of conditions and causes of problematic situations (Dewey, 1933, chapters 7, 15) Refinement of Inferencesdegree of identification of implications (conditions) which can be observed if inferences are valid (7, 12) Definitional Clarity-degree of interpersonal agreement about the meanings assigned to key terms (10) 1 7


Observational Order -degree of data collection sequencing with some outcome uncertainty for students (17) Observational Data Collection-degree to which information is collected by direct or indirect sensory acquisition from appropriate phenomena (17) Secondary Source Data Collection (Communicated Information) -degree to which information is obtained from authorities and not verified by personal observation of appropriate phenomena (17) Dynamic Phenomena Observation degree to which phenomena directly or indirectly examined by sensory means are moving or changing rather than static (17) Observational Varietydegree to which examinations of a phenomenon are made under different conditions (11) Data Search Extensiveness degree to which numerous sources and techniques are used to collect evidence with which to test possible solutions to a problem (1) Subject Matter Vocabulary Usage-degree of use of the subject matter terminology relevant to the problem at hand to articulate ideas and communication (16) Consecutive Discoursedegree of successive ordering of statements made by students in orally discussing a problem (5, 16) Summarizationdegree to which problem-solving/reflective thinking processes end with logical statements of conclusions and grounds by the student/reflector (7, 12) Observational Quality Assessment-degree to which the reliability and validity of the data collection techniques are taken into account in stating conclusions and their grounds (6, 11) Outcomes of Reflective Thought Grounding-degree to which beliefs are consistent with evidential and logical tests (1) Internal Validity-degree to which rival hypotheses have been eliminated based on evidential and logical tests (6, 7) External Validity-degree to which implications of the conclusions for other possibly relevant situations are identified (1, 12) Reflector's Perceptions of Problem/Subject Matter Uncertainty-degree of perceived clarity regarding the intellectual and/ or behavioral solution to a problem (1) Importance-degree of significance assigned to finding a solution to a problem (2) Problem Relevancedegree to which relationships between the subject matter issues/questions and personally experienced issues/questions are perceived (3, 15, 18) 1 8


Reflector's Attitudes Toward Reflection Open-Mindedness degree of willingness to seek and consider evidence and sources that tend to refute the reflector's preferred hypothesis (2) Intellectual Self-Confidencedegree to which one believes that it is worth one's time and effort to try to seek and test answers to problems for oneself rather than just accept others' answers uncritically (2, 3) Suspense Tolerance -degree of willingness to postpone judgment or action regarding a problem until it has been considered reflectively (1, 3) Test Preference degree of willingness to evaluate one's beliefs about a problem and/or its solutions in terms of evidence and logic and modify those beliefs accordingly (2) Knowledge/Thinking Value degree to which students regard knowledge and thinking as important apart from their practical usefulness (15) Closure Intensitydegree of strength of demand for finding a solution to a problem (1, 8) Intellectual Consistency Preferencedegree of willingness to seek implications of a tested belief for related beliefs (2) Teacher Characteristics Knowledgedegree of subject matter mastery relevant to the problem being studied (18) Knowledge Attitude-degree of personal interest in the subject matter (18) Attitude Toward Teaching Intellectual Skills-degree of personal interest in developing students' intellectual skills (18) Perception of Subject Matter Relevancedegree of match between curriculum content and student problems and experiences (18) Teacher Behavior Problem-Setting -degree to which information related to issues/questions in students' experiences is presented in formats that are internally inconsistent, inconsistent with students' beliefs, dramatically incomplete, incompletely interpreted, or that point out logical inconsistencies in a student's beliefs (18) Elaboration Questioning -degree to which students are required to articulate the meanings and testable implications of ideas (18) Justification Questioning -degree to which students are required to follow intellectual elaboration of ideas with tests and applications to new concrete cases (18) Disagreement Elicitationdegree to which inconsistent perspectives are obtained from students regarding the focal points in discussion (18) Review Questioning-degree to which students are required to summarize progress on solving a problem (18) Information Reproduction Questioning degree to which students are required to reproduce authoritatively communicated data (18) 1 9


Discussion Focus -proportion of time spent on key questions and topics related to the problem (18) Paraphrasing-degree to which students' ideas are restated or clarified for them (16) Relevance Stating-degree to which the teacher in class discussion refers to student personal experience (18) Teacher Discussion Reactivationdegree to which the teacher injects additional information/ideas to reactivate stalled student development of ideas (18) Task Focusing Relevance degree to which the teacher utilizes personal influence rather than the problem/subject matter to direct student task behavior (4) Adequacy Judgment-degree to which teacher evaluative statements are based on problem task requirements rather than teacher evaluation authority (4) Study Time Problem-Solving Relevance-degree to which students are required to memorize communicated information rather than use information in reflective thinking when working independently (18) Problem/Subject Matter Characteristics Subject Matter Relevance-degree of applicability of information in solving problems (4) Problem Technicality -degree to which one can identify elements common to both the subject matter and one's personal questions or issues (4) Fruitfulness -degree of interest, relevance, and data-seeking of other problems for which solution of a given problem is a logical prerequisite (14) Setting Characteristic Conduct Reflection-degree to which problems of human behavior in immediate social environments are resolved by means of reflective thought (4) 2 0


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall, 1985 Volume XIII Number 3, pp 21-44 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Deciphering a Code or Unraveling a Riddle : A Case Study in the Application of a Humanistic Metaphor to the Reporting of Social Studies Teaching Geoffrey Milburn The University of Western Ontario Abstract This paper identifies two difficulties in the task of deriving metaphors from the humanities and applying them to the social sciences : the large number of alternative characteristics that may be available for transfer from any humanistic source, and the lack of understanding shown by receivers of metaphors To solve these difficulties, the notion of a deliberately designed metaphor is outlined A case study of such a metaphor derived from drama and applied to a social studies lesson includes the text of a written review and a set of guidelines for the system of discourse and method of reporting A conclusion relates the case study to the current research literature on humanistic metaphors in educational evaluation This case study in the reporting of social studies teaching is set against the current interest among educational researchers in the metaphoric transfer of research techniques from humanistic-rather than social scientific-sources to educational phenomena It offers an example of such a transferred metaphor within the relatively neglected field of social studies At the same time, a partial solution is offered to two problems that have hitherto been overlooked within critical comment on the transfer of humanistic metaphors to education : the need to be highly selective in the use of a humanistic source, and the need to stipulate publicly those characteristics that are transferred from the humanistic setting to education The argument in this paper is divided into three sections : (a) an introduction to the issues ; (b) a written report of a social studies class ; and (c) presentation of the metaphoric guidelines on which the report was composed, and comments on the application of those guidelines in this case study Finally, a brief conclusion identifies the contributions of the study Issues in Metaphoric Transfer of Research Techniques One of the features of current thought in education is the growing interest in the investigation of alternative metaphors by which educational 2 1


phenomena may be described or analysed Working from the notion best expressed by Eisner (1976), that "the forms of art, as well as the forms of science, afford unique opportunities for conceptualization and expression" (p 149), scho :ars have examined a wide range of humanistic disciplinesincluding art, theatre, music, architecture, and journalism-to derive systems of discourse and methods of reporting that are distinctly different from the customary social scientific models widely in use (e .g ., Barone, 1983 ; Jenkins & O'Toole, 1978 ; Macdonald, 1976 ; Vallance, 1975) These speculations have already led to the publication of descriptions and assessments that differ significantly from customary approaches (e .g ; Eisner, 1979, pp 227-260) The critical comments on these new approaches, although interesting and provocative, have not as yet focussed on the central issue of the nature of metaphoric transfer Some observers (e .g ., Vallance, 1981, p 6) have noted that advocates of the use of alternative metaphors have spent more time discussing the principles of such new procedures than doing much research Others (e .g ., Elbaz & Elbaz, 1981 ; Gibson, 1981 ; Pagano & Dolan, 1980) have suggested that several contentious questions remain to be resolved in the kinds of written reports that have thus far been printed But with few exceptions (e .g ., Milburn, 1983 ; Pecover, 1983 ; Pratte, 1981), critics have not explored important difficulties that lie at the heart of the undertaking -the nature of metaphoric transfer of research methods from a humanity to education The source of the difficulties lies in the very definition of a metaphor, which appears but only at first glance to be disarmingly simple A metaphor, we are told (Turbayne, 1962, p 11, quoting Aristotle), "consists in giving the thing a name that belongs to something else ; the transference being either from genus to species, or from species to genus, or from species to species ." It is a device whereby the characteristics of one phenomenon are ascribed to another In this paper, it is a means for seeing one phenomenon, methods of research in education, with a set of understandings derived from another, methods of research in the humanities The difficulties are located in the more detailed examination of this definition Brown (1977, pp 80-84), for example, has noted that all metaphors share four important features : they involve a transfer from one situation to another (for example, in stating that man is a wolf, certain qualities of a wolf are transferred to man) ; they are literally absurd (a man can never really, no matter how the metaphor is pressed, be a wolf) ; they are intended to be understood (we know at the outset an important point how far the comparison between wolf and man extends) ; and they must be consciously as if (in other words, we must be willing to suspend our disbelief that man can really be a wolf) For all the use of metaphors in educational research, it is precisely in the area of essential characteristics of the term that current discussions seem relatively thin with some unfortunate consequences 2 2


Take, for example, the question of what characteristics are transferred from dramatic analysis to the analysis of social studies teaching It is exactly at this point of entry that a major difficulty arises : There is not one view of dramatic analysis but several-indeed, a very large number Previous examples of the use of dramatic concepts in the examination of teaching in general have been based on the notion of drama as a quarry for categories in the strictly social science sense (e .g ., Berne, 1964 ; Burns, 1972 ; Goffman, 1959 ; Lessinger & Gillis, 1976) Within drama as a humanity there is a wide variety of alternatives, each one of which may be used as an image for a method of social studies teaching A metaphor based on Aristotle's conception ?f drama (Fyfe, 1940), for example, would take account of the relationship established between the dramatic artform and reality Note would be made of his method of analysis through striation and his reliance on the script of the play In the LangerShank model (Langer, 1953 ; Shank, 1969), on the other hand, attention would be paid to the nature of the illusion in the classroom An attempt would be made to identify the feeling embodied in the teaching act and the series of choices that had been made prior to and during the presentation And so on and so on-down through the major dramatic theorists from the earliest times to the present day (Milburn, 1982, pp 40-56), each onedespite their overlapping of thought and approach -leading an observer to a different metaphor for viewing social studies teaching Which image, a reader may ask, is intended to be transferred in any particular case? A partial solution to this difficulty-and one that is used in this study-is to select an image of social studies teaching that may justify illumination and use that image as a means of selecting a metaphor Rather than roam through the alternatives in the dramatic canon, a researcher may choose one view that reveals a given set of characteristics of teaching What is sought in the metaphor in this study is illumination of human performance in the social studies classroom, with both teachers and students engaged in educational acts over a particular time and in a particular space Such a perspective focusses attention on teaching, not as a series of categorical behaviours, not as a script, not as a series of intended learning outcomes, but as a humanistic undertaking in accord with what Mann (1975) calls the lived-in nature of teaching It is the attempt to find a system of discourse and a method of reporting that gives form to this notion of performance in a humanistic sense, which, in its turn, guides the search for a metaphor in drama A second difficulty in the use of a metaphorclearly related to the first -is the requirement that the transfer be understood by both originator and receiver It is pointless, for example, to use the phrase, man is a wolf, to a newly arrived Martian unless that Martian has some inkling of what is meant by wolf in this context Most humans are familiar with the phraseit is a general cultural understanding But in the use of the term drama as a 2 3


metaphor for education, there is no set of cultural understandings, either on Mars or on Earth, on which both originators and receivers may rely Quite the contrary : there are powerful reasons for suspecting that transfer of any dramatic image in a metaphor is very difficult Given the power of the traditional social scientific metaphor (Brown, 1977) in educational research, the use of any humanistic metaphor, dramatic or not, may be severely hindered As has been seen, the conceptions of drama may be so varied within the discipline that the resulting conceptual confusion and clutter impedes the use of a single metaphor Note should also be taken, in this context, of the habit of practitioners of rejecting images based on humanistic metaphors (Milburn, 1983, pp 16-22) In other words, a researcher cannot take for granted that a metaphor based on transfer of methods of dramatic analysis to social studies teaching will be understood by recipients This problem is the most difficult that emerges in any study of the application of humanistic metaphors to educational research There is, however, one way out Black (1962), has indicated that in certain circumstances it may be necessary to design what he calls a "novel pattern of implications for the literal uses of key expressions, prior to using them as vehicles for . metaphors" (p 42) In specific areas of comparison, where possibility of confusion exists, metaphors may be designed by "specially constructed systems of implications" or commonplaces that are "made to measure" (p 43) Such a deliberate design of a metaphor may give it that sustained and systematic quality needed to make it memorable (p 236) In the example in this study, therefore, what is offered is a series of understandings, taken from a particular body of theory, that shed light on teaching as a particular type of performance In other words, a deliberate selection is made from an original source that throws light on teaching acts Deliberately designed metaphors give the question of the application of metaphor in educational situations a perspective that has not been explored in current literature, although it adds force to the argument that those who use such a device ought to pay greater attention to its nature and characteristics Both difficulties that have been mentioned thus far the existence of many images of dramatic analysis and the difficulty of communicating dramatic commonplaces -may be solved through the public selection of a particular notion of dramatic analysis In this study, the selected image is that of Beckerman (1970) He offers a view of drama that differs sharply from those of Aristotle and Langer and emphasizes human presence and activity "Drama occurs," he writes, "when one or more human beings present themselves in imagined acts to another or others" (p 20) From that central definition, he offers a distinctly different way of viewing dramatic acts and gives advice on the substance of the activity and a method of reporting His interpretation of the dramatic form is based on what he calls disciplined 2 4


subjectivity in which "trained intelligence is focussed on the examination of internal, elusive, processes" (p 254) Beckerman stands squarely in the humanistic camp, and his view of drama provides a previously neglected way of viewing social studies teaching as performance What is offered herein is a series of deliberately constructed commonplaces designed to shed a particular dramatic light on teaching social studies as an art form Selected notions intended to reveal social studies teaching as a human performance by both teacher and students engaged in educational acts over time and in a particular space are selected from Beckerman's (1970) dramatic theories The objective, therefore, is to cast social studies teaching in a particular light by the use of given understandings and methods of criticism derived from a particular dramatic theory Such a process redefines social studies teaching in a particular humanistic form That selection still leaves two characteristics of metaphor needing comment First, all metaphors are by definition absurd Just as a man is not a wolf, so teaching is not a drama In neither case is the transfer literal It is as absurd to examine social studies teaching through images derived from drama as it is to see man through images derived from wolf In this sense, no attempt is made to label teaching as a drama, as though a lesson were a form of The Cherry Orchard or a classroom a form of the theatre It is not suggested herein that the world of drama is identical in every respect with the world of teaching Beckerman's (1970) ideas are based on the world of actors and audiences, not teachers and students ; on play scripts, not on transcriptions of lessons, nor on sets of lesson plans Recognition of this absurdity is not an acknowledgement of weakness in the enterprise ; rather it is an essential feature Authenticity begins in the willingness of both originator and recipient to suspend their disbelief Metaphoric thinking "requires a `double vision' that can hold an object in attention simultaneously from two (or more) points of view" (Brown, 1977, pp 83-84) The metaphor requires both the originator and the recipient to suspend their commitment to the literal truth and to take seriously the fiction that is portrayed We know that teaching is not a drama ; what we hope is that the juxtaposition of the two images provides a new entry into the essential quality of the teaching experience The case study in this paper, therefore, attempts two tasks : on the one hand, it offers an example of the application of a humanistic metaphor to social studies teaching ; on the other hand, it grounds that application in certain qualities of metaphor A particular source for a dramatic analysis is selected to provide the commonplaces for a metaphor for the analysis of teaching The case study also recognizes that a metaphor is literally absurd (that social studies teaching is not a drama), that it is intended to be understood (in this case, the deliberate selection of commonplace is vital), and that it is consciously as if (we are willing to suspend our disbelief that social studies teaching may be a drama) Not only is an alternative metaphor con2 5


sidered herein, but also an attempt is made to accommodate some of the problems that have been identified in the nature of metaphor, the varieties of metaphor that exist within the discipline of drama, and the use of deliberately designed commonplaces Example of a Review In this section of the paper, a text of a report of a social studies teaching act, written in accordance with a particular metaphor, is outlined in full A commentary on the nature of the commonplaces of the metaphor and their application in this particular instance is given in the following section In this case study, a pseudonym is used for the teacher The particular lesson being analyzed is part of a senior high school economics course Many aspects of teaching are taken for granted by both students and the general public And teaching is not alone ; all professions suffer from this form of neglect or understatement Our own familiarity with professional crafts dulls our awareness and appreciation of the skill and competence inherent in them We tend to react to, or even notice, a dentist's treatment of a complaint only when it is insensitive or rude ; sensitivity draws no comment It is what we are accustomed to, what we expect, and what we regularly receive Competence, in other words, often goes unrecognized Such competence, of course, is not only taken for granted by those in receipt of services Professionals themselves are so comfortable in their skills, so familiar with routines and expected levels of performance, that their own sense of challenge has become dimmed It happens ; therefore it happens effortlessly Many barristers take for granted an ease in public speaking, many executives assume that organizational ability is easily acquired, and many priests have a highly developed but unacknowledged sense of others' needs Often difficult tasks we assume to be of little consequence ; anyone can do them And so in teaching : "Anyone," it has been said, even by those who should know better, "can teach ." In teaching, this reluctance to acknowledge either difficulty or the need for skill assumes many guises Teachers often discount the skill required in the many different situations in which they find themselves Some occasions recur so frequently, perhaps several times in the same day, that the degree of competence becomes masked Routine in teaching is an insidious enemy, robbing both observer and observed of their capacity to understand some of the complexities of the craft Mr Thompson, on the day that I participated in his class, was attempting one of those taken-for-granted tasks -introducing a group of students to a research assignment It's not an unusual task (even conceding some justification to complaints in newspapers about declining opportunities for student writing), but, except on the surface, it is surprisingly difficult Complex ideas may need to be discussed, important information related, interest sparked, and suggestions made, while the integrity of the task has to be pro2 6


tected In addition, the backgrounds and abilities of students have to be taken into account How is such a difficult task to be accomplished? On this occasion, Mr Thompson, a friend whom I had known for many years, was engaged in teaching a senior secondary school economics course His students seemed fairly alert, although it was early in the day, and entered the classroom more purposefully than I had anticipated They appeared comfortable with one another, wisecracking back and forth in a friendly fashion The group appeared prosperous enough, at least in appearance, and certainly readier than most to discuss intellectual ideas The room certainly was filled with visible signs of Mr Thompson's personality A visitor might have been excused for judging the room to be the usual teacher's room filled with the bric-a-brac of former classes Piles of boxes and files surrounded the students, with the surrounding walls covered in a profusion of charts, cuttings, and diagrams The tables and chairs were arranged in two sweeping U configurations, not an entirely unfamiliar pattern in modern schools, but still, I think, sufficiently rare to be worth mentioning It's an arrangement that has often promised more than it has delivered, for it seems to grease the wheels of a discussion without necessarily pointing them in an interesting direction In short, it was a richly provided, though seemingly disorganized, setting, rather Dickensian in its exuberance and apparent redundancy I ought to have reminded myself that appearances can be deceptive In this setting, Mr Thompson attempted to introduce the class to a major research assignment on the buying and selling of shares on North American stock exchanges My first reaction on hearing the topic was that some students would find it both interesting and familiar In the prosperouswhether real or assumed -homes of some of the students, discussion of the Dow Jones or of the latest Granville newsletter must be a daily occurrence at the dinner table Perhaps even a sense of dejbL vu may become apparent On the other hand, those students who had no knowledge of the market might find the details particularly arcane, or even repulsive From the comments during the session, my guess is that a fair number, perhaps over half, did have some knowledge of the workings of the market-although at times skimpy and inaccurate-and I learned after the session that some students in the group had completed a course in the mathematics of investing To some extent the situation was typical ; the students came to the session with varying backgrounds Nevertheless, the group seemed more than usually attracted to the subject Some choices had already been made by Mr Thompson The plan for his lesson was outlined as a list of headings on the board Included in this list were such topics as Choosing a Company, Industry Approach, Professional Analysis, Company Reports, and Current Trends At first, I assumed that this scheme would play a larger role in the evolution of the lesson than, in fact, it did It is a traditional practice of the teacher to outline the skeleton 2 7


of the subject matter on the board (whether to remind oneself of the principal notions in the lesson, or serve as a guide to students, is not clear), but such habits often serve to routinize an otherwise interesting theme As it turned out, Mr Thompson's use of the board was skillful : the odd reference here, the tying together of ideas there, but no subservient homage to the tyranny of a preformed outline Being mistaken in this initial impression was not the only occasion in which I misled myself during the subsequent hour What the headings did do, however, was indicate the four successive sections of the lesson, the first three of which were similar in structure, while the fourth was sui generis In each of the early sections, Mr Thompson followed a broadly similar pattern Because his intention was to outline some of the considerations for possible investors to bear in mind when purchasing stocks and shares, each section was concerned with a different consideration : first, the cyclical or noncyclical sensitivity of some industries ; second, the relative strength of particular industries ; and, finally, the performance of particular companies within industries Such an approach seemed logically clear, focussing on first one consideration and then another Within each section, Mr Thompson focussed attention on a different document and discussed the information within each document, either by making comments on his own, asking questions of the students, or responding to their queries If Mr Thompson's lesson had four movements, the first three were similar in structure and tone A key-but by no means only-consideration in Mr Thompson's mind seemed to be the rational analysis of what is for many of us a highly irrational and emotional task -the selection of investment stocks In each of these first three sections, Mr Thompson saw himself as the leader The task in view was of his choice, and he was determined to get to a certain conclusion Using the board on the one hand, and a series of documents (one to each section) on the other, he directed the students It was a kindly leadership, but it was firm He challenged, prodded, and cajoled He moved the inquiry forward The weapons he used were the query and comment-the first clearly genuine, and the second obviously apt It was an impressive display of firm leadership In each section, Mr Thompson produced a document for analysis The first, accompanied by the bewitching ditty : Here's the money-making lullaby Buy stocks low and sell them high, offered three categories of industry sensitivity, the second (four foolscap pages in length) commented on pros and cons of about forty industries from aerospace to trucking, and the third reproduced the Standard & Poor's 1980 assessment of everybody's friendly corporation, I .T & T Certain sections of each document were chosen for question and comment Judging by the 2 8


puzzled frowns and pursed lips, I don't think the students found the material easy Whether such reproduced materials Xeroxed or Dittoed-are either helpful or productive in such discussions is a moot point Mr Thompson's documents were certainly appropriate (although not all of the pages could be read clearly) to the task at hand Yet the figures appeared dull-there's not much that is exciting (except for the few) or riveting in the balance sheet data for the years 1970 to 1979 for I .T & T Their use raises questions of how documents should be prepared for the illumination of young readers What carried Mr Thompson in this session was his projected personality Put in the shortest and simplest terms, he was masterful A man of no mean presence, he appeared as an inquirer possessed with carefully controlled but vigorous intellectual energy Moving purposefully through the double ranks of the classroom U, he seemed the searcher for truth As a participant, I could feel his sincerity and dedication On their part, the students responded to him They reflected the authenticity of Mr Thompson's purpose Given this general pattern for the lesson, it is scarcely surprising that the intention of the lesson was realised To some extent-but still incompletelyMr Thompson's personality showed in his construction of the chief inquirer It-was written in his position in the classroom, in his use of his arms, and especially in his voice There seemed to be no position in the room from which he did not speakbut at no time did he appear to be wandering aimlessly The movement of his arms was a joy to witness : He directed discussion, collected answers, tore meaning out of them, and relayed them back to the class, all with his arms and fingers He is the only teacher I have ever seen who directed answers from one student to another using only his arms behind his back Yet this use of arms never appeared to me-and still less to his studentsto be insincere or theatrical The movement was at least part of the message Yet it was Mr Thompson's voice that seemed to be his most decisive weapon I was unsure why it was so effective Each word was certainly clearly articulated, and sentences were appropriately emphasized Certainly there was nothing discordant about it He seemed to be able to reach students when he spoke When he asked, "What does x or y mean for you?", he seemed able to reach each person His articulation of individual words "and?", "ah!"seemed absolutely right, a unique combination of sound and gesture He could wring more life out of a pause, or more effectively turn a wrist to indicate a word, than, any other teacher I have ever seen It was an impressive and breathless experience It was this personal magnetism that enabled Mr Thompson to maintain the momentum of the discussion for 60 minutes The lesson seemed to turn in three circles, each one a little wider in circumference than the preceding As each criterion for selecting stock was examined, a participant could feel the problem becoming a little clearer to each student As Mr Thompson 2 9


opened one avenue after another, the map of the problem became more obvious My impression was that the students were somewhat more certain about the industry-sensitivity document than they were about the other two, perhaps because more time was devoted to examining the first chart The last example, the I .T & T survey, seemed to produce the most puzzled frowns The shift in the final segment of the period was particularly interesting Because students were to select their own stocks and offer reasons for their choices, Mr Thompson invited them to examine a wide range of company annual reports and other data At that point, the items I had previously thought were bric-A-brac came to life Material was taken from every available wall, while Mr Thompson showed remarkable ability to produce at request a wide range of documents On more than one occasion he plunged like a great diving whale into a mountain of boxes, to emerge a few moments later with this or that industrial survey It was one of the few occasions that I have noted that the classroom collections have been more than dusty, unused depositories It seemed to me, despite that appearance, that Mr Thompson knew, perhaps roughly, where everything was What happened in the final section was that the momentum vanished Given a wide range of tasks, each student pursued his or her own way Although Mr Thompson circulated to the various members and posed a series of questions, his abandonment of leadership seemed to be accompanied by letdown by the students Could it be that the group followed where Mr Thompson led, but, either through exhaustion or habit -I could not tell which-was not prepared to take the initiative on its own? The central task that Mr Thompson had set himself was accomplished What appeared at first glance as an introduction to a set of fairly complex data with special tasks in mind turned into an almost musical experience The intensity of Mr Thompson's absorption in the inquiry, and the power of his voice and manner, infused the figures with a lyrical quality The lesson, in effect, flowed in the style of carefully constructed musical performances It was an impressive display of the ability to take what might be considered dull material-and what could be duller to most people than company balance sheets-and infuse it with meaning in the classroom That meaning, of course, was much truer to life than most events in the classroom People do buy stocks, and they ought to do the kind of research suggested by Mr Thompson Some of the materials used in the classroom were the very materials used by investors The only thing missing was the reality of spending one's own money-the nerves, and the stomachs, of the students were much too peaceful during the exercise Mr Thompson's lesson does raise two general questions First, the part to be played by additional written materials in classroom discussions is worth comment Must they always appear so drab? Should teachers be more selective? Do we impose adult tastes on our students? It is too easy to turn on 3 0


the Xerox and pour out the printed material? Second, the ability of Mr Thompson in this kind of discussion raises the question of the dependence of the class on him Does he, over the long term, bewitch his students? Do they become addicted to his approach to the extent that they lose some aspect of their capacity for independent judgment? Is Mr Thompson, in effect, too skilled as a debater? Despite these cavils, the sorts of competence illustrated by Mr Thompson seem rarely acknowledged by the general public What Mr Thompson was able to do was harness his personal talents to the task at hand Like a conductor leading an orchestra through an extraordinarily difficult composition, he was able to bring order and harmony from the efforts of the members of his class Although the students were willing enough and even anxious to be led, it was very much a personal achievement that drew on a wide range of personal abilities, tempered through many years of experience Such abilities ought to be given greater recognition We need to stand back a little and refocus our points of entry into familiar activities Perhaps most important, we,, need to relearn to recognize competent professionals when we are in their presence Characteristics of the Case Study Written by an observer acting as critic, the foregoing case study in the reporting of social studies teaching is designed in accordance with guidelines based on deliberately constructed metaphoric commonplaces derived from Beckerman's theory of dramatic analysis For a critic reporting a social studies class, these commonplaces are expressed in this section as a two-part set of guidelines : first, the system of discourse, and second, the method of reporting Such guidelines are neither hierarchical nor categorical ; they are not an ordered list to be applied seriatim by a critic Rather, they should be construed as a set of suggestions to guide the thoughts and pen of a critic As Beckerman (1970) has suggested, presentation "cannot be readily separated into component parts" ; there are no formulas (pp 19, 56, 126) After each guideline a brief note is made of its application in the case study in this paper A System of Discourse What follows is a broad general definition, offered first, of which all the others are illustrative, consequential, features Governing a critic of the teaching act is Beckerman's (1970) definition of drama "Drama occurs," he writes, "when one or more human beings isolated in time and space present themselves in imagined acts to another or others" (p 20) Given the nature of metaphoric transfer to educational settings, the human beings are expected to be teachers and students, the imagined acts created episodes of educational life, and the other critic or reviewer In such cir3 1


cumstances, a critic may be interested in a wide range of characteristics of each teaching act : what teachers and students do, what characters they reveal, what the interchanges are within the act, what sequence of activities is followed, and what the action of the act seems to reveal Every act is assumed to have a distinguishable life of its own, created by the melding of the characters in purposeful action In the case study in this paper, the critic has attempted to capture in words his perception of a particular educational event, in which Mr Thompson and his students-the human beings-create an episode of educational life-their discussion of the stock market The witness is the other, the critic Through the interpretation of the written review, the critic has attempted to capture the characteristics of this unique act and tried to reveal the roles, interchanges, and action as they were perceived by him In the body of the review, he has tried to bring out the purpose and character of that episode as he perceived those features at the time and recollection In the words of the review, the presentation of the created episode of educational life is reconstructed Within this metaphor, a critic is interested in human presence in the teaching act Given Beckerman's (1970) image, the focus is on human presence (p 18) as the medium of the teaching act It is human beings who generate the action within the teaching act as forms of energy (p 210) Thus, conscious self-presentation within each teaching act is expressed in doing, in essential activity over time A critic, in consequence, may be interested in exploring a range of features related to human presence within the act From a detailed study of the events of the act as it progresses, a critic may attempt to depict that human presence In the case study, the focus of the written account is the interaction of the human beings in the development of the episode Teacher and students play their parts, and their roles are outlined in some detail In the first three segments of the action, Mr Thompson plays a dominant role, and the students are characterized as followers In the final section, however, the roles change dramatically As the segments are outlined, and the action of the class develops, the changing relationships of teacher and students are described and discussed A critic may take particular interest in the development of character within the act Despite the enormous differences between roles assumed by actors in dramatic presentations and the roles of participants in teaching acts, a critic is interested in the character of each participant as he or she reads the details of the sequences of the act The direction of the energy of individuals may be noted, and the parts they play within the development of the act observed External, perceptible signs of motion, which may be vocal or gestural, may be significant Physical being within the act, as well as social and temperamental features, may be of interest From reflections on such 3 2


activities, an interpretation of particular characters among the participants in a teaching act may emerge in a critic's mind and appear on the pages of a review In the example offered in this paper, the perceived character of the participants is a major feature of the report Mr Thompson is characterized as being of no mean presence, a chief inquirer, and a searcher for truth He is seen as a compelling speaker, able to combine voice and gesture in engaging ways Reaching out to each student, he engaged them in the act through his personal magnetism His role exercised a determining effect on those of the students -An indication is given that perhaps the students were bewitched by Mr Thompson's personality because they were unable to pursue topics on their own when given the opportunity They played such a subordinate role to Mr Thompson in the early segments that the question of dependence became central to the review A critic may be concerned with the development of the activity of the teaching act Created episodes of educational life have a unity, either formal or organic, and well-defined limits may be determined Rather than comment on particular topics, a critic may reflect on the progression of an act as a whole As human beings come together within the act, their interrelationships may take up what Beckerman (1970) calls a "rhythm of involvements and disengagement" (p 41) From reflection on the sweep of such activities, a critic may observe the development and evolution of particular units of action or beats (p 37) Such activities may be affected by choices made by either teachers or students A critic may be called on to recall and record these divisions as they occurred within the development of a particular act Because it is through the notion of activity that the central purpose of the teaching act is revealed, some emphasis in the written review is placed on the action line governing the relationship of the participants in Mr Thompson's class The episode is perceived as having four segments or units Some care is taken to outline the choices made by the teacher before the class begins, and each of the units is discussed in some detail The development of the action from one segment to the next is described, and an attempt is made to assess the overall character of that action "The lesson," it was said, "flowed in the style of carefully constructed musical performances ." Each segment, a critic may find, has its own form The activity of each act is written, at least in part, in the segments into which the act may be divided The changing rhythm of the act provides the basis for particular units of action or segments Thus, a teacher may express through a series of actions a particular purpose or expect results for a portion of the act Consequently, each segment has its own context As a gap opens between what teacher intends to do and what is possible, tension may result As intention meets resistance, that interaction may lead to a point of decision, or crux, which determines the nature of the change to be induced in the development of a 3 3


segment In other words, a segment of a teaching act may have a temporal life and intensity of its own that is open to interpretation by a critic These terms, however, are not regarded as objects or fixed states ; rather they are guides to the actual interplay indicating a range of possibilities In the written review of Mr Thompson's class, the contrast between the first three segments and the final segment is emphasized by the critic The similar pattern of the first three is characterized by the critic's comments on Mr Thompson's direction of the participants Displaying kindly but firm leadership, Mr Thompson subjected selected documents to rational analysis, playing the role of chief inquirer Against that background, the contrast of the final segment, in which the momentum vanished, is crystal clear -and stressed in the written review A critic may observe how segments in a teaching act are linked together Because segments of a teaching act may become coherent in purpose only when an entire sequence is taken into account, links between segments, and the relationship among them, may be significant A critic may note how the principal features of an act, the dialogue, the expressions of feelings and emotions, and the characters of the participants are revealed through the flow of action from segment to segment In addition, one segment may stand in special relationship to another A critic may note that the action within each segment is the result of decisions made in a previous segment A critic may watch for segments that contract in meaning and scope with others and observe how one segment gives emphasis to another The sequence of segments in the written review of Mr Thompson's class is set against a background of several general issues Those issues, and the account of the setting of the action, occupy the first third of the written review In the description of the act, the general features of the segments are presented first, and then each unit is described The relationship of each unit to the others is indicated, and the contrast of the final unit is emphasized A critic may appreciate how conventions influence the shaping of segments within a teaching act Just as each age fosters archetypical dramatic activities, so each age fosters different kinds of teaching activities As debate and conversation have played different roles in different dramatic periods, so have interrelationships changed among participants within teaching acts In addition, the characteristics of such acts may be influenced by governmental policies or decrees of professional associations Conventions thus play a role analogous to prehistories, and, like prehistories, they are accessible to a sensitive critic By description and discussion, a critic may comment on the relationship of an act to prevailing conventions or to nonconventional usage In the case study in this paper, the relationship of conventional to unconventional behaviour plays an important part in the structure of the writ3 4


ten review A significant theme in the review is the familiarity of the setting : the task is labelled not unusual, the arrangement of the chairs not . entirely unfamiliar, and the practice of writing an outline on the board traditional There is much about the lesson that any observer would consider routine -a feature emphasized by the introductory comments on the takenfor-granted nature of some professionals' skills Against that backcloth of convention, the extraordinary power of Mr Thompson's projected personality-which left the reviewer breathless -stands out with greater clarity than it may otherwise have done A critic may also note the significance of spatial considerations Each teaching act within the metaphor in this study takes place within a particular environment As ceremonial and theatrical events are shaped by the arenas within which they are performed, so teaching acts are shaped by their environments Most acts take place in formal settings such as classrooms, lecture halls, and seminar rooms Even in those situations in which there are no restraining walls (e .g ., teaching under a tree in the back lot, or holding a discussion group in the corner of a building or hallway), there is a spatial dimension, if only that created by the understandings of the group Setting becomes part of the interplay of the elements of the action Within the metaphor, space is more than location, more than environment alone It includes the relationship of the participants to their location : how they use the space and how they relate to one another spatially Perceived dynamically and interactively, space reveals a significant dimension of a teaching act At the simplest level, space governs the range of choices available for teaching and taught ; what is possible in one setting is out of the question in another Space influences the expectations and responses of the taught : Students expect to react in certain ways in a lecture and in other ways in a small-group discussion At the same time, a teacher may use the properties of a setting in making a point, conveying a mood, or expressing an emotion Notions related to space play a small but significant part in the written account of Mr Thompson's class On the one hand, the furniture and fittings are described in some detail, the U-shaped arrangement of chairs noted, and attention paid to the Dickensian nature of the teacher's collections of teaching materials : Piles of boxes and files surrounded the students, with the surrounding walls covered in a profusion of charts, cuttings, and diagrams Far more important, on the other hand, to the flow of action within the act is the stress placed on Mr Thompson's use of that space The central feature of Mr Thompson as an inquirer is set against his purposeful movement in the U-shaped classroom-his skill, in part, was written in his position in the classroom At the same time, his extraordinary knowledge of his materials brought what the critic thought was bric-a-brac to life A critic may pay special attention to the unfolding of the thought of an act as it progresses The activity, the sequence of segments, has a purpose, a 3 5


central reference that is capable of being recognized Various components contribute to that thought : gesture, talk, interaction, and use of media The story line of a teaching act may conjure up images in the minds of participants A simulation may take on a special imperative, sometimes consciously planned, at other times unintentional That essential thought within an act is the product of a set of circumstances that is capable of being recognized by a critic In the case study in this paper, there can be no doubt about the central theme of the act : the selection of stocks To that task, the entire sequence of units was directed, with considerable success, as the critic noticed The question, however, as to whether the central theme of the act was entirely authentic was raised by the critic : The nerves, and the stomachs, of the students were much too peaceful in an exercise that required in other circumstances the expenditures of vast sums of money A critic may also be alert to the unique features of an act A critic may watch for those features that mark the act from other acts All the patient care devoted to an act is intended to contribute to a spontaneous moment that is unique to that company (Beckerman, 1970, p 161) Similarly, as teachers and students participate in educational acts, the flow of events, the expression of ideas, emotions, and feelings may be particular and separate Each group brings to each act particular histories, perceptions, and characteristic that give form to the sequence of events It is a function of a critic to pay attention to these unique characteristics There can be a little doubt about the location of a unique feature in the case study in this paper The critic has gone to some pains to sort out what may be considered familiar practice in school classrooms to provide an appropriate setting for comments on what is considered remarkable : the role played by Mr Thompson "What carried Mr Thompson," the critic writes, "was his projected personality Put in the shortest and simplest terms, he was masterful ." So much so, that the critic uses his achievement as the basis for the principal critical point in the report : "We need to relearn to recognize competent professionals when we are in their presence ." A Method of Reporting The second segment of Beckerman's (1970) theory of dramatic analysis, a method of reporting, runs parallel to the first His suggestions on the means of analysing drama, when cast in the metaphoric context of this study, offer insights to the critic of teaching acts Particularly useful are his notions of the purpose and task of criticism, which supply the basis for suggestions about how a critic may undertake the task of shaping a review First, a critic may be interested in a description of what he or she perceives happened during the teaching act Borrowed from Beckerman's conception of the theatrical experience (1970, pp 145-157), a critic's first task may be "to know what lies before him" (1970, p 161) A critic's concern is with the 3 6


act as it is immediately experienced Thus, critics may comment on how the attention of the group became engaged They may pay attention to understanding the development of the act as it takes place in time and space They may be particularly sensitive to the characters of the participants and the nature of the created experience of the act They may watch how interest in the group rises and falls as the units of the activity unfold At the same time, they may be concerned with the nature of the experience within the teaching act and the imaginative response of the group to that experience Capturing the details of the teaching act may be a critic's first responsibility The larger portion of the report in this paper is a description of what happened in Mr Thompson's classroom on the occasion of the critic's visit In one sense, that descriptive feature is easily identified : Note the attention paid to the setting of the scene, the roles of the participants, the evolution of the action, and the characteristics of the thought of the act To a considerable extent, the critic has tried to tell his readers what actually occurred on that particular occasion Yet it should also be recalled that the description is portrayed through the eyes of one individual, and the words must be seen as an interpretation of the event, even when they are at their most descriptive level In undertaking the task of analysis, a critic may reflect on his or her position as a witness of the action of the act Critics of a teaching act are not disinterested observers As the act develops, their responses are attached to certain features, and they are "absorbed into the mood and rhythm of the piece" (Beckerman, 1970, pp 161-162) Thus, their presence affects the flow of the activity, and they become participants in the flow of the act A review reflects a critic's feelings and emotions as his or her responsive path (p 149) parallels the events of the act In the report of Mr Thompson's class, the critic illustrated his own engagement Note, especially, extensive use of the first person throughout the review-the engagement of critic and report is very personal In addition, in the wording of the text he emphasized the several occasions on which he felt that he had misread the character of the act For example, he thought that the teacher's preparatory notes would lead to some routinization, which did not, as the development of the lesson showed, turn out Finally, the critic was clearly affected by Mr Thompson's role in the act : It was, in the critic's eyes, "an impressive and breathless experience ." A critic may be sensitive to the significance of the understandings that all participants bring to the teaching act Mention has been made of the enormous power of conventions in teaching acts In addition, Beckerman comments on the historical nature (1970, p 230) of vital aspects of presentation and on the significance of a frame of reference (p 160) in viewing acts Thus a critic may not participate in the experience of a teaching act without predispositions or prehistories about either the nature or meaning of the 3 7


act Other participants in the group teachers or students have similar prehistories, and their tastes, understandings, and prejudices about what constitutes action within the teaching act, the style in which that action ought to be cast, and the kind of structure considered appropriate, may exercise determining effects Such predispositions in a critic or other participants are by no means certain or predictable guides to reactions the circumstances of the act may be more significant -but they deserve consideration Critics, of course, may vary in their knowledge of the prehistories and predispositions of the participants in the teaching act Some may have extensive personal knowledge of either teacher or taught ; others may come to a situation without either knowledge or shared experience The extent of such knowledge may affect significantly a response to the teaching act The timing of a teaching act may also be noteworthy Where participants are coming together for the first time, their prehistories may surface in tentative approaches and trial contacts In those situations in which the group has been together for some time, prehistories may be written in expected interactions and routine responses In short, prehistories may affect the way teachers and students talk to one another, react to one another, express feelings and emotions -and also affect a critic's response to the action Three kinds of prehistories are a factor in the case study in this paper First, the teacher, Mr Thompson, is recognized as a person with a wealth of professional experience and a pattern of skills honed after many years in the classroom The nature of that experience is an occasion for particular comment in the report Second, the students bring to the class a pattern of response to Mr Thompson's approach that the critic noted only during the development of the various units of the act Note the comments on their dependence on Mr Thompson's leadership Finally, the critic brings his own set of understandings about what is or is not unusual in teaching acts witness the context of his comments about Mr Thompson The nature of the prehistories of all the participants affected the tenor and quality of the report A critic, once the description of the act is caught, may reflect after the event on the nature of the teaching act that has been witnessed In a second-stage process of reflective recollectionwhat Beckerman calls the memorial experience (1970, pp 157-160)-a critic is open to interpretation Such recollection encourages a critic to devote attention to issues raised by the presentation that did not surface as the teaching act developed Aspects of the presentation of a teaching act, either strange or familiar, may raise associations in the mind of a critic that are worth exploring Such recollection allows a critic to attend to the larger issues raised by a teaching act that were not recoverable while the act was being experienced "The process of rumination," as Beckerman remarks, "alters the work" (p 157) Thus a critic welcomes the opportunity to look back on his or her own experience of a teaching act and reflect on his or her own initial reaction to that ex3 8


perience Partly, this memorial experience encourages a critic to emphasize certain points, uncover previously neglected features, and reappraise initial descriptions This memorial experience of the teaching act is thus more than a correcting vision ; it is a separate phase in the appraisal that encourages a critic to make interpretative statements of wider scope than that possible during the experience of the act itself The critic's written report of Mr Thompson's class emphasizes the memorial feature It is obvious, for example, that it is not an objective description of the act in the social scientific sense In addition, the style of the essay-with the past tense used for the comments on the act, and the present tense for the introductory sections is designed to heighten the reflective quality of the piece to give it a looking back flavour The recollective comments of the critic also enhance the ruminative quality of the report A critic may be sensitive to the tug between the created act of the classroom and the experience of reality, outside the classroom Given the presentation of a teaching act, a critic may note his or her personal and emotional experience, as well as the responses of other persons within the classroom, both as individuals and as a group Particular acts may be charged with a presentational meaning that is a result of an overlapping of what happens in a classroom with a critic's emotional and intellectual experiences of life outside the classroom Such responses may range widely In parallel form to Beckerman's suggestions, a critic may consider whether the act is credible, and whether what has been witnessed "could or could not happen" (1970, p 164) At another level, an opportunity may be presented to reflect on the relationship between the experience of the teaching act and the actual life situation or paradigm of universal experience to which the teaching act refers "As a microcosm," Beckerman writes (p 164), "the play is a model of the universe ." Thus a critic reflects on the conceptual meaning of the performance and its relationship to other aspects of thought The end result of such conceptualization may be a greater understanding of key issues within the human condition The outside world entered the act under scrutiny at two points First, the relationship of the make-believe selection of stocks to the actual world of the stock market is noted To the critic this aspect of the act seemed much truer to life than most events in the classroom, but he noted the missing feature : The reality of spending one's own money-the nerves, and the stomachs, of the students were much too peaceful during the exercise Second, the nature of professional skills, and their lack of recognition by the public at large, forms a principal theme of the report In short, the critic has exercised his right to relate two important items at two different levels to the larger world outside the classroom A critic may take advantage of what Beckerman calls the conceptual aspects of appraisal Such a phase in criticism gives a critic a free hand to include all 3 9


imaginative abstractions (1970, p 160) aroused by the act In this stage, critics may consider themselves free to speculate on any notion or issue that they think both warranted and significant Such latitude invites critics to associate their appraisal of the teaching act with important or interesting ideas in any discipline or field of thought "A more abstract meaning emerges," Beckerman observes (p 165), "as we begin to connect the work with some realm of thought : philosophical, social, political, religious and so forth ." Such considerations may include the wider world of educational ideas and practice Because all teaching is subject to conventions and customs, critics may relate their experiences within an act to what they know of accepted and traditional practices A teaching act may gain form and meaning when set against a context framed by the critic A critic's assessment of the particularity of a teaching act may be enriched by consideration of the educational setting of the act The attention of a reader may be drawn to broader issues suggested to a critic by a particular experience In the report under study, two general issues are introduced by the author : the first related to the question of public appreciation of professional skills, and the second concerned with the question of student dependence on their teacher Both of these questions interest educators The principal issue provides an unifying theme for the report ; it is given a twoparagraph treatment at the beginning of the review, and the author returns to the theme at the conclusion It serves, therefore, as a frame for the entire piece The second issue is prompted by a principal development within the act : a major change of direction within the flow of the action Both issues are given such emphasis by the author's deliberate choice as part of his reflections on the quality of the experience in that classroom Other observers, it is assumed, may have raised other issues A critic may note the impressionistic and subjective nature of a response to teaching acts within a dramatic metaphor Given the humanistic setting for the metaphor, each written report is selective and illuminative of particular features Understanding the experience of a teaching act is subjective and impressionistic (Beckerman, 1970, p 130) The requirement in this study is that the critical observations be offered in written form Such a written report is not the result of a simple linkage between the dramatic notions and methods of reporting outlined in this section Suggestions about what to look for in teaching acts, and comments on methods of reporting those observations, merge together into artistic wholes Each written report may reflect the personal style of a critic No one critic writes like another ; language, style, and imagery remain highly personal A critic, in an evocation of an experience of a teaching act, may offer an account that cannot be replicated Finally, a critic may decide to stress aspects of his or her observations for a presumed audience A report designed for a teacher who participated directly in a teaching act may not take the same form as a report of 4 0


the same act designed to be read by beginning teachers The character of an intended audience may affect significantly the form of a written report In the case study in this paper, the personal influence of the author is recorded in the wording and content of the report The choice of principal theses and points of interest within the report are personal selections of the writer The decisions about which issues to include may be explained by the experience and knowledge of the critic The report itself is presented in ordinary language prose, cast in a style identifiable only with the writer The intention was to produce a piece of writing that was characterized by narrative on the one hand and interpretative comment on the other The intended audience was the general educational community In short, the emphasis was on readability, not on the artifice of a derived writing style In summary, the original source within dramatic analysis served as the basis for the guidelines in this study The basic image -teaching as a form of performance -provided both the commonplaces for the metaphor and a method of reporting Given the guidelines, the writer offered a personal description and interpretation of what happened during the period of his visit to Mr Thompson's class The final report, in consequence, is the result of a series of deliberate choices and selections made by the writer, working within the criteria offered on the guidelines Conclusions The case study in this paper attempts to make a contribution to the social studies literature at two points First, it offers an example of the application of a humanistic metaphor to the reporting of social studies teaching To that end, it offers a source for the metaphor, outlines guidelines for constructing and writing a report, and provides one sample of a completed report written within the framework of the guidelines Given the shortage of such examples in the field of social studies, it may serve as a focus for comment and further research Second, the paper attempts to address a number of issues related to the use of metaphors in educational research in general It points to a number of difficulties that emerge from a given definition of metaphor : the wide range of alternatives that exist within the original discipline, and the difficulties inherent in the transfer of commonplace from a humanistic discipline to an educational setting Note is made of the importance of the careful selection and public declaration of the kinds of commonplaces transferred from the original source to the reporting of social studies teaching The assumption in this study is that the public declaration of the nature of the metaphor, and the principles on which the review is written, encourages a greater degree of understanding of the process being undertaken Rather than have confusion about the commonplaces (with each observer reading into a term such as dramatic his or her own meanings), the understandings inherent in the metaphor are known to both the writers and 4 1


readers of such reviews This methodological point has not been given considered treatment in current research on the use of alternative metaphors in educational research Finally, this case study attempts to make a small contribution to other questions within the evaluation literature The kind of written report herein may provide a detailed example of the particular world of teachers for which authors such as Schwab (1970) have expressed a need Such a retrospective account (Wise, 1979, p 26) may encourage the examination of significantly different apprehensions of teaching In addition, the written review in this study may provide additional evidence in the current disputation over the worth of such efforts, in which parallel studies have been labelled quasi-mystical, without public forum (Pagano & Dolan, 1980), and narcissistic (Gibson, 1981) In other words, there may be useful by-products in educational research in general to any attempt to decipher the code, or unravel the riddle (Black, 1962) inherent in the difficult task of metaphor making .' References Barone, T (1983) Education as aesthetic experience : "Art is germ ." Educational Leadership, 40(4), 21-26 Beckerman, B (1970) Dynamics of drama : Theory and method of analysis New York : Knopf Berne, E (1964) Games people play : The psychology of human relationships New York : Grove Black, M (1962) Models and metaphors : Studies in language and philosophy Ithaca, NY : Cornell University Press Brown, R H (1977) A poetic for sociology : Toward a logic of discovery for the human sciences New York : Cambridge University Press Burns, E (1972) Theatricality : A study of convention in the theatre and in social life London : Longman Eisner, E W (1976) Educational connoisseurship and criticism : Their form and functions in educational evaluation The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 10(3-4), 135-150 Eisner, E W (1979) The educational imagination : On the design and evaluation of school programs New York : Macmillan Elbaz, F ., & Elbaz, R (1981) Literature and curriculum : Toward a view of curriculum as discursive practice Curriculum Inquiry, 11, 105-122 Fyfe, W H (1940) Artistotle's art of poetry : A Greek view of poetry and drama Oxford : Clarendon Press 4 2


Gibson, R (1981) Curriculum criticism : Misconceived theory, ill-advised practice Cambridge Journal of Education, 11, 190-210 Goffman, E (1959) The presentation of self in everyday life New York : Doubleday Jenkins, D ., & O'Toole, B (1978) Curriculum evaluation, literary criticism, and the paracurriculum In G Willis, (Ed .), Qualitative evaluation : Concepts and cases in curriculum criticism (pp 524-554) Berkeley, CA : McCutchan Langer, S K (1953) Feeling and form ; A theory of art New York : Scribner's Lessinger, L ., & Gillis, D (1976) Teaching as a performing art Dallas : Crescendo Publications Macdonald, B (1976, April) The portrayal of persons as evaluation data Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco t Mann, J S (1975) Curriculum criticism In W Pinar (Ed .), Curriculum theorizing : The reconceptualists (pp 133-148) Berkeley, CA : McCutchan Milburn, G (1982) Derivation and application of a dramatic metaphor for the assessment of teaching Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto Milburn, G (1983) On discipline stripping : Difficulties in the application of humanistic metaphors to educational phenomena Paper presented at the meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Vancouver Pagano, J A ., & Dolan, L (1980) Foundations for a unified approach to evaluation research Curriculum Inquiry, 10, 367-381 Pecover, J (1983) Curriculum as art Paper presented at the meeting of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Vancouver Pratte, R (1981) Metaphorical models -and curriculum theory Curriculum Inquiry, 11, 307-320 Schwab, J J (1970) The practical : A language for curriculum Washington, DC : National Education Association Shank, T (1969) The art of dramatic art Belmont, CA : Dickenson Turbayne, C M (1962) The myth of metaphor New Haven, CT : Yale University Press Vallance, E (1975) Aesthetic criticism and curriculum description Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Stanford University Vallance, E (1981, April) The critic's perspective : Some strengths and limitations of aesthetic criticism in education Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Los Angeles (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No 201557) 4 3


Wise, R I (1979) The need for retrospective accounts of curriculum development Journal of Curriculum Studies, 11, 17-28 Endnote 1 The first part of the title is derived from Black (1962, p 32) Earlier versions of sections of this article have appeared previously in unpublished form in Milburn (1982, 1983) I have benefited from the helpful comments of Richard Courtney, Judith Preissle Goetz, Roger Simon, and Joel Weiss and also from the formidable typing skills of Mrs M Hamilton 4 4


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall, 1985 Volume XIII Number 3, pp 45-56 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies IDEOLOGICAL INNOCENCE AND DIALOGUE : A CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE ON DISCOURSE IN THE SOCIAL STUDIES Kenneth W Kickbusch William Jewell College Abstract Discourse about social studies education has been stimulated by recent published reports and by public interest in school improvement ; however, the quality of that discourse has remained essentially apolitical thus diminishing opportunities for substantive change Critical theory, recognizing the ideological dimension of schooling, illuminates the contradictions and tensions among the idealized goals of social studies education and the socializing functions of social studies classrooms This paper, through a critical analysis of current discourse about social studies curriculum-in-use, demonstrates the continuing failure of such literature to interrogate the structures and beliefs behind surface meanings and values of social studies education in an advanced industrial society Social studies educators currently find themselves besieged by a multiplicity of critiques, analyses, reviews, and proposals as the practical and theoretical somnolence of the 1970s has given way to vigorous dialogue (Hertzberg, 1982) While the particular consequences of this dialogue for social studies educators remain unclear, it is apparent from numerous data that the unrest is widespread : Elementary students identify social studies as the least liked subject ; secondary students find social studies to be among the least liked subjects ; roughly half of the parents in a recent study of schooling viewed functions other than intellectual as the primary purpose of schooling ; social studies educators, while indicating a belief that the most important issues facing human kind should be studied in school, indicated that those issues were not the same as the social issues now studied in school ; a national commission has recommended that social studies education respond to a crisis in schooling by doing more of what is now being done (Goodlad, 1983 ; Molnar, 1983 ; National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983 ; Sirotnik, 1983) 45


Other critics, positioned outside the mainstream of social studies education, also have raised questions of consequence for social studies educators Those questions, emerging from the perspective of critical theory, encourage a reassessment of assumptions about the nature of social studies knowledge and practice Liston (1984) believes that educators should reexamine the processes of the selective tradition as it functions in the nexus between the nation's political economy and the school curricula in order to understand the social consequences of schooling Liston asserts that ideological norms, reflected in the curricula but not openly articulated, limit students' perceptions of "what exists, what is good, and what is possible" (p 250) In a recent review of the functions of schooling, Wood (1984) suggests that schools teach a very limited civic education, a protectionist democracy where the emphasis is on wisely choosing elites to govern, where social studies content is filled with examples of great people making decisions, and where western democracy itself is not the subject of scrutiny (p 227) Apple (1982) has addressed the matter of curricular form, i .e ., the emergence of prepackaged curricular materials or instructional systems, in order to explore the consequences of faculty deskilling and has concluded that "as teachers lose control of the curricular and pedagogic skills to large publishing houses, these skills are replaced by techniques for better controlling students" (p 256) Despite the appearance of substantial regenerative energy as represented by the analyses and proposals reviewed above, it is unlikely that the qualitative state of social studies education-the content, processes, and evaluative approaches will be altered in any significant way as long as curriculum theorists and historians of the discipline maintain an apolitical stance Cherryholmes' recent discussion of the role of knowledge and power in the discursive practices encapsulating social studies education demonstrates the need to interrogate the surface, objectified meanings of discourse and the need to understand why these particular meanings have been isolated for illumination (1983, pp 341-357) Discourse about social studies education, then, has an ideological dimension, a dimension which relates the beliefs and attitudes expressed in that discourse to the material world While a great deal is being written about social studies education, little is being written within the profession about "how the way things are determine what is said" (Cherryholmes, 1983, p 346) Egan (1983, p 211) suggests that current dialogue reflects "an alarming innocence about the ideological implications of the typical social studies curriculum ." There is, then, little recognition of the central tension among the various goals of social studies education : the goals of developing "critical thinking, valuing, and social participation skills needed to be effective participants in society" (Morrissett, 1982, p 92), the goal of "initiation into the social norms and conventions" of society (Egan, 1983, p 209), and the goal of socializing students to the regimen of schooling itself There is, of course, a 4 6


school of thought which sees no inherent contradiction among these goals ; however, persistent resistance by students to the classroom message systems, tension between the actual and preferred social issues considered within the social studies curriculum, and efforts by critical theorists to illuminate the manifestations of the dominant ideology in schools and classrooms all suggest the efficacy of a critique which seeks to understand the processes of social reproduction In the subsequent discussion we shall illustrate the use of a critical perspective in assessing discourse about social studies curriculum-in-use, i .e ., content, pedagogy, and evaluation, by reviewing some of the recent work of Goodlad, Sirotnik, Egan, Ponder, and the SPAN proposals .' Critical Theory and Discourse About the Social Studies In a recent summary of one of the major themes addressed in A Place Called School, Goodlad (1983) compared the essence of school goals documents with the realities of classroom life He concluded that, contrary to goal statements, schools do not "place a high premium on experiencing democratic processes, independent thinking, creativity, personal autonomy, and learning for the sake of learning" (1983, p 10) Social studies teachers, reflecting a different set of priorities, tended to use evaluation devices which "rarely required anything other than the recall and feedback of memorized information (1983, p 13) Topics which should generate intense student interest were, according to the Goodlad study, transformed in classroom life to a melange of dates and places which were perceived by secondary students as unrelated to their present or future goals Although curricular goals most appropriate to a study of the social sciences appeared in written guidelines, the curriculum-in-use generated disinterest or, in the case of global studies, distrust of foreign countries and competing ideologies (Goodlad, 1984, p 212) Such a description of life in social studies classrooms is consistent with the role of schooling in a political economy characterized by a capitalist mode of production It is not in the interests of late 20th century capitalism to support an educational experience where independent thinking and the expectation of participative decision making is a common consequence Deskilling of the American workforce continues apace as job fragmentation moves into the frontiers of high technology and where the broadest future opportunities will be found in service industries (Apple, 1982, 1983 ; Braverman, 1974 ; Carnoy & Shearer, 1980 ; Rumberger, 1984 ; Spring, 1984) The apparent contradictions between the idealism of educational goal statements and the reality of classroom life are mediated by a series of occurrences which have as an unstated purpose strengthening the dominant ideology Goal statements articulate the mythology of the society, a mythology of classlessness, equality of opportunity, of institutional 4 7


neutrality, and of economic success as a consequence of personal initiative Social studies curriculum-in-use reveals other purposes Curriculum Content Content selected for distribution in social studies classrooms strengthens the existing mythologies largely through omission of conflicting data (the selective tradition), is presented as out there, back there knowledge which has been reified and therefore has an existence outside of human agency, is not subject to personal meaning-making, and is differentially distributed according to social class considerations (Anyon, 1981 ; Everhart, 1983 ; Kickbusch, 1981 ; Willis, 1977) Within the social studies curriculum the historic struggles of laboring people to gain a more equitable portion of surplus capital and to secure more humane conditions of labor in the workplace have been omitted, distorted, or diminished (Anyon, 1979 ; Apple 1983 ; Zinn, 1980) Similar struggles by women, ethnic and racial minorities, and the economically dispossessed have only recently received some attention by social studies textbook authors It is in the interest of the dominant ideology either to ignore these events or to portray them as idiosyncratic responses to temporary economic dysfunctions and to, therefore, deny students the opportunity of an open critique of the contradictions So it is that topics of great human interest in the social studies either lose their dynamism in the classroom or are ignored altogether (Goodlad, 1983, p 12) The strength of the socializing function of schooling determines that alternative economic structures, the tradition of American socialism, receive little attention in social studies classrooms Textbook publishers, eager for widespread adoption, operationalize the selective tradition ; social studies teachers, the products of earlier socializing curricula, are acutely aware of local community standards and avoid conflicting issues ; state legislatures, responding to contradictions apparent in the economic system, mandate free enterprise education ; and major corporations provide free materials for economic education (Apple, 1983, 1984 ; Curricular Currents, 1982 ; Harty, 1979, pp 89-90 ; Shaver, Davis, & Helburn, 1979) Social studies content, then, is not neutral, does not speak for itself, is not evocative of critical theory or analysis, and does not pretend to reflect the spirit of open inquiry and dialogue Analyses and recommendations recently published by Project SPAN (Social Studies/Social Science Education : Priorities, Practices, and Needs -funded by the National Science Foundation in 1978) continue a largely neutral and apolitical tradition of discourse in social studies curricular work Although Morrissett and Hass have, in materials published by SPAN, described approaches to social studies instruction which have prevailed historically (1) conservative cultural continuity, (2) processes of thinking reflectively, and (3) intellectual aspects of history and the social sciences and conclude that the dominance of the conservative cultural continuity tradition "ensures the perpetuation of a society's myths," their 4 8


discourse is surface (1982, p 21) Surface discourse in social studies literature is traditional ; it tends to be descriptive of content or practice without revealing the theory of social totality embedded within the subject of discourse ; it does not reveal the practical consequences of a particular social studies approach which celebrates the socio-politico-economic status quo (Morrissett and Haas, p 21) for students ; and it suggests, largely by its failure to confront the issue, that the consequences of such curricula are the same for all students, Similarly, SPAN's response to six problems confronting current social studies education, a curriculum organized around the study of seven social roles, does not interrogate the nature of those role definitions or the relationship of those roles to the political economy There is no suggestion, even at the upper grade levels, that prevailing social or economic dysfunctions will be addressed, e .g ., ageism, increasing social stratification, job flight to third world countries, and inequities in social service delivery systems are not likely to emerge in the context of a curriculum organized around the social role themes Summary statements listing suggested main ideas associated with each role indicated little change is to be expected as a consequence of the SPAN scheme The worker role summary ignores the history of labor's struggle for security as capital flows to third world countries or seeks to exploit surplus labor, the suggestion that the interests of labor and capital may at times be at variance ; and, finally, the summary states that "workers in our society are free to choose the work they do" (Superka & Hawke, 1982, pp 47-54) The SPAN proposals clearly perpetuate the mythology of an unconflicted classless society where interests are indistinguishable from each other and consensus and cooperation are the dominant modes of social interaction An interesting pattern of discourse about social studies education has been stimulated by the publication of the SPAN reports SPAN has been hailed by Ponder as an antidote to "feelings of low-spirited self-consciousness" which have characterized much of social education in recent years (1983, p 57) The project's value is viewed as providing road signs to guide the direction of social studies curriculum development while more specific direction can be derived from standardized achievement tests which define the scope of the curriculum (Ponder, 1983, p 58) Since classroom teachers, however, are not trained or practiced in curriculum development, Ponder suggests collaboration with a local university may be appropriate for local schools intending to restructure their social studies curriculum Project SPAN materials and discourse about SPAN demonstrate vividly how traditional mythologizing is perpetuated in the curriculum field To suggest that existing standardized tests be used to establish the appropriate boundaries of social studies content is to short circuit entirely the possibility of critical curriculum analysis at the local school level If social studies teachers are, indeed, incapable of thinking about curricular content, its relationship to their students and the social milieu, the deskilling of the 4 9


teacher corps, i .e ., the separation of conception from execution, may already be a reality (Apple, 1983, p 323) A somewhat unusual response to the myth-inducing social studies curriculum is presented by Egan, who cites the denigration of history within the social studies curriculum as one of the factors responsible for the vacuous generalities characterizing social studies education (1983, p 195) According to this analysis, the socializing use of history, designed to heighten the significance and inevitability of the present, diminishes its potential to simply tell the story of the struggle of humanity (1983, p 203) Yet, history written at any given moment is not ideologically innocent ; it reflects either the dominant or minority cultures at the moment of its writing Although Egan is critical of the myth-inducing or ideological aims of present social studies curricula and the ideological innocence revealed by its practitioners, to finally locate responsibility for the socializing temper of the present curricula, as he does, with John Dewey, is to once again ignore the present and continuing press of the dominant ideology Dewey's work, seen within the broad scope of the progressive tradition, was itself a response to conditions produced by monopoly capitalism ; it accepted the mode of production as given ; and it sought to humanize the ideal of the individual within the social relations of capitalist production (Gonzales, 1982, pp 97-102) If Dewey's influence continues to the present, it is because socialization and relevance of content are useful given the nature of this society's political economy Indeed, the social studies do, according to Egan, "lack criteria which can effectively defend education against being overwhelmed by socialization" (1983, p 206) ; however, the problem is not the criterion of relevance but the failure to interrogate that content for its ideological messages Initiating students into "disciplined forms of inquiry and understanding through the study of remote, `irrelevant,' knowledge" (Egan 1983, p 212) is, in itself, inadequate The danger with such a prescription is that it will merely objectify knowledge without leading to a self-consciousness of emancipation and enlightenment The Practice of Social Studies Education A second facet of curriculum-in-use, pedagogy, contributes to the malaise of classroom life described by Goodlad (1983), Sirotnik (1983), and others Student passivity, encouraged by teacher talk, by reading textbook assignments in class, by independent work on written assignments, worksheets, and workbooks, and by a minimum of small-group interaction would also appear to conflict with the goals of preparation for active citizenship The model of civic education which appears to be dominant, a citizenship transmission model, trades in value-free knowledge, limits democracy to a few public spheres, and works to produce students safe for such a limited system (Wood, 1984, p 227) Supported by an epistemology which perceives knowledge as external, reified, and neutral, by a perspective which defines 5 0


institutions as natural and having a life beyond human agency, the social studies have fostered a view of authority which minimizes the efficacy of social conflict while affirming consensus and cooperation (Apple, 1979, pp 82-104) Such a consensual understanding of the past can be illustrated by the treatment of the conflict, resistance, and opposition to the Civil War in a classroom observed by the author (Kickbusch, in press) In a one-semester elective class on the Civil War, the New York draft riot of 1863 was used to exemplify resistance to the Union cause Yet the focus of classroom discussion remained on categories of riot participants and numbers of injuries while ignoring the underlying issue of resistance to perceived injustice The discussion reinforced a dysfunctional view of social conflict Contrary to stated curricular goals, the content and practice of social studies education does not strengthen political or personal efficacy Again, it should not be assumed that students are innocent of the classroom processes described here ; they are active agents in mediating the classroom message system, resisting or affirming those messages according to personal dispositions and social class experiences (Everhart, 1983 ; Willis, 1977) There is evidence that social studies knowledge, once selected, is differentially distributed according to the social class membership of the students Anyon (1981) has recorded evidence of such differentiated distribution among schools distinguished by the social class of their clientele, while Kickbusch (1981) has observed a similar process within classrooms as teachers' expectations distinguished between conformist and nonconformist students It is also true that students in the latter study, influenced by previous school experiences, family histories, social class membership, and friendship patterns, played an important role in confirming the differentiated distribution of social studies content Thus, as in Willis' study (1977), the re-creation of a working class ideology is nonmechanistic ; it is a product of conflict, tension, and contradiction, partially dependent for success on the assertive responses of students themselves Evaluating Social Studies Students We turn, finally, to evaluation, the third component of the curriculumin-use, to illustrate the dimensions of ideological complicity in its practice in social studies classrooms Evaluation is that juncture in classroom life where social value is assigned to the development of appropriate qualities and skills or the mastery of significant knowledge Goodlad's study (1983) found that teachers in the primary grades tended to ignore the testing of social studies content Written tests given at the junior and senior high level rarely required students to function beyond the recall level Although some essay questions were used throughout the various grades levels, such exams were not the dominant pattern (Goodlad, 1983, p 12-13) In view of the previous discussion of content and pedagogy, such evaluation practices 5 1


should not be surprising since they are consistent with the quality of knowledge distributed and the role of the student in the process of distribution Social studies instruction tends to be ahistorical and is not relational in its practice (Apple, 1979 ; Kickbusch, 1981), thus the evaluation of social studies knowledge can be consistently accomplished through multiple choice, matching, true or false, or short-answer questions Neither the divergent epistemological assumptions held by social studies instructors nor the use of visible or invisible pedagogies appear to alter the ultimate consequences for students of evaluation practices embedded in middle class educational institutions (Kickbusch, 1981) In a recent study of secondary social studies classroom life, the author found that conformist and nonconformist students, through conflict, contradiction, resistance, and affirmation, played a significant role in mediating evaluation practices Nonconformist students were implicitly excused from manipulating highstatus knowledge since the instructor believed, and the students concurred, that writing would be a real chore and research would interfere with parttime after-school employment On the other hand, conformist students understood that they had few choices ; they must complete the research and do well on exams in order to achieve at a level which would allow them to confront other high-status knowledge at the university (1981) Evaluation should not, however, be viewed as the ultimate determination leading directly to reinforcement of the dominant ideology As evidenced by Willis (1977), Kickbusch (1981), and Everhart (1983), some students do penetrate the ideology of educational evaluation and openly reject the exchange relationship as defined by schooling student respect for the process of schooling in exchange for knowledge A simple theory of correspondence between schooling and the material world in which student and worker passivity is assumed to be the primary consequence of schooling is inadequate Thick descriptions of schooling and of the workplace reveal the existence not only of the dominant culture with its incumbent ideology but also of minority cultures with accompanying practical ideologies (Apple, 1980) The claim of objective evaluation in the classroom allows the school to maintain the mythology of fairness in that student successes or failures are personal, not institutional, responsibilities Empirical research, assessing only the cognitive consequences of schooling, is unable to challenge the fairness mythology ; it can only assume neutrality and accept socialization as given while remaining innocent of the differentiated distribution of knowledge and of the effects of social class in the classroom State competency testing programs will make it more difficult for social studies teachers to digress from this evaluative mode while prepackaged curriculum materials diminish opportunities for conception and critique in the pedagogical act (Apple, 1983 ; Giroux, 1983) 5 2


Conclusions Current discourse about the qualitative state of social studies education has continued the traditional, largely apolitical pattern of dialogue which has characterized such work in the past This review of current literature, although not comprehensive but believed to be representative of the field, utilized as organizing categories curriculum content, pedagogy, and evaluation, and suggested that an ideological innocence pervades the work, that theories of social totality are not explicated even though the focus is social studies education Our discussion, drawing upon critical theory, has broadened the analyses by infusing the work with informing categories drawn from that tradition : resistance, social class, and practical and dominant ideology In short, we have argued that as social studies educators we participate in ideology and, yet, that we rarely understand the nature of the constraints that circumscribe our participation nor are we aware of the possibilities for exceeding the apparent limits and reaching toward a qualitatively social existence Schools are not autonomous from the processes of capital accumulation and class relationships and so are open to intervention by material interests when the process of capital accumulation requires it (Sharp, 1982, p 58) Thus, school change and curricular innovation are not ideologically innocent, either in origin or in intent There is reason for deep concern among social studies educators as a consequence of research data recently published (Boyer, 1983 ; Goodlad, 1984 ; Lightfoot, 1983 ; Sizer, 1984), as a consequence of deep economic dysfunctions assailing this nation, and as a consequence of the spiraling international tension in a nuclear age Do we have a citizenry with a sense of personal and political efficacy, with an adequate knowledge base, and with the intellectual skills to confront these challenges in a way which will enhance the quality of life in the global village? Will our students understand the essence of community as well as they practice and understand interest? To see social studies, i .e ., the study of history and the social sciences, differently requires a willingness to ask uncommon questions Models to guide such critical reflection do exist ; social studies educators, in particular, need to confront and explore those models .' Only then will the possibility of a liberating and empowering social studies emerge 3 References Anyon, J (1978) Elementary social studies textbooks and legitimating knowledge Theory and Research in Social Education, 6(3), 40-55 Anyon, J (1979) Ideology and United States history textbooks Harvard Educational Review, 49, 361-386 Anyon, J (19$1) Social class and school knowledge Curriculum Inquiry, 11, 3-42 5 3


Apple, M W (1979) Ideology and curriculum London : Routledge and Kegan Paul Apple, M W (1980) Analyzing determinations : Understanding and evaluating the productions of social outcomes in schools Curriculum Inquiry, 10, 55-76 Apple, M W (1982) Education and power Boston : Routledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd Apple, M W (1983) Curriculum in the year 2000 : Tensions and possibilities Phi Delta Kappan, 64, 321-326 Apple, M W (1984) The political economy of text publishing Educational Theory, 34, 307-319 Boyer, E L (1983) High school New York : Harper & Row Braverman, H (1974) Labor and monopoly capital New York : Monthly Review Press Carnoy, M ., & Shearer, D (1980) Economic democracy New York : M E Sharpe Cherryholmes, C (1983) Knowledge, power, and discourse in social studies education Journal of Education, 165, 341-358 Curricular currents : States mandating economic education (1982) Social Education, 46, 89-90 Egan, K (1983) Social studies and the erosion of education Curriculum Inquiry, 13, 195-214 Everhart, R (1983) Reading writing and resistance : Adolescence and labor in a junior high school Boston : Routledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd Giroux, H A (1981) Ideology culture and the process of schooling Philadelphia : Temple University Press Giroux, H A (1983) Ideology and agency in the process of schooling Journal of Education, 165, 12-34 Gonzalez, G G (1982) Progressive education : A marxist interpretation Minneapolis : Marxist Educational Press Goodlad, J I (1983) What some schools and classrooms teach Educational Leadership, 40(7), 8-19 Goodlad, J I (1984) A place called school New York : McGraw-Hill Harty, S (1979) Hucksters in the classrooms Washington, DC : Center for Study of Responsive Law Hertzberg, H W (1982) Social studies reform 1880-1980 Boulder, CO : Social Science Education Consortium Kickbusch, K W (1981) An investigation of relationships between epistemological systems in social studies classrooms and the effects of the hidden curriculum on knowledge reproduction Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara 5 4


Kickbusch, K W (in press) Curriculum-in-use and the emergence of practical ideology The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing Lightfoot, S L (1983) The good high school : Portraits of character and culture New York : Basic Books Liston, D P (1984) Have we explained the relationship between curriculum and capitalism? An analysis of the selective tradition Education Theory, 34, 241-253 Molnar, A (1983) A report to the membership on the survey on social issues and school curriculum Educational Leadership, 40(7), 51-54 Morrissett, I (Ed .) (1982) Social studies in the 1980s : A report of project span Alexandria, VA : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Morrissett, I ., & Haas, J (1982) Rationales, goals, and objectives in social studies In The current state of social studies : A report of project SPAN Boulder, CO : Social Science Education Consortium National Commission on Excellence in Education (1983) A nation at risk : The imperative for educational reform Washington, DC : U .S Government Printing Office Ponder, G (1983) Getting real : Suggestions for revising the social studies curriculum Educational Leadership, 40(4), 56-61 Rumberger, R W (1984) The growing imbalance between education and work Phi Delta Kappan, 65, 342-346 Sharp, R (1982) Self-contained ethnography or a science of phenomenal forms and inner relations Journal of Education, 164, 48-63 Shaver, J P ., Davis, O L ., Jr ., & Helburn, S (1979) The status of social studies education : Impressions from three NSF studies Social Education, 43, 150-153 Sirotnik, K A (1983) What you see is what you get-consistency, persistency, mediocrity in classrooms Harvard Educational Review, 53, 16-53 Sizer, T R (1984) Horace's compromise Boston : Houghton Mifflin Spring, J (1984, April) From study hall to hiring hall The Progressive, pp 30-31 Superka, D P ., & Hawke, S (1982) Social roles : A focus for social studies in the 1980s Boulder, CO : Social Science Education Consortium Willis, P W (1977) Learning to labour Westmead, England : Saxon House Wood, G W (1984) Schooling in a democracy : Transformation or reproduction? Educational Theory, 34, 219-239 Zinn, H (1980) A people's history of the United States New York : Harper and Row Endnotes 1 The selection of literature reviewed in this article is not comprehensive ; rather, the discourse represents selections from various traditions Goodlad and Sirotnik present data from a long-term study of American education ; Egan's work is characteristic of midrange 5 5


theorizing about social studies instruction ; Project SPAN is representative of curricular proposals for curriculum change, while Ponder's work focuses on implementing change at the local school level Critical analysis of this spectrum of educational literature is intended to be suggestive of the broad potential for such a critique 2 A number of theorists have offered practical examples of how critical theory can be used in curriculum work, in examining programmatic consequences, and in assessing larger educational processes, decision-making procedures, and student responses to the schooling process Everhart's (1983) vivid description of life in a junior high school is suggestive of new ways teachers and curriculum workers might view their work An appendix offers specific suggestions as to how an emancipatory interest may be established in schools Anyon (1978, 1979) has examined social studies textbooks, elementary series and secondary American history texts, for their ideological content Zinn's work (1980) is particularly useful since he reconceptualizes the American historical experience from a people's perspective as an alternative to political and military history Giroux (1981) extends the critique to teacher education while Apple (1982) plays across the entire social spectrum as he interrogates work on schools, the role of women, popular culture, political action, the role of teachers and the labor movement A detailed account of the emergence of practical ideology in secondary social studies classrooms can be found in a recent work by the author (Kickbusch, in press) 3 Susan Adler, Rockhurst College, usefully critiqued earlier drafts of this paper I also thank the TRSE editors and reviewers who provided significant advice on an earlier draft 5 6


Theory and Research in Social Education Fall,, 1985 Volume XIII Number 3, pp 57-65 by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Effects of Teachers' Use of Objectives on Student Achievement in Social Studies Lynne M O'Brien Brown University Bonnie Meszaros University of Delaware William E Pulliam University of Delaware Abstract The effects of teachers' use of objectives during instruction, allocated learning time, students' entering achievement levels and absenteeism on achievement in a new social studies curriculum program were analyzed The sample included 168 students and 8 teachers from grades six through eight A hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that entering achievement level and teacher use of objectives during instruction were statistically significant predictors of student achievement Instructional objectives continue to be a controversial subject for teachers, teacher educators and educational researchers One source of controversy is the apparent discrepancy between what teachers are urged to do and what they actually do regarding instructional objectives Although much of the prescriptive writing for teachers stresses the central role objectives should play in planning and teaching (Mager, 1962 ; Popham & Baker, 1970 ; Tyler, 1950), studies of actual practice indicate that most teachers do not use objectives extensively or systematically in either of those activities (Peterson, Marx, & Clark, 1978 ; Zahorik, 1975) The finding that teachers do not tend to use or place great importance on objectives has caused researchers to ask whether the emphasis on objectives in teacher education is justified The most commonly heard argument for encouraging the use of objectives is that their use contributes to student achievement But this argument is another source of controversy Duchastel and Merrill (1973) and Melton (1978) reviewed a number of studies on the effects of using objectives and found support for the argument that the use of objectives generally en5 7


hances student learning However, individual studies indicated that the effect of using objectives depended on such conditions as the students' awareness of the objectives (Engel, 1968 ; Smith, 1967 ; Tiemann, 1968), the difficulty of the objectives (Brown, 1970), the number and specificity of objectives (Rothkopf & Kaplan, 1972) and learner traits (Cook, 1969 ; Keuter, 1970) Another area of controversy is the methodology used to study the relationship between use of objectives and student achievement The studies reviewed by Duchastel and Merrill (1973) and by Melton (1978) essentially measured self-instruction That is, the students in the treatment groups received written lists of directions and/or objectives to use in learning some new material (e .g ., passages of text), studied the new material on their own, and then took a test Usually, the experiments took place outside a regular classroom setting Even in those studies where a teacher played a role in instruction, only the sets of written directions and/or objectives were considered a treatment ; information was not provided about the teachers' classroom behavior during the study This is a serious omission for two reasons First, recent research indicates that teacher behavior does influence student achievement (Evertson, Anderson, Anderson, & Brophy, 1980 ; Good, 1979 ; Good & Grouws, 1977) Second, the existing literature on objectives suggests that students' awareness of the objectives and awareness that tests will be referenced to the objectives may be essential if objectives are to facilitate student learning (Duchastel & Merrill, 1973 ; Tiemann, 1968) It seems likely that such awareness would be influenced largely by the teacher's classroom behavior The time span of these studies presents still another problem In at least half of the studies reviewed by these authors, the instruction or study time ranged from as little as ten minutes to three school weeks, and student achievement was tested immediately following the treatment period The briefness of the period of instruction or study and the immediacy of the testing leave questions about the long-term impact of using objectives in teaching Students whose teachers consistently used objectives might learn to focus on key ideas during classroom instruction and when studying for tests If so, use of objectives over a long period of time might have much more pronounced effects on student achievement than during a ten-minute experiment On the other hand, instruction is often interrupted in regular school settings by such things as public address system announcements, changes in the school schedule and absenteeism Such disruptions could destroy the structure provided by using objectives, and as a result, student achievement in a given lesson might be lower if measured at the end of the semester or school year rather than at the end of the class period The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of teachers' use of objectives on student achievement, over an extended period of time, in regular school settings The study was carried out within the context of a larger 5 8


study involving the field test of a new set of curriculum materials in a suburban public school district in Delaware The investigators studied the effect of teachers' use of objectives, time allocated to teaching the new materials, students' entering achievement and absenteeism on achievement in the new curriculum program Teachers' use of objectives during classroom instruction was chosen as a variable in the analysis because of the increasing interest among educational researchers and school personnel in identifying teacher behaviors that foster student achievement Although the available research suggests that student access to objectives promotes student learning, the effect of teachers' use of objectives during instruction on student achievement has not been studied extensively Research on teacher effectiveness has shown that teachers who are goal oriented and who give clear, well-structured presentations have higher rates of student achievement (Good, 1979 ; Good & Grouws, 1977 ; Lawrenz, 1975 ; McNeil, 1967 ; Rosenshine, 1976) Use of objectives should increase the likelihood that instruction will be goal oriented, clear and well structured Thus, the research on teacher effectiveness, along with the existing research on the use of objectives, led us to predict that teachers' tendency to use objectives in classroom instruction would be positively related to student achievement Time allocated to teaching the new materials and student absence were included in the analysis because they were considered factors that might moderate the effect of teachers' use of objectives on student achievement Several studies have shown an increased amount of time spent teaching or studying a subject is correlated with increased student achievement (Denham & Lieberman, 1980) There seems to be a point, however, beyond which increasing time available to learn will not produce further gains in achievement and may even reduce achievement (Burkman, Tate, Snyder, & Beditz, 1981 ; Fredrick & Walberg, 1980 ; Stallings, 1980) A student's absence not only reduces the total amount of time available for learning a subject, but also disrupts the continuity of ideas presented during instruction Consequently, if using objectives in teaching facilitates student achievement by contributing to structure and continuity, use of objectives might have less impact on student achievement when student absence rates are high Finally, measures of students' entering achievement level were included because much research has demonstrated its importance in explaining student achievement (Burkman et al ., 1981 ; Evertson et al ., 1980) Method Subjects Eight middle school or junior high school teachers volunteered to teach a new social studies curriculum program for one semester and to provide feedback about their use of the materials Each teacher taught the new materials to one regularly assigned class Students had been assigned to 5 9


heterogeneously grouped classes by the school district For participation in the field test, teachers received six credit hours of graduate work The teachers taught in seven schools within the same school district Five of the teachers were male and three were female Their classroom experience ranged from 9 to 27 years, with a mean of 16 .75 years Because the curriculum materials were designed for middle school or junior high school students, without specification of a particular grade level, the sample of 168 students included 66 (40%) sixth graders, 78 (46%) seventh graders and 24 (14%) eighth graders Of the students in the sample, 55% were female and 45% were male ; 74% were classified as White and 26% were classified as Black Procedures All teachers in the study taught the same curriculum materials, a new subject within the social studies curriculum (global studies) Teachers taught the new curriculum materials for one full school semester, approximately five months Each lesson in the materials contained three to five specific objectives, which ranged in cognitive level from the knowledge category to the synthesis category (Bloom, 1956) The objectives were included in the teachers' guide as part of the introduction to each lesson and were printed in the student text at the end of each lesson A passage in the first unit of the student materials described the general format of the lessons and explained the function of each lesson component, including the objectives The teachers' guide explained the role of the objectives in the overall lesson design, and provided teaching suggestions which incorporated use of the objectives Because the researchers wanted to study teachers' use of objectives in a naturalistic setting, they did not tell the teachers to read the teachers' guide or to use the objectives, nor did they provide instruction in how to teach the new materials Furthermore, the researchers did not tell the teachers that they were studying the use of objectives in teaching The teachers were told only that the researchers would be observing classes to collect a variety of types of information about students' and teachers' use of the new curriculum materials Teachers' use of objectives in teaching the new materials was determined through classroom observation Observers studied the objectives and activities for the lesson they would be observing before each classroom visit While observing the lesson, they used an instrument, designed by the researchers, to measure a variety of teacher behaviors on five-point Likerttype scales Two of the rating scale items pertained to teachers' use of objectives The first item asked observers to rate the extent to which the teacher directed instructions, examples, explanations, questions and responses to student questions or comments toward the objectives of the lesson being taught In the second item, observers rated the extent to which the teacher's activities in presenting individual components of the lessons were consistent with both the objectives of the lesson and the other functions the 6 0


lesson component was supposed to serve (e .g ., encouraging students to form hypotheses, explaining new information, checking students' understanding of key concepts, etc .) Over the five months of the field test, each teacher was observed twice by each of three observers, for a total of six observations per teacher On two occasions, all three observers watched the same teacher, to check interrater agreement The mean correlation among the three observers' ratings was r = .89 When all observations were completed, each teacher's mean rating on each of the two items related to objectives was computed Because of the high correlation between the mean ratings on the two items (r = .98), a single objectives-use rating was computed for each teacher, consisting of the mean of all the observation ratings for the two items Students' battery total scores on the California Achievement Test (CAT) were used as an estimate of entering achievement levels at the start of the field test Students also took a pretest keyed to the objectives of the curriculum materials before starting the field test The same test was administered at the conclusion of the field test as a measure of achievement during the study All teachers completed two full units of the new materials during the field test The preand posttests contained 55 items based on the 49 lesson objectives in those two units The reliability of the test, as estimated by Cronbach's Alpha, was .52 Allocated learning time-the amount of time students were exposed to the new materials -was computed for each class by multiplying the number of minutes in each teacher's class period by the number of class periods that the teacher taught the new materials during the field test The percentage of time a student was absent was computed by comparing the number of class periods missed with the number of class periods the teacher taught the new materials Means and standard deviations for all variables used in the analysis are shown in Table 1 A hierarchical method of multiple regression was used to study the contribution of each variable to explained variance in student achievement as measured by scores on the posttest Students' CAT scores were entered first, as a means of controlling for entering achievement level Students' pretest scores were entered second, as an additional control on entering achievement level Allocated learning time and student absence were entered together on the third, step These two variables were entered together because it was assumed that the total time available to a student for learning was a function of both the time allocated to teaching the new materials and the percent of time the student was absent Finally, teachers' objectives-use ratings were entered Correlation coefficients for the variables used in the regression model are shown in Table 2 Results of the regression analysis are shown in Table 3 6 1


Table 1 Means and Standard Deviation for Independent and Dependent Variables Variable t Mean t SD *p < .05 **P < .001 Table 3 Hierarachial Regression Analysis for Predictors of Student Achievement Table 2 Correlation Coefficients for Variables Used in Regression Model Dependent variable = student achievement (posttest score) *p < 05 **p < .01 6 2 Dependent Student achievement (% correct on posttest) 64 .0 18 .6 Independent Absence (% classes missed) 9 .6 10 .7 Allocated learning time (minutes) 3164 .8 1101 .3 CAT score (National percentile) 66 .3 26 .5 Pretest score (% correct) 46 .5 12 .8 Objectives-use rating (1 = lowest, 5 = highest) 4 .1 0 .8 Independent Variable Slope R 2 R 2 Change F CAT .33 .588 48 .25** Pretest .59 .652 .065 32 .25** Absence .14 Time .00 .657 .005 1 .25 Objectives-Use 3 .56 .668 .011 5 .60* Overall .670 65 .31** Posttest CAT Pretest Absence Time CAT .77** Pretest .74** .74** Absence .29** .25** .24** Time .o3 .04 .09 .26** Objectives .05 .10 .14** .28** .70**


Results As Table 3 indicates, the overall model was significant, F(5,162) 65 .31, p < .01, and accounted for 67% of the variance in student achievement CAT scores and pretest scores were significant predictors (p < .01) and accounted for most of the explained variance in student achievement58 .8% and 6 .5%, respectively Teachers' use of objectives also was a significant factor (p < .05), although it accounted for only a small portion of explained variance (1 .1 %) Student absence rate and allocated learning time were not significant in the model Discussion The findings of this naturalistic study, if barely, are eonsistei4t with the results of earlier research on variables influencing student aehieevement These investigators found, as have others, that students' entering achievement level was by far the most influential variable in explaining achieYement during the study However, teachers' use of objectives also had a small but statistically significant effect on student learning of the new social studies curriculum This finding weakly supports the results of other studies of the impact of teacher behavior and objectives on student achievement The finding that allocated learning time and student absence were not significant variables in explaining student achievement was somewhat surprising, considering the results of other research on those variables It is possible that a teacher's tendency to use objectives reduces the influence of these two variables For example, teachers who emphasize the importance of objectives may make it easier for students to catch up after an absence from class, because students would have a clear idea of what they missed and what they needed to do to compensate for their absence Similarly, teachers who focus on objectives may be better able to gauge the optimal amount of time needed for students to learn the material In fact, the moderately high negative correlation (r = .70 ; Table 2) between teachers' tendency to use objectives and amount of time spent teaching the new materials suggests that teachers who do not focus on objectives may be using time inefficiently These findings suggest a direction for futher research on the relationship between teachers' use of objectives and teachers' use of class time Finally, it was interesting to note that the mean ratings of teachers' use of objectives ranged from 2 .34 to 4 .94 (1 = very low tendency to use objectives, 5 = very high) Considering that all teachers and students used the same materials, which had established objectives and prepared instructional activities oriented toward helping students achieve the objectives, the difference in teachers' tendencies to direct their instruction toward the objectives seems substantial In interviews conducted at the end of the study, several teachers mentioned that they did not read carefully the explanatory materials in the teachers' guide ; those teachers may not have realized the im6 3


portant role objectives were intended to play in the new materials Another possibility is that some teachers may have rejected the objectives because of their own interests or their perceptions of what was appropriate for their students Perhaps some teachers simply did not have the skills to keep their classroom activities directed toward the objectives of the lesson The naturalistic study provides limited support for the position that teacher should be encouraged to focus their instruction around objectives Although in this case the effect was small, other studies have shown a similar positive relationship between an objectives-based teaching strategy and student achievement Further research is needed to understand how teachers' use of objectives influences student learning, why teachers accept or reject objectives in their planning and teaching, and under what circumstances it is especially important for teachers to use objectives in classroom teaching References Bloom, B S (1956) Taxonomy of educational objectives Handbook I : Cognitive domain New York : David McKay Brown, J L (1970) The effects of revealing instructional objectives on the learning of political concepts and attitudes in two role-playing games Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles Burkman, E ., Tate, R L ., Snyder, W R ., & Beditz, J (1981) Effects of academic ability, time allowed for study, and teacher directedness on achievement in a high school science course (ISIS) Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 18, 563-576 Cook, J M (1969) Learning and retention by informing students of behavioral objectives and their place in the hierarchical learning sequence USOE Final Report ERIC : ED 036 869 Denham, C ., & Lieberman, A (Eds .) (1980) Time to learn Washington, D .C : National Institute of Education Duchastel, P C ., & Merrill, P F (1973) The effects of behavioral objectives on learning : A review of empirical studies Review of Educational Research, 34, 53-69 Engle, R S (1968) An experimental study of the effect of stated behavioral objectives on achievement in a unit of instruction on negative and rational base systems of numeration Unpublished master's thesis, University of Maryland, College Park Evertson, C M ., Anderson, C W ., Anderson, L M ., & Brophy, J E (1980) Relationship between classroom behaviors and student outcomes in junior high mathematics and English classes American Educational Research Journal, 17, 43-60 Frederick, W C ., & Walberg, H J (1980) Learning as a function of time Journal of Educational Research, 73, 183-194 6 4


Good, T L (1979) Teacher effectiveness in the elementary school Journal of Teacher Education, 30(2), 52-64 Good, T L ., & Grouws, D A (1977) Teacher effects : A process-product study in fourth-grade mathematics classrooms Journal of Teacher Education, 28(3), 49-54 Keuter, R A (1970) Instructional strategies : The effect of personality factors on recognition learning using statements of behavioral objectives as opposed to no statements of behavioral objectives prior to instruction Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Indiana University, Bloomington Lawrenz, F (1975) The relationship between science teacher characteristics and student achievement and attitude Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 12, 433-437 Mager, R F (1962) Preparing instructional objectives Palo Alto, CA : Fearon McNeil, J D (1967) Concomitants of using behavioral objectives in the assessment of teacher effectiveness Journal of Experimental Education, 36, 69-74 Melton, R F (1978) Resolution of conflicting claims concerning the effect of behavioral objectives on student learning Review of Educational Research, 48, 291-302 Peterson, P ., Marx, R W ., & Clark, C (1978) Teacher planning, teacher behavior and student achievement American Educational Research Journal, 15, 417-432 Popham, W J ., & Baker, E (1970) Establishing instructional goals Englewood Cliffs, N .J : Prentice-Hall Rosenshine, B (1976) Recent research on teacher behaviors and student achievement Journal of Teacher Education, 27(1), 61-64 Rothkopf, E Z ., & Kaplan, R (1972) Exploration of the effect of density and specificity of instructional objectives on learning from text Journal of Educational Psychology, 63, 295-302 Smith, S A (1967) The effects of two variables on the achievement of slow learners on a unit in mathematics Unpublished master's thesis, University of Maryland, College Park Stallings, J (1980) Allocated learning time revisited, or beyond time on task Educational Researcher, 9(11), 11-16 Tiemann, P W (1968, April) Student use of behaviorally-stated objectives to augment conventional and programmed revisions of televised college economics lectures Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago Tyler, R W (1950) Basic principles of curriculum and instruction Chicago : University of Chicago Press Zahorik, J (1975) Teachers' planning models, Educational Leadership, 33, 134139 6 5


Book Review Martorella, Peter H ELEMENTARY SOCIAL STUDIIJ9 : DEVELOPING REFLECTIVE, COMPETENT, AND CONCERNED CITIZENS Boston : Little, Brown, and Company, 198-5, 348 pages Reviewed by Allison C Gilmore, Merm University-Atlanta With the preponderance of f k-aftd-serve elementary texts which are available, it would be easy to pirejtidge Martorella's text as simply another cookbook of recipies for soeiai 'studies edticatidn A careful and critical reading of the text, however, `r'e'veals that this is not the case Martorella delivers precisely what the title ifplits : a comprehensive and practical approach to citizenship edut1tion in the elementary school He accomplished this by carefully blending relevant research with informed opinion ; while apparently taking the somewhat unusual position of placing confidence in the abilities of elementary teachers to understand ahd implement his suggestions He avoids the sch of of th€tlg$t which maintains that teachers must have teacher-proof materials and that teachers have neither an interest in nor a need for research to support the recommended teaching strategies Although the text was apparently written primarily for preservice teachers, many sections would have equal utility with experienced teachers To set the subject in an appropriate context, Martorella begins with a section devoted to the teaching of social studies in America, with a consideration for the nature of the varlous social science disciplines, the nature of the learner in the elementary sehdol, and the need for a model of t6kohiii9 that is compatible both with the goals of the social studies ctltrictiltif and the needs of the learner He stateg that the fundamental purpbsd of the social studies is citizenship edUthtion He acknowledges, however, that there are, several commonly accepted interpretations of What citizenship education encompasses and how it can be best implemented Martorella's interpretation is implied by the title of his text : elementary social studies should be organized around knowle skills, and values and should prepare students to become reflectlFa, competent, and concerned citizens For each of the three areas, Martorella's how-to suggestions go a step farther than some authors' and include references to specific research studies which support the use of that particular teaching strategy He is careful, however, to maintain an awareness of the nature of his audience, preservice teachers rather than colle gues in the field of educational research Therefore, he provides an appropriately limited amount of information about the research itself and focusses fristead on the implieations of the research results for practice References and suggestions for related readings provide opportunities for interested readers to investigate a topic Martorella's discussion of developing reflective citizens includes an em6 7


phasis on a variety of strategies for teaching concepts, the so-called building blocks of knowledge Since this is a method text, Martorella provides sample lessons based on several models for teaching concepts Unlike the typical cookbook of activities, however, Martorella's suggested activities are soundly rooted in research For example, in sample lessons which include nonexamples of a concept, Martorella provides a research b rationale for those nonexamples This allows the teacher to understand why a particular strategy works in certain instructional situations The teacher ifd thus perhaps be able to adapt effectively that strategy to other situations An additional strength of this section is Martorella's assertion that teachers must thoroughly understand a concept prior to implementing effective instruction He suggests that teachers analyze a concept to determine the attributes and degrees of abstractness and complexity of a particular concept He carefully points out that his suggested models for teaching are more appropriate for those concepts which have clearly defined characteristics than for those which are abstract or which have relatively complex criterial attributes Again, he gives teachers a knowledge base from which to teach rather than a recipe for teaching No elementary social studies methods course would be complete without an emphasis on skills such as Interpreting graphs and charts and using maps and globes Martorella deals with these skills and others in the section devoted to developing cofnpetent citizens He has included a variety of maps, charts, and graphs, thus minimizifig the need for excessive numbers of supplementary materials which are typically Odd to provide in-class experiences with these skills As with his other suggestions for teaching, Martorella gives more than just a recipe for teaching skills He provides general guideline which are appropriate for teaching a variety of skills in a variety of contexts In addition, he offers a rationale for teaching social studies skills which clearly demonstrates the link between skill development and productive, participating citizenship The third component of good citizenship, social concern, is addressed from the perspective of what teachers can do to contribute to the develop= ment of three areas of concern to citizens in a democracy : (1) understanding and protecting our First Amendment rights ; (2) concern for contemporary affairs and social issues ; and (3) pursuing a balance between national and global perspectives Martorella impresses upon the reader the critical importance of preserving our First Amendment rights by teaching about those rights In the classroom He includes a list of specific points which teachers should address, such as remaining vigilant against those groups which would restrict our freedom to express ideas Martorella also addresses the issue of symbolic speech by-surprisingly for an elementary methods text-describing the Supreme Court's support of the First Amendment rights of a topless go-go dancer! 6 8


If this text has a weak area, it perhaps lies with Martorella's discussion of strategies for analyzing values and attitudes Many valuing activities can be threatening to students Thus, teachers must exercise caution and sensitivity Martorella's acknowledgement of this threat is perhaps not direct enough for his primary audience-inexperienced and sometimes overzealous preservice teachers In the hands of a novice, some of the activities could be harmful For example, Martorella suggests an activity in which a child writes the name of someone disliked very much and then draws an animal to represent that person The recommendation that students not be allowed to use the names of classmates increases the possibility that names of family members may be used by some students It is likely that even an emotionally secure child might later experience some degree of guilt for having publicly admitted that, at that particular time, a family member was the object of dislike or anger A skilled and sensitive teacher can effectively lead the students to realize that it is natural at tines to feel anger toward family members and that anger is an acceptable human emotion The danger lies with the inexperienced or unskilled 'teacher who fails to follow up the activity Teachers should be exposed to a variety of strategies for values analysis, but they should also be told what may happen if the strategies are misused Martorella needs to temper his recommendations Teachers should also be sensitive to the family's right to privacy Many parents would object to airing family disputes in the classrooms or to using social studies instruction as therapy Martorella concludes the text with a timely chapter on state-of-the-art technology in the social studies classroom He successfully continues his theme of citizenship education by describing various software packages and video materials which address the three dimensions of citizenship He points out that there is a need for software designed to teach specific social studies concepts and argues convincingly that the computer is an ideal, but untapped, tool for this task No methods text can be truly comprehensive in preparing teachers to teach Martorella has, however, successfully synthesized relevant research, knowledge, and experience into a well written and readable volume This text, in the hands of a competent and knowledgeable methods instructor, would almost certainly facilitate the process of preparing teachers to prepare citizens The global concerns of today will be magnified in the future We must prepare citizens to view their rights and responsibilities from both a national and global perspective We will need citizens who can rationally examine issues and choose wisely from alternatives Martorella's text carries no pretensions of saving the world It is, however, a starting point for educators who hope for a renewal of interest in and commitment to citizenship education in the elementary school 6 9


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 70


Manuscripts Manuscripts submitted to TRSE should conform to Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association : Third Edition Five copies of each manuscript should be submitted Send manuscripts to : A Guy Larkins, Editor TRSE Department of Social Science Education University of Georgia Athens, Georgia 30602 Subscription Information A subscription to Theory and Research in Social Education may be obtained by membership in the College & University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Institutional and non-CUFA subscriptions are $35 .00 per year Membership and subscription information are available from the Membership Department, NCSS, 3501 Newark St NW, Washington, DC 20016 Back Issues Reprints Back issues may be obtained for $10 .00 each when available Write to : NCSS, 3501 Newark St NW, Washington, DC 20016 Change of Address/Missing Issues Send change of address notices and a recent mailing label to : Membership, NCSS, 3501 Newark St NW, Washington, DC 20016 Missing issues are also available from this address Advertising Advertising information may be obtained from : Peter Stavros, Director of Meetings and Marketing, NCSS, 3501 Newark St NW, Washington, DC 20016 71


Theory and Research in Social Education NCSS 3501 Newark St ., NW Washington, DC 20016 Application to Mail Second Class at Washington, D .C and additional mailing offices pending


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