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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Vol XV No 2 THEORY AND RESEARCH in Social Education Spring 1987 Leming t On the Normative Foundations of Economic Education Palonsky t Ethnographic Scholarship and Social Education Jolliffe t A Social Educator's Guide to Teaching Writing Fouts High School Social Studies Classroom Environments and Attitudes : A Cluster Analysis Approach Sunal, Gaba, t Citizenship Education in the Primary and Osa t School : Perceptions of Nigerian Teachers


Theory and Research in Social Education Volume XV t Number 2 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 .€ 1987 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved Spring 1987 1


Editor : A Guy Larkins University of Georgia Associate Editors : Judith P Goet2' University of Georgia Book Review Editor : C Warren McKinn6y Oklahoma State University 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 California State University, Fresno Jack L Nelson San Jose State University James P Shaver Utah State University William Stanley Louisiana State University 11 The College and University Faculty Assembly Executive Committee 1986-1987 Chair : Mary Kay Tetreault Lewis and Clark College Secretary : Stephen J Thorton University of Delaware 1987 Program Co-Chairs : Gloria Contreras University of Texas Patricia Moseley North Texas State University Members : Susan Adler Rockhurst College Gloria Contreras University of Texas Stanley E Easton Montana State University S Samuel Shermis Purdue University Lynda Stone University of New Hampshire Mary Kay Tetreault Lewis and Clark College Stephen J Thorton University of Delaware


The National Council for the Social Studies Officers 1986-1987 President : Jan Tucker Florida International University President Elect : Donald O Schneider University of Georgia Vice President : Mary McFarland, Parkway School District Chesterfield, MO Reviewers The editors wish to express special appreciation to the following scholars who served as referees of manuscripts submitted James Akenson, Tennessee Technological University Buckley Barnes, Georgia State University Mary Jo Brown, University of Georgia June Chapin, College of Notre Dame Elmer Clawson, University of the Pacific Richard Diem, University of Texas at San Antonio Jack Fraenkel, San Francisco State University Judith Goetz, University of Georgia Michael Hawkins, University of Georgia Richard Knight, Utah State University Warren McKinney, Oklahoma State University Sharon Muir, Oakland University Ben Smith, University of Southern Mississippi Stephen J Thorton, University of Delaware iii


Theory & Research in Social Education, ISSN 0093-3104, is published quarterly by the College & University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Membership is $20/year, $15 of the dues are allocated for subscription to Theory & Research in Social Education Second class postage paid at Washington, DC and additional offices Postmaster : send address changes to : Theory & Research in Social Education, 3501 Newark St NW, Washington, DC 20016 iv


Volume XV Number 2 Spring, 1987 CONTENTS James S Leming On the Normative Foundations of Economic Education 63 Stuart B Palonsky Ethnographic Scholarship and Social Education 77 David A Jolliffe A Social Educator's Guide to Teaching Writing 89 Jeffrey T Fouts High School Social Studies Classroom Environments and Attitudes : A Cluster Analysis Approach 105 Cynthia Szymanski Sunal, Barbara B Gaba, and Osayimwense Osa Citizenship Education in the Primary School : Perceptions of Nigerian Teachers 115


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring 1987, Volume XV, Number 2, pp 63-76 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies On The Normative Foundations of Economic Education James S Leming Southern Illinois University Abstract Research is cited to support the claim that current economic education curricula fail to demonstrate any persistent or significant influence regarding student commitment to the normative foundations of our free enterprise system The perspectives 6f Do= tleheim, Dreeben and Jackson are presented to demonstrate how schools, in spite of a relatively impotent cognitively oriented curricula, have the potential for transmitting some key economic values to youth It is argued that developing an allegiance to the principles of our current mixed market economic system is as important as developing commitment to the democratic values embedded within our constitutions It is concluded that economic education should begin to take a broader view of how latent and manifest curricula can better develop -commitment and understanding of our economic system I begin this paper with a series of observations about the current status of economic education in American schools These observations summarize the organization and argument of this paper They are : 1 Current economic education is overwhelmingly cognitive The focus is on increasing student knowledge and understanding of our economic system 2 Available evidence on the impact of cognitively oriented approaches to economic education suggests that they have no educationally significant influence on students' economic related attitudes, values, norms, dispositions, etc 3 It is increasingly apparent that attitudes and dispositions related to economic life are important to personal economic success and system maintenance and vitality 4 If the above observations are correct, there is a gaping hole at the heart of economic education that needs concerned attention In the final sections of this paper I present perspectives for understanding the dynamics of normative socialization in schools and discuss implications of these perspectives for a view of economic education that acknowledges 6 3


the importance of an attitudinal dimension in curricula First, however, I present an argument for the position that the development of commitment to the values of our capitalistic mixed market economy is a desirable educational goal that inevitably involves nonrational processes Following this section I review the literature on the effect of current economic education programs on student attitudes The Importance of the Development of Commitment to Cultural Norms All human society throughout history attached great importance to the transmission of cultural values to their youth It is difficult to imagine any society that would not want to see its cherished values and way of life passed on to its children To accomplish these goals, societies organize the lives of children so that they come to accept the social, political, moral and economic values of that culture The dominant influence on the socialization of youth has been shown to be the family, but schooling has also long been assumed to play an important role in the process Research into the socialization of youth has shown the inevitability of nonrational factors in the process It has long been accepted that symbols (the flag), role models (parents, the president, historical figures) and ceremonies (the pledge of allegiance, 4th of July) play an important role in transmission of democratic values Children's understanding of these experiences change as the child matures and acquires new sets of experiences The point that needs to be understood, however, is that what constitutes mature political reasoning and behavior in our democracy does not necessarily comprise the desirable content of study for youth Clearly, what is taught children must be developmentally appropriate In the political and economic domains, as with morality, children must be taught to first feel positive toward cultural values For example, society cannot afford to wait until children can fully understand why society judges stealing as wrong to tell them that it is wrong and to discipline them for violating that norm It is my position that nonrational methods must inevitably be used at times in the education of children As children mature, and as their reasoning ability develops, the basis for allegiance to these norms will change, for example, from "Stealing is wrong because Mrs Jones says it is" to "Stealing is wrong because it is a violation of the property rights of others ." Clearly using nonrational methods of instruction with children should assume lesser importance as the child matures It is obvious to every adult that part of growing up is coming to critically examine those values that were developed as children It is entirely appropriate at some point for teachers and students to begin to look critically at our political, social and economic system However, developing allegiance to the norms of society is not solely the result of acquisition of information, but also involves a cluster of other nonrational processes The presence of these nonrational factors in school6 4


ing need not result in slavish acceptance of our current social system nor damage the critical facilities of youth For a more extensive discussion of this issue the reader is referred to Leming (1981) . The Cognitive Emphasis of Current Economic Education Curricula The emphasis of any curricula may be judged from two sources : What the authors say the curricula is designed to achieve, and an analysis of the materials Two privately funded organizations have led in the development of economic education curricula : The Joint Council on Economic Education and the Foundation for Teaching Economics These organizations are strong voices for economic education and are a major force in bringing economic education to schools In the remainder of this section I examine 'the curricular emphases of JCEE and FTE Since 1949 the Joint Council on Economic Education has been a national leader in economic education curriculum development The curriculum development of JCEE has been guided by A Framework for Teaching Economics (Hansen, Bach, Calderwood, & Saunders, 1977) and most recently A Framework for Teaching the Basic Concepts (Saunders, Bach, Calderwood, & Hansen, 1984) These frameworks were developed primarily by economists to guide curriculum planning for economic education so that all salient economic concepts are presented In a nutshell, "to clarify which economic concepts should be taught and how to teach them most effectively . ." (p 2, 1984) While the Framework emphasizes economic understanding and decision making, there is little recognition of the importance of attitudinal goals, and no systematic attempt, through curricula, to foster strong affect toward our economic system JCEE recognizes a set of broad social goals for evaluating economic actions and policies : economic freedom, efficiency, equity, security, full employment, price stability, and economic growth These goals are seen primarily as factors used in making reasoned economic decisions and it is recognized that self-interest may be attached a major weight by the individual in his/her deliberations The JCEE curriculum framework does not take as an important curricular task the strengthening of student commitment to a given social goal The economic system and its underlying ethos is taken as a given It is assumed that developing an understanding of the economy and a reasoned approach to economic decision making will strengthen commitment to that system The Foundation for Teaching Economics and their junior high text book Our Economy take a slightly different approach It is openly recognized by Clawson (1984) that the curriculum has a strong affective thrust Clawson argues that it is important that students develop values that are consistent with our democratic society The affective goals of Our Economy are : (a) Respect the worth and dignity of the individual and respect the contributions individuals make to our way of life (b) Develop, clarify, and act on a personal set of values consistent with our democratic society (c) Develop 6 5


the capacity to participate in social life both as an individual and as member of a group (d) Appreciate that our economy is controlled by individuals working individually and in concert Both curriculum efforts recognize the need for more than a cognitive/content oriented approach based on the structure of the discipline simplified for pedagogical purposes, yet both approaches assume that the development of affective allegiance to system norms is a given in economic education Ingels and Utne O'Brien's (1985) comments regarding Our Economy summarize this perspective : "Although the text sponsors hold a strong value position on economic issues, the text itself is designed to be a descriptive presentation and eschews specific value recommendations, instead asking students to be thoughtful about controversial issues The text sponsors have, however, hoped that increased economic knowledge and understanding would have the effect of enhancing appreciation of the sort of mixed market economy, in which private enterprise has a large role, that prevails in the United States" (p 13) Neither approach, in terms of curricula or activities, directly addresses the issue of strengthening allegiance to our economic system The assumption is that through teaching the content, understanding, and reasoning processes associated with our system, commitment will in fact be fostered Let me turn now to the empirical evidence available to support this alleged connection between cognitive and affective outcomes The Influence of Current Economic Education Programs on Economic Attitudes Since the above approaches are designed to increase student knowledge and reasoning ability, should one also expect to see attitudinal changes as well? There are a number of recent sources of information on this topic Jackstadt and Brennan (1983) report the results of an inquiry to assess whether knowledge gain leads to attitude change when students take a high school economics course Three separate attitude scales constructed by the authors were used : Attitudes toward the American economic system, toward business, and toward labor unions Jackstadt and Brennan found that economics learned by students predicted change in attitude toward all three attitude objects, with path coefficients to attitudes toward the American economic system, business, and labor unions of .171, .050, and .056, respectively In other words, two percent of the variance in attitudes toward the economic system was explained by increased economic knowledge Less than one percent of the variance in the other two attitude scales was explained by learned economic knowledge A number of studies with college age students have shown that courses in economics may influence students' economic attitudes Illustrative of this genre of studies is a recent inquiry by Jackstadt, Brennan, and Thompson, (1985) In this study student economic conservatism was measured by an 6 6


author-developed 30-statement attitude survey that tapped four elements of the construct : (a) preference for private rather than public ownership of resources, (b) belief that competition checks abuses of private power, (c) the belief that competition fosters efficiency and progress, and (d) a preference for decentralized market allocation of resources over centralized allocation Using a five-point Likert scale the mean preand post-test scores for 441 students taking a college introductory economics course were 3 .052 (pretest) and 3 .197 (post-test) Change for the economics group was found to be significantly greater (p < .001) for economics students -compared with students not enrolled in economics courses The mean change ( .145), it should be noted, represents a shift of approximately three percent of the range of the five-point scale The most comprehensive effort to measure young peoples' attitudes and values with respect to economic issues-has been developed by the National Opinion Research Center under sponsorship of the Foundation for Teaching Economics (Utne O'Brien & Ingels, 1984) The Economics Values Inventory (EVI) was developed as part of a larger project to evaluate the impact of the text Our Economy upon the economic values and attitudes of students Using the Our Economy text and the JCEE Framework, eight distinct scales were generated 1 The Free Enterprise System-support for the free enterprise system 2 Business-trust in business 3 Psychological-personal economic efficacy vs alienation and powerlessness 4 Government Role in Social Welfare-government is responsible for social welfare 5 Government Role in Setting Prices-against government role 6 Unions-against powerful unions 7 Treatment of Workers-workers treatment is fair 8 The Economic Status Quo-against the status quo because it is unfair The EVI consists of 44 items with student responses ranging from seven-which shows strong agreement, to one-strong disagreement with scale values In the text versus no text conditions of the report, modest but statistically significantly differences are seen on scales 1, 2, 3,7 and 8 The largest of these differences, however, was only 31 on the seven-point scale for Trust in Business This is a four percent difference on the sub-scale's range favoring the text condition It appears safe to conclude, based on the above research that economics instruction may result in small changes in the economic attitudes of students A similar pattern of findings is apparent in social studies research that has assessed the impact of social studies curricula on political attitudes (Leming, 1985) In my judgment, the reported changes in economic attitudes must be viewed cautiously as there is no evidence regarding their 6 7


stability or persistence over time There can be little question that, in general, the experience of schooling has a lasting impact on an individual's values, however, the degree to which that impact is the result of specific curricula over the impact of the culture of schooling has not been determined with any certainty Clearly, however, even in the absence of hard evidence on this question, any approach to the teaching about basic dimensions of our culture-political, social, economic, or moral-that fails to consider the non-curricular sources of learning in schools has failed to adequately conceptualize the influence of schooling on values The Significance of the Normative Dimension to Economic Education Up until this point I have been analyzing in general the influence of economic education on attitudes as defined within existing research I now expand this concept of attitude more broadly by discussing the term norm and its relationship to economic education First I present two essential goals of any approach to economic education : 1 Personal goal : To develop in individuals the knowledge, understanding, skills, and attitudes/dispositions that allow him/her to participate with success in our mixed market economy 2 Social goal To develop in the populace at large an understanding of, and commitment to, our economic system so as to ensure economic and societal vitality, cohesion, and stability Both of these goals can be defended based on the ideal of human dignity The first on the grounds that it enhances human dignity by permitting every individual to fulfill his/her economic potential and achieve economic security The second goal as I have argued above, can be defended on the grounds that its achievement is essential to the maintenance of a stable democratic society whose environment permits the maximum opportunity for self realization and therefore the enhancement of human dignity Clearly, any social system survives only to the extent that maturing members of that society absorb and become attached to the superordinate goals of the system and come to accept its structure as legitimate Central to the above two goals for economic education is the concept of norms Norms are defined as standards for behavior-principals, premises or expectations regarding how individuals or a social system ought to operate For example, with regard to the personal goal for economic education some of the norms entailed are delayed gratification, industriousness, self-discipline and the like Relevant norms associated with the social goal are freedom, competition, equality of opportunity (not egalitarianism), that collective well-being is insured as a result of individual pursuit of selfimprovement, and the like Norms, as defined above, have three components : cognitive content or knowledge regarding the nature of the norm ; affective salience or the degree of attractiveness of the norm for the individual ; and behavior, that is, behaviors entailed by and consistent with the norm 6 8


One point that needs to be made-at this time is that when I talk about the normative content of economic education I am not rediscovering that subfield of economics called normative economics Normative economics is that brance of economics that is concerned with the effort to determine if there is some best economic arrangement or system It is the position of the author that there is clearly a best arrangement and that arrangement is the current one in the United States It is beyond the scope of the present paper to defend this position ; however, the reader is referred to such authors as Novak (1982) and Gilder (1981) for penetrating analysis of this issue Currently, their concern is expressed regarding whether youth in today's society are acquiring the necessary economic norms One of the major conclusions of a report commissioned by the National Chamber Foundation (Etzioni, 1984) is that self-discipline-the ability to control impulse, mobilize ego and commit to and sustain work ethic-is not being adequately developed in today's youth This failure is manifest in what many employers today call the lottery syndrome That is, the belief among workers that there is an easy, quick way to wealth in this society The popularity of such T .V get rich quick hucksters as Ed Beckley, Charles Givens, and Dave Del Dotto is further evidence of the pervasiveness of this syndrome Another report, Investing in Our Children by the Committee for Economic Development (1985), quotes a survey in which employers report that for entry level positions they are looking for young people who demonstrate a set of attitudes, abilities and behaviors associated with a sense of responsibility, self-discipline, pride, teamwork and enthusiasm Clearly, there are a set of personal norms related to worker characteristics that are essential for personal success and also for the success of business The development of these characteristics in youth has great importance for the future of the system as well as for the well-being of the individual This is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed in economic education To an equal extent emerging adults must also come to accept the legitimacy of a mixed market free enterprise system ; that is, they must accept its normative structure Individuals must have a commitment to a particular hierarchy of economic norms, else the system stands endangered It must become a part of the task of economic education to recognize and plan carefully for developing these norms in youth Noncurricular Sources of Economic Socialization and Values How can the schools best accomplish the normative tasks of economic education? It is the position of this author that, to the extent that schools currently address this question, they do so through the nonformal, noncurricular dimensions of schooling In other words, what children learn in schools, especially as it relates to the socialization of norms and dispositions derives as much from the nature of the experience and the structure of schooling as it does from the formal process of instruction and the curriculum This hidden curriculum serves as the primary mechanism for com6 9


municating normative and dispositional meanings to children These meanings in effect become the constitutive rules for adult life In the remainder of this section I present the perspectives of three authors on the dynamics of this process in schools While none of these individuals presents an exhaustive analysis of the influence of the latent curriculum on the economic socialization of youth, the combined perspectives communicate a possible dimension of this process Bruno Bettleheim (1970) provides an insightful analysis into the development of a personal disposition essential for success in our society-middle class morality Bettleheim defines middle class morality as . the conviction that to postpone immediate pleasure in order to gain more lasting satisfactions in the future is the most effective way to reach one's goals" (p 88) From his psychoanalytic perspective, the task of education is to assess the degree to which the child possesses the reality principle and if it is not found to be sufficiently developed, educational efforts must be geared to helping him/her come to accept it as his own The ability to postpone immediate pleasure must be based on the repeated experience that it pays off in the future Bettleheim's argument takes on special significance with regard to certain disadvantaged students whose home, peer, school, and community values may be based on the pleasure principle Inculcating middle class morality in youth who lack it requires that we recognize the cultural background of the child and begin to, where possible, offer tangible advantages here and now for demonstrating middle class behaviors What is important is that to get the child to do this is not largely a curricular matter, but rather a classroom and school structure matter A second perspective on the role of the schools in the sociological analyses of Talcott Parsons (1959) and Robert Dreeben (1968) Because of the similarity of views I will only discuss the perspective of Dreeben here Central to the analysis of Dreeben is the observation that schools perform a socializing function that the family structure cannot ; that is, the structural properties of the family, while satisfying specific affective needs of the child cannot adequately socialize them to function in the adult world Schooling demands of the child the formation of social relationships that are more time bounded, more diverse, less dependent, and less emotive than those of the family The four norms that students learn in schools are : 1 Independence : Pupils learn to acknowledge that there are tasks to be done by them alone and to do them that way, and that others have a right to expect such independent behavior under certain circumstances The cluster of meanings associated with this norm include doing things on one's own, being self-reliant, accepting personal responsibility for one's behavior and acting selfsufficiently 2 Achievement : Pupils come to accept the premise that they should perform their tasks the best they can and act accordingly The cluster of meanings associated with this norm include mastery, making an impact on the en7 0


vironment rather than fatalistically accepting it, and competing against some standard of excellence 3 Universalism : Pupils come to accept being treated by others as members of categories Schools perform a function the family cannot-the systematic establishment and destruction of membership categories such as age-grade categories and ability-level categories 4 Specificity : Pupils come to accept, and to confine one's interest in others, to being treated based on a narrow range .of characteristics Implicit in specificity is the notion of relevance ; that is, the content of interest varies according to the needs and interests of others or the situation From the perspective of Dreeben, students learn far more than the cognitive skills essential to participate in our economy and society They also learn expectations and norms that will produce good workers It should be pointed out, however, that socialization in schools is not uniform across all social and economic classes in society As Wilcox (1982) and Anyon (1980) have shown, differential socialization patterns exist between schools from differing socioeconomic communities Wilcox demonstrates that middle class schools transmit values necessary for successful middle class life such as internal motivation, anticipation of future success and skills in self-presentation Working class students, on the other hand, are taught to rely on others for motivation, to focus on the here and now, and learn no skills of self-presentation The final perspective, to be discussed on the socialization of economic related values in schools is found in the work of Phillip Jackson (1968) According to Jackson, the nature of the hidden curriculum is shaped by three concepts : crowds, praise, and power These dimensions-as members of crowds, as potential recipients of praise or reproof, and as pawns of authority-confront children with aspects of social reality not found elsewhere during their childhood years . Through living in crowds students have to learn that constantly they must conserve resources-they learn to postpone or give up desires The unquestioned source of praise or reproof is the teacher The student comes to uncritically and positively accept the hierarchically organized structures present in schools He/she also learns that conformity to institutional, expectations will lead to praise Thus, the hidden curriculum develops essential norms and dispositions necessary for participation in complex social and economic organizations Implications of a Normative Emphasis in Economic Education If I have made the case up to this point that economic education has failed to adequately incorporate a concern for-norms and dispositions, then an appropriate further inquiry is what, if any, should the response of economic education be? One reaction that should not be ruled out is : Nothing should be done This response is not unreasonable and rests on three observations : (a) It is extremely difficult to change attitudes, norms, or dispositions and 7 1


any efforts, no matter how well conceived, are likely to yield only minute incremental changes (b) Time spent attempting such changes will inevitably take away time from teaching content, a task which the profession does well (c) Schools currently, through the hidden and manifest curricula, orient youth strongly toward the ethos of our capitalistic economic system (Cummings & Taebel, 1978) Economic education should focus on what it does best, teach content, and leave to other socializing agents the development of norms and dispositions It can be reasonably argued that current economic education takes a strong normative position through the content emphases As the EVI research indicates, however, questions remain on the efficacy of such an approach (Ingels & Utne O'Brien, 1985) Clearly, the family, media, peers, role models, the hidden curriculum in schools, and early economic experiences will, when all is said and done, be the factors that have lasting impact on attitudes While I find the above argument attractive, there is a compelling reason to accept it as only a partial answer In my judgment, the stakes are too great for the economics education professional to relinquish concern regarding normative outcomes in economic education There exists a compelling individual as well as a social reason for making attitudinal outcomes an important concern of economic education The person-related reason is that many of today's youth lack the necessary dispositions to reach their economic potential The social reason is that there exists a delicate balance between self-interest and social responsibility in our economic system Youth need to understand that balance and be disposed to make unfettered decisions about the critical dynamics that drive our system, self-interest and freedom Two initial steps that need to be taken to respond to this challenge are to determine what the proper normative goals for economic education should be and where we are at the present time relative to these goals That is, what is the gap between the ideal and the real I have attempted to spell out above some of the personal and social attitudinal goals for economic education It should be pointed out, however, that such sources as the National Chamber Foundation Report (Etzioni, 1984) and the Economics Values Inventory (Utne O'Brien & Ingels, 1984) represent only partial approximations of what should be a comprehensive view of these areas There is a need, before any serious curriculum work begins, to develop a comprehensive statement regarding the normative basis for economic education That is, there is a need for a clear definitive statement regarding the attitudinal necessities for personal success in our economy as well as the requisite attitudinal foundations among the population essential for the maintenance of the ethos of democratic capitalism Once these normative goals have been determined, it will be necessary to develop reliable and valid measures for assessing where we currently are with regard to achieving these goals In addition, it will be necessary to 7 2


analyze curricular and noncurricular factors in school with regard to their influence on the development of economic norms and for opportunities to develop or change attitudes in students If it is determined that in a selected normative area the developing economic attitudes of youth are weak, then some strategy for changing those attitudes must be implemented At this point, the economic education profession will need to delve into principles underlying socialization research to generate school and classroom environments and experiences that will result in desired attitudes of youth One possible approach may be to make greater use of role models (Rushton, 1976) Realistic economic success stories in our society have great potential utility if used appropriately One inevitable byproduct of such a curricular effort will be a heightened awareness of the importance of developmental differences among youth and of the necessity to develop developmentally appropriate curricula Every economic attitude has affective and cognitive components In the early years, one goal will surely be the development of positive feelings associated with economic norms Later, after this nonrational foundation is firmly established, the educational goal should shift toward, to use a phrase introduced by Emile Durkheim, the development of "enlightened allegiance ." That is, to supplement the affective base with the cognitive content necessary to support a position consistent with a mature understanding of the economic, social, and political system The approach to economic education suggested above is admittedly somewhat general Given the current status of knowledge regarding the proper normative goals for economic education and the potential for the differing dimensions of the schooling experience to influence these norms any concrete suggestions at this time would be a highly speculative enterprise Nevertheless, the task of preparing youth to be effective agents in the economic system in a manner that enhances their well-being, and enhances the system, is a challenge of critical social importance It is important to point out that one of the energetic and emerging fields of scholarship in the social foundations of education presents a view of society and education that stands in stark contrast with the normative foundations of our economic system This view of education has gone by such names as radical critiques of social education, critical theory, and neomarxism to name a few (Apple, 1982 ; Cherryholmes, 1980, Giroux, 1983, Nelson, 1985) This perspective holds that current economic and political arrangements are inherently unjust and are based on illegitimate class domination They argue for a more just society, one, it appears fair to assume, with a socialist flavor in which greater control over the economy would be granted to the people in order to achieve a more fair distribution of wealth and power The educational prescription of these scholars is that the social studies should develop in youth a radical consciousness regarding current social and economic arrangements 7 3


While the specific educational, political, and economic reforms entailed by the radical critics of social studies education have not been clearly stated it seems safe to assume that economic inequities would, in some manner, be reduced The critics do not spell out how this would be achieved, but it is difficult to imagine any scenario that would not result in a reduction of, or limitation to pursue, economic self-interest The "invisible hand" of Adam Smith would no longer be trusted to insure the general welfare This radical critique of our political and economic systems needs careful scrutiny in light of its potential negative impact on the dynamic mechanism that drives our economy : self-interest In a complex political and economic system such as ours there is no free lunch Each shift in economic policy entails a complex set of ramifications Among social studies educators the general commitment to justice and equality is seldom viewed from the perspective of the impact that efforts to achieve these worthy goals may have on the underlying principles that drive our economic system Such analysis is clearly needed The perspective of this paper has been unabashedly conservative in tone Ultimately all discussions of the goals of economic education, and more generally of the goals of social education, are based on conceptions of how society should be organized and how individual lives should be lived out in that society It is my perspective that the United States in the 1980s has achieved, to a degree unparalleled in human history, a political and economic system that enhances human dignity No current society exhibits the combination of freedom and prosperity we currently enjoy This freedom and prosperity is due in no small part to the economic freedom accorded to all persons In my judgment the system is worth preserving and strengthening This in turn requires an educational system that transmits to youth a commitment to the norms on which the system is based This is, in a nutshell, the argument of this paper References Anyon, J (1980) Social class and the hidden curriculum of work Journal of Education, 162, 67-92 Apple, M W (1982) Education and power Boston : Routledge & Kegan Paul Bettleheim, B (1970) Moral education In N F Sizer & T F Sizer (Eds .) Moral education : Five lectures (pp 85-107) Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press Cherryholmes, C H (1980) Social knowledge and citizenship education : Two views of truth and criticism Curriculum Inquiry, 10, 115-141 Committee for Economic Development (1985) Investing in our children New York : Committee for Economic Development Clawson, E U (1984) Our economy : How it works Menlo Park, CA : AddisonWesley 7 4


Cummings, S ., & Taebel, D (1978) The economic socialization of children : A neomarxist analysis Social Problems, 26, 198-210 Dreeben, R (1968) On what is learned in school Reading, MA : Addison-Wesley Etzioni, A (1984) Self-discipline, schools, and the business community Washington : DC : National Chamber Foundation Gilder, G (1981) Wealth and poverty New York : Bantam Books Giroux, H A (1983) Theory and resistance in education : A pedogogy for the opposition South Hadley, MA : Bergin and Garvey Hansen, W L ., Bach, G L ., Calderwood, J D ., & Saunders, P (1977) A framework for teaching economics : Basic concepts New York : Joint Council on Economic Education Ingels, S J ., & Utne O'Brien, M (1985, May) Factors associated with changes in youths' attitudes towards economic issues Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, McAfee, NJ Jackson, P (1968) Life in classrooms New York : Holt, Rinehart & Winston Jackstadt, S L ., & Brennan, J .M (1983) Economic knowledge and high school student attitudes toward the American economic system, business, and labor unions Theory and Research in Social Education, 11(3), 1-15 Jackstadt, S L ., Brennan, J ., & Thompson, S (1985) The effect of introductory economics courses in college students' conservatism Journal of Economic Education, 16(1), 37-51 Leming, J S (1981) On the limits of rational moral education Theory & Research in Social Education, 9(1), 7-34 Leming, J S (1985) Research on social studies curriculum and instruction : Interventions and outcomes in the socio-moral domain In W B Stanley (Ed .), Review of research in social studies education (pp 123-213) Boulder, CO and Washington, DC : ERIC Clearinghouse for the Social Studies, National Council for the Social Studies and the Social Science Education Consortium Nelson, J (Ed .) (1985) The new criticism : Alternative views of social education [Special section] Social Education, 49(5) Novak, M (1982) The spirit of democratic capitalism New York : Simon& Schuster Parsons, T (1959) The school class as a social system : Some of its functions in American Society Harvard Educational Review, 29(4), 297-318 Rushton, J P (1976) Socialization and the altruistic behavior of children Psychological Bulletin, 83, 898-913 Saunders, P ., Bach, G L ., Calderwood, J D ., & Hansen, W L (1984) A framework for teaching the basic concepts New York : Joint Council on Economic Education 7 5


Utne O'Brien, M ., & Ingles, S J (1984) Foundation for Teaching Economics Report : The development of the economics values inventory, Chicago : University of Chicago, National Opinion Research Center Walstad, W B ., & Soper, J C (1983) Measuring economic attitudes in high school Theory and Research in Social Education, 11(1), 41-54 Wilcox, K (1982) Differential socialization in the classroom : Implications for equal opportunity In G Spindler (Ed .), Doing the ethnology of schooling : Educational anthropology in action New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston 7 6


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring 1987, Volume XV, Number 2, pp 77-87 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Ethnographic Scholarship and Social Education Stuart B Palonsky University of Missouri-Columbia Abstract School ethnography, long touted as a promising research methodology, has not contributed significantly to the body of useful knowledge about social studies education Notwithstanding regular references to ethnography in the social studies literature, researchers in the field appear to be more comfortable talking about ethnography than doing ethnographic research Although the social studies and the use of ethnographic techniques would seem to go together naturally, few ethnographies of social studies classes or social studies teaching are found in the literature This paper distinguishes school ethnography from traditional ethnography and suggests several reasons why school ethnography has not yet secured a place in the research repertoire of most social studies educators Social researchers, no matter what form their research takes, try to produce information about human behavior that has truth and serves a useful purpose (see Pelto & Pelto, 1978, p 1) Based on their conceptions of knowledge, researchers design studies that allow them to examine human experiences in the everyday world Some social researchers prefer to cloak themselves in a mantle of scientific obscurity imagining that they do not personally intrude upon their subjects and that their research is separate and distinct from their day-to-day lives These researchers, not unlike the Vulcan, Mr Spock, of Star Trek fame, are unfailingly logical, scientifically detached, and emotionally neutral No doubt, for them, discussing research methodology is a dispassionate activity For all other social researchers, examining their choice of method is an exercise in self-disclosure The selection of a design from the research repertoire reveals how the researcher views society, what problems are seen as significant and worthwhile, and how the researcher goes about developing an understanding of his/her world These investigators acknowledge that their research cannot be separated from the times in which they live or from their personal predilections They admit, sometimes grudgingly, that the methods they use and the questions they ask are influenced by their intellec7 7


tual curiosity, by contemporaneous political and social climates (Kuhn, 1970), and by their personalities and predispositions (Polanyi, 1964) I do educational ethnography You know what that says about me : I believe reality is socially constructed I place little faith in the explanatory power of statistics or the elegance of experimental designs I prefer the emic to the etic and the qualitative to the quantitative Like other ethnographers, I find myself grouped in a family of researchers referred to as naturalists (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) This rather diverse family conducts research described by turns as qualitative, participant observational, case study, symbolic interactionist, phenomenological, constructivist, postpositivist, subjective, hermeneutic, and interpretive (see Erickson, 1986, p 119) This may be a confusing assortment of labels, but it reflects the myriad of subgroups that embrace the methodology and their array of small distinctions Although differences exist in naturalistic research, as Lincoln and Guba point out, the variety of aliases exist, in part, because the persons who profess to practice it tend to take different views of what it implies in the same way that persons who profess to be Christians may nevertheless prefer to be known as Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopalian, Adventist, Fundamentalist, Baptist and so on They hold to these more specific labels in an attempt to differentiate their particular doctrines from those of others (who needless to say, they believe have turned away from the true way) (1985, pp 7-8) The use of complex social science terminology also helps to allay one of the naturalists' common fears : Ethnographic research may not be sufficiently obscure to be academically legitimate After all, how much respect would be afforded researchers who abandon social science jargon for simple language and who define their methodology as "just hanging-out with a bunch of ordinary people describing and analyzing how they live their lives ." Drawn from the ranks of functionalists as well as from conflict theorists, naturalists share a common opposition to quantitative methodology in the social sciences and the world view held by those who use them They do research that tries to separate the knower from the known We maintain that this is a misleading dualism ; we celebrate the inevitable mutual influences of researcher and subject They believe there is a single, fragmentable reality that can be studied scientifically We believe there are multiple constructed realities in the social world that cannot be studied outside of their naturally occurring context They believe in scientific detachment from the object of their inquiries We believe no understanding of human behavior can be made without examining the social meanings that inform it They like clean, discrete bits of social data We delight in complexity, and celebrate the entangled webs of meaning found in everyday life They don't invite us to their parties We wouldn't enjoy drinking with them anyway 7 8


Although ethnographers often study the exotic practices of faraway people, ethnography is by no means flashy research Typically, the focus of the ethnographer's inquiry is on the mundane, everyday practices of ordinary people Ethnographers tend to examine the ways in which human groups live their lives, make sense out of their world, and seek to derive some measure of satisfaction from their daily experiences Ideally, the ethnographic perspective is that of a nonjudgmental visitor who enters a new group, wins the trust of his or her hosts, learns their view of the world, and empathically tells old friends about the experience As described in a recent essay, (G)ood ethnography is an intellectual exorcism in which, forced to take the perspective of the other, we are wrenched out of our self We transcend ourselves, and for a brief moment we wonder who we are, whether we are animals, barbarians or angels, whether all things are really the same under the sun, whether it would be better if the others were us, or better if we were the other (Schweder, 1986, p 39) Traditional ethnography, as practiced by Mead and Malinowski, for example, promises to yield both useful data and the opportunity for interesting research The ethnographic reports of cultural anthropologists reflect a level of personal enjoyment rarely found in a research literature Spending long periods of time in primitive societies and suffering the relative privation of their subjects, traditional field researchers may complain bitterly and darkly in their journals but unfailingly write upbeat ethnographies (see Agar, 1980 ; Malinowski, 1967) It is as though a goal of traditional anthropology is to report whatever optimism can be gleaned from the data of human experience ; the genre serves to renew our faith I don't do traditional ethnography, and I am uncomfortable with the term It is not that I am opposed to uplifting literature, but traditional implies a long history of pristine standards of research and a confining orthodoxy of belief among practitioners It also suggests that those of us who work in other than primitive settings do not share in the same spirit of inquiry, or worse, that we have misappropriated the tools of the trade In fact, the history of ethnography as a social research method reflects little orthodoxy, and like other research techniques, its evolution suggests refinements more than debasement Recent criticisms of pioneering ethnographies (see Freeman, 1983 ; Spiro, 1982) do not demean the enterprise, but suggest that there is no sin in deviating from the traditional, and no reason to be self-conscious about well-designed ethnographies conducted in familiar settings (see Whyte, 1943 ; Cusick, 1973) Although they may be less exotic than traditional field studies, school ethnographies are not necessarily frivolous or unlikely to produce true and useful information In those instances in which we are interested in the perspective of key actors in 7 9


school settings-administrators, teachers, students-ethnography may be the most desirable form of inquiry (see Palonsky, 1986) Social studies and ethnographic research would seem to go together naturally Among those interested in conducting field research in education, social educators are likely to have the greatest familiarity with the literature of sociology and anthropology Social studies educators are prominent among those advocating the use of postpositivist research paradigms Although, not often used to examine the social studies, some of the better ethnographies have been written by social educators (see White, 1985), and one of the most useful books on ethnographic research methods boasts a social studies educator as first author (see Goetz & LeCompte, 1984) What may be surprising is that social studies educators appear to be less willing than others in education to use field research techniques (Armento, 1986) The reluctance of social studies educators to embrace ethnography cannot be attributed to their satisfaction with other research methods or their complacency with the body of social studies research knowledge In 1973, Shaver and Larkins, reporting on social studies research in the Second Handbook of Research on Teaching, painted a less than sanguine picture of the field They argued that most of the research in social studies was being conducted by graduate students, and that the sum of research evidence in the field was insufficient to influence classroom practice Attributing the absence of cumulative findings, in part, to atheoretical orientations toward research, they urged social studies educators to consider classroom ethnography as a "viable alternative for theory generation" (p 1255) Thirteen years later, Armento, writing in the third edition of the Handbook (1986) finds little to refute Shaver and Larkins (Who says we don't have replicable research findings?) Her review traces most social studies research to doctoral dissertations, and the vast majority of the research in the field is still adjudged to be excessively atheoretical Although she is not able to find very much literature to report, Armento optimistically refers to the ethnographic perspective as "an emerging research focus" in social studies education In 1985, White reviewed ethnographic research studies and evaluated the extent to which they inform issues of social studies curriculum and instruction She focused her review on three regularly recurring problems for social educators : How can we account for the stability of textbook/discussion methods? How do teachers control students and get them to work? How do we explain classroom success and failure (p 217)? White's review of the literature is thorough, and she presents a convincing argument for the power of ethnographic research to produce new knowledge However, the extent to which these research findings can inform social studies practice is arguable White blends findings from macro and micro ethnographies without adequate attention to the important differences in these designs, and she seems insufficiently cautious about combining conclusions from 8 0


studies written from socially conserving functionalist perspectives with studies by critical theorists Of greater concern is that most of the ethnographies cited in the review were not conducted in social studies classes There is reason to be skeptical about the extent to which the conclusions about teaching one subject can be generalized to the teaching of other subjects For example Cornbleth (1985, 1986) has convinced me that "thinking" and the assessment of that thinking are situation dependent She argued that thinking in social studies differs from thinking in science, and that a student's analysis of a social problem is not the same as that student's analysis of a chemistry problem Each area of knowledge has its own logic and criteria for acceptable thinking and problem solving (1985, p 22) Other researchers report subject by subject variations in classroom practices One observational study, for example, comparing fifth-grade math and social studies lessons, found differences in the length of seatwork assignments and the quality and character of recitations and group work projects (Stodolsky, 1981) The nature of the subject matter, as interpreted by the teacher, required different classroom activities and different instructional roles Variations in the nature of thinking across subject areas, as well as differences in the teaching strategies and activities used to bring about subject specific thinking greatly reduce the power of studies to inform teaching across the disciplines It seems reasonable to assume that information about the teaching of social studies will be found primarily in social studies classes However, it is unfair to be too critical of White for going beyond social studies ethnographies A reviewer searching for ethnographic studies of social studies classes or social studies teaching is struck by the paucity of such investigations Notwithstanding regular references to ethnography in the social studies literature, researchers in the field appear to be more comfortable talking about ethnography than doing field research This gap between social studies rhetoric and research invites speculation For example, it might be that most social studies educators are too socially quiescent and politically satisfied to be ethnographers As Powdermaker notes, reflecting on her own preference for field research, ethnography may be more attractive to the socially alienated who prefer studying the society at arm's length to being a part of it "Why should a satisfied person," she writes, "think of standing outside his (sic) or any other society and studying it" (1966, p 20) A former colleague disagrees, suggesting that it is not the social comfort of social studies educators but their intellectual refinement that leads them away from ethnography He contends that social studies people are simply too sophisticated to be slaves to new, unproved research fashion ; they stick with traditional methods rather than risk being labeled "Zeitgeister shysters ." While not denying these explanations, let me examine other reasons why 8 1


social studies educators have been reluctant to pursue ethnography with the vigor suggested in the literature For many researchers, and perhaps for many of those interested in the social studies, there is a disconcerting narrowness of scope in ethnographic designs that discourages their use If the goal of an academic field is to develop a set of general laws that can be applied to all cases and all times, ethnography is not the answer Ethnographies are typically considered to be idiographic bodies of knowledge Although a well-crafted field study might explain the behavior of a particular group, for example, social studies teachers, it does so for those teachers, during one time period, while they work with a specific mix of students The extent to which the conclusions of one study of social studies teaching are applicable to teachers in other sites is a matter of contention Some researchers argue that basic similarities in the culture of teaching transcend specific differences in settings One teacher will understand another's behavior because of shared cultural traits created by the common conditions of their employment The value of the research thus rests on the insights it brings to those within the culture If the ethnographic product helps others who share that culture better understand their world, the research enterprise is worthwhile Other researchers claim that ethnographies are designed more modestly, to generate theory and hypotheses for future investigation Anything beyond cultural description, they argue, is arbitrary and simplistic Go into a school, they advise, muck about and uncover some relationships for numbers crunchers and survey scientists to examine No matter which of these positions they find attractive, few field researchers would argue that ethnographic studies of schools are likely to find their way into future editions of William J Bennett's pamphlet "What Works" or the National Council's How-to-do-it series Ethnographies are unlikely to produce simple, generalizable answers to questions about methodology or school discipline or student motivation Ethnography tends to be interpretive research in which the investigator searches for the local meanings that guide the subjects' behavior rather than law-like statements about behavior (see Geertz, 1973) Researchers looking for a set of global statements that permit prediction and control of the variables of education will not be drawn to ethnography Extended field work, the central element of ethnography, also serves to discourage researchers School ethnographies require a time consuming set of procedures which, if not adhered to, lead to research of questionable value, and if followed scrupulously leave the researcher time for very little else (Ethnographic designs in education have been discussed by Bogdan & Biklen, 1982 ; Dobbert, 1982 ; Goetz & Le Compte, 1984 ; and Spindler, 1982, among others .) The requirement of prolonged, isolated field work is typically traced to Malinowski's experience As a Polish citizen conducting a study in the British controlled Trobriand Islands, he was detained as a sus8 2


pected spy and forced to spend more than twice as long in the field as he had intended (Erickson, 1986, p 122) It has been argued that the involuntary extension of his field work enhanced the quality of his cultural description, but the standard he established may serve to discourage school ethnographies Few researchers are willing to spend a year or more in the field, and while an ethnographic study on the islands off New Guinea promises adventure, a study in a suburban high school suggests tedium Protracted field research, however, is central to the explanatory ability of ethnographies The fundamental rationale for ethnography rests in the assumption that social behavior must be understood from the perspective of the participant The ways that social realities are created and maintained must be observed in the setting in which those behaviors naturally occur Because the basic validity criterion of field research is the "immediate and local meanings of actions," so called insider accounts of behavior, field studies require extensive participation in the daily lives of the respondents (Erickson, 1986, p 119) Phenomena must be observed repeatedly before they can be considered other than social anomalies, and the knowledge that the, participants use to guide their behavior must be observed in context and under varied circumstances Ethnography cannot be a part-time enterprise It is not possible to limit ethnographic studies to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays unless respondents can be coerced into suspending their social lives on other days For the researcher to examine the rules that subjects use to govern and interpret their behavior, the research must extend continuously over a meaningful interval in the lives of the subjects For an ethnography of huntergatherers who follow game and change dwelling sites with the seasons, one sequence of wet and dry periods might be minimally sufficient to observe a full range of behaviors An ethnography of social studies teachers would also require that the researcher observe a complete range of teacher behaviors Because teachers behave differently in September than in June ; because Mondays are not the same as Fridays, because snow days, prom days, band days, and days just before and just after vacations are all different, an ethnographic study of teaching requires at least one academic year of full-time participant observation This tremendous time commitment is no doubt sobering to many would be ethnographers A related but by no means trivial consideration is that only one publication, typically an extended monograph, is likely to eventuate from this type of study For those professors cursed with deans who demand that they publish three data based articles a year, ethnography could be the research method of a shortlived academic, career Sampling and the need to protect the sample may further serve to dampen enthusiasm for school ethnographies The researcher needs to define a meaningful unit of analysis that accounts for the behavior of his/her subjects This is less of a problem for traditional ethnographers Small tribal 8 3


units, typically composed of hierarchically-ordered interacting members, are ideal samples The selection of an appropriate unit for school ethnographers is a nightmare Characterized by isolated, and often, uncommunicative personnel, schools can be regarded as cultural sites in which all of the major actors-teachers, administrators, board members and various student groups-simultaneously construct separate, frequently antagonistic, social realities The school may well look different to administrators than it does to teachers, and the students in physics are likely to have a view of the school unlike the view held by students in vocational agriculture It is enormously difficult to experience the culture of a school by studying any one group, and acceptance by one group often precludes membership in others In despair, some researchers abandon the school as a unit of analysis in favor of individual classrooms The classroom is manageable, and during the school day it is an ecologically bounded unit that can be considered a site of cultural production Ethnographies limited to classrooms, however, are deficient in several aspects (see Wax & Wax, 1979 ; Goetz & Le Compte, 1984) If researchers do not follow the students or teachers outside of the classroom, they cannot be sure of the extent to which classroom behaviors are continuous or discontinuous with other school behaviors, and classroom ethnographers are unable to determine whether they have stumbled onto an isolated classroom event or a typical cultural pattern Although classroom ethnographies provide rich descriptions, they present only thin slices of school life that may be insufficient to account for the range of observed human interactions In one way it is unfortunate that classrooms are inadequate units for school ethnographies It is easier to preserve the anonymity of a single classroom than it is for the entire school, and a long established ethos among field workers demands protection for the hosts Traditional ethnographies may not be intended to benefit the subject, but they are designed to protect them from harm Anthropologists conducting research among nonliterate, remote populations need not be too concerned about the effects their writing will have on their hosts ; their subjects are unlikely to have access to the product of the research On the other hand, it can be assumed that the work of educational ethnographers will find its way to those who have extended courtesies and revealed intimacies Pseudonyms and disguises cannot mask the school and those who earn a livelihood in them from students, board members, and the community At the very least, subjects can be held up to public inspection ; none of us relishes the idea of having our idiosyncracies described in print At the worst it presents a potentially inaccurate portrait of the school to which they cannot respond School ethnography serves ends that are in some ways similar and in some ways distinct from traditional ethnography Although they share the common goal of producing true and useful information, school ethnographers 8 4


have a special set of responsibilities School ethnographers are typically educators who share the burden for the enterprise under examination The phenomenon they study, a constellation of behaviors and attitudes referred to as schooling, is everywhere under attack, and ethnographers cannot be satisfied producing true information that is useful only to the academic community It is not sufficient to turn ethnographic data into scholarly articles and monographs without providing the school with direct benefit from the research The ethnographer, examining schooling from the perspective of the participants, develops insights and understandings that should be of local use, and there is an obligation to share that information The school ethnographer also has an obligation to intervene in the culture, to recommend and help implement changes, and to address problems suggested by the study While this may be unthinkable for the traditional ethnographer, to do less is, for the school ethnographer, an act of irresponsibility School ethnography is a difficult, sensitive, time consuming research approach, and it is not hard to understand why researchers have been reluctant to use field study approaches However, it can provide a view of schools and teaching that cannot be obtained by other means, and for social studies educators it must continue to be considered as one of the methods of choice Many issues central to the discipline invite field investigation and the perspective of a participant Social studies educators need to develop better understandings of the daily patterns of social studies teaching, the ways in which social knowledge is .considered by students and teachers, and the longitudinal construction of social and political attitudes No research method can rival ethnography for examining these issues In the end, despite the difficulties that inhere in the methodology, the potential payoff of field research should convince social studies educators that they cannot avoid school ethnography References Agar, M H (1980) The professional stranger : An informal introduction to ethnography New York : Academic Press Armento, B J (1986) Research on teaching social studies In M C Wittrock (Ed .), Handbook of research on teaching (3rd ed .) (pp 942-951) New York : Macmillan Bogdan, R ., & Biklen, S (1982) Qualitative research for education : An introduction to theory and methods Syracuse, N Y : Syracuse University Press Cornbleth, C (1985) Critical thinking and cognitive process In W B Stanley (Ed .), Review of research in social studies education Boulder, CO : SSEC t (1986) Assessing skills and thinking in social studies Paper prepared for the social studies advisory group to National Assessment of Educational Progress 8 5


Cusick, P A (1973) Inside high school : The students' world New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston Dobbert, M (1982) Ethnographic research : Theory and application for modern schools and societies New York : Praeger Erickson, F (1986) Qualitative methods in research on teaching In M C Wittrock (Ed .), Handbook of research on teaching (3rd ed .) (pp 119-161) New York : Macmillan Freeman, D (1983) Margaret Mead and Samoa : The making and unmaking of an anthropological myth Cambridge, Mass Harvard University Press Geertz, C (Ed .) (1973) The interpretations of culture New York : Basic Books Goetz, J P ., & Le Compte, M D (1984) Ethnography and qualitative design in educational research Orlando, Fl : Academic Press Kuhn, T S (1970) The structure of scientific revolutions (2nd ed .) Chicago : University of Chicago Press Lincoln, Y S ., & Guba, E G (1985) Naturalistic inquiry Beverly Hills, Calif : Sage Malinowski, B (1967) A diary in the strict sense of the term New York : Harcourt, Brace and World Palonsky, S B (1986) 900 shows a year : A look at teaching from a teacher's side of the desk New York : Random House Pelto, J P ., & Pelto, G H (1978) Anthropological research : The structure of inquiry (2nd ed .) New York : Cambridge University Press Polanyi, M (1964) Science, faith and society Chicago : University of Chicago Press Powdermaker, H (1966) Stranger and friend : The way of an anthropologist New York : W W Norton Schweder, R A (1986, September 21) Story telling among the anthropologists New York Times Book Review, pp 1, 38-39 Shaver, J P ., & Larkins, A G (1973) Research on teaching social studies In R W Travers (Ed .), Second handbook of research on teaching Chicago : Rand McNally Spindler, G D (Ed .) (1982) Doing the ethnography of schooling New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston Spiro, M E (1982) Oedipus in the Trobriands Chicago : University of Chicago Press Stodolsky, S S (1981) Subject matter constraints on the ecology of classroom instruction Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association Wax, M ., & Wax, R (1979) Anthropological research : Comments on its values and limitations Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association 8 6


White, J J (1985) What works for teachers : A review of ethnographic research studies as they inform issues of social studies curriculum and instruction In W B Stanley (Ed .), Review of research in social studies education, 1976-1983 (215-307) Washington, D .C : National Council for the Social Studies Whyte, W F (1943) Streetcorner society Chicago : University of Chicago Press 8 7


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring 1987, Volume XV, Number 2, pp 89-104 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies A Social Educator's Guide to Teaching Writing David A Jolliffe University of Illinois at Chicago Abstract Social scientists have shown a healthy research interest in writing in their fields, but little of this research interest has carried over into pedagogy This article argues that since writing functions to disseminate knowledge in all fields, it ought to be part of instruction in all disciplines The article sets out four approaches to incorporating writing in social education fields and describes specific writing activities in each of the approaches Addressing social scientists about the importance of effective writing in their disciplines is like preaching to the converted For at least the past decade, researchers have repeatedly suggested that, to become effective writers, social scientists ought to pay attention to the distinctive characteristics of writing in their disciplines Joseph Gusfield's (1976) analysis of drunk-driving research reports, for example, has shown that social scientists must be aware of the special demands that drawing conclusions about human behaviors places on them as writers More recently, the work of Donald McCloskey (1983) has been hailed as demonstrating that economists must come to recognize the ways their discipline-specific rhetoric shapes their speaking and writing, often functioning counter to the accepted research methodology of the field But my concern in this article is not so much with writing in the social sciences as it is with incorporating writing in social education Despite the research interest social scientists have shown in their disciplines' writing, relatively little of this interest has been translated into pedagogy, at the secondary, undergraduate, graduate, or professional level Social scientists seem concerned about successful communication within their disciplines, but relatively few social educators are teaching their students how to write effectively The inattention to writing in social education at the secondary level has been clearly documented In a national study conducted in 1979 and 1980, Applebee (1981) found that only 36 .3% of the high school social science 8 9


teachers he surveyed assigned any writing of one paragraph or longer Of that number, only 31 0 76 considered it important to indicate mechanical errors in students' writing, only 25 0 76 deemed it important to suggest improvements in style, 44% to comment on logic and organization, 29% to pose counter arguments, and 21 % to suggest related topics (pp 35, 86) Although some university social scientists are beginning to see the importance of teaching writing-the last two universities where I have taught, for example, have instituted writing-intensive courses as electives for social science majors-too many students in the social education fields at the postsecondary level seem unpracticed and unskilled at writing as well In a writing text designed for social science graduate students and faculty, Becker (1986) contends that because university students get so little instruction in the writing demanded by their academic disciplines, they fail to understand writing as a complicated, recursive activity, full of trial and error, in which scholars struggle as they work on draft after draft of their articles College and university students tend to see articles and books as monolithic entities that somehow magically emerge from the organizations and companies that publish them-they don't see them as products of intense human effort "Even graduate students," Becker writes, "who are much closer to their instructors, seldom see working drafts and writing that isn't ready for publication It's a mystery to them" (p xi) In short, since many universities require for graduation only one or two writing-intensive courses, usually at the freshman level, and since most institutions do not sponsor writing instruction except in departments of English, it is no wonder that undergraduate and graduate students often behave like rank beginners, when they are required to write papers using the conventions and formats of their major fields Given these situations, I have both a persuasive and an explanatory purpose in this article First, I argue that even though writing instruction has traditionally been relegated to departments of English, writing should be taught in all college and university departments Second, I set out four general strategies for teaching writing within the context of social education at the secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels, and I describe specific instructional activities under the rubric of each of these strategies I conclude with a note of caution and hope directed toward social educators who fear that teaching writing in their classes might engender more intellectual and administrative hassles that it is worth Writing as Knowledge Work One reason why faculty in all disciplines should teach writing is that the English department monopoly on writing instruction is largely a historical accident As a number of scholars have shown (Parker, 1967 ; Douglas, 1976 ; Connors, 1985), college composition became institutionalized in English departments in the nineteenth century when the study of rhetoric, 9 0


long a fixture of university curricula, came to be associated almost solely with literary criticism, and when the solons of the New England colleges, concerned about their students' poor writing, developed entrance examinations requiring applicants to write essays about specific works of English and American literature But there are better and less peculiar reasons for all faculty to teach writing The first is that writing is a principal component of what some scholars (e .g ., Herzberg, 1986) call the knowledge work of all intellectual communities Simply stated, an intellectual community's knowledge work consists of the ways its practitioners-professors, researchers, authors, students and so on-employ the field's previously established propositions, use its theories to support their research efforts, cast their own propositions in the form of new knowledge, and, in most instances, disseminate that knowledge to other practitioners Suppose, for example, that the political science department of a college or university is dominated by scholars who accept the notion of standard operating procedures developed by Neustadt and his associates at the Harvard School of Government In their research and their teaching, these scholars would accept that the structure of any bureaucratic institution is best represented by a static organizational tree These professors might conduct, or assign their students to conduct, studies of such institutions and agencies, trying to examine the degree to which institutional activities are governed by the tree's organizational structure They would then writeand in the case of the professors and some graduate students, try to publish-essays and articles that corroborate, adapt, and in some cases contradict, the notion of standard operating procedures The intellectual community comprising these scholars and their students has accomplished knowledge work : it has accepted extant ideas as axiomatic starting points, recognized researchable propositions within those axioms, attempted to validate these propositions through discipline-specific methods of investigation, and disseminated new knowledge Writing is the major activity that makes knowledge work concrete ; indeed, according to some scholars, there is no way for knowledge work to take place except through writing Toulmin (1972), for example, describes the ways novices in a rational enterprise-like students in an academic discipline-learn the intellectual concepts they need to operate within the enterprise Toulmin points out that the component parts of a discipline's knowledge work-its axioms, its decision-making processes, and its conventions of representing knowledge-are only actualized in a public display of disciplinary knowledge (Toulmin calls it a Darstellung) The student cannot assume she has an intuitive, personal grasp (a Vorstellung) of the ways a discipline processes knowledge The display must be produced in the form of words and sentences As Toulmin explains, "to the extent that the content or knowledge can be specified only in judgemental or grammatical 9 1


forms, that which is `known' . is not an object independent of human thought, but a linguistically structured fact or proposition" (p 196 .) If social educators aim not only to teach the content of a discipline but also to teach students to think, at least for the duration of a course, like would-be social scientists, then writing must play a vital role in the instruction Only by casting what he knows in a "linguistically structured fact or proposition" can a student really know the subject being taught A second reason for all faculty to teach writing is that writing is conducive to learning Many faculty, however-not only in social education, but in all fields-find this notion difficult to accept because they cling to one or two common misconceptions about writing First, many instructors believe that writing must come last in any instructional sequence or unit They think there is a certain amount of material they must cover through lecture, reading, and discussion before their students know the subject well enough to write about it These instructors fail to acknowledge that writing itself is an intensely effective method of coming to know any discipline's subject matters Several axioms accepted by cognitive psychologists support this notion Learning theorists agree that higher order cognitive functions, such as analyzing and synthesizing ideas, seem to develop fully only when they are put to use in tasks involving language, particularly writing Summarizing the work of Vygotsky, Luria, and Bruner, Emig (1977) asserts that the "multi-representational and integrative" processes of writing allow the writer to establish "explicit and systematic conceptual groupings through lexical, syntactic, and rhetorical devices" and to record "abstract formulations" economically (p 128) In other words, writing allows a person not only to show she knows, but more importantly leads the person to come to know the content As Van Nostrand (1979) puts it, "Composing [written texts] consists of joining bits of information into relationships, many of which have never existed until the composer utters them" (p 178) Theorists also agree that basic cognitive skills necessary for learning are often linked conceptually to the contexts in which they are acquired and practiced (Ausubel, 1968, pp 147-165) Since the cognitive skills required for learning are supported by writing and are linked to specific contexts, like academic disciplines, there is no reason for writing to come last in an instructional sequence To help students learn a discipline's subject matters, instructors can profitably incorporate writing at all points during the instruction The second misconception is related to the first Many instructors, particularly those who believe they can only use writing to have students show they know the material, may believe that by assigning and grading writing they are incorporating writing in their teaching Unfortunately, in too many cases they are not They are simply appending writing to the instruction These instructors usually assign essay exams or papers requiring students to parrot back what the instructors already know-the four causes of the 9 2


Peloponnesian War, three characteristics of tribal totems, the commonly accepted explanation for urban flight, and so on While these means of assessment are better for students' intellectual development than such nondiscursive methods as objective tests, it is hard to believe that students learn much in the process of writing such baldly reportive texts What these writing assignments lack, in Bitzer's (1968) terms, is a "specific condition or situation which invites utterance ." In particular, these tasks do not invite the student writer to experience a personal sense of "exigence : a defect, an obstacle, something wanting to be done, a thing which is other than it should be" (pp 4, 6) Confronted with such tasks, students are not given the opportunity to decide what intellectual function the text will serve for them or for whoever reads the text They justifiably believe that someone else has decided what purpose their essay must accomplish They can feel that the learning of the class has taken place someplace else besides within their own experiences, and that all they are being asked to do is report on that learning Such writing is not incorporated into instruction It does not demand that the student recognize an intellectual problem, describe the dimensions of that problem, and then write a text that leads to solving the problem Such writing is not, therefore, optimally conducive to students' learning either the discipline's content or its ways of thinking and representing knowledge In short, it does not invite knowledge work Four Approaches to Teaching Writing in Social Science Education It should be clear that primary concern of the social educator who wants to teach writing should be to provide students with opportunities to write texts that set out and solve problems, either for themselves or for other members of the intellectual community represented by the academic discipline What follows, therefore, are four approaches to incorporating writing in social science education that address that concern These four approaches vary along two dimensions : the degree to which they require writers to envision specific readers other than themselves and the degree to which they dictate a specific intellectual treatment of the subject matter Only the fourth approach gives rise to writing activities like those that actually accomplish knowledge work in the disciplines, but the other three approaches require the kinds of thinking and learning that invite knowledge work Because of these differences, instructors might find that the first and second approaches are more appropriate for beginning courses in the discipline, while the third and fourth are better for more advanced courses On the other hand, some instructors might want to incorporate all four approaches in a single course or sequence of courses in the field The expressive approach Instructors can require or suggest that students write texts in which they reflect upon and discuss their own personal relationship to the subjects about which they are learning The writer writes primarily for herself, and the instructor generally assigns no specific in9 3


tellectual activity that the writer must engage in, such as hypothesizing, classifying, and so on Writing within the expressive approach is openended and discursive The medium most frequently employed in the expressive approach is the student journal A prominent advocate of journal writing across the curriculum, Fulwiler (1982), stresses that a journal differs from a diary, in which a writer engages in highly subjective, often emotional reflection about the world surrounding him, and from a class or laboratory notebook, in which a student writes objectively about assigned topics Borrowing a term from Moffett, who in turn appropriated it from theologian Martin Buber, Fulwiler explains that the purpose of writing in a journal is to establish an I/it relationship with the subject matter, accomplishing a purpose somewhere between subjective expression and objective reporting In other words, a journal writer consistently addresses the question, "What does X mean to me as a student and a thinker, as well as a feeling person?" Fulwiler sees journal entries as intrinsically valuable and conducive to learning in their own right, but he also acknowledges that journal writing can provide the germ for papers employing more conventional formats and accomplishing more transactional purposes, such as those described under the final approach below Fulwiler points out that, "Trial hypotheses might find first articulation in social science journals ; the strongest idea will provide the impetus for further experimentation and study" (p 18) Instructors who choose to incorporate expressive writing in their teaching will need to decide whether to provide students with prompts, and exactly where, when, and how to use journal writing in an instructional sequence A prompt is simply a statement or question presented to get the students' expressive writing going, to get them thinking about the I/it relationship For example, after teaching about forms of local government, an instructor might suggest that students write about the following question in their journals : "What do you think would be the result if the form of government in your hometown changed from partisan to nonpartisan, or vice versa?" Many successful instructors who use journal writing allow students to write about a subject other than the prompt if the students feel compelled to decide upon their own subject Students can be asked to write in their journals at various times and places Some instructors use brief, threeto five-minute journal-writing sequences, either prompted or not, to focus students' attention at the beginning of a class Some interrupt classes, particularly twoor three-hour sessions, and ask students to focus their thinking with a brief period of writing in their journals Some instructors choose to end classes with a short time for journal writing Instructors can ask students to write in their journals nightly or so many times during a week, a month, or a term Such logistical decisions are solely determined by instructors' preferences Not all student writing in journals must be discursive and expository 9 4


Some teachers report good results from having students role-play or engage in hypothetical dialogues in their journals For example, students in an economics class might be asked to play the role of an IRS examiner confronted with a particularly confusing tax scenario Students in a British history class might be given the opportunity to write a hypothetical dialogue between Henry II and Becket on a specific issue Such activities could also be placed under the rubric of writing-to-learn-content, discussed in the following section, but they also serve to develop the I/it relationship that characterizes the expressive approach The writing-to-learn-content approach While all four approaches to teaching writing in social education presented in this article can lead a student to learn a discipline's subject matters, the activities within the writingto-learn-content approach are specifically designed to help students to know, analyze, and understand the subject-area content Unlike the expressive approach, which is based on the essentially unresearchable hypothesis that students with a strong I/it relationship to their subjects will write better about them, the writing-to-learn-content approach is supported by a well documented and researched thesis, namely that writing extended texts leads to gains in knowledge about the subjects of those texts (Newell, 1984 ; Langer, 1985) : Two methods of using the writing-to-learn-content approach require the student to examine explicitly what they know about the discipline's subject matters The first, which I call the know/don't know method, can be assigned at the end of a lecture or discussion or after having finished reading an article, a chapter, or an entire book This method is simple : ask students to answer the following four questions : 1 What is the one most important idea that I'm sure I know about the subject we discussed/I read about? 2 What is one other important idea that I think I know about concerning the subject? 3 What is the one most important idea that I know I'm not sure about concerning the subject? 4 What is one other important idea that I may not be sure about concerning the subject? Two points about this method are important First, notice that it requires students to summarize the lecture, discussion, or reading by abstracting the most important points It forces them to lay their understanding of the material before themselves so they can inspect what they know and to focus on what they still need to learn Second, instructors using this method need not get too caught up with numbers There is nothing magical about the notion of two things students know and two things they don't know Three and three or four and four work equally well, as long as students can determine that one of the ideas in 9 5


both the know and don't know categories is the most important I believe, however, that they need to try to find more than one idea in each category This level of scrutiny, I think, helps them see that the lecture, discussion, or reading did more than just explain one point A second method for using the writing-to-learn-content approach shares certain open-ended, discursive characteristics with the expressive approach and certain strategic characteristics with the problem-solving approach, which will be discussed in the next section of this article This second method is the reaction paper Like the know/don't know method, the reaction paper method can be employed after a lecture or discussion or after having finished reading a text of any length It will probably be most useful, however, in the latter case : as a written reaction to reading students have just finished A reaction paper is exactly what its name says it is It does not summarize the lecture, discussion, or reading, but instead it reacts to some aspect of it Some questions students can consider as points for reaction include the following : 1 What issues or questions did the reading/lecture/discussion address? Why are they important? 2 What issues or questions did the reading/lecture/discussion sidestep or ignore? Why was this omission of any consequence? 3 How was the reading/lecture/discussion organized? Was there a thesis that it argued? To what kinds of authority did the reading/lecture/discussion appeal? To experts? To data? To logical reasoning? 4 In your estimation, how precise was the language used in the reading/lecture/discussion? Were you able to understand everything said or written? If not, why not? 5 How did the reading/lecture/discussion address prior knowledge on its subject matter? Did it rehash old issues? Did it add new information without disturbing prior knowledge? Did it force reinterpretation of prior knowledge? Did it replace prior knowledge? 6 If the reading/lecture/discussion reported some kind of controlled investigation, was the method of investigation appropriate for answering the question posed? 7 If the reading/lecture/discussion reported some kind of controlled investigation, were the conclusions drawn supported by the data presented? Surely this is not an exhaustive list of questions But the questions are sufficient to show the main purpose of writing reaction papers : to stimulate students to listen to lectures, participate in discussions, and undertake readings with a critical mind, to interpret and evaluate what they see and hear rather than passively take it in and commit it to memory Instructors should bear in mind two operational tips about reaction papers First, students will write more of them-and, consequently, become 9 6


better critical learners-if they limit themselves to no more than one page per reaction paper This limit will force them to focus their attention quickly on the lecture, discussion, or reading under consideration, and they will soon find that writing one page about a subject is a relatively painless, but productive, experience Second, with a small class-say about ten or fifteen students-students might find it v aluable .t o duplicate their reaction papers and distribute them to the other members of the class This practice accomplishes two purposes : It helps students learn by seeing how other members of the class are reacting to the subjects at hand, and it provides them with a great stockpile of materials for studying for examinations A third method of using the writing-to-learn-content approach leads students to understand the discipline's subject matter by requiring them to focus,on explaining the content for another person This method, which I call the connections method, works to counter the situation psychologists call cognitive egocentrism As Flavell (1963) puts it, an egocentric thinker "sees the world from a single point of view-his own-without knowledge of the existence of other viewpoints or perspectives and . without awareness that he is the prisoner of his own" (p 60) . The central idea underlying the connections method is that by explaining content for another reader, a writer is able to understand it more clearly for herself Like the other two methods, the connections method can be employed after a lecture, discussion, or reading The method has three steps First, students write a 150-word summary of the lecture, discussion, or reading, assuming the summary will be read by their intellectual and experiential peers Second, the students think of some person studying the subject matter at a level of age, experience, and training significantly under their own For example, an upper-division university student might think of a high school student A high school student might think of a younger brother or sister The students then rewrite the summary, again limiting themselves to 150 or so words, so that the imagined person can understand it Finally, students envision someone whose special interests lie in a completely different field but who might be interested in the subject of the lecture, discussion, or reading For example, if they have just heard a lecture or finished some reading on Malthus and population, they could consider how someone attending seminary might be interested in that subject If they have just finished reading an article on halfway houses in urban settings, they could envision how a student in real estate management might be interested in the' subject Once students have selected on a likely other-field candidate, they again rewrite the 150-word summary, this time accommodating the knowledge of the person from the other field Writing these summaries to three different audiences-themselves, persons at a lower level, and persons in other fields-leads students to make connections between their learning and the world around them The problem-solving approach The writing activities within the problem9 7


solving approach encourage students to develop and become consciously aware of the intellectual strategies they use to solve problems in their academic work In the expressive approach, students ask, "What is my relationship to the subject?" In the writing-to-learn-content approach, they ask, "What do I know about the subject?" In the problem-solving approach, students ask, "How do I manipulate and perform operations upon the subject?" The thesis supporting the problem-solving approach is that people who are consciously aware of the strategies they use to solve problems usually come up with better and more effective solutions Psychologists who study people's awareness and control of their intellectual strategies refer to these phenomena as metacognition Early studies of metacognition examined memory and concluded that children who can monitor their strategies perform better on experiemental memory tasks (Brown, 1978 ; Flavell & Wellman, 1977 ; Markman, 1979) Subsequent research has examined the ways people develop and become aware of strategies they use in such varied activities as taking notes and writing summaries (Brown & Day, 1983) and practicing the piano (Gruson, 1980) Specific writing assignments in the problem-solving approach can ask students either to describe their intellectual strategies or to write texts that require them to become aware of strategies Berkenkotter (1982) advocates the former, urging that students keep a notebook in which they describe how they solve academic problems Berkenkotter adapts a series of problem-solving procedures developed by mathematician George Polya into a checklist of questions students can ask as they write entries in their notebooks Those questions focus on how students came to understand the problem, devised a plan for solving it, carried out the plan, and checked the results of their plan (p 42) Although Berkenkotter's questions retain something of the mathematical flavor of Polya's procedures, nonetheless they could be adapted for use in such fields of social education as government, policy studies, sociology, and anthropology Bean, Drenk, and Lee (1982) have devised a series of writing activities designed to make students aware of the ways they solve academic problems These activities, do not require students to describe their strategies They all involve a pedagogical device called the "microtheme-an essay so short that it can be typed on a single five-by-eight inch note card" (p 27 ; see also Work, 1979) In addition to a summary microtheme that resembles the know/don't know method described above, Bean, Drenk, and Lee have also developed three other activities that require more complicated intellectual activities than summarizing The first, the thesis-support microtheme, gives students a controversial thesis statement, or perhaps allows them to choose from among several alternative theses, and requires them to develop and describe evidence that supports the thesis The second, the dataprovided microtheme, is the obverse of the first : students are provided with data, either in prose or in graphs and tables, and required to ferret out a 9 8


thesis or generalization that could be supported by the data The third, the quandary-posing microtheme, presents the students with some paradoxical or seemingly anomalous situation involving the field of study and asks them to solve it Bean, Drenk, and Lee offer examples of the quandary-posing microtheme only from an introductory physics class ; but, like the other two activities, it could easily be adapted to social education settings An economics instructor, for example, might develop a quandary-posing assignment like the following : You are a feature writer for a monthly magazine that covers life in the Carolinas, and your editor sends you out to investigate a rather sad situation in Exton, North Carolina Doing a little homework before you leave, you discover that for decades a large percentage of the workforce in Exton has been employed in the shoe factories, but now a large percentage of those shoe workers are unemployed You also come across a rather curious circumstance : about fifteen years ago, a major bank in North Carolina lent hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Brazilian government, which in turn indirectly supports the native shoemaking industry in Brazil Because labor and raw material costs are considerably lower in Brazil than they are in Exton, many of the world's largest shoe companies are having their products made in South America rather than North Carolina, thus contributing to the unemployment problem What do you think would be the best steps for the bank officials to take to help remedy the area's economic problems? The quandary confronting the students should be clear : The bank officials must hope the Brazilian shoe industry will prosper so the government will be able to repay its loan, but they must also try to help the Exton industries get back to full production Instructors who assigned such a writing task could look for evidence that students clearly understood the economic principles involved in such a quandary and could propose a solution The discipline-specific approach The three approaches described so far rest on the assumption, argued above, that writing is a powerful means of learning, since it forces students not only to show they know a discipline's content but also to come to know the material The writing activities within each of the first three approaches, thus, generate texts that serve as propaedeutics-essays and journal or notebook entries that focus and guide students' attention as they study a subject These kinds of texts represent invitations to knowledge work, but they are not the kinds that accomplish the actual knowledge work itself The discipline-specific approach, on the other hand, recommends that instructors assign writing tasks designed to introduce students to the strategies of generating material and the conventions of format and style that are valued in a specific discipline In the disciplinespecific approach, students write the kinds of papers that professionals and professors in the discipline write Understanding the idea of conventional behavior is central to effective 9 9


use of the discipline-specific approach in instruction It is easy, especially for experienced teachers and writers, to see the activities that lead to writing in the discipline as being governed by timeless rules of thought, format, and style that students must follow Such rules are often cast in monolithic, commandment language : "An experimental report must have an introduction, methods, results, and discussion section" ; "A writer must report observations in the passive voice" A more useful and instructive way of considering them is as intellectual and social conventions that members of the intellectual community agree to use to facilitate communication As Herrington (1985) points out, "These conventions include the kinds of issues that the discipline considers it important to try to resolve, the lines of reasoning used to resolve those issues, and shared assumptions about the audience's role, the writer's ethos, and the social purposes for communicating" (p 405) A writer in a discipline chooses a subject to write about because it involves an issue he and the members of his intellectual community think ought to be investigated He usually studies the subject using methods of investigation sanctioned by the community He sets out his data and conclusions using accepted lines of reasoning He organizes the text in a format conventionally used to report on such a subject, and he generally chooses language similar to that used by other practitioners in the field This is not to say that a writer in the discipline must operate within the boundaries of mediocrity that much writing in the field might display A writer can always distinguish herself by using particularly inventive lines of reasoning and exceptionally clear, direct language But unless she has stature in the field, her reasoning, formats, and language must be conventionally acceptable so that her readers will not dismiss her as an outsider, one who has not been initiated into the ways of thinking and writing that the field values Herrington points out that instructors who employ a discipline-specific approach to incorporating writing in their teaching can "identify . the intellectual and social conventions that they want students to learn and then . design writing assignments that will teach students to use them" (p 405) The opportunities for developing such assignments in social education settings seem to be many An upper-division psychology course at the University of Texas at Austin, for example, requires students to write four reports "as if they were intended for publication, adhering as closely as possible to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association The professor provides experimental data for the first three reports The students have to perform the calculations and write the report On the fourth report, students have to design an experiment, provide data in most cases fabricated, and write the report" (Faigley & Hansen, 1985, p 141) Students of the social sciences at the University of Rhode Island are taught to write a research report They formulate a proposal, choose ap1 0 0


propriate methods-questionnaires, observations, and case studies receive particular attention-describe and discuss results, and produce a list of references (See Shamoon, 1986) Students in sociology or social work classes could learn to write case papers Students in government and policy courses could write political analyses Instructors need not expect that students' papers will all be worthy of publication In many cases, instructors may need to adjust the assignment so that students write scaled-down imitations of the kinds of papers professionals and professors write But in all instances, instructors can teach their students the conventions of thinking, formatting, and effecting accepted styles that the discipline values and expects its participants to know A Note of Caution and Hope Social educators probably have a right to feel a bit uncomfortable about suggestions that they teach writing in their courses Few are trained to teach writing, and may feel insecure about their own abilities as writers They need not let their tension deter them Teaching writing is an inexact craft, and the keys to success are practice and patience Faculty in all fields can incorporate writing in their instruction with considerably less trouble than they may think it requires Two maxims can guide faculty who want to use writing in their teaching The first is, "Examine products, but coach processes ." Faculty who feel they must correct every problem of usage, add every missing punctuation mark, and circle every misspelled word are setting themselves up to become slaves to student writing rather than teachers of it Faculty should feel free to tell a student that he has a particular problem in an area of usage, punctuation, or spelling and that the student himself ought to remedy it Nearly every college and university has some kind of writing center where students can get advice on such matters, and tutors in such centers usually welcome students from all disciplines Instead of focusing on matters of formal correctness, faculty can concentrate on coaching students to use accepted and effective methods of generating ideas, formatting texts, and executing style Bear in mind that not every piece of writing needs to be graded, especially not every entry in a journal or notebook Students often feel their work is validated more by a brief written comment than by a letter grade I find that comments are most productive if they include one point about what a student has done well and one point about how he might improve in each of the following areas : (a) quality, organization, and development of ideas ; (b) sentence style and diction ; and (c) usage, spelling, and punctuation In addition to commenting on and coaching students' writing processes, instructors should feel free to remove students' names and duplicate, distribute, and discuss samples of successful and unsuccessful papers It is surprising how rarely students have 1 0 1


the chance to read each others' writing, and they can learn a great deal from observing and analyzing their colleagues' work I have borrowed the wording for the second maxim from one of my students, who told me, "A piece of writing is finished only when you feel like stopping ." Any practicing writer knows that she never gets a text the way she wants it on the first draft Students must come to understand the same thing Especially now that more and more students are writing on word processors, rewriting has become an accessible, effective strategy for writers to follow Instructors who want to teach students the benefits of revising and rewriting can use written comments for encouragement Instructors can set up conferences, peer workshops, and peer tutoring services to help students at all points during their writing-beginning, middle, and end Faculty from all fields can find helpful information on writing conferences and writers' workshops in Murray (1985) and Lindemann (1982) Information on setting up peer tutoring operations is available in Arkin and Shollar (1982) and Matsuhashi, Luban, and Reigstad (1978) I hope social educators will realize that the job of helping students become effective writers in school and in their chosen fields is too large for English faculty to accomplish on their own Faculty from all disciplines must lend a hand References Applebee, A N (1981) Writing in the secondary schools : English and the content areas Urbana, IL : NCTE Arkin, M ., & Shollar, B (1982) The writing tutor New York : Longman Ausubel, D P (1968) Educational psychology : A cognitive view New York : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Bean, J ., Drenk, D ., & Lee, F D (1982) Microtheme strategies for developing cognitive skills In C W Griffin (Ed .), Teaching writing in all disciplines San Francisco : Jossey-Bass Becker, H S (1986) Writing for social scientists Chicago : University of Chicago Press Berkenkotter, C (1982) Writing and problem-solving In T Fulwiler & A Young (Eds .), Language connections : Writing and reading across the curriculum Urbana, IL : NCTE Bitzer, L (1968) The rhetorical situation Philosophy and Rhetoric, 1, 1-15 Brown, A L (1978) Knowing when, where, and how to remember In R Glaser (Ed .), Advances in instructional psychology (Volume 1) Hillsdale, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Brown, A L ., & Day, J D (1983) Macrorules for summarizing texts : The development of expertise Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 22, 1-14 1 0 2


Connors, R J (1985) Mechanical correctness as a focus in composition instruction College Composition and Communication, 36, 61-72 Douglas, W (1976) Rhetoric for the meritocracy In R Ohmann (Ed .), English in America New York : Oxford University Press Emig, J (1977) Writing as a mode of learning College Composition and Communication, 28, 122-128 Faigley, L ., & Hansen, K (1985) Learning to write in the social sciences College Composition and Communication, 36, 140-149 Flavell, J H (1963) The developmental psychology of Jean Piaget Princeton, NJ : D Van Nostrand Flavell, J H ., & Wellman, H (1977) Metamemory In R V Kail & J W Hagen (Eds .), Perspectives on the development of memory and cognition Hillsdale, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Fulwiler, T (1982) The personal connection : Journal writing across the curriculum In T Fulwiler & A Young (Eds .), Language connections : Writing and reading across the curriculum Urbana, IL : NCTE Gruson, L (1980) Piano practicing skills : What distinguishes competence? Doctoral dissertation, University of Waterloo Gusfield, J (1976) The literary rhetoric of science : Comedy and pathos in drinking driver research American Sociological Review, 41, 16-34 Herrington, A J (1 .985) Classrooms as forums for reasoning and writing College Composition and Communication, 36, 404-413 Herzberg, B (1986) The politics of discourse communities Paper presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, New Orleans Langer, J A (1985) Where problems start : The effects of available information on responses to school writing tasks In A N Applebee (Ed .), Contexts for learning to write : Studies of secondary school instruction Norwood, NJ : Ablex Lindemann, E (1982) A rhetoric for writing teachers New York : Oxford University Press Markman, E M (1979) Realizing that you don't understand : Elementary school children's awareness of inconsistencies Child Development, 50, 643-655 Matsuhashi, A ., Luban, N ., & Reigstad, T (1978) One-to-one to write : Establishing an individual conference writing place at your school English Journal, 67, 30-35 McCloskey, D N (1983) The rhetoric of economics Journal of Economic Literature, 21, 481-517 Murray, D (1985) A writer teaches writing (2nd ed .) Boston : Houghton Mifflin Newell, G E (1984) Learning from writing in two content areas : A case study/ protocol analysis Research in the Teaching of English, 18, 265-287 1 0 3


Parker, W R (1967) Where do English departments come from? College English, 28, 339-351 Shamoon, L K (1986) Think/write : A guide to research writing across the curriculum Dubuque, IA : Kendall-Hunt Toulmin, S E (1972) Human understanding : The collective use and evolution of concepts Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press Van Nostrand, A D (1979) Writing and the generation of knowledge Social Education, 43, 178-80 Work, J C (1979) Reducing three papers to ten : A method for literature courses In G Stanford (Ed .), How to handle the paper load : Classroom practices in teaching English Urbana, IL : NCTE 1 0 4


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring 1987, Volume XV, Number 2, pp 105-114 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies High School Social Studies Classroom Environments and Attitudes : A Cluster Analysis Approach Jeffrey T Fouts Seattle Pacific University Abstract This study provides research on a theory suggesting that attitudes toward social studies are, in part, determined by the classroom environment The classification of 27 high school social studies classroom environments using the statistical technique of cluster analysis resulted in clusters that were most distinguishable by the amount of teacher support, student involvement and affiliation, and innovative and diverse teaching strategies Two distinctive learning environments were described, and it was concluded that students in certain types of classroom environments have more positive attitudes toward social studies than do students in other environments The environmental dimensions appear to be variables that can be manipulated directly by the classroom teacher, suggesting important implications for social studies educators and trainers The relatively low status of social studies classes among junior and senior high school students has been well documented Shaughnessy and Haladyna's (1985) review of two decades of research on students' attitudes toward the social studies presents an alarming picture for social studies educators A common perception among students appears to be that social studies classes are relatively boring, focusing on irrelevant subject matter, with little involvement or active learning on the part of the students While the relationship between attitude toward a subject and achievement is correlational, it is afguable from a theoretical base that a causal relationship exists, and that improving attitudes toward a subject may result in increased achievement and desire for continued and future study of that subject Causes of these attitudes toward social studies classes have received less attention The existing research suggests that students' attitudes toward social studies are tied to certain teacher and classroom environmental variables (Shug, Todd, & Beery, 1984 ; Haladyna, Shaughnessy, & Redsun, 1982) Haladyna et al have offered a theoretical model that hypothesizes that attitude is determined by three factors : (a) the teacher, (b) the class1 0 5


room environment, and (c) student history Results of their research at grades four, seven, and nine showed that the learning environment accounted for the most variance in class social studies attitudes, with the teacher variable becoming more important in grades seven and nine They suggest that social studies educators should examine those variables that are under the control of the teacher and that influence the attitudes of students toward social studies The purpose of my study was to identify the nature of high school social studies environments and to continue exploration of the Haladyna et al theory at the high school level, focusing on the environmental determinants of attitudes towards social studies The theoretical basis for environmental assessment is traced to Henry Murray's needs-press theory (1938) This theory maintains that actual environmental behavior is less important than the perceived behavior, because it is the individual's perception that controls one's responses Studies of the classroom learning environments employing high-inference measures have shown that students' perceptions of the psychosocial characteristics of the classroom are predictors of both affective and cognitive outcomes (Chavez, 1984) This was also supported by the Haladyna et al finding that data where the student was the source of information resulted in most of the significant correlations with attitude Research Design A stratified random sample of 27 high school social studies classrooms (686 students) was selected from the four high schools in a large, suburban, West Coast school district The sample included one class from each of the 24 teachers in the district who taught social studies on a regular basis Because one of the schools was smaller and had only three social studies teachers, two classes were selected from those teachers to provide a comparable number of classes to the other three schools Excluded from the random selection were those social studies classes designated as an honors course for advanced students, or as a basic skills course for remedial students These two categories accounted for approximately 15 % of the social studies offerings in the district The remaining classes in the sample might be described as normal social studies classes The sample included 6 classes of state history, 4 classes of Modern World History, and 11 classes of United States History, all required ; and 7 elective classes, such as sociology and contemporary problems The average class size was 25 .4 students with a minimum class size of 11 and a maximum of 40 Of the 686 students involved in the study, 75% were white All of the high school social studies teachers in the district were male The professional preparation of 7 of the teachers was in an area other than social studies To assess the classroom environments of these social studies classes, the Classroom Environment Scales (CES ; Mobs & Trickett, 1974) was employed The CES is a high inference environmental assessment tool, with 1 0 6


nine environmental dimensions or scales with 10 response items for each scale, resulting in a scale score of zero to 10 The collective perceptions of the students in a class are used to provide a class profile The nine dimensions of the CES include : Involvement, Affiliation, Teacher Support, Task Orientation, Competition, Order and Organization, Rule Clarity, Teacher Control, and Innovation Assessment of the classroom environments was conducted in a group setting during April Students also completed forced-choice questions as to their favorite and least favorite subject, and the subjects they believed to be the most and least important that they study To identify the types of environments and characteristics of these social studies classrooms, I chose to perform a cluster analysis on the environmental data, using the classroom as the unit of analysis, and the nine scale scores of the CES as the variables for the clustering procedure Cluster analysis is a statistical technique used to partition groups into homogeneous subgroups based on differences or similarities among any number of variables In contrast to discriminant analysis where the researcher begins with well-defined groups, the objective of cluster analysis is to identify those groups from a larger number of observations Where discriminant analysis attempts to discover how given groups differ, cluster analysis attempts to determine if a number of observations can be divided into groups that provide some type of categorical structure While similar in concept to factor analysis which attempts to identify variables, cluster analysis attempts to group objects based on measures of several variables The intent of cluster analysis is to create clusters that have small withincluster variance, while maximizing between-cluster variance The clusters may then be compared by examining the means and variances of the resulting clusters on the input variables, in this case, the environmental dimensions .-The result is an overview of the distinguishing characteristics of each cluster The clusters may also be examined and compared on any number of variables not used in the clustering procedure, providing a deeper insight into the nature of the clusters, and providing a type of face validity There are numerous statistical techniques to determine similarity and cluster formation For this study, I have used the Euclidean distance and the nearest centroid sorting method with cluster centers estimated from the data, and the number of clusters (3) decided a priori (Anderberg, 1973, p 160) Results And Discussion The nearest centroid sorting method used in this analysis creates cluster centers from the first three cases of the data and assigns each data unit to the cluster with the nearest center After each assignment, the cluster centers are recomputed After all data units have been assigned to a cluster, the existing cluster center becomes the classification cluster center The classifica1 0 7


Table 1 Classification Cluster Centers Formed by 27 Social Studies Classroom Means on the Classroom Environment Scales tion cluster centers formed by the 27 social studies classroom means on the Classroom Environment Scales are displayed in Table 1 After identifying the classification cluster centers, a second pass through the data units is conducted assigning each data unit to the nearest classification center Following this procedure the cluster centers are recomputed, resulting in final cluster centers Final cluster centers and the Euclidean distances between final cluster centers are displayed in Table 2 Cluster 1 contains 5 classes, Cluster 2 contains 12 classes and Cluster 3 contains 10 classes Table 3 shows the analysis of variance with the CES dimensions as the dependent variables and provides insight into which of the variables were most instrumental in the formation of the clusters The cluster mean square figure represents the between cluster variance, with the error mean square representing within cluster variance An examination of these variance partitions and resulting F ratios shows that the between cluster variance is greatest on the environmental scales of Teacher Support, Innovation, and Involvement, with the least between cluster variance on the environmental scales of Task Orientation, Rule Clarity, and Competition Seven of the nine resulting F ratios were significant at the .05 level, and five F ratios were significant at the .01 level The final cluster centers in Table 2 provide the CES mean scale scores for each of the clusters Comparative profiles of the clusters emerge as these means are examined From Table 3 it is clear that the clusters differ most on the environmental dimensions of Teacher Support, Involvement, and Innovation, and least on Task Orientation and Rule Clarity The 10 classrooms of Cluster 3 are high on Involvement, Affiliation, Teacher Support, Competition, Order and Organization, and Innovation, and low on Teacher 1 0 8 Environmental Dimension (CES) Cluster I Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Involvement 2 .63 4 .61 7 .30 Affiliation 4 .83 5 .77 7 .88 Teacher Support 3 .03 7 .01 8 .49 Task Orientation 6 .99 7 .05 7 .80 Competition 5 .25 4 .94 5 .95 Order & Organization 3 .02 7 .35 7 .93 Rule Clarity 5 .60 7 .95 7 .67 Teacher Control 5 .23 4 .60 5 .21 Innovation 2 .56 2 .42 6 .41


Table 2 Final Cluster Centers (Means) and Euclidean Distances Between Final Cluster Centers Formed by 27 Social Studies Classroom Means on the Classroom Environment Scales Control The 5 classrooms of Cluster 1 appear to provide the opposite type of classroom environment as the Cluster 3 classrooms provide Indeed, the magnitude of environmental differences as measured by the Involvement, Teacher Support, and Innovation scales is readily apparent The 12 classrooms of Cluster 2 appear to provide  moderate levels of the environmental factors that separate Clusters 1 and 3 Table 3 Analysis of Variance of the Classroom Environment Scale Means of Three Clusters Formed from 27 Social Studies Classrooms 1 0 9 Environmental Dimension (CES) Cluster MS df Error MS df F P Involvement 32 .13 2 .99 24 32 .57 .000 Affiliation 7 .17 2 .58 24 12 .47 .000 Teacher Support 43 .16 2 .87 24 49 .66 .000 Task Orientation .54 2 .95 24 .57 .572 Competition 2 .25 2 .55 24 4 .11 .029 Order and Organization 7 .26 2 1 .28 24 5 .69 .009 Rule Clarity .82 2 .70 24 1 .18 .325 Teacher Control 8 .33 2 1 .58 24 5 .28 .013 Innovation 27 .09 2 .80 24 33 .9G .000 Environmental Dimension (CES) Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Involvement 2 .65 4 .48 6 .83 Affiliation 5 .25 .5 .97 7 .17 Teacher Support 3 .07 6 .48 8 .16 Task Orientation 7 .40 6 .86 6 .91 Competition 4 .98 5 .46 6 .08 Order & Organization 4 .66 6 .15 6 .74 Rule Clarity 6 .68 7 .36 7 .17 Teacher Control 6 .68 5 .25 4 .48 Innovation 2 .34 3 .06 5 .73 Cluster 1 2 3 1 0 .0 2 4 .58 0 .0 3 8 .34 4 .30 0 .0


A description of two distinctive classroom environments emerge from the data Students in Cluster 3 classrooms are very involved in the class, have positive and strong relationships with other students in the class, and feel a great deal of personal support from the teacher, on both an academic and personal level The classroom is somewhat competitive and task oriented, orderly and organized with class expectations and rules clearly known, but frequency of classroom problems and need for the teacher to enforce the rules are relatively low The teacher uses a variety of teaching strategies, often employing new techniques and varying routines The students in Cluster 1 classrooms are in a highly task oriented environment with clear rules and expectations, but with much more teacher control and dominance of the environment They are generally less competitive, but most distinguishable from their counterparts in that the students are less actively involved in the class and feel little support from the teacher, who does little to alter the usual classroom routine or method of instruction The plurality of classrooms, those in Cluster 2, fall somewhere between these two extremes Examination of the clusters on variables not used in the clustering process is instructive When the clusters' members were examined by course of study, one important finding emerged Of the seven elective social studies classes in the sample, six of the seven are in Cluster 3 The seventh elective class is in Cluster 1 It would be expected that students who sign up for an elective course would have a more positive attitude toward that subject than would students in general An examination of these seven elective classes independently shows that this is indeed true Higher percentages of students in the elective classes than in the required classes identified social studies as their favorite subject (32% to 19%) and as the most important subject (16 .7 % to 6 .5 %) Consistent with this was the fact that higher percentages of students in the required classes than in the elective classes identified social studies as their least favorite subject (19 .0% to 8 .6%) and as the least important subject (31 .8% to 18 .9%) Chi-square analyses for these frequency distributions were all significant at the .01 level This finding suggests that it may be easier to create a Cluster 3 learning environment in an elective class, and that a contributing factor to the environment may be the attitudes of the students when they enter the class However, simply because a course is an elective does not assure that it will have a Cluster 3 environment, as shown by the elective class in Cluster 1 Although attitudes toward social studies were similar to the other elective classes, the environment measured 2 .85, 3 .46, and 2 .38 respectively, on the Involvement, Teacher Support, and Innovation scales of the CES, resulting in classification within Cluster 3 (see Table 2) The fact that 4 of the 10 classes in Cluster 3 were required courses, however, also suggests that the Cluster 3 environment is possible with required courses 1 1 0


With the cluster as the unit of analysis, frequency distributions for students' identification of their most important subject and favorite subject showed that a higher percentage of students in Cluster 3 classrooms identified social studies as their favorite subject (29 .5 %) and most important subject (14 .3%), followed by the Cluster 2 classroom students (19% and 6 .4%), and the Cluster 1 classroom students (15 .4% and 5 .1 %) Frequency distributions for students' identification of their least important subject and least favorite subject showed that a higher percentage of Cluster 1 classroom students identified social studies as their least favorite (23 .9%) and as their least important subject (33 .3 %), followed by Cluster 2 classroom students (17% and 31 .2%), and the Cluster 3 classroom students (11 .2% and 21 .3%) Chi-square analyses of these distributions were all significant at the .05 level Additional crosstabulations and Chi-square analyses of these distributions were performed with the cluster as the unit of analysis, while using the requirement-elective status of the classes as a control variable Because of the location of six of the seven elective classes within one cluster, analysis of the elective classes was not meaningful With the elective classes removed from the clusters, the same pattern and direction of responses emerged as was found when both elective and required classes were considered together The Cluster 3 classroom students were most likely, and Cluster 1 classroom students least likely, to identify social studies as their favorite class and most important class, while the Cluster 1 classroom students were most likely, and the Cluster 3 classroom students least likely to identify social studies as their least favorite and least important subject However, while the same pattern to the responses was observed, only one of the analyses was significant at the .05 level, with a second analysis approaching significance (p < .08) The significant finding indicated that a higher percentage of Cluster 1 classroom students (28 .6%) identified social studies as their least favorite subject, than did Cluster 2 classroom students (17 .2%), or Cluster 1 classroom students (15 .6%) The analysis that approached significance showed that a higher percentage of Cluster 1 students (39 .6%) identified social studies as the least important subject, than did Cluster 2 students (31 .7 %) or Cluster 3 students (24 .5 %) This loss of significance might be due, in part, to the nature of the questions asked of the students ; that is to identify the most and least favorite and important subjects, which is only an assessment of the extremes, least and most Changes of attitudes between these extremes were not detected by this measure This loss of significance limits the conclusion that the classroom environment is related to positive attitudes toward social studies However, the one significant analysis and the one analysis that approached significance indicate that classroom climate may be an important factor in alleviating strong negative views toward social studies 1 1 1


The environmental assessments of two classrooms for three of the teachers resulted in both of the classes being in the same cluster for two of the teachers, while the third teacher had very different results One teacher had both classes in Cluster 2, both were required classes, while the other teacher had both classes in Cluster 3, one elective and one required The results of these two assessments would seem to suggest that the environment is, to some degree, a function of the teacher variable The teacher with the desirable Cluster 3 environment for his elective class was able to provide a similar type of environment for his required class However, the third teacher had one class in Cluster 3, an elective and one class in Cluster 1, a required class, suggesting that there are other factors at work to determine the environment A cluster by school crosstabulation showed that all four schools contained at least one Cluster 3 classroom A Chi-square analysis of this distribution was not significant A cluster by teacher preparation crosstabulation showed that of the eight classes taught by the seven teachers whose professional preparation was in an area other than social studies, five were in Cluster 2 and three in Cluster 3 All five Cluster 1 classrooms were taught by teachers trained as social studies educators A Chi-square analysis of this distribution was not significant The mean class size for Clusters 1, 2, and 3 were 23 .6, 25 .9, and 25 .7, respectively The desirable Cluster 3 classrooms ranged in size from 11 students to 40 students Analysis of variance of these means found no significant differences among the clusters, F(2, 24) = .22, p > .80 Conclusions Research by Shaughnessy, Haladyna, and Redsun (1982) in support of a causal theory of the relationship between classroom environment and social studies attitudes identified a number of teacher controllable variables that were highly correlated with student attitudes Although their study dealt with grades four, seven, and nine, this study sought to extend those concepts to the entire regular social studies program at the high school level Generalizing from the conclusions of this study is limited in the following ways : (a) The sample of classes was drawn from a suburban school district with limited ethnic diversity (b) All of the high school social studies teachers in the district were male, resulting in a sample of classes taught by male teachers (c) The sample consisted of only regular social studies classes, and did not include basic skills classes or honors classes The classification of 27 high school social studies classroom environments using the statistical technique of cluster analysis on the nine environmental dimensions of the CES resulted in clusters that were most distinguishable by the amount of teacher support, student involvement and affiliation, and innovative and diverse teaching strategies As a result of this procedure, two distinctive learning environments were described, along with a third group of classrooms that fell between the two extremes 1 1 2


An examination of the classroom environments and clusters on variables not used in the clustering procedure resulted in the following conclusions First, elective social studies classes are populated by students who have more positive attitudes toward social studies than do students in required courses These attitudes may help form a different class environment than is found in the required classes However, as was demonstrated by the one elective class in Cluster 1, this is not assured ; nor does it mean that required classes cannot have environments similar to elective classes Second, students in certain types of classroom environments have more positive attitudes toward social studies than do students in other types of environments This is true independent of the elective-required status of the course, although this conclusion may be accepted with less certainty In this study, students in the classroom environments characterized by Cluster 3 had more positive attitudes, followed by Cluster 2 and Cluster 1 Third, the elective-required status of the course, class size, school, and area of preparation of the teacher are not necessarily limiting factors in determining the class environment It appears that all of these factors can be overcome by the teacher to create a Cluster 3 learning environment and, theoretically, to improve students' attitudes toward social studies The environmental dimensions of the CES that characterize the clusters appear to be variables that, for the most part, can be effected directly by the classroom teacher Such findings can have important implications for training of social studies educators and for classroom practices Specifically, this research suggests that social studies educators desiring to improve the attitudes of their students toward their subject matter might focus on increasing the divergency of their teaching strategies and avoiding repetitious routines, selecting those teaching techniques that require active student participation in the lesson, encouraging cooperative learning activities to promote student affiliation, and improving interpersonal communications with each student in a positive and supportive manner These are also important implications for the trainers of social studies educators, both preservice and inservice These findings, and this theory, suggest, as many of us have suspected or known all along, that the teacher is the key to a successful classroom Teachers can and do make a difference This research has identified classroom environmental dimensions that are related to and that are possible causes of students' attitudes toward social studies It has not attempted to identify classroom environmental variables that are related to, or are possible causes of classroom achievement A large body of research about effective schools and effective teaching has accumulated ; however, the generalizability of these results to various social studies cognitive learning outcomes is still an area for further research At this point, causal explanations of attitude toward social studies can only be defended from a theoretical basis and from causal-comparative research such as this However, with appropriate experimental designs, it should be possible to further identify social studies classroom environments 1 1 3


that change affective outcomes, such as attitudes In theory, once these attitudes are changed, higher achievement will follow References Anderberg, M R (1973) Cluster analysis for applications New York : Academic Press Chavez, R C (1984) The use of high-inference measures to study classroom climates : A review Review of Educational Research, 54, 237-261 Haladyna, T M ., & Shaughnessy, J (1985) Research on student attitude toward social studies Social Education, 49, 692-695 Haladyna, T M ., Shaughnessy, J ., & Redsun, A (1982) Correlates of attitudes toward social studies Theory and Research in Social Education, 10, 1-26 Moos, R H ., & Trickett, E J (1974) Classroom environment scale .Manual and Form R Palo Alto, CA : Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc Murray, H A (1938) Explorations in personality New York : Oxford University Press Schug, M C ., Todd, R J ., & Beery, R (1984) Why kids don't like social studies Social Education, 48, 382-387 1 1 4


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring 1987, Volume XV, Number 2, pp 115-131 € by The College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Citizenship Education in the Primary School : Perceptions of Nigerian Teachers Cynthia Szymanski Sunal West Virginia University Barbara B Gaba Bayero University Osayimwense Osa Bendel State University Abstract Nigerian social studies teachers (n = 147) were surveyed to determine their conception of the role, context, and function of citizenship education in the primary school Subjects represented all major regions, ethnic groups, and religions in Nigeria Overall, the Nigerian teachers attitudes were somewhat conducive to citizenship education for life in a democratic society, but teachers also perceived limits upon such education Background This study explored the attitudes and beliefs of Nigerian social studies teachers about the content and methods they thought appropriate for the national citizenship education program in primary schools The study can best be understood in the context of Nigerian society The role of a responsible citizen varies between nations because differing political systems require different activities from the citizenry The citizenship education program responds to the character of citizenship in the nation it serves if it is to be effective In a young multiethnic nation, such as Nigeria, citizenship education is critically important as the nation tries to develop citizens whose first responsibility is to their nation, not to their ethnic or religious group (Orimoloye, 1983) Nigeria encompasses 235 ethnic groups speaking approximately 400 languages and practicing traditional African religions, Christianity, and Islam, who are trying to forge a collective political identity 115


Since independence from Britain in 1960, Nigeria moved between democracy and military rule Military governments stepped in when democratic processes appeared to be floundering and generally had popular support These regimes affirmed their intention to return the nation to democratic rule and, in fact, did so (Akinola, 1986) While governments changed, Nigerians continued to be individually outspoken and independent Three major ethnic groups continue to strongly influence political events These groups represent different political traditions The Hausa-Fulani, in the north, are mostly Muslim and traditionally support a centralized authoritarian system with a strong village chief and local Emir, with little participation by citizens The Igbo, in the south and east, are mostly Christians who traditionally live in autonomous village communities noted for direct democracy The Yoruba, in the west, follow a mixture of religions and lie midway between the direct democracy of the Igbo and the authoritarian systems of the Hausa-Fulani in their traditional government The Yoruba have traditional leaders and a council of hereditary chiefs and representatives from major territorial and associational groups in towns who make decisions in addition to those made by local self-governing units (Orimoloye, 1983) Although the Yoruba and Igbo differ greatly in culture and traditional political system, they are often viewed as southerners in contrast to HausaFulani northerners Politically, the Igbo and Yoruba are lumped together because of their generally higher levels of education, greater exposure to Western ideas, and because they are often Christian, or if Muslim are more liberal in viewpoint than are northerners Since independence Nigerians have worked to develop a form of government which could effectively serve people with such disparate traditional political systems Unity is the major national goal Fostering national unity through citizenship education is emphasized in objectives for social studies written at the national level (Okoh, 1979) Social studies became a part of the National Educational Policy in 1981 with citizenship education evident in its stated objectives at each grade level (Kolawole, 1980) Problem Little research on citizenship education has been completed in Nigeria Orimoloye (1983) investigated the perspectives of primary and secondary social studies educators on citizenship education in Oyo state, a primarily Yoruba state Four models of citizenship education were analyzed : (a) citizenship transmission, a conservative view which seeks to inculcate social norms and values, (b) the social science model, teaching the structure of the social sciences, (c) reflective inquiry, which defines citizenship as decisionmaking in a socio-political context and encourages students to define and explore problems, and (d) social criticism and action which seek to improve 1 1 6


society through the critical analysis of current issues and problems followed by taking action Orimoloye (1983) found that respondents positively endorsed all four models Teacher educators and school inspectors more favorably endorsed reflective inquiry and social criticism and action models than did teachers Teachers with high qualifications and those who taught at the secondary school level also responded more positively toward reflective inquiry and social criticism and action In 1976, Barth and Norris investigated preservice teachers' perspectives on the social studies related to three models ; citizenship transmission, social science, and reflective inquiry They found support for all three models among 55 respondents at a northern university in Kaduna state Research has not been carried out on a sample representing many states in the nation nor has it included a variety of teaching experience Previous studies have not attempted to isolate specific concepts and attitudes which teachers believe should be part of the Nigerian primary school (grades 1-6) citizenship education program This study attempted to isolate specific elements of the primary school citizenship education program as described in the following research questions (statements defining the concepts used in the research questions can be found in Table 1) : 1 What definition of social studies education is accepted by Nigerian social studies teachers? 2 From which areas of knowledge do Nigerian social studies teachers think social studies goals should be selected? 3 What concepts do Nigerian social studies teachers think are necessary to democratic beliefs? 4 What skills do Nigerian social studies teachers think students need to become functioning citizens? 5 Which values do Nigerian social studies teachers think are important to teach in primary school citizenship education? 6 What characteristics do Nigerian social studies teachers believe are important if an educational program is to achieve its goals in citizenship education? Method The subjects were 147 Nigerian social studies teachers with teaching experience who were enrolled as university undergraduates at two Nigerian universities, one in the north and one in the south, at the time of the study A wide range of teaching experience was represented with 121 having both primary and secondary teaching experience, (grades 1-6), 14 having primary school teaching experience, and 12 having secondary school teaching experience Their levels of teaching experience were typical since most university students teach prior to enrolling at a university University trained teachers generally hold administrative posts or teach in the upper secondary grades since few teachers have advanced training 1 1 7


All three parts (years) of these university programs were represented by the subjects ; 41 were Part 1 (first year) students, 82 were Part 2 (second year) students, and 24 were Part 3 (third year) students All chose Political Science as either a major or minor area of study Nigerian teachers have major and minor fields of work These tend to be identified with existing academic university departments, such as History or Political Science Universities generally do not have departments of Social Studies At the universities which the subjects attended, a social studies major was available through the Faculty of Education There were few students with this major in the sample at these universities, 9 .6%, and few at most Nigerian universities Similarly, there were few students with a minor in social studies (2 .7%) These subjects, as do most Nigerian social studies teachers, identified themselves as content area specialists, a geographer, for example They ranged from 20 to 44 years in age There were 137 males and 10 females in the sample, which included all social studies teachers enrolled in the universities' programs There were 118 Muslims and 29 Christians The northern university was a federal university, established for several years The southern university was a state university more recently established and having a much smaller teacher education program The imbalance in numbers, particularly in sex and religion was due to the greater number of subjects being students at the northern university which had a more heavily male and Muslim population than did the southern university Students represented fourteen states, six northern (n = 99) and eight southern and western (n = 48) and 102 local government areas The instrument, the Citizenship Education Status Survey (CESS), focused on the six areas covered by the research questions listed above and described in Table 1 It contained 81 questions developed for this study A five-point Likert scale was used ranging from "I strongly agree" (worth one point) through "I somewhat agree" (three points) to "I strongly disagree" (five points) A panel of ten social studies educators validated the CESS in the United States Another panel of ten validated it in Nigeria Table 1 Description of Questions Used in the Study Instrument (CESS) 1 1 8 Research Question Topic Number of Instrument Questions 1 Statements defining the social studies for primary grades one through six 2 Citizenship Education Orientation 1 Content Area Orientation 1 2 Important areas of knowledge from which the goals for elementary social studies can be selected 7


1 1 9 Sociology 1 Economics 1 History 1 Geography 1 Political Science 1 Integrated Content Areas 2 3 Concepts which may be necessary to democratic beliefs and which should be taught in primary school social studies 10 Political beliefs can be questioned 1 Justice 1 Equal protection for all 1 Provision of legal due process for all 1 Responsibility 1 Equality 1 Freedom 1 Privacy 1 Diversity 1 Citizen participation in government 1 4 Skills which primary school students should be taught if they are to put democratic beliefs into action 9 Reading skills 1 Obtaining information using study skills 2 Decision-making skills 2 Personal social skills 2 Group interaction skills 2 5 Values and beliefs which should be taught in a primary school citizenship education program 41 Individual rights 9 Individual freedoms 9 Individual responsibilities 17 Social conditions and responsibilities 7 6 Characteristics a primary school social studies program should have if it is to achieve its goals in citizenship education 13 Comprehensive curriculum 3 Student participation activities 3 Involvement of community members 3 Inclusion of critical issues 2 Evaluation 2 TOTAL : 81


Results Results of the study are presented and discussed in relation to the six research questions Analysis related to the six research questions involved inspection of descriptive data The definition of social studies education accepted by the Nigerian teachers who were the study's subjects is described first The sections which follow discuss the areas of knowledge from which the subjects' goals for social studies education originate, the concepts they believe are necessary to democratic beliefs, the skills they think students need to become functioning citizens, the values incorporated in a citizenship education program and, finally, the characteristics of a Nigerian citizenship education program at the primary school level Definition of the Social Studies The results of the study indicated that, in general, Nigerian social studies teachers had a comprehensive view of the content and role of citizenship education for primary school children They did not, however, strongly associate social studies education with education for citizenship (Table 2) This was evident in their agreement with a definition of social studies education as obtaining its content from history, the social sciences, and somewhat from the humanities and sciences This definition received stronger agreement (mean = 1 .66, SD = 0 .88) than did a definition which viewed social studies education as obtaining its goals from the nature of citizenship in a democratic society closely linked to other nations and people in the world (mean = 3 .27, SD = 1 .00) The emphasis on academic content was stronger than on citizenship related goals Citizenship-related goals were certainly not rejected, but were given limited support They did not appear to be dominant in Nigerian social studies teachers' conceptions of their field Table 2 Definition of social studies and sources of goals 1 2 0 Definition Mean SD Citizenship education orientation 3 .27 1 .00 Content area orientation 1 .66 0 .88 Sources Sociology 1 .45 0 .68 Economics 2 .95 1 .08 History 1 .75 0 .87 Geography 1 .88 0 .83 Political Science 2 .38 1 .02 Integrated 2 .25 0 .91


Sources for Social Studies Goals Sample teachers tended to favor a content-ordered view of primary school social studies over a citizenship education oriented view Which content areas did they think were most important as sources for the goals of the social studies? They strongly favored sociological goals (mean = 1 .45, SD = 0 .68), particularly in regard to social institutions The sociological goals favored related to understanding the role of and interactions between individuals, groups, communities and society This is similar to the goals evident in many American elementary school curricula, particularly in the earliest grades which often emphasize understanding self, family, neighborhood and community The subjects least agreed with using economics as a source for goals for the primary school curriculum (mean = 2 .95, SD = 1 .08) Traditional sources of social studies education goals, history (mean = 1 .75, SD = 0 .87) and geography (mean = 1 .88 ) SD = 0 .83), were ranked highly by the subjects Two questions on the CESS addressed the use of multiple, integrated social science areas as a source of social studies goals Both questions achieved similar means (2 .24 and 2 .26) with similar standard deviations (0 .89 and 0 .92) The mean for both questions was 2 .25 (SD = 0 .91) Integrated multiple content areas as a source of social studies goals was not ranked highly in comparison to the specific content areas of history and geography Although all the subjects selected political science as a major or minor area of study, it was not among the most highly ranked sources of content (mean = 2 .38, SD = 1 .02) Concepts Necessary to Democratic Beliefs After identifying goals of a program, it is important to examine the belief system underlying it (Table 3) Citizenship education for life in a democratic Table 3 Democratic beliefs 1 2 1 Mean SD Beliefs can be questioned 4 .07* 1 .09 Justice 1 .49 0 .70 Equal protection for all 1 .64 0 .79 Due process for all 2 .05 1 .03 Responsibility 1 .79 0 .87 Equality 1 .79 1 .07 Freedom 1 .74 0 .83 Privacy 3 .34 1 .12 Participation in government 1 .64 0 .79 Diversity 3 .43 1 .12 *reverse scoring


society implies a core of democratic beliefs The Nigerian teachers in the study sample disagreed (mean = 4 .07, SD = 1 .09) with a conception of citizenship education based on the belief that children should be taught not to question important political beliefs about democracy There are several concepts which are incorporated in democratic beliefs and necessary to those beliefs Justice (mean = 1 .49, SD = 0 .70) and equality were beliefs strongly expressed by the subjects (mean = 1 .79, SD = 1 .02) They agreed that democratic beliefs require equal protection for all (mean = 1 .64, SD = 0 .79) and the provision of legal due process for all (mean = 2 .05, SD = 1 .03) They also thought that democratic beliefs require citizen participation in government (mean = 1 .64, SD = 0 .79) Such participation can guarantee justice and equality for all in government The subjects indicated several concepts which they considered prerequisites for democratic beliefs These included justice, equality, responsibility (mean = 1 .79, SD = 0 .87) and freedom (mean = 1 .74, SD = 0 .83) Privacy was not strongly supported (mean = 3 .34, SD = 1 .12) Of the concepts in the instrument, diversity found the least support among the subjects (mean = 3 .43, SD = 1 .12) Skills The subjects responded to questions asking whether skills in obtaining information and social participation were needed (Table 4) Reading skills were the most highly ranked (mean = 1 .55, SD = 0 .65) Obtaining information through using study skills (mean = 2 .02, SD = 1 .13) was also supported Since basic literacy is a driving force behind the widespread expansion of Nigerian primary schools begun in the late 1970's, reading is likely to be considered a critical skill in all subject areas There was less support for the development of skills in using reference books (mean = 2 .46, SD = 0 .97) Reference books are scarce (Okoh, 1979), so teachers may be less supportive of this skill because they realize that it is an ideal unlikely to be trained at the primary school level Skills related to organizing and using information included decisionmaking skills (mean = 2 .65, SD = 1 .11) The subjects were mildly supportive of the inclusion of decision-making skills in the citizenship education curriculum They appeared to regard decision-making as not critical to the role of a citizen (mean = 2 .68, SD = 1 .00) Social participation skills including personal (mean = 2 .02, SD = 0 .94) and group interaction (mean = 1 .66, SD = 0 .06) skills relating to peer relationships were well-supported by the subjects Personal ability to communicate on an individual basis was valued (mean = 2 .00, SD = 1 .01) Also valued was the ability to communicate in a group (mean = 1 .61, SD = 0 .55) Nigerians tend to be socially active and value opportunities to converse and interact with peers (Ozigi & Ocho, 1981) Social participation 1 2 2


Table 4 Skills for citizenship education skills, as was the case with reading skills, would be expected to generate support from the subjects because of cultural values Teaching Values A citizenship education program incorporates many values The selection of values to be incorporated in the program is influenced by the culture in which the program exists (Hess & Torney, 1967) Results already reported have indicated some effects of the cultural values held by the subjects What specific content, in the form of values and beliefs, is appropriate for the program in the view of these Nigerian teachers? To outline this content, subjects responded to questions relating to four groups of democratic values and beliefs : individual rights, individual freedoms, individual responsibilities, and social conditions and responsibilities Rights The subjects agreed that the right to life (mean = 1 .84, SD = 1 .04) should be taught in the primary school program They also supported the inclusion of the following rights in the program : security (mean = 1 .67, SD = 0 .84), equality of opportunity (mean = 1 .80, SD = 0 .94), liberty (mean = 2 .28, SD = 1 .06), justice (mean = 2 .30, SD = 1 .04) and dignity (mean = 2 .15, SD = 0 .99) Less support was given to the right to examine and critique institutions (mean = 2 .61, SD = 1 .13), the right to privacy (mean = 2 .52, SD = 1 .09) and the right to private ownership of property (mean = 2 .85, SD = 1 .23) (Table 5) Freedoms There was support for including the following freedoms in the curriculum : participation in the political process (mean = 2 .08, SD = 1 .09), worship (mean = 1 .50, SD = 0 .92), thought (mean = 1 .83, SD = 0 .96), conscience (mean = 2 .08, SD = 0 .08) and expression (mean = 1 .75, SD = 0 .83) There was less strong support for the freedom to pursue a way of life (mean = 2 .49, SD = 1 .29) Freedom of assembly and freedom of inquiry were two other freedoms which were not strongly supported by the subjects Freedom of assembly (mean = 2 .61, SD = 1 .0) 1 2 3 Mean SD Reading 1 .55 0 .65 Study 2 .02 1 .13 2 .46 0 .97 Decision-making 2 .65 1 .11 2 .68 1 .00 Personal social 2 .02 0 .94 2 .00 1 .01 Group interaction 1 .66 0 .06 1 .61 0 .55


Table 5 Values taught in primary schools : Individual rights may be interpreted by the subjects as freedom for elements potentially disruptive to the nation to gather and cause trouble (Babangida's style, 1986) Low support for freedom of assembly could be the result of the ongoing struggle to maintain a nation built recently out of diverse ethnic groups Low support for freedom of inquiry (mean = 2 .33, SD = 1 .0) probably has different roots It is more likely to be aligned with low recognition for decision-making skills as part of the program The subjects do not appear to view the development of citizens with inquiring, questioning minds as a positive national goal Freedom of thought (mean = 1 .83, SD = 0 .96) was supported by the subjects, in contrast to assembly and inquiry Responsibilities The sample subjects supported a wide range of individual responsibilities in the elementary school curriculum (Table 7) These included the responsibility to respect human life (mean = 1 .28, SD = 0 .61), respect the rights of others (mean = 1 .36, SD = 0 .60) be tolTable 6 Values taught in primary schools : Individual freedoms 1 2 4 Mean SD Participation in political process 2 .08 1 .09 Worship 1 .50 0 .92 Thought 1 .83 0 .96 Conscience 2 .08 0 .08 Expression 1 .75 0 .83 Freedom to pursue way of life 2 .49 1 .29 Freedom of assembly 2 .61 1 .00 Freedom of inquiry 2 .33 1 .00 Freedom of thought 1 .83 0 .96 Mean SD Right to life 1 .84 1 .04 Security 1 .67 0 .84 Equality of opportunity 1 .80 0 .94 Liberty 2 .28 1 .06 Justice 2 .30 1 .04 Dignity 2 .15 0 .99 Right to critique institutions 2 .61 1 .13 Privacy 2 .52 1 .09 Private ownership of property 2 .85 1 .23


Table 7 Values taught in primary schools : Responsibilities erant (mean = 1 .75, SD = 0 .75), be objective (mean = 1 .52, SD = 0 .68), demonstrate self control (mean = 1 .57, SD = 0 .67), be respectful of others' values (mean = 1 .64, SD = 0 .72), be considerate of others (mean = 1 .55, SD = 0 .67), be willing to work for the common good (mean = 1 .47, SD = 0 .66), be just (mean = 1 .36, SD = 0 .68), be respectful of other's property (mean = 1 .66, SD = 0 .67), be honest (mean = 1 .16, SD = 0 .55), show humility (mean = 1 .74, SD = 0 .71), show compassion (mean = 1 .78, SD = 0 .68), be open-minded (mean = 1 .98, SD = 0 .60) and be respectful of the reasoning process (mean = 1 .99, SD = 0 .54) The lowest levels of support, although still positive, were demonstrated by the responsibility to value criticism (mean = 2 .20, SD = 0 .68) and to participate in the democratic process (mean = 2 .00, SD = 0 .87) Social Conditions A final set of beliefs the subjects were asked to consider concerned social conditions and responsibilities (Table 8) There was support for all the beliefs considered including the acceptance of laws by the majority of people in the society (mean = 1 .52, SD = 0 .83), the protection of minorities which disagree with the majority (mean = 1 .93, SD = 1 .02), the election of government by the people (mean = 1 .93, SD = 0 .96), the protection of individual rights (mean = 1 .73, SD = 0 .80), the protection of individual freedoms (mean = 1 .96, SD = 0 .91), the guarantee of civil liberties (mean = 1 .65, SD = 0 .90), and the government's role in working for the good of all (mean = 1 .66, SD = 0 .91) 1 2 5 Mean SD Respect human life 1 .28 0 .61 Respect others' rights 1 .36 0 .60 Be tolerant 1 .75 0 .75 Be objective 1 .52 0 .68 Demonstrate self control 1 .57 0 .67 Be respectful of others' values 1 .64 0 .72 Be considerate of others 1 .55 0 .67 Work for common good 1 .47 0 .66 Be just 1 .36 0 .68 Respectful of others' property 1 .66 0 .67 Be honest 1 .16 0 .55 Show humility 1 .74 0 .71 Show compassion 1 .78 0 .68 Be open-minded 1 .98 0 .60 Respect reasoning process 1 .99 0 .54 Value criticism 2 .20 0 .68 Participate in democratic process 2 .00 0 .87


Table 8 Social conditions and responsibilities Program Characteristics To achieve its goals in citizenship education and to teach the skills deemed necessary, a program should have characteristics which foster those goals and skills The subjects agreed that an essential characteristic is the comprehensiveness of the social studies program It should begin in first grade and continue through secondary school (mean = 1 .75, SD = 0 .95) It should be a part of the curriculum in all parts of the school year (mean = 1 .40, SD = 0 .25) All students should be involved (mean = 1 .08, SD = 0 .10) The program should include opportunities to observe (mean = 1 .70, SD = 0 .81) and participate in the community and school (mean = 1 .76, SD = 0 .88) Community members should be involved as resources for the students (mean = 1 .90, SD = 0 .89), as resources for instructional methodology in adapting traditional means of instruction (mean = 1 .82, SD = 0 .90) and as resources for continuing program development (mean = 1 .95, SD = 0 .88) The subjects seemed to view the primary school social studies program as essentially interwoven with community involvement This community involvement aspect was reflected in the subjects' support of another program characteristic, the direct preparation of students for participation as a citizen in public affairs (mean = 1 .80, SD = 0 .95) Other program characteristics received less support from the subjects There was low support, and some disagreement, with using the program to encourage students to deal with critical issues (mean = 3 .01, SD = 1 .13) and the world as it really is (mean = 3 .38, SD = 1 .17) Evaluation measuring student learning by means other than memorization was not well supported (mean = 2 .56, SD = 0 .88) Demanding high standards of performance was also not well supported (mean = 3 .56, SD = 1 .10) The program characteristics which the subjects supported define a citizenship education curriculum which builds the conception of a democratic society whose government is elected by the people and respects their rights and freedoms The instructional methodologies supported by 1 2 6 Mean SD Majority accepts laws 1 .52 0 .83 Protects dissenting minorities 1 .93 1 .02 Popular election 1 .93 0 .96 Protects individual rights 1 .73 0 .80 Protects individual freedoms 1 .96 0 .91 Guarantees civil liberties 1 .65 0 .90 Government works for common good 1 .66 0 91


Table 9 Program characteristics these teachers may not, however, carry this curriculum into practice Traditional teaching limited to the school setting delivers theoretical concepts but does not allow students to use those concepts in real situations The results of the study have been discussed in regard to the six research questions posed earlier These have considered the subjects' definition of social studies education ; its goals ; the skills, concepts and values taught ; and the characteristics of a program which would incorporate all these areas Implications The Nigerian social studies teachers in this sample were generally supportive of the rationale, concepts, and skills inherent in a primary school citizenship education program preparing students for life as active members of a democratic society The definition of social studies education was one of the areas in which the teachers surveyed showed agreement They defined social studies education primarily in relation to content areas such as history education and secondarily in relation to citizenship education The content domination evident in these responses is likely to be a product of the system of professional teacher education and of the coursework available at universities and secondary schools This coursework focuses upon specific social sciences, such as economics, in which a student specializes rather than upon social studies They may not have a holistic view of social studies as in1 2 7 Mean SD Ongoing part of curriculum 1 .40 0 .25 Involves all students 1 .08 0 .25 Involves observing, participating in school, in community 1 .70 0 .81 Comprehensive curriculum 1 .75 0 .95 Student participation activities 1 .76 0 .88 Involvement of community members 1 .95 0 .88 Uses community members as resources 1 .90 0 .89 Uses community members in adapting traditional instructional methodology 1 .95 0 .88 Preparation for participation 1 .80 0 .95 Deal with critical issues 3 .01 1 .13 Deal with world as it is 3 .38 1 .17 Evaluation 2 .56 0 .88 Demands high performance standards 3 .56 1 .10


tegrating all the social sciences in curricula which help children develop into citizens who can function effectively in a democratic society The content area focus is reinforced by the West African regional secondary school examinations which test students in specific social sciences not in social studies At the primary school level the social studies are a more common conception than at the secondary level but may be overpowered by the teacher's own background if she or he has had a content area specialization There was strong agreement among the subjects on the concepts structuring the belief system appropriate for the goals of a primary grades social studies program Subjects did not perceive diversity as important to primary school curricula Diversity is not understood as making government stronger and fairer Rather, it is thought of in terms of the frustration it brings to government The subjects reflect the national concern with overcoming differences in order to function as a nation (Ozigi & Ocho, 1980) However, the lack of support given to diversity as a concept basic to democratic beliefs can be disturbing even though unity is such an important national goal Diversity exists and must be recognized, discussed, and appreciated if the various ethnic groups are to work toward unity To achieve unity each group must give up some of its cultural traditions and power Ethnic groups will not make that sacrifice unless they are assured of the continuance of a portion of their culture, of its core This assurance may come only through the recognition of its existence Schools should assure students of the value of their heritage while enabling them to give some of it up to achieve unity More experienced and older teachers were more supportive of diversity as a concept necessary to democratic beliefs This suggests that the establishment of a cadre of experienced teachers could eventually result in citizenship education programs which would more strongly recognize the role of diversity in a democratic nation After the subjects indicated concepts they thought appropriate for young children they identified skills students should acquire to function as citizens who utilize those concepts Reading skills were identified as important Social and group participation skills were also considered important An intellectual ability, decision-making, was not well-supported Perhaps the subjects believed this was a skill best taught in secondary school Since most citizens do not attend secondary school, this would result in few people developing this skill (Taiwo, 1980) Or, the subjects' cultural background may have been evident here They appeared to associate schooling with passivity where students respond to the teacher but do not make decisions Such passivity on the part of children is accepted as an ideal in Nigerian cultures Children are expected to be silent and respectful in the presence of their elders, they do not question them (Sunal, 1985) Children are to do what they are told and should have a minimal role in deciding what is best for them The lack of concern for decision-making skills, while it may be 1 2 8


culturally appropriate, does mean that the primary program could be limiting the present and future effectiveness of its students as citizens Values are reflected in all aspects of social studies education The concepts and skills selected for inclusion in the curriculum reflect the values of those doing the selection Values can also be more directly a part of the curriculum This study considered Nigerian teachers support of values relating to individual rights, individual freedoms, individual responsibilities, and social conditions and responsibilities Strong support was found for the inclusion of a wide range of values in the curriculum There was less support, however, for the freedom to pursue a way of life This may reflect an understanding of the strength of various ethnic ways of life, and of their positive contributions to the nation, while demonstrating a realization that some of those ways of life have been and will continue to be in conflict with national goals An example is the concern with literacy in regard to nomadic, herding people (Orimoloye, 1983) How can the nation develop basic literacy among a people who are not settled? Will the way of life have to change if national goals are to be achieved? Lower support for this freedom is related to concerns discussed above, regarding whether a positive concept of diversity is basic to a citizenship education program A final section of the study considered the characteristics of a citizenship education program which would foster the goals, concepts, skills and values which the sample teachers identified A comprehensive program with a community involvement aspect was identified by the subjects There was low support for a program which encouraged students to deal with critical issues There was also an emphasis on teaching and evaluation through rote memorization Teaching situations at the primary school level may be such that they encourage rote memorization and drill and practice rather than discussion and exploration in both instruction and evaluation Textbooks, reference books, teaching aids such as globes are scarce (Sunal, Gaba, & Osa, in press) Lectures and recitation seem to be a major option which most teachers are choosing in this situation This option may be chosen by default since materials are scarce If teachers were given teaching materials would they make different choices? Are teacher preparation programs acknowledging the scarcity of materials and training teachers to work creatively around such scarcity? Can inservice programs be developed which would encourage even poorly-trained teachers to try alternatives to lecture, recitation, and memorization? The opportunity exists for moving out of the classroom, for discussion of critical issues, for data gathering within the community But, this option seems not to be the one teachers are choosing even though the subjects have indicated community involvement should be a program characteristic Because materials are scarce the community could provide  a wealth of human resources for the social studies program The community could also 1 2 9


provide many opportunities for projects which serve community needs, whether they involve picking up litter in the marketplace, helping to construct a new well, or recording the history of the village Use of resource people and community involvement require creativity, planning and time Constraints exist, such as community expectations for traditional lecturebased schooling, large class sizes averaging over 50 students per teacher and poor preparation of many teachers (Ozigi & Ocho, 1981 ; Sunal, Gaba, & Osa, in press) In view of such constraints the subjects may respond with a practical representation of what is likely to occur if they have had personal experience teaching in primary schools The subjects consider community involvement to be important to the social studies program But, because of the difficult conditions often found at the primary school level the subjects may realize that only minimal teaching is likely to occur An alternative explanation may be that subjects do not conceptualize children as questioning, decision-making individuals because of cultural standards which view children as passive and silently respectful Limitations upon the primary school setting such as public expectations for traditional schooling and ideals of passive behavior on the part of children cannot be easily overcome Possibly these cultural limitations should not be overcome since they are inherent to the culture and their loss would require basic changes in the culture The respect for elders and for the need to learn and acquire wisdom before voicing opinions are positive qualities which enhance citizenship They are qualities culturally related to the childhood passivity idealized in Nigeria so it is likely that one cannot be changed without losing the other Both school conditions and cultural viewpoints may be interacting The result appears to be attitudes which are somewhat conducive to citizenship education for life in a democratic society but which also place limits upon it Is it possible to involve students actively in social studies even though there are restraints placed on the program by expectations for lecture-based teaching and for passivity? Are Western teaching models involving children's discovery of concepts and inquiry-based formulation of hypotheses appropriate for Nigerian schools? Probably these models cannot be wholly adopted unless the culture is completely Westernized Yet Nigerian children do discover concepts as do children all over the world Although schooling is rigid and formal their life outside school involves them more heavily in work which contributes to the family livelihood than does that of Western children After school Nigerian children farm, fetch water, care for younger siblings, sell goods their mothers have produced, cook, and learn trades They are vital to the economic and social functioning of their family They are likely to have a better understanding of the local economic system than are their Western peers Their contribution to the family has greater practical value than does that of their Western counterparts who may do a few chores but whose work is not essential to the family's livelihood This contribution by the Nigerian child to the family is recognized and highly 1 3 0


valued All this practical involvement in the working of the family and the local society provides the experiences from which Nigerian children develop many concepts basic to social studies education The problem which exists, then, is how can the school enter into this active learning process? Is there a way to bring the process into the school? Traditional out-of-school learning in Nigeria is active Can the school build on this traditional learning? Can the school convince the community that it is not an institution foreign to traditional learning but complementary to it and able to utilize its strengths? Nigerian society is in transition from its traditional forms to a form which is unknown Although the modern form of Nigerian society is in transition there are indications that it will be democratic and will support a politically active citizenry Will the limitations placed upon the primary school citizenship education program by teacher attitudes prove to be appropriate in a time of transition? Are these limitations reflective of, and supportive of, the specifically Nigerian form of democracy which is developing? Or, will these limitations inhibit the development of attitudes and skills necessary to the establishment of a democratic, just, national Nigerian society? References Akinola, A A (1986) The search for a Nigerian political system London : Afroworld Publishing Co Babangida's style-2 (February 17, 1986) West Africa, pp 332-333 Barth, J L ., & Norris, W R (1976) A cross-cultural study of teacher candidates : Preferences for styles of learning in social studies The Indiana Social Studies Quarterly, 24(2), 22-38 Hess, R D ., & Torney, J V (1967) The development of political attitudes in children Chicago : Aldine Kolawole, D (1980) Primary education curriculum improvement project : A major curriculum innovation, 1968-78 West African Journal of Education, 21, 39-52 Okoh, G A (1979) Teaching of integrated social studies in Ile-Ife secondary schools Unpublished master's thesis, University of Ife, Nigeria Orimolye, P A (1983) Social studies educators' perspectives on citizenship education in primary and secondary schools in Oyo state, Nigeria Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University Ozigi, A ., & Ocho, L (1980) Education in Northern Nigeria London : George Allen & Unwin Sunal, C S (1985) Facilitation of Erikson's stages of development by educated Nigerian mothers Charleston, WV : Appalachia Educational Laboratory Sunal, C S ., Gaba, B ., & Osa, O (in press) The status of primary education in Nigeria Journal of Research in Childhood Education Taiwo, C O (1981) The Nigerian education system : Past, present & future London : Thomas Nelson Ltd 1 3 1


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 132


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