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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t e 7 ory & ReseaYCh in Social Education Volume 24 Number 2 Spring 1996 In this issue . Bruce VanSledright Elizabeth A Yeager O L Davis, Jr Jane Dillabough Lynne McAlpine Information For Authors FEATURES Studying Colonization in Eighth Grade What Can It Teach Us About the Learning Context of Current Reforms? Classroom Teachers' '11 inking About Historical Texts : An Exploratory Study Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis in the Social Studies : The Cultural Politics of Methodology in Text Evaluation Research BOOK REVIEWS Stephen T Woolworth Engaging the Struggle for Participation Steven Thorpe t Promoting Best Practice in Social Studies Teacher Education Katherine Leavitt t A Voice From the Classroom \\


THEORY AND RESEARCH IN SOCIAL EDUCATION Volume 24 t Number 2 t Spring 1996 t The Official Journal of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Theory and Research in Social Education 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 can be found at the end of the journal Copyright 1996 by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies All rights reserved


THEORY AND RESEARCH IN SOCIAL EDUCATION € 1996 College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies No written permission is necessary to reproduce a table, a figure, or an excerpt of fewer than 500 words from this journal, or to make photocopies for classroom use Authors are granted permission, without fee, to photocopy their own material Copies must include a full and accurate bibliographic citation and the following credit line : "Copyright [year] by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies ; reproduced with permission from the publisher ." Written permission must be obtained to reproduce or reprint material in circumstances other than those just described Please direct requests for permission or for further information on policies and fees to the NCSS offices Theory and Research in Social Education (ISSN 0093-3104) is printed in the USA and published quarterly by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies, 3501 Newark Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016 Second-class postage is paid at Washington, DC, and additional offices Individual memberships in the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies are $40 .00 per year, $25 .00 of which is allocated for subscription to Theory and Research in Social Education Institutional and non-CUFA subscriptions are $50 .00 per year Back issues may be obtained for $10 .00 each when available Postmaster : Send address changes to : Theory and Research in Social Education, 3501 Newark St ., NW, Washington, DC 20016 Editorial correspondence should be addressed to the Editor : E Wayne Ross, School of Education and Human Development, State University of New York at Binghamton, P O Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000 Electronic m ail : wross@binghamton .edu Correspondence related to subscription, membership, back issues, and change of address should be addressed to : Membership Department, National Council for the Social Studies, 3501 Newark St ., NW, Washington, DC 20016 Advertising correspondence should be addressed to : Jamie Hitchcock, Meetings and Marketing, at the NCSS address


Theory and Research in Social Education Editor E Wayne Ross Book Review Editor Michael Whelan Editorial Board Susan Adler Ceola Ross Baber Jane Bernard-Powers Kathy Bickmore Marilynne Boyle-Baise Jere Brophy Jeffrey W Cornett O L Davis, Jr Terrie Epstein Ron Evans Stephen C Fleury Geneva Gay S G Grant David Hursh Marilyn Johnston Gloria Ladson-Billings Linda Levstik Andra Makler Perry Marker Merry M Merryfield Petra Munro Susan Noff ke Valerie Ooka Pang Walter C Parker Warren Prior Peter Seixas William B Stanley Lynda Stone Stephen J Thornton Bruce VanSledright Rahima Wade Editorial Assistant Natalia Cortes State University of New York at Binghamton State University of New York at New Paltz University of Missouri, Kansas City University of North Carolina at Greensboro San Francisco State University University of Toronto Indiana University Michigan State University University of Central Florida University of Texas, Austin University of Michigan San Diego State University State University of New York at Oswego University of Washington State University of New York at Buffalo University of Rochester The Ohio State University University of Wisconsin, Madison University of Kentucky Lewis & Clark College Sonoma State University The Ohio State University Louisiana State University University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign San Diego State University University of Washington Deakin University, Australia University of British Columbia University of Delware University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Teachers College, Columbia University University of Maryland, College Park University of Iowa


ERRATA Please note the following correction to Volume 24, Number 1 (Winter 1996) of Theory and Research in Social Education The heading for the Table of Contents should read : "SPECIAL ISSUE : GENDER, FEMINISM, AND SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATION ." We apologize for any confusion


Volume 24 Number 2 Spring 1996 From the Editor 104 Bruce VanSledright FEATURES Studying Colonization in Eighth Grade 107 Elizabeth A Yeager What Can It Teach Us About the Learning Context of Current Reforms? Classroom Teachers' Thinking About 146 O L Davis, Jr Jane Dillabough Historical Texts : An Exploratory Study Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis 167 Lynne McAlpine Stephen T Woolworth in the Social Studies : The Cultural Politics of Methodology in Text Evaluation Research BOOK REVIEWS Engaging the Struggle for Participation 204 Steven Thorpe Promoting Best Practice in Social Studies 213 Katherine Leavitt Teacher Education A Voice From the Classroom 220 Information For Authors 222


Theory and Research in Social Education FROM THE EDITOR For over two decades, Theory and Research in Social Education has served as the primary outlet for scholarship on social studies education, including the writing of major figures in social studies as well as newer scholars As the editor of TRSE, my aim is to maintain that tradition as well as the high standards for scholarship and journal production that were established by my predecessor TRSE is here to serve scholars, policy makers and practitioners whose fundamental concern is social education My goal as editor is to ensure that TRSE plays an effective and significant role in sustaining and enlivening the conversations among social studies educators and the broader community of educators on a range of issues related to social education I will be assisted in these efforts by Book Review Editor Michael Whelan and the newly formed Editorial Board that is listed at the front of this issue I have attempted to put together a board that represents the diversity of the field and I am proud to be working with such a distinguished group of colleagues The board is about a third larger than it has been in the past and while this may present some minor logistical challenges for in-person meetings, I think the advantages of such wide ranging expertise will be a significant benefit to the journal Each of the members of the board have agreed to give their time and expertise to review manuscripts and provide advice on the topics that should be represented in the pages of the journal the Editorial Board will be a key group in structuring our ongoing conversations about social education I have already had many interesting and engaging conversations with members of the board and my comments below reflect some of the directions the board and I are interested in exploring TRSE will continue to pursue an open and critical approach to research in the field My aim is for the journal to reflect the extensive range of scholarship conducted under the rubric of "social education ." Authors published in TRSE will continue to examine the vital issues of primary and secondary social studies education and the preparation of social studies teachers in articles that are accessible and interesting to a wide range of readers, including practitioners As scholars, I believe it is crucial for us to explore how we can make our work more relevant to practitioners and policy makers Curriculum and instruction labeled as social studies, history, economics, or geography is a fundamental concern of social studies educators, however, there is a diversity of discourses that exists within the social education community that extends beyond these boundaries Publishing articles that represent a broad vision of both "theory and research" and "social education" is one of the primary concerns that has been expressed 1 0 4


Spring 1996 to me by the Editorial Board In adopting a more inclusive concept of "social education," I will be interested in receiving manuscripts that are interdisciplinary and integrative of concerns regarding democracy, feminist and cultural studies, social conflict and the roles and needs of youth in the international and cross-cultural layers of society that affect them I am particularly interested in seeing the journal become more interdisciplinary, engaging scholars from education, the social sciences and philosophy to participate in dialogues and conversations on current and perennial issues of interest to social educators TRSE will continue its tradition of publishing only rigorously juried, high quality scholarship from a variety of perspectives I am interested in receiving reports of empirical studies that employ any of the wide variety of research methods available to researchers today, including studies within the experimental, interpretive and critical traditions TRSE will also continue to publish historical, theoretical and philosophical inquiries on issues relevant to social education The Editorial Board and I are also interested in receiving submissions that go beyond the "traditional" boundaries of research reports including experimental and cutting edge methodologies and innovative presentations of information, including extending TRSE articles into electronic forms Exploring and exploiting new electronic communication and publishing available via the Internet will be an important element in enhancing the conversations in our community TRSE readers will soon find it easier to hold conversations via electronic mail An electronic discussion group open to all TRSE readers is now up and running The new TRSE Electronic Forum (TRSE-L) will allow participants to post electronic mail messages to all list subscribers and will provide an important interactive forum for discussion of issues raised in the pages of TRSE as well as topics of interest to CUFA members and other social educators To subscribe to the TRSE Electronic Forum send the following electronic mail message to l istserv@bingvmb .cc .binghamton .ed u : "SUB TRSE-L Your Name" I hope to meet you in cyberspace soon I am also beginning work on a TRSE home page for the World Wide Web The TRSE web page will include information for contributors, an index of articles published in TRSE, calls for manuscripts, previews of upcoming issues and other basic journal information The web page will be developed in Binghamton and linked to NCSS and other sites, such as other educational journals and organizations If you have expertise and/ or the energy to devote to constructing the TRSE web page, I would be happy to receive any advice or assistance you have to offer The Editorial Board and I will also be exploring the possibilities of an electronic form of TRSE In addition to submitting manuscripts for consideration, I encourage each of you to actively participate in our conversations by serving as a 1 0 5


Theory and Research in Social Education manuscript reviewer and by writing letters to the editor and formal responses to articles and reviews published in the journal If you are interested in reviewing manuscripts, please write to me and describe the topics and types of manuscripts you would be interested in reviewing I strongly encourage all readers to consider sharing their perspectives on the content of the journal Please see the "Information for Authors" in the back of the journal for details on submitting formal responses to articles published in TRSE I am very interested in publishing readers' reactions and hope to hear from many of you in the near future Letters to the editor provide a more informal venue for reactions and responses and I hope to include letters in each issue In closing I would like to make two announcements that will be of interest to all CUFA members and readers of TRSE I was pleased to be in the audience in New York when the American Educational Research Assoiation Division B (Curriculum Studies) honored two CUFA members with the career Research Award and the 1995 Dissertation Award O .L Davis, Jr ., Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin and a long time member of CUFA, was recognized for his career contributions to curriculum studies, which have done much to advance our knowledge and understanding of social studies curriculum In the same session, Elizabeth A Yeager, Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Florida (and former student of Professor Davis at the University of Texas at Austin) was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award Congratulations to Professors Davis and Yeager CUFA is proud that two of its members have been so honored Secondly, I am pleased to announce that in 1997 Theory and Research in Social Education will highlight the history of social studies from a broadly inclusive perspective The Editorial Board is interested in articles that consider the development of social studies from the standpoint of diversity (e .g ., race, class, gender, ethnicity, etc .) The theme, "Defining the Social Studies : An Inclusive Perspective," builds on recent retrospective treatments of the field during the seventy-fifth anniversary year of the National Council for the Social Studies and aims to examine those theorists whose work could be viewed as historical antecedents to contemporary writing about multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion in the social studies I hope you will share your reactions to the journal as well as suggestions for changes and improvements with me or one of the members of the Editorial Board It is our shared goal to produce a journal that helps advance our understanding of and improves the practice of social education E .W .R 1 0 6


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring 1996, Volume 24, Number 2, pp 107-145 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Studying Colonization in Eighth Grade : What Can it Teach Us About the Learning Context of Current Reforms? Bruce A VanSledright University of Maryland at College Park Abstract This eighth grade study is situated in the larger arena of current policies concerning the reform of history and social studies education After describing how the study and others like it might be useful in informing reform policy considerations, this report provides a brief portrait of how the teacher taught a unit on North American Colonization to outline the classroom context Second, it describes six eighth graders'prior knowledge of colonial American history derived from in-depth interviews conducted before the students studied the historical period Third, a section then is devoted to interview responses from the six students that were collected about two weeks after the conclusion of the history unit This third section addresses the ways in which students made sense of the content in the context of their classroom experiences Drawing from the work on context of studying history done by Dickinson and Lee (1984) particularly, results are discussed in the context of three interrelated but problematic points concerning current reforms : (a) enhancing historical understanding (beyond mere fact acquisition), (b) constructing compelling rationales for the study of history, and (c) developing more powerful and valid assessment tools Introduction Two weeks after the culmination of a detailed four-week unit on British colonization in North America in an eighth-grade social studies class, Sean, a good student who generally earned grades of high Bs, was asked to reconstruct what he had learned about the Puritans and their settlement in Massachusetts He explained : They were in England and they didn't like the Church of England They thought that you should work all the time and whenever you are not working you should read the Bible They thought that if you didn't believe . .like do so much stuff for God, that the Devil would come and get 1 0 7


Bruce A VanSledright you They . they wanted to purify the Church of England so that's why they called them the Puritans They went to . .to Massachusetts and that's how everyone was . .they wouldn't allow anyone to be in Massachusetts unless they were a Puritan They . .they wanted their own type of religion and . .that's all they wanted, and . .(pauses, looks down) The interviewer then asked, "You are struggling with this ; do you know why that is?" Sean replied, I remember them [Puritans] but I just can't think of them right now I remember we were talking about it in class and I was thinking about it I can't think of anything right now . . It was a lot of stuff in this unit to learn It was kind of confusing jumping around from one thing to another We were going pretty fast I think if we did one colony and just learned everything about it, and we could take longer, maybe do some of the same things twice, then we'd learn it Then we could move on to the next one But it felt like we were jumping around so much from colony to colony Sean had encountered colonial American history in fifth grade, was now studying it a second time in eighth grade, and would briefly review it again in high school before moving on to explore the American Revolution period This periodic survey of American history is common across the country and has prompted Naylor and Diem (1987) to describe it as part of a de facto national curriculum in social studies education But how do students make sense of these survey courses? How are their developing ideas about history influenced by these encounters with the past? What might their accounts teach us about current efforts to reform history and social studies education? Do we need reform and, if so, what type and how might it intersect with current practice? This report explores (but, of course, does not fully answer) these questions using the data generated by Sean and his classmates to connect emerging conceptions of historical understanding with their implications for current reforms In short, it places an empirical study within the context of the broader policy arena Because of its small sample size, the study's results are not generalizable in the traditional statistical sense Nevertheless, much can be learned about how students attempt to understand the past from research that pays close attention to their prior knowledge, learning experiences, and reconstructions Such studies have important impli1 0 8


Studying Colonization cations for curriculum designers, policymakers, reformers, and those interested in what students of all ages learn about history As the venerable Joseph Schwab (1978) has reminded us, all four "commonplaces"-curriculum, teaching, learning, and milieu-play an equally important role in educational endeavors To the extent that we approach them separately, we miss opportunities to develop coherent educational policies and attain lasting reforms Reforming History and Social Studies Education Reform efforts in social education are underway on a variety of fronts For example, in 1994, the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) released a set of curriculum standards for K-12 social studies education, several standards of which specifically addressed the teaching and learning of history (National Council for the Social Studies, 1994) The same year, the National Center for History in the Schools (1994), under contract with the federal government, released their national curriculum standards for history Also in 1994, the history portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was administered to selected 4th-, 8th-, and 12th-grade student samples across the country Each of these efforts attempts to leverage an effect in a different way ; what they have in common is their intention to influence and potentially reform the teaching and learning of American history in the nation's schools But what is the problem they feel compelled to address? Ostensibly, students do not know American history As an example, Ravitch and Finn (1987) reported, following their secondary analysis of the 1986 NAEP data, that a majority of 17-year-old students could not place the Civil War in the correct half century Very basic facts about the history of the United States apparently were lost (and continue to be by their account) on significant numbers of students Ravitch and Finn repeatedly lamented this condition and called for change Furthermore, studies by others on teaching practices in history and social studies classes (e .g ., Goodlad, 1984 ; Shaver, Davis, & Hepburn, 1979) noted that potentially interesting history frequently was transformed on the way to the classroom into lifeless, dry-as-dust content Such reports have given rise to calls for the reform of history teaching that in part inspired the work of groups such as the Bradley Commission (Gagnon, 1989) Recently, researchers in North America have been examining different aspects of common American history courses, what students learn from them, and how Specifically, they have examined areas such as how students develop views of historical time ; how students make historical judgments ; what they see as historically important ; their view of textbooks ; how they develop historical schemata, context, and empathy with charac1 0 9


Bruce A VanSledright ters of the past ; and how students read history (e .g ., Barton, 1993 ; Brophy, VanSledright, & Bredin, 1992, 1993 ; Epstein, 1994 ; Levstik, 1986, 1989 ; Levstik & Pappas, 1987 ; McKeown & Beck, 1990 ; Seixas, 1994a, 1994b ; VanSledright, 1995a, 1995b ; VanSledright & Brophy, 1992 ; Wineburg, 1991) Many of these studies confirm reformers' worries, but they also suggest that students are more cognitively adept at earlier ages than originally thought The studies also maintain that the nature of the history curriculum students encounter, views of history promoted, and how students are taught make a considerable difference in the process of learning Some of the studies have recommended moves to more "constructivist" pedagogies (that assess and build on students' prior knowledge) and a history curriculum to support it (see Brophy, 1990 ; Newmann, 1990) How does the research intersect with the reforms? Given the typically linear design of education policy and architecture, those engaging the call for reform have approached it from both the "input and output ends" of the teaching-learning process That is, national curriculum approaches attempt to influence the teaching and learning of history by specifying the content and how it should be approached, while initiatives such as the history NAEP attempt to change history teaching and learning by generating targets for that process through assessments The most detailed of the reform recommendations-National Standards for United States History (National Center for History in the Schools, 1994)-are designed to revolutionize the teaching and learning of United States history, according to co-director Gary Nash (although the Standards' success in achieving Nash's claim may be in jeopardy given recent Congressional reactions) The emphasis in the document is placed on being able to "do history," much as is done by historians themselves An entire chapter is devoted to historical thinking (e .g ., sifting evidence, analyzing and interpreting, researching, questioning authors' and texts' assertions, making decisions and applications, and constructing arguments) Historical knowledge-the facts-are given somewhat lower-order status and pressed into the service of historical thinking The individual content standards are replete with the historical-thinking language in what they ask of students (e .g ., Chapter 3, p 212) By contrast, the NAEP U .S History Assessment Framework (National Assessment Governing Board, 1994) is more conservative in its reach Its authors ask the test developers (Educational Testing Service) to : balance the desire to be in the vanguard of education practice is, against the need to reflect what is generally taught in schools ; that do not advance so far beyond general practice that it becomes impossible for educators to adapt curriculum and instruction to the character of the assessment (Framework, p 9) 1 1 0


To that end, the authors recommend content specifications that hinge on a historical change theme ; the ability of students to document the process of this change across the span of U .S history becomes the goal The Framework is concerned that students can think historically, but in their test specifications they opt for a content recall emphasis, reflecting common school practice and a concern by NAEP officials that a radical shift in assessment might make students, teachers, and schools look too ineffective In this respect, these two expensive, high-visibility national reform impulses are not as closely aligned as they could be, but still attempt to influence change in history education, one boldly, the other less so Curiously, a close examination of the documents that accompany these two current reform efforts reveals that neither cites the studies from the body of research described above Given changes in how educators think about the learning process (what some call the cognitive revolution), the belief in the importance of prior knowledge to the building of new ideas and understandings, and concern over the different levels of "scaffolding" this requires of teachers, it would seem essential to pay attention to what students say about what they are asked to learn To build a successful new history curriculum and to know how to test its results (or the current iteration in schools) is in good measure contingent on reports from students such as Sean, his fellow classmates, and others That the current reform efforts lack references to these reports suggests that students are absent from the process In what follows, I attempt to redress this limitation by interjecting a group of student voices into this research and policy conversation and draw out a series of connections Context of the Study Teacher, Course, and Unit John Burke' taught the eighth-grade social studies course in which the colonization unit was located He is an 18-year veteran teacher He was chosen for the study because he came highly recommended by peers and district curriculum supervisors as an effective history teacher and he agreed to participate He holds both B .A and M .A degrees from east coast universities He specialized in American history and geography and had spent his entire career teaching middle-level classes (mostly eighth graders) He said he enjoyed teaching history and other social studies courses immensely and had always held a significant interest in those subject areas Burke also holds the position of grade-level team leader and social studies specialist in his school He frequently had been involved in district social studies curriculum revisions and organizing goal frameworks because supervisors valued his ideas and teaching expertise As a result of his curriculum design work, Burke took the goals and objectives of the Studying Colonization 1 1 1


Bruce A VanSledright unit quite seriously Here is a sample of these goals and objectives Figure 1 School District Objectives for the British North American Colonization Unit 1 Identify the factors that influenced the settlement of the United States Examples : t E xamine the causes of European exploration and settlement in North America t E xamine patterns of exploration and settlement t I dentify reasons why the English colonized North America 2 Describe major social, economic, and political developments in the 13 colonies between 1607 and 1763 Examples : t L ocate colonial developments on a map of North America t D escribe and characterize early colonial settlements t E xamine trading patterns between England and the colonies t D escribe how trading companies worked t I dentify and describe colonial efforts at self-rule t I dentify early colonial social and religious life The school district's goals and objectives were rooted in an objectivist view of history History was understood as an accurate, objective account of the past It was assumed that historical research had uncovered the facts, these facts were contained in history textbooks, and teachers were to teach them to students who would recount them later The commonness of words such as "identify," "describe," and "locate" found in the objectives reflected this view Burke generally conveyed this view in his teaching and in his interpretation of the intended curriculum, even though he occasionally opened a forum for different interpretations and points of view However, he limited this process in order to cover the material he was asked to teach The course in which the North American colonization unit was situated covered pre-Encounter civilizations in the Western Hemisphere (e .g ., Incas, Aztecs) as a prologue for studying modern sixteenth and seventeenth century European colonization efforts of Spain, France, and Great Britain The course began broadly as a study of western world history and increasingly narrowed its purview to developments in North America prior to the birth of the United States In ninth grade, students would pick up the "North American story" where they ended it in eighth grade 1 1 2


Studying Colonization The School District Burke taught at Beardsley Middle School It was one of a number of middle schools located in a large urban east coast county school district The ethnic and social class diversity of this county is quite remarkable Beardsley reflected this diversity Approximately 35% of its population is white (European American), 35% African American, 20% Hispanic, and 10% is of Asian origin Although small in number, a core of students from around the world for whom English was a second language also attended the school The Students The study took place in Burke's 25-student, sixth-period class This period was chosen because its ethnic and social class diversity represented that of the school Some tracking existed in the eighth grade social studies courses ; however, the sixth-period was considered an average track Choosing this track was intentional so as to obtain a sample that approached middle-level achievement and representativeness Four criteria were employed in selecting a subsample of students from this class for closer study : (a) generally mid-level achievement (grades averaging in the high C to high B range), (b) ethnic diversity representative of the class, (c) balance by gender, and (d) parental permission to participate Supplied with these criteria, Burke applied them to choose six students : Anita (Hispanic), Jennifer (white), and Jean (African-American), Mark (white), Daniel (Hispanic), and Sean (white) .' Research Methodology Through daily observations, data were collected on Burke's teaching practices, the curriculum materials used, student activities, and all classroom interactions The six selected students were interviewed extensively before the unit began and again after its completion to explore how their historical knowledge and understanding of colonization was influenced by their study The audiotaped interviews followed a semistructured protocol that began by inviting students to recreate whatever they knew about British colonization broadly defined .' Then, students were asked specific questions about early exploration, subsequent settlements, encounters with Native Americans, colonial growth and government, and what they knew of the American Revolution The protocol was constructed around but not limited to how Burke taught the unit He was interviewed specifically about his plans for the Colonization unit before the study began so that the protocol would represent, in part, what he attempted to accomplish This provided a level of ecological validity to the study and assured some match between initial and postunit questions The student interview results were 1 1 3


Bruce A VanSledright transcribed verbatim, then sparsely edited for clarity For example, repetitious words were omitted, and if further questioning produced nothing new or only I-don't-know responses, this part was also omitted Data analyses and interpretation were framed in three ways First, preunit interview responses were taken to be representations of students' prior conceptualizations Postunit reconstructions were assumed to constitute an interplay among these prior concepts, students' efforts to make sense of what they studied in class, and what was asked for in the question These responses were considered holistically as narrative reconstructions or forms of oral history One therefore could "read" the oral histories (see Geertz, 1973 ; Ricoeur, 1971) to assess how students used what they learned in class (triangulated by daily observations) to comprehend and make sense of the colonial period Second, responses were contextualized within this school district and social studies class They were examined (a) in light of the school district goals and objectives identified for this eighthgrade class (Figure 1) ; (b) relative to the time expended on the unit (as a choice about resource commitments and expected results) ; and (c) against the backdrop of how Burke interpreted the objectives and thus represented the historical material to students And third, once all student responses were edited for clarity, they were arranged by question This allowed the six responses (per question) to be studied for patterns and representativeness Space limitations prevent a presentation of all the questions and their responses In the following account, efforts were made to select those questions and responses that were most representative and illustrative Results of the Study In the first subsection, I provide a brief portrait of how Burke represented the material so readers may develop a sense of what students experienced in class I follow this with a description of students' prior knowledge based on data from the pre-unit interviews I then devote a section to the post-unit interviews, addressing the ways in which students made sense of the content following their classroom experience I present the two interview data sections back to back to aid readers in tracing changes from pre to post Teaching the Unit Burke introduced the unit with a research assignment he called "The Colonial Life Project ." Students spent several days in the library finding information about the customs and social life of early English colonies A written report was the result The first instructional episode involved an exercise in which students were asked to locate where Jamestown was actually founded (four choices) after they studied what Burke described as 1 1 4


Studying Colonization "site and situational factors ." Following this exercise, Burke initiated a discussion regarding their choices, asking them to supply evidence from the site-situation variables provided with the activity Next the students explored the chronology of British colonization along the Atlantic seaboard Burke noted that he was trying to give them a sense of the pattern of settlements Following these introductory activities, students took a brief quiz that reviewed what they had learned Burke then spent a class period providing information on four early colonies : Roanoke, Jamestown, Plymouth, and St Mary's (Maryland) He described historical figures and early leaders in each colony, the mysterious disappearance of Roanoke, the Puritans of Plymouth and their search for religious freedom, and about the recent archeological excavations at the site of the original St Mary's colony After this brief overview, students spent several class periods in pairs or triads gathering information on specific colonies (the original 13) they had been assigned Each group was to generate a poster that "advertised" the features of "their" colony in an effort "to attract settlers ." Posters later occupied prominent spots on the walls around the classroom Following this activity, students conducted a "scavenger hunt" in which they went around the room, collected information about each colony (location ; climate ; founders ; views about religion ; type of colony : proprietary or royal ; style of government ; etc .), and made a decision about which colony they wished to settle in These activities culminated in a second short, paper-pencil review quiz For the remaining two weeks of the unit, Burke concentrated on the similarities and differences among four emerging colonial regions : New England, the Middle Colonies, the Southern Colonies, and the frontier The comparisons focused on the economics, geography, and government of the regions, although the frontier was considered only briefly so that more time could be spent on the other regions Burke stressed the role geography and climate played in the evolution of economic practices In this context, students considered the prevalence of indentured servitude ; the growth of slavery (in the larger arena of the African-American history of this period) ; different farming and manufacturing practices by region ; the "triangular trade" pattern in considerable detail ; and where settlers located when they arrived and why (e .g ., debtors in Georgia from English "debtor's prison") The last three class sessions were used to examine the evolution of colonial self-rule Students spent a class period reading and exploring (in question-answer fashion) documents such as the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, and the Toleration Act and the origins of the New England town meeting and the Virginia House of Burgesses Burke spent time sorting through the various early branches of governments (courts, legislatures, governors), explaining their roles in different colonies He stressed 1 1 5


Bruce A VanSledright the ways in which these early political developments laid the foundation for the democratic system in the United States With Burke as game-show host, students conducted a competitive review exercise the day before they took the final test The test was fairly long and consisted entirely of multiple-choice items Students in this class did quite poorly ; there were only four students (of 22) who received a B or better Burke explained that the test was modeled after the type students would encounter the following year in their high school history classes He called this a "trial run ." As a result, he allowed students who received a D or lower on the test to take it over again about a week later if they wished About a third of the class did so, and all but two passed on the second effort Much of the way Burke represented the content was designed primarily to enhance knowledge acquisition and build interconnections across the material studied For example, he used thematic categories or threads (sociocultural, geographic, economic, political) as a matrix to organize the history of colonial developments rather than relying solely on narrative chronology .' His classroom style was activity oriented, engaging students in the content rather than having them sit passively and listen to him reiterate the textbook story Textbooks were used, but typically as a reference tool Burke favored an approach in which he and his students would exchange questions and answers (a lively form of recitation) and, when he felt there was time (infrequently), discuss different viewpoints He said that this allowed him to monitor student understanding and to make adjustments when problems emerged Students' Prior Knowledge The pre-unit interview began by asking students to recount what they knew about exploration and colonization in North America, including information they had gleaned from earlier grades, at home, on television, from personal reading, or from films (the latter four sources were seldom mentioned) In general, students' prior knowledge was scattered and often disconnected, or in some cases nonexistent Students often struggled to recall what they thought they had learned The first part of Anita's response serves as an example and is followed by several other representative student responses Preunit Question 1 : Tell me what you remember about explorers and colonies Anita : This is from fifth grade I think it was We learned . this is tough, I can't really remember because we had like four different classes We learned about Saint . .I can't remember I remember we studied American Indians Where they lived, how they built there houses, what they ate, how 1 1 6


Studying Colonization they were different between us right now and them They weren't really civilized that much Types of things they ate, the animals they had Interviewer : t Do you remember who first explored this country and how Europeans came into contact with the Indians? Anita : Columbus came and he thought he discovered the world but I don't really believe in Columbus because the American Indians, well, I think they discovered it except that they didn't really tell . you know, they didn't have any communications to tell other people, or didn't know where they were They were just there That's what I believe I don't really believe in Columbus and he took all their stuff He took their gold and their riches and stuff I really don't like him I mean he got, I guess the things that the American Indians were supposed to get He got all the credit for it I mean, yeah, he kind of did in a way because he told the queen, but I really think the Indians discovered it actually but they just didn't say anything I mean they didn't know where they were He was really mean to them I think he raped their women and he beat everybody, and he stole their gold I don't believe in him very much Interviewer : t Any other explorers you can remember? Anita : Well, Magellan discovered the Strait of Magellan I think he was from Portugal . .I don't know, a bunch of them, they get me confused because some of them are from Spain and some from Portugal It's kind of confusing because there are a lot of them Jennifer : t (long pause, no answer) Interviewer : t Does the question ring any bells from fifth grade? Jennifer : t Not really, I don't think she talked about it that much Daniel : I think the first capital was Jamestown and they really started there and started growing They just kept on going west after awhile I don't remember who they were They came from, aah . .England and they had some from Spain and France I think one of them was Cortez, I think (pause) Interviewer : t What do you know about Columbus? Daniel : He came to America looking for an all-water route to China and spices for the queen They landed in the Bahamas and then like a year later they landed in Florida They ended up saying that this land was theirs and calling it that, but Amerigo Vespucci already landed there so he called it America 1 1 7


Bruce A VanSledright Interviewer : t Do you know all this from studying it recently or from fifth grade? Daniel : t Third grade The unit that preceded the study of North American colonization dealt primarily with Spanish and Portuguese exploration in Central and South America Some of what the students remembered resulted from recently having studied these events Anita was incredulous about Columbus' claim to fame This may have been a consequence of Burke's efforts to teach students about his version of recent revisionist history concerning the Encounter, or the appearance of that same history in the recent Columbian Quincentennial celebrations Jennifer's inability to recall anything may have been the result of being cued to remember aspects of exploration and colonization from fifth grade ; although it later became clear that she struggled to remember most of this history in general (even after the unit) Daniel claimed third grade as the source of his knowledge, but he too recently had studied Columbus, Vespucci, and others It is possible that his earliest recollections of these explorers may have been third grade The other three students provided only vague and disjointed memories of explorers and the encounter Mark said he could not remember anything at all After several review questions about explorers, exploration, and the impact the encounter had on Native Americans, the questioning shifted specifically to colonization Pre-unit Question 10 : After some time, European countries began building colonies in North America What is a colony? Anita : A settlement It's people united in one place and they have schools and they have all their little settlements They have their houses It's just one little place where people . it's a little place that explorers discovered and people came over for opportunity Jean : A colony is like a community of people It's just like where people live together and build houses like a community and get together I guess like a state It was the Europeans that built colonies They just grew out, grew bigger Mark : It's like bunches of little towns, like fur-trading towns or farming towns that were made by the Europeans and Europeans lived in them They made goods to send to Europe We talked about that in seventh grade and this year 1 1 8


Studying Colonization Having explored this concept-as Mark noted-in both seventh and eighth grades, these students held a reasonably well-established understanding of the term colony .' They were aware that colonies were early settlements and at least Jean had some idea that some colonies later became actual states without articulating this very clearly In general, the students knew that growth in colonies occurred ; however, they also appeared somewhat unclear about this evolution and had some trouble placing it in historical context Anita seemed to think that explorers "discovered" colonies, perhaps a reference to Native American villages they encountered In an effort to understand how students made judgments about historical agents' actions, students were asked to place British colonization in the context of the Native American presence in North America Pre-unit Question 14 : Native Americans were already living in North America, so how could the Europeans claim this land? Anita : Because they had more communication The American Indians didn't have anything It was their little piece of land They [Europeans] got the credit for it because they had the queen and they had more communications and more advantages than the American Indians had They claimed it because they said, "We're here first and you weren't," because what could the Indians . .they couldn't do anything They didn't have anything, any communications or government They really didn't have anything, so they [Europeans] claimed it for themselves Interviewer : t What do you think about that? Anita : I don't think it was fair because the Indians were there first I didn't think that was right They could at least given them some credit They didn't give them anything They took their riches and they took their gold They took everything they had They cheated them off I mean that was rude They were there first They built their little homes They grew their little crops That was their land Mark : They just went over and took the land from the Indians and told them they had to move out That wasn't fair It's their land and they got kicked off their land They were treated as slaves and had to join the armies and fight other countries for the land that they got thrown off of Interviewer : t Should we give them the land back? Mark : t (pauses) I'm not sure 1 1 9


Bruce A VanSledright Daniel : t They had to fight for it or try to do some kind of an agreement Interviewer : t Do you think the English had a right to claim it? Daniel : No, but that's how they solved their problems They fought for their land and they fought for their rights because, if they didn't do that, the other countries might try and take England, so back then you had to always act like that Interviewer : t Do you see that as something they did back then but wouldn't do today? Daniel : t We might do it today but not as much as we did back then Sean : t I'm not completely certain, maybe they came in nice and then the Indians took them in or something Interviewer : t How could they just take land? Sean : t Because there was no law there that said they couldn't Anita was a demonstrative and loquacious interviewee Her responses, particularly those where she could assert her opinion, were argued oratorically Here she (perhaps rightfully) harangued the British for taking Native American land Her Hispanic background and Native American origins may have played an important role in how she felt about what she perceived to be significant injustices Her sympathy for the Native Americans was quite clear ; however, to say that they lacked communication, "didn't have anything," and by implication that the British were culturally and technologically superior, probably sells indigenous cultures short It is difficult to tell where these ideas originated ; however, popular culture may have played a role or possibly "slanted" textbooks she read in grade school Nonetheless, she clearly demonstrated the power to offer a critique, a skillful process required of expert levels of historical understanding (see Wineburg, 1991) Mark was fairly reserved in his judgment He asserted that the Europeans were wrong, but offered little more He equivocated when asked about returning land to the Native Americans as a method of balancing the scales of justice Daniel's answer was intriguing In contrast to Anita, he adopted the British perspective, offering a rather astute analysis from that purview He appeared atypical in that here he seemed to understand more of the context of sixteenth-century colonial political economics than his classmates Sean invoked rule by law-a European and more contemporary North American phenomenon-in what appeared to be a rationalization for and perhaps a defense of British actions This may be a case of using present standards to judge the past, a common practice observed in class discussions during the unit and a possible consequence of limited prior knowledge Anita might be pursuing a similar practice in her re1 2 0


Studying Colonization sponse to this question, but utilizing a different moral angle In the unit, Burke was quick to point out the limits of such approaches when they appeared, but spent little time cultivating a historical context in which to assess this history because he felt he needed to be more intent on getting through the material Pre-unit Question 16 : Have you ever heard of Jamestown colony? (If so, explain .) How about the Plymouth colony? (Explain .) Jean : In Virginia, or was that Pennsylvania? Jamestown . .I know where Jamestown is Yes, I've heard of it . .I don't know much about it Where was it? Jamestown . I've been there before with my mom a long time ago I know I've been there I don't remember where it was but . . (pauses) Interviewer : t How about Plymouth colony? Jean : Plymouth Rock? That's where Columbus landed I think No North Carolina? I don't know, but I learned about this in fifth grade Mark : t Nothing much Interviewer : t How about Plymouth Colony? Mark : t I think that's where the first settlers landed on Plymouth Rock I remember that from fifth grade Daniel : t It was where the English established the first colony and I think it was the first capital of the thirteen colonies Interviewer : t Do you remember any of the people? Daniel : t No Interviewer : t Do you know where Jamestown is? Daniel : t Virginia Interviewer : t How about the Plymouth colony? Daniel : We didn't really study about that much The Pilgrims came over for religion It was just them and the Indians There was a group of people, five or six, who asked the king to let them go and the king didn't do anything because it wasn't really important to him, so he just let them go I think they were Catholic Jean and Mark appeared to hold little background knowledge that would help them make sense of the two early British colonies despite saying they studied about them in fifth grade Daniel did remember that Jamestown was the earliest successful colony and that it was located in 1 2 1


Bruce A VanSledright Any other explorers? Hmm I don't remember his name but I know he was a Quaker, I don't remember his name though . .I remember Balboa He, uh, I don't remember the country, I think it was Bolivia or something I don't know Interviewer : t How about early colonies? Anita : Well Roanoke, I think it failed because they didn't, not failed but it suddenly disappeared and they didn't find it It disappeared like a mystery Interviewer : t Do you remember who settled it, or . ? Anita : No, I don't remember Any other colonies, hmm? Oh, Georgia was the last colony to be founded I think it was in '37 or '33, I don't remember Eighteen thirty-three I think it was something like that but I know it was the last I think Jamestown was the first colony and it almost failed because the people spent time looking for gold instead of working and helping their colony It was in Virginia Maryland was um . Lord Baltimore . Jennifer : I know that Lord Baltimore founded Baltimore I don't remember the people's names, but the places that were built like Pennsylvania (pauses) Columbus sailed . and he founded in America I don't know any others Daniel : The English, they settled mostly on the east coast because that's where they first got here and they were afraid to keep on going on because they were unsure of what was ahead of them The French came here and they got the Midwest, like Louisiana, and that's how they got all the French names like Baton Rouge Some colonies were Jamestown, Plymouth, and Pennsylvania They mostly came to America because of religion From where you live, if you lived in England, you had to become from the Church of England or wherever church you were from, from the county you were from Interviewer : t Why was it that the English settled along the seacoast and that the French settled in what you called the Midwest? Daniel : Sometimes they got lost . .sometimes they got off track and they just kept on going and then they just landed, but the French went around Spain got Florida England had this thing called debtors prison and they put it in Georgia near the front of Florida so if the Spanish attacked they would attack them first 1 2 4


Although Anita was working with names, events, and details studied in the unit (and with her moral concern about Columbus and her belief that he had spoken with Queen Elizabeth), her response indicates that she had difficulty pulling the pieces together into a coherent account Rather, her response jumped about, skipping from name to name, topic to topic The deeper she went into the factual thicket, the less she thought she knew Jennifer's response produced several names and some guesswork By contrast, Daniel focused on the English and French and reconstructed a coherent portrait of early colonization based on what he learned in class His ideas were reasonably deep (e .g ., who settled where and why, motivations of early settlers, the function of debtors-prison settlers) and he used details adroitly to tell a convincing story, a significant change from his preunit response Mark and Jean also appeared to possess improved understandings Post-unit Question 5 : After some time, European countries began building colonies in North America What is a colony? Anita : Somebody founded it People, they were followers and they followed, and they built their land They built their states, their one colony It's a bunch of people, maybe they came for religion and they believe in the same religion Maybe that colony has only just one religion, just believes in one religion They came and they built their town They have jobs like farming It's a little place [Colonies started] because of gold, maybe, usually religious persecution . jobs They followed somebody because they believed in one thing and they said, "Ooh, I believe in that too I want to go there ." They raised crops, the same as farming Some women weaved Jean : A colony is a place where people join and build a community together Houses and farms, a general store When I picture one, I can see a whole bunch of dirt, real gross because they didn't have any plumbing or anything like that I can see horses, people with those big long dresses on, and the high socks, the guys with the pants that were real high Mark : A colony is a group of villages put together and each colony had different governing Each colony made up their own laws Each town appointed officials to make sure the laws were kept 1 2 5 Studying Colonization


Bruce A VanSledright Interviewer : t Initially they called the village of Jamestown a colony Later on, they began calling Virginia a colony Why did they do that? Mark : Jamestown turned over and died By the time Virginia was a very big colony, Jamestown wasn't a town anymore There were no more people in Jamestown Jamestown was the first settlement in the New World, so they considered that a colony Sean : I understand it like a piece of land given to a person to start to farm, to start a city or town People started living there and building They started building up places where people could live, sort of like a development Interviewer : When they first started settling they would say Jamestown was a colony Later they were saying that Jamestown was a city and the colony was now Virginia Did the definition of colony change? Sean : I don't think so I would say Virginia . .or both are colonies, I guess Because they call North Carolina the colony and South Carolina the colony and Pennsylvania the colony Just like not the place where they had the most people I guess sort of both and sort of not I guess mostly just Virginia would be called the colony The whole thing is pretty confusing I guess I never thought of it I always knew that Jamestown was in Virginia In the pre-unit interview, these students had a firm but rudimentary and decontextualized conception of the term colony ; they referred to it as a settlement where a relatively small group of people lived The postunit responses indicate that their concept of colony expanded and that they were able to contextualize it within social and political life along the Atlantic seaboard (perhaps largely as a result of the Colonial Life Project) ? As Mark's and Sean's responses suggest, these students may have experienced some trouble with the idea that as the population grew and territory under British control expanded along the coast, the definition of the term colony shifted Sean found this shift confusing This may have been a historical subtlety that slipped their notice Burke never mentioned it explicitly in class Post-unit Question 9 : Native Americans were already living in North America, so how could the Europeans claim this land? Anita : t Columbus came He came over and he had Queen Elizabeth and everybody knew but he thought he was 1 2 6


Studying Colonization gonna . .he didn't know he came to America When he found the people there he said [that] he founded it because the Indians didn't say anything I mean how could they say anything? Who would they say it to? They didn't have any way of communication They just didn't have any . .who could they tell? They knew they found it but they didn't know .it was like a little place for them I don't know if they knew that it was America but they founded it before he did He just said it He just said, "Oh, I founded it first ." The Indians couldn't say anything They built their little places They started everything, and they [Europeans] just came over and took over their little land They stole their gold and their riches Today, most people, maybe they just believe that he discovered it ; if it wasn't for him, where would they be? Interviewer : t So they look at him as a hero? Anita : t I don't know if they really care about the Indians I don't want to talk for other people but I talk for myself Daniel : Because sometimes they drank a lot-the English and the explorers-because that was like the only thing they could keep, so it won't spoil or nothing They kept on drinking, and they would get the Indians drunk and make them sign contracts and it's against the law so they have to, or else there's a war I think it's wrong but it was a long time ago so you can't change it They pushed them back and made them live on little reservations I think it was unfair but there's nothing you can do about it Sean : They were just pushing them off I think that was unfair, like they were being unfair with the Indians I don't think it was right or anything Interviewer : t So what might be done about it? Sean : I don't know A lot of . .some of the Indians, their ancestors are coming into the courts and asking for the land back I don't think they should be doing that now because times have changed so much since then that I don't think that they should be fighting someone else to get land that's not actually theirs but their ancestors The way I see it now is to leave everything the way it is No matter what, if they complain, they're still not going to get the amount of land, like they're not going to get North Carolina back because that's where their ancestors used to live Even if they do get some land it will just be a very little bit, not very profitable 1 2 7


Bruce A VanSledright This question again explored how students constructed judgments about actors of the past and how these judgments may have changed as a result of learning more about colonization Five weeks or so later, Anita responded with an almost identical answer to the pre-unit question She continued her critique of Columbus, echoing sympathy once again for the indigenous American cultures Awareness of her own anger may have prompted her to note that this was her point of view, one not necessarily shared by others The apparent strength of her convictions may be difficult to modify should she encounter more balanced future treatments of Columbus and the encounter Her response does demonstrate her enthusiasm and interest in this period of history and her reasonably well-honed ability to make judgments and assess the actions of the past once interested Both Daniel and Sean thought the treatment of the Native Americans in North America was unfair and wrong, but they were unsure what could be done about it Both seemed to think that the case for the Native Americans was hopeless As he had in the parallel preunit question, Daniel continued to judge the situation via an English lens, invoking the use of drinking as a process through which they were able to take Native American land Sean thought it pointless for the Indians to pursue their case in court (without apparently being aware of some recent successes Native American groups have had in protecting and regaining land) Daniel's and Anita's responses provided an interesting contrast Both were Hispanic with Native American ancestry, yet their responses were very different It might be of some research value to explore further the genealogy of different beliefs and attitudes in students similar to these two The students' knowledge of the differences in cultural values that demarcated the British from the Woodlands Indians they encountered had little impact on helping them develop a more finely textured sense of the range of moral perspectives one could take on the issues Burke tried to work this idea, for example, by putting the widespread acceptance of slavery during the sixteenth century in its European perspective and asking students to imagine European attitudes with this perspective in mind However, little time was spent discussing these issues in depth because Burke was concerned about trying to fulfill district coverage guidelines and the ticking of the school clock The next cluster of questions asked students to sort through their understandings of colonial Jamestown and Plymouth and distinguish between the Pilgrims and the Puritans, all material studied in some depth during the unit It was here that conflations and self-reported confusions emerged with the greatest frequency 1 2 8


Studying Colonization Post-unit Question 10 : Tell me what you know about Jamestown colony Jean : King James, I guess it was named after I think it was once Roanoke Oh gosh, I know Roanoke disappeared I remember that it disappeared without a trace He [Burke] said it disappeared without a trace I don't know why . .or was it a fire? I don't know, I would say without a trace The English settled it Interviewer : t Do you know any of the leaders of that colony or how it was governed? Jean : t No Interviewer : t Do you know why they chose to settle there and not some other place? Jean : t Because they landed there Mark : Jamestown was a small British or English settlement along the James River in Virginia It was, I think, in the shape of a triangle It had wooden fences around it and it was surrounded by trees There are names that I know but I can't remember Interviewer : t How did they rule Jamestown? Mark : I don't know We talked a little bit about it but I can't remember The settlers at Jamestown spent most of their time looking for gold and didn't have any farming and when the winter came the next time, they didn't have any food because most of the people were looking for gold They barely got by I think that they were about to leave, that might have been something else I'm not sure if this was Jamestown or not, but one of the settlements was on a boat ready to go back to England when a supply boat came Daniel : t It was in Virginia and that was the first colony that the English settled I think they were gonna try to go up to Massachusetts but some kind of storm led them off Interviewer : t Any of the key leaders or other names? Daniel : t No Interviewer : t How did they govern Jamestown? Daniel : I guess just the same as England except for like a couple of laws, they changed them and put them into the way they wanted to be ruled Like freedom of religion Jamestown was important because it was the first settlement But Roanoke came before It was also in Virginia After awhile, like now people don't know . .there was a place and people didn't know where it was because no one was there any1 2 9


Bruce A VanSledright more It vanished without a trace They don't know what happened It just vanished without a trace Sean : It was the first settlement in North America In Virginia Jamestown had almost failed a few times because of disease and the swamps It caught fire and they had to rebuild the whole thing The crops were failing and everything but they just kept coming with the supply ships, and they rebuilt it and succeeded Interviewer : t Do you remember any key leaders? Sean : t No Interviewer : t How did they govern Jamestown? Sean : The king or the queen They would send over someone to act as the king of that colony, so he would settle all their problems There was one for every colony There was like a king of each colony The king had rules and the king would send over someone who would enforce them He had one person that would make sure that everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing and no one was breaking laws or stealing Later on they ended up with the House of Burgesses Virginia House of Burgesses . wasn't that like a set of laws? I can't remember Starting with this question and continuing on with subsequent questions, jean's responses began to show, as she later relayed, how the variety of colonies studied and the speed with which they were covered influenced her ability to pull together a coherent account On questions regarding the colonies specifically, her responses were offered with the least confidence and they were marked by a number of I-don't-know answers to exploratory follow-up questions The follow-up question that asked her why the Jamestowners settled where they did, was designed to evoke the "site and situation" exercise with which Burke began the unit Mark was able to recount the basic background details about Jamestown but was unable to remember who any of the leaders were or specifically how it was governed The drama of the virtual extinction of this early colony apparently held interest for him for he retold this piece of history with some relish Even so, he was somewhat unsure about whether or not he was describing Jamestown Likewise, Daniel and Sean reconstructed their basic understanding of the founding and settling of Jamestown Daniel conflated a piece of the Pilgrims-Plymouth Rock story with Jamestown but was able to add material on Roanoke Sean, with some tentativeness, recounted governing procedures and also speculated about 1 3 0


Studying Colonization the House of Burgesses, suggesting with uncertainty that is was a body of laws rather than a representative body of lawmakers Post-unit Question 11 : Tell me what you know about Plymouth colony Anita : Oh, that was in Massachusetts Maybe it was like a capital or something It was like they landed there, the Pilgrims They started that place first and the Indians helped them I don't know, it was like a capital because that was the first place they landed . Most people know Plymouth because of Pilgrims and Thanksgiving They were Puritans They came for their religion They didn't allow any other religion to come Interviewer : t What religion did they practice? Anita : Puritan? I don't know They were nice to the Indians They helped them grow crops They came on the Mayflower They gave thanks 'cause they were there and the Indians, since they were helping them growing crops . they were just giving thanks for being there, and they shared their dinner with the Indians Interviewer : t Are Pilgrims and Puritans names for the same group? Anita : t Yes Jean : t I know it was called Plymouth I don't remember (pauses) It was on the east coast Columbus went there? Sean : They were coming from Florida and they were going to Virginia Then a storm came and blew them off course and they landed in Plymouth I guess they were English They were going to Virginia and then a storm came and it blew them off course They landed in Plymouth so they started a colony there I just know that they were going to Virginia and they got blown off course They landed in Plymouth Interviewer : t Do you know anything about how Plymouth was governed? Sean : t I think . wasn't that the Puritan's colony . maybe that was somewhere else . that was Massachusetts Plymouth . .1 can't recall Interviewer : t Do you remember studying the Mayflower Compact? Sean : t No, I remember hearing it but I don't remember about it though 1 3 1


Bruce A VanSledright Anita equated the Plymouth colony with the Pilgrims and proceeded to recount the First Thanksgiving myth She also appeared convinced that the Pilgrims were one and the same with the group of Puritans that arrived later and settled what is now Boston (early Massachusetts Bay Colony) Jean continued to have difficulty reconstructing an understanding of these early colonies Sean identified the early ships that headed for Virginia and (according to one theory offered by Burke) were blown off course, landing at Plymouth Rock Students had studied about the Mayflower Compact as a very early experience with self-government, but Sean was unable to say much about it The other students failed to mention it spontaneously, despite Burke's stress on the Compact's importance In the next two questions, students were asked about the Pilgrims and Puritans respectively The purpose was to see if they would connect the Pilgrims (sometimes referred to in class as Separatists) with the Plymouth colony and the Puritans with a later group who formed the Massachusetts Bay colony, something emphasized in class Question-response interactions tended to be lengthy, so I summarize them here Jennifer remained reticent and unsure of her answers Jean, despite saying she could not remember much about the Plymouth colony, was able to reconstruct a few details about the Pilgrims Nonetheless, her recounting lacked depth To these students, Pilgrims, Puritans, and Quakers appeared conceptually interwoven It became difficult for them to keep the different groups, where they settled, and why they arrived distinct As the questions asked for more richly-textured ideas, fact overload became more apparent Mark seemed to know about the Puritans and the Quakers, but lamented the trouble he had remembering everything Sean's response to this question appears at the beginning of this report He too had difficulty separating these groups and noted, with an air of exasperation, that "there was a lot to learn in this unit ." Although the interviewees were able to delineate Pilgrim and Puritan experiences, in general, responses tended to indicate that they were unable to distinguish clearly between the colonies built by the Pilgrims and those by the Puritans, even though they learned about the differences in class and in the textbook It may have been a case of sheer information bombardment, coupled with general ambivalence toward the historical significance of colonial events Perhaps, Sean was right : There was a lot to learn, the class went too fast, and they seemed to him to jump around too much Burke made a point to stress the importance of trade, the triangular trade pattern, how it operated, and why the English and the colonists benefited by the process The next question and its exploratory followups were designed to mine student ideas about this phenomenon Jean's and Daniel's responses were quite representative of the group (although Anita and Jennifer had less to say than what Jean and Daniel say here) 1 3 2


Studying Colonization Post-unit Question 16 : The colonies traded with England How did this work and who benefited from it? Jean : I guess they made like a trade triangle and they'd go from one continent to another trading different things on each continent They could probably ship furniture to England and then go to Africa and pick up slaves and go back-or tobacco Tobacco would go from here [colonies] to England and then maybe something form England to Africa and slaves back to America Interviewer : t In class, it was said that the colonies were only allowed to ship unfinished goods Why was that? Jean : It was something about . .it would be worthless to other continents and so they [the English] had to finish it so they would get a profit Interviewer : t Who do you think benefited the most from this? Jean : t England, because they got goods from here and they also got taxes Interviewer : t Was that okay with the colonists? Jean : t I guess they'd care if they had to pay money to England and they weren't really doing anything Interviewer : t Had you learned about the slave trade before, or was that the first time you had studied it? Jean : t I've learned about it personally by going to museums and stuff I think it's horrible Interviewer : Mr Burke said that "we don't want to say that slavery was okay but we have to remember that during that time it was common all over the world ." Did that help you feel any differently about it? Jean : No I still think it was pretty stupid I still don't think it was necessary I think if it was necessary, which I don't believe it was, they could have at least treated them better Daniel : Because over in Maryland and in Virginia and South Carolina they found lots of tobacco so it became at that time a large tobacco industry That's what the English wanted because that was the time when people started smoking a lot They traded furniture for tobacco I guess, they also sent furs [to England], and some things made out of wood because they had lots of forests They made lots of ships Interviewer : t You talked about how England made most of the finished products and the colonists sent over raw materials Why was that? 1 3 3


Bruce A VanSledright Daniel : Because England was still in charge of them, England wanted something out of it The English said to the colonies that they could trade with whoever [sic] they wanted but it had to go through England first If you went to Cuba or the Caribbean, from there you had to go to England You can't get it back until England sees it first Burke's efforts at helping his students understand the triangular trade pattern appeared to succeed All six students (with the possible exception of Jennifer) demonstrated a reasonably detailed sense of how the process worked, which goods went where, and who seemed to benefit by the practice In class, Burke had also foreshadowed aspects of the Revolutionary War by suggesting that the colonists learned to resent England's insistence on shipping only unfinished products out of colonial ports He noted that colonists subsequently developed elaborate smuggling networks and eventually open disregard for English trade laws This point apparently was lost on the students They made no direct links among trade rules, beneficiaries, possible inequities, and an impending colony-motherland dispute Variability in responses continued through the end of the interviews Although Mark and Daniel appeared to have developed a sound sense of many facets of British North American colonialism, they also experienced occasional lapses in which what they seemed sure they learned was not available for retelling Anita, jean, and Sean struggled more frequently, but they too were able to reconstruct reasonably detailed accounts of the general features of colonial life and developments Jennifer's ideas remained only loosely connected Students seemed most animated and engaged in the historical material when the questions asked for their judgments and assessments of colonial history's actors and when they were allowed to weigh something they learned in relationship to constructing an argument or opinion Anita and Daniel seemed quite gifted at this process ; yet they both lacked a sufficient depth of historical evidence to provide balanced positions It does seem quite possible that, with more attention to this evidence, "average" students such as these could learn to understand and reason historically However, the speed with which students were run through this 175-year span of history was a constraining circumstance More breadth often resulted in reduced understanding, and in some cases, actually increased confusion Discussion Burke's representation of the unit material appeared to have some success in building students' rudimentary understanding of colonial American history However, information overload always seemed to lurk in the 1 3 4


Studying Colonization shadows In effect, students were asked to make sense of 175 years of colonial history in just under four weeks That was no small feat The variations in students' interpretations of the material and within an individual's responses may be a consequence of the attempt to cover this much material in such a short period How much of students' understanding of this period was sacrificed by the overload of information? This gives rise to three interrelated concerns : (a) how to avoid such results and instead cultivate and enhance students' historical understanding, (b) how to engage them (and keep them engaged) in historical material that may seem remote from their present experience, or in some ways disconnected from their ethnic backgrounds, and (c) how to fairly and validly assess students' historical understanding particularly in light of the differences between, say, Jennifer and Mark I discuss each in turn I then relate these concerns to current reform recommendations in an effort to link research, policy, and practice considerations Historical Understanding Recent scholarship in historical theory and historiography (see Seixas, 1993 for an excellent review) has suggested that history is a constructed, written task, wherein evidence plays a significant role but is molded and shaped by the assumptions and perspectives of the historian Historians never attain an unmediated link to the past Constructing history then involves (among other things) interrogating evidence, looking for patterns, and developing themes all within the context of a historian's frame of reference Accounts of the same events would vary by frame of reference, making history disputative and open to interpretation Such a view places heavy responsibilities on readers and demands that they assess the past with these ideas in mind (see VanSledright & Kelly, in press ; Wineburg, 1991) Historical understanding by these lights would involve (again, among other things) perspective taking ; interrogation of texts and evidence ; knowledge of historical context and authors' commitments ; and a skeptical, evaluative stance In a school context, developing this type of historical understanding would require symmetrical pedagogies and curriculum architectures, those very different from the objectivist history approach found in the Beardsley school district and generally reinforced by Burke What would this look like and how might it help these eighth graders avoid the information-overload difficulties they encountered and move closer to this type of understanding? Based on their research, Dickinson and Lee (1984) have suggested several factors would need to be present These include (a) the placement of students' prior knowledge within the broader context of the historical events and actors under consideration, (b) the encouragement of imagination to foster a degree of empathy with historical actors' motives, (c) the cultivation of opportunities for students to interact with the past by asking 1 3 5


Bruce A VanSledright questions and interrogating it, and (d) the construction of connections between students' present-day experiences and those of the past To this array, Wineburg (1991) would add the importance of learning to read history for its subtextual meanings and for the position of the author(s) of a document or account Seixas (1994b) would add the importance of wrestling with questions of historical significance And Brophy (1990), Newmann (1990), VanSledright and Brophy (1995), and Wilson (1991) would suggest a move to depth over coverage These students' prior knowledge of colonial events often appeared disconnected from moorings in the historical life and context of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries This was most evident when students judged past actions by present contexts (and to conclude that kings, queens, explorers, and colonists were "pretty weird people") While this is understandable and to a degree unavoidable, more would need to be done immersing students imaginatively in the sociocultural, political, and economic context of Europe and Great Britain as they carved out colonial territory around the world What was life like there? Why did people do the things they did? What were the political and economic circumstances that helped account for and constrain choices? Students could be encouraged to ask these questions and search out answers, using library and other resources Burke attempted to do some of this (e .g ., the Colonial Life Research Project) The social studies course was also constructed to provide context However, in view of the post-unit responses, more would need to be done Doing more, no doubt, would take additional time, but it could occur if the goal of coverage was displaced by the goal of enhancing historical understanding For example, as a time tradeoff, one or two colonial developments (e .g ., Jamestown or Williamsburg and/or the Massachusetts Bay colony) might be explored in depth where issues such as population growth ; sociocultural, economic, and technological change ; and the growth of selfgovernment would anchor the exploration Also crucial to historical understanding is the need to approach the historical record as alive and vibrant no matter how distant that past is Encouraged by common curricular designs that emphasize chronological coverage, students tend to think of the past as inert, as a flat story about dead people whose actions appear seldom relevant by today's standards By asking students to interrogate the past with questions they find interesting-questions tied to the relationship between the past and prospects for the future-life can be breathed into those dead figures Here again, understanding and making concessions for sociocultural-political-economic context is crucial Similarly important to historical understanding is the relationship between students" present-day experience and history they are asked to learn Those connections need to be developed and carefully cultivated for they seldom appear readily to students out of the fabric of a textbook 1 3 6


Studying Colonization account or classroom activities, unless conscious efforts are made to construct them Having said this, it is important to note the interesting tension between using present experience to interrogate the past and the importance of imagining life in its historical context Students might be apprised of this tension so that their questions could become more circumspect and penetrating I say more about this below These students' developing understanding also could be enhanced if they encountered a variety of texts (e .g ., other historian's accounts beyond the textbook version, primary documents) and learn how to read them Students could be taught how to emulate the critical reading strategies employed by historians (Wineburg, 1991, 1994) : reading for subtext (how the author's commitments influence her point of view), reading to understand the nature of the sources used, and reading to understand the context in which a document emerged This would require a text-rich environment and relegate the history textbook to one text among many with no special higher-order epistemological status (VanSledright & Kelly, in press) Finally, students might be asked to deal with an issue that troubles historians and history education reformers alike, that of establishing the significance of historical events This is a most problematic task (Seixas, 1994a, 1994b) Textbooks, for example, appear silent on this issue, portraying the past as though the authors have dealt with all that is important Yet, the accounting of the past is rife with revisions and stories remaining to be told Judgments change ; Columbus for example is no longer seen as the great white patriarch of "New World" discovery, and Anita makes this observation The problem also has surfaced recently in the Congressional and disciplinary disputes about whose history will be recounted and how in a national history curriculum (Panels Appointed to Review History Standards, 1995) Wittingly or not, students such as these remain tied up in such disputes because of their multiethnic backgrounds and the various perspectives they bring to the study of history Asking them to become more directly involved in the classroom, giving them voice in the question, raises hopes for enhancing their historical understanding Reasons for Learning History The importance of raising issues of significance and making judicious connections between present experience and the past can be exemplified further by stressing the need to help students develop powerful rationales for engaging in the task of understanding the past As a postscript to the interview process, these six students were asked about why they thought history of North American colonization might be important to learn Students had difficulty answering this question After long pauses and wrinkled brows, several could respond only by saying that it was important because parents and teachers said so Two students noted that "it 1 3 7


Bruce A VanSledright was a requirement," so they had to study it Daniel, whose own past was linked to a South American heritage, said that learning American history was interesting to him because occasionally he could take what he knew back to Argentina and impress his cousins who still lived there All six students intimated that no one had ever asked them this before Sean, providing the most complex response, concluded that learning about colonial history helped to frame an identity through the study of one's collective ancestry Sean was white and traced his background to Great Britain A student such as Anita with strong Hispanic roots, or African-American Jean, would find this rationale less convincing in a unit that dealt primarily with history from a British perspective Exploring students' prior conceptions of and perspectives on the past seems essential to this process The point here involves noting that students need help in developing powerfully-compelling and personally-connective rationales for learning about different historical periods In schools such as Beardsley, where the population is characterized by wide ethnic diversity, this task is not simple ; but it must be confronted Otherwise, students fail to engage in the learning process other than on narrow utilitarian grounds (e .g ., grades, praise, avoidance of penalties) The likely result is familiar : Students acquire knowledge for tests and quizzes, promptly forget or confuse the material shortly thereafter, and seldom move beyond the novice or early apprenticeship levels of historical understanding Rationales can vary and a number of good ones are available For example, with images of Santayana in mind, history is valuable in that it helps us understand where we have been, in order to help us make some sense of our present context, address past injustices, and point to possible futures Or, invoking Jefferson among others, understanding of the past is essential and incumbent upon citizens in democratic societies The location and development of personal identity (Sean's rationale) and how it is situated in the stream of human events is also an important rationale See others by Becker (1935) and Collingwood (1946), and a history project that provided students with powerful reasons for studying history by Kobrin (1992) However, this issue-like that of enhancing historical understanding-is by no means unproblematic The jury is still out on which if any of these rationales is most promising for work with students such as these six For example, some historians (e .g ., Novick, 1988) believe that using a presentist lens to examine the past can only distort understanding More research and debate on this issue is required Assessment Given the wide range of different responses to the interview questions, it seemed clear that students constructed their own ideas about what was salient Anita focused on Columbus ; Jean demonstrated an interest in 1 3 8


Studying Colonization the slave trade and wanted more on the African colonial experience than the class period spent on it ; Sean seemed caught by the rule-of-law phenomenon ; and Jennifer made little sense of the entire period Students, including these six, did poorly on the multiple-choice test at the end of the unit However, judging by some of the responses to post-unit questions and classroom observations, students did learn a number of things by researching, studying, and discussing colonial history, yet put their own inevitable spin on it What role did their varying background knowledge play in the development of new ideas? Should the goal of history courses be to have everyone team the same thing, sidestep the issue of significance, and emerge with congruent interpretations (hardly characteristic of disciplinary history)? Is this even possible with students who come from such diverse backgrounds? What might valid assessments look like in these contexts? How might assessments be designed to embrace the cultivation of historical understanding rather than merely measuring the accumulation of discrete facts? These are very difficult questions that point to normative issues concerning goals for teaching history in American schools This debate is ongoing Research studies can only add fodder to these debates However, it seems apparent that, especially in urban, ethnically diverse schools (e .g ., Beardsley), it will be increasingly difficult to get everyone to do well on standardized multiple-choice type tests given the array of different cultural factors that influence students' prior concepts and interpretations of history Furthermore, if historical understanding serves as the goal, assessments for the middle-level students of the future will need to look quite different I return to this point momentarily Current Reform Efforts The following comments are predicated on the assumption that, for better or worse, the national-level reform train in some manifestation has left the station with little hope of stopping in the near future, and that school district and state-level decision makers (such as Beardsley's) will have to reckon with it Given the task of improving students' historical understanding so defined, it would appear that the National Standards for United States History (1994) are pointed in a useful direction By forefronting historical thinking and subordinating the pursuit of facts to its service, students likely would find their study more engaging and intellectually stimulating Students like these six would be thrust in the center of the activity rather than the facts Their purpose for historical study-enhancing reading engagement ; sharpening cognitive acuity ; learning to make well-informed decisions ; building powerful, persuasive arguments-potentially could lead to realizable levels of self-efficacy (and perhaps more thoughtful citizens) Local decision makers may want to take these potential gains 1 3 9


Bruce A VanSledright under careful consideration as they explore these Standards and plan for the future To the extent that reform energies followed this path at local and state levels, the history NAEP could follow it by readjusting the "balance" between current curriculum/practice and being out on the vanguard of educational change It is important to note, however, that if the tide shifts to emphases on historical thinking (and by extension, understanding), then it seems logical to conclude that performance assessments would be in order Development of these assessments is still in its infancy Educational Testing Service only recently has begun to explore their possibilities for the NAEP They also are very expensive Cost-benefit problems may undermine their successful deployment This would not be good news for those proponents of "historical thinking" standards because the current lack of alignment between intended curriculum specifications (e .g ., National Standards for United States History, 1994) and the NAEP test would be exacerbated This in turn might result in the further retrenchment of status quo history curriculum and teaching and their constraining influences on taking the development of historical understanding seriously The reforms would turn out to be a wash much like those of the New Social Studies during the 1960s and 1970s Students such as these six probably would go on to encounter the same problems in developing historical understanding However, if the goal of these reform movements is to enhance historical understanding, then the absence of references to the research on learning history and to those student voices that sit at the center of that learning is a potentially grave omission This research on developing historical understanding in students of various age groups suggests how complicated a process it is Additional words of caution are in order Like the proverbial pendulum swinging back and forth from one reform to its counter, the temptation might be to focus almost exclusively on process (historical thinking) at the expense of content (historical records) The traces available from the past provide the important context within which historical thinking and understanding develop Without them, all that is left are thinking skills for their own sake Hallden (1994) has made clear in what she refers to as the "paradox of understanding history" that, In order to understand the explanatory power of a [historical] fact, students have to find an interpretation of the fact in the context of what needs to be explained Yet, what needs to be explained is what is intended to be stated by the presentation of these facts (p 33) 1 4 0


Studying Colonization Facts (or historical data as you prefer) and interpretations are inextricably linked Hallden recounts "Collingwood's [1946] contention that, without historical knowledge, we can learn nothing from a given piece of evidence, and the more historical knowledge we have, the more we learn" (p 33) To avoid the pendulum, reformers at whatever level would need to confront this paradox while also addressing the other issues connected to historical understanding Conclusion Learning about the past is a crucial endeavor However, typical survey courses foster little of the deep historical understanding called for by its advocates (Brophy, 1990 ; Dickinson & Lee, 1984 ; Resnick & Klopfer, 1989 ; Newmann, 1990 ; Seixas, 1994b ; VanSledright, 1995a) Rather, they often encourage the memorization of disconnected details that are soon forgotten By considering the emerging research results on historical understanding, by rethinking the way history courses are offered, taught, and assessed across the K-12 curriculum, by taking students' prior knowledge and cultural background differences seriously, and by listening to students such as Sean when they offer suggestions for slowing down and spending more energy on understanding historical phenomena, the next generation of students may make more profound sense of their past than the previous one Nonetheless, this type of classroom-based history education research reveals many problematic features of learning history in school and their possible connections to local, state, and particularly national reform impluses For example, enhancing historical understanding in current secondary classrooms such as Burke's most likely will require : (1) a different type of school history curiculum, (2) a more rigorous understanding of the discipline of history (e .g ., current historiographical debates) on the part of teachers and curriculum developers, (3) dealing with the issues of breadth and depth, (4) confronting the problem of historical significance, and (5) wrestling with authentic assessments, rationales for learning the subject, and the paradox of learning history If the goal is to establish some sort of national history curriculum, and assessment and teaching practices to support it, then it seems unlikely that treating these issues separately and without reference to student's voices will have much lasting impact On the other hand, considering them together is an enormous undertaking Is the current reform effort up to the task? The teachers, historians, policymakers, and history education researchers of the future will be the ones to answer But creating more thoughtful and engaged democratic citizens could weigh significantly in the balance ." 1 4 1


Bruce A VanSledright Appendix Preand Post-Unit Protocol Questions  t Tell me what you remember about the explorers and the colonies they built in North America  t The Americas were actually there for thousands of years Why do you think it took Europeans so long to explore them? [Pre-unit only]  t Why were they exploring? What were they hoping to find?  t Who were some of the explorers that came to the Americas from Europe? Where exactly did they come from? [Pre-unit only]  t Exploring distant lands was expensive Who financed these explorations and why? [Pre-unit only]  t When the European explorers reached the Americas, who did they encounter? [Pre-unit only]  t How were the Native Americans different from the Europeans? How were they similar?  t How did things change for the Native Americans in North America after the Europeans began exploring?  t The explorers typically sailed back to Europe and reported what they had found What happened next? [Pre-unit only]  t After some time, European countries began building colonies in North America What is a colony?  t Which European countries built colonies in North America?  t Why did these countries want colonies? What were the advantages of having them?  t (Point to a map of the eastern seaboard of the U S .) The colonies in this part of North America belonged to Great Britain Why did they belong to Great Britain and not France or Spain?  t Native Americans were already living here, so how could the English claim this land?  t What were these early English colonies like? [Pre-unit only]  t Have you ever heard of the Jamestown colong? (If so, explain .) How about the Plymouth Colony?  t Who were the Pilgrims? What do you know about them? (If necessary, why did they leave England?)  t Who were the Puritans? Tell me everything you know about them How were they similar or different from the Pilgrims?  t Many of the colonies were built along waterways Why do you think that was?  t What do you know about the development of what was called the middle colonies? [Post-unit only]  t How did the colonies change over time?  t The colonies traded with England How did this work and who benefited from it? [Post-unit only]  England ruled the colonies on the eastern seaboard for about 200 years, but then these colonies became the United States of America How did that happend?  t Why do you think they teach you the history of how North America was colonized? Why might it be important to learn about that? 1 4 2


Notes 1 All indentifying names are pseudonyms 2 An attempt was made to select an African American male from the four in the class, however, none of their parents allowed them to participate directly in the study I Initially, standardized questions were asked and then they were followed by a series of follow-up questions that explored the depth of the students' knowledge and sense making Follow-up questions were generated in response to students' comments See Appendix for a list of the standardized questions 4 In a separate eighth-grade study that employed the same data collection and analysis methods (VanSledright, 1995a), the teacher followed colonial history chronology rigorously with only limited success s The results reflect significant differences from earlier research by Brophy, VanSledright and Bredin (1993) They noted that fifth graders' preinstructional understanding of the term colony was weak at best and in some cases nonexistent Repeated exposure to the concept across grades may have some cummulative impact 6 Several of the following questions and responses had no exact preunit parallel but are included to provide a broader orientation to how students' ideas evolved In describing a colony, the females tended to focus on social life, whereas the males more often noted political factors Brophy, et al (1993) made a similar observation about gender response differences in the fifth graders they interviewed "The author wishes to thank his research assistant Lisa Frankes for the extensive contribution she made to the data collection phase of this research Portions of this work were supported by the General Research Board of the University of Maryland at College Park The ideas contained in this report do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of the Board References Barton, K (1993, November) History is more than story : Expanding the boundaries of elementary learning Paper presented at the annual meeting of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies, Nashville Becker, C (1935) Everyman his own historian New York : Crofts Brophy, J (1990) Teaching social studies for understanding and higherorder applications The Elementary School journal, 90, 351-417 Brophy, J ., VanSledright, B ., & Bredin, N (1992) Fifth graders' ideas about history expressed before and after their introducation to the subject Theory and Research in Social Education, 20,440-489 Studying Colonization 1 4 3


Bruce A VanSledright Brophy, J ., VanSledright, B ., & Bredin, N (1993) What do entering fifth graders know about U S history? Journal of Social Studies Research, 16 & 17,2-22 Collingwood, R G ., (1946) The idea of history London : Oxford University Press Dickinson, A K ., & Lee, P J (1984) Making sense of history In A Dickinson, P Lee, & P Rogers (Eds .), Learning history (pp 117-153) London : Heinemann Epstein, T (1994) America Revised revisited : Adolescents' attitudes toward United States history textbooks Social Education, 58, 41-44 Gagnon, P (Ed .) (1989) Building a history curriculum : Guidelines for teaching history in schools Washington, DC : Educational Excellence Network Goodlad, J I (1984) A place called school New York : McGraw-Hill Hallden, O (1994) On the paradox of understanding history in an educational setting In G Leinhardt, I Beck, & C Stainton (Eds .) Teaching and learning in history (pp 27-46) Hillsdale, NJ : Erlbaum Kobrin, D (1992) It's my country, too : A proposal for a student historian's history of the United States Teachers College Record, 94, 329-342 Levstik, L (1986) The relationship between historical response and narrative in the classroom Theory and Research in Social Education, 14, 1-15 Levstik, L (1989) Historical narrative and the young reader Theory into Practice, 28,114-119 McKeown, M ., & Beck, I (1990) The assessment and characterization of young learners' knowledge of a topic in history American Educational Research journal, 27, 688-726 National Assessment Governing Board (1994) U S Framework for the 1994 National Assessment of Educational Progress Washington, DC : U S Department of Education National Center for History in the Schools (1994) National standards for U S history : Exploring the American experience Los Angeles : UCLA National Council for the Social Studies (1994) Ten thematic strands in social studies Social Education, 58, 365-368 Naylor, D ., & Diem, R (1987) Elementary and middle school social studies New York : Random House Newmann, F (1990) Higher order thinking in teaching social studies : A rationale for assessment of classroom thoughtfulness Journal of Curriculum Studies, 22,41-56 Novick, P (1988) That noble dream : The "objectivity question" and the American historical profession Cambridge : Cambridge University Press Panels appointed to review history standards (1995) OAH Newsletter, 23(3), 12 Ravitch, D ., & Finn, C (1987) What do our 17-year-olds know? New York : Harper & Row 1 4 4


Studying Colonization Resnick, L ., & Klopfer, L (Ed .) Toward the thinking curriculum : Current cognitive research Washington, DC : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Rocoeur, P (1971) The model of the text : Meaningful action considered as a text Social Research, 38, 529-562 Schwab, J (1978) Science, curriculum, and liberal education Chicago : University of Chicago Press Seixas, P (1993) Parallel crises : History and social studies curriculum in the USA Journal of Curriculum Studies, 25, 235-250 Shaver, J ., Davis,Jr O .L ., & Helburn, S M (1979) The status of social studies education : Impressions from three NSF studies Social Education, 43, 150-153 VanSledright, B (1995a) "I don't remember-the ideas are all jumbled in my head" : Eighth graders' reconstructions of colonial American history Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 10, 317-345 VanSledright, B (1995b) The teaching-learning interaction in American history : A study of two teachers and their fifth graders Journal of Social Studies Research, 19 (1), 3-23 VanSledright, B ., & Brophy, J (1992) Storytelling, imagination, and fanciful elaboration in children's historical reconstructions American Educational Research journal, 29, 837-859 VanSledright, B ., & Brophy, J (1995) "Storytellers," "scientists," and "reformers" in the teaching of U .S history to fifth graders : Three teachers, three approaches In J Brophy (Ed .), Advances in research on teaching : Vol 5 (pp 195-243) Greenwich, CT : JAI Press VanSledright, B ., & Kelly, C (in press) Reading American history : How do multiple text sources influence historical learning in fifth grade? National Reading Research Center Wineburg, S (1991) On the reading of historical texts : Notes on the breach between school and academy American Educational Research journal, 28, 495-519 Wineburg, S (1994) The cognitive representation of historical texts In G Leinhardt, I Beck, & C Stainton (Eds .) Teaching and learning in history (pp 85-136) Hillsdale, NJ : Erlbaum Wilson, S (1991) Parades of facts, stories of the past : What do novice history teachers need to know? In Kennedy, M M (Ed .), Teaching Academic Subjects To Diverse Learners (pp 99-116) New York : Teachers College Press Author BRUCE A VANSLEDRIGHT is Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 1 4 5


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring 1996, Volume 24, Number 2, pp 146-166 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Historical Texts : An Exploratory Study Elizabeth Anne Yeager University of Florida 0 L Davis, Jr University of Texas at Austin Abstract The scope of this study is teachers' historical thinking with regard to the interpretation of a particular set of historical texts and interpretive tasks It also focuses on teachers' disciplinary perspectives as factors in their historical thinking The study takes Wineburg's (1991) research on the historical thinking of academic historians and high schools students as a point of departure The teachers in this study read and "thought aloud" about the same documents on the Battle of Lexington used by Wineburg, then attempted to construct meaning and to assign credibility to particular sources for portraying the truth of historical events The emergence of three distinct profiles in this study provides a possible framework for sorting through the experiences of history teachers in order to form a basis for understanding their historical thinking Research on the teaching and learning of history generally has assumed the likelihood of a strong relationship between teachers' ability to think historically and the development of their students' historical understanding Research, on the other hand, has seldom revealed an empirical relationship between the two, and inquiry into the nature of classroom teachers' historical thinking remains a relatively unexplored territory Indeed, recent reconceptualizations of students' capabilities in history necessitate a more robust understanding of teachers' epistemologies of the subject and their translation into effective pedagogical practice The historical thinking and understanding of students has received much-needed attention in a growing body of research, most of which has centered on the interests and capabilities of students at various developmental levels (Van Sledright & Brophy, 1992 ; Downey & Levstik, 1991 ; Friedman, 1978,1982 ; Thornton & Vukelich, 1988 ; Hallam, 1966,1967,1972 ; Levstik & Pappas, 1987, 1992 ; Booth, 1980) Downey and Levstik 1 4 6


(1991) concluded that "sustained study of significant material appears more likely to develop the habits of mind relevant to the domain of history ." They also emphasized that the study of history can be a legitimate undertaking for students because of these unique habits of mind Other studies have shown that students can reason with historical evidence from a variety of sources ; Booth (1980), Blake (1981), and Drake (1986) and others have concluded that the use of primary sources enabled students to become aware of historical problems and better able to grasp the interpretive nature of history The crucial significance of instruction in the development of students' historical understanding has been explored in a number of studies (e .g ., Downey & Levstik, 1991 ; Thornton & Vukelich, 1988) Recent research especially emphasizes the importance of teachers' historical habits of mind and ability to translate these pedagogical ideas into effective teaching practice (Shulman, 1986, 1987) A few important studies of history teaching have been conducted in high schools For example, Goodlad (1984) reported a persistent pattern in students' activities during history lessons : a preponderance of listening to lectures, reading textbooks, doing worksheets, and taking quizzes Also, McNeil's (1986) ethnographic study in Midwestern high schools reported wide variations of practice and quality of history instruction from teacher to teacher and explained instructional dynamics that influenced students' negative perceptions of history Additional research that specifically describes what teachers do (or do not do) in their instruction of history is warranted Especially, history teachers' knowledge of their subject is a major factor in the way history is taught and, according to some researchers, a significant indicator of teacher competence (e .g ., Downey & Levstik, 1991 ; Gudmundsdottir, Carey, & Wilson, 1985 ; Shulman, 1986, 1987 ; Wilson, Shulman, & Richert, 1987 ; and Wineburg & Wilson, 1989, 1993) This body of research focuses on how different content and contexts influence effective teaching Nonetheless, these recent findings do not suggest that teachers' simple accumulation of more historical facts better prepares them to teach history Teachers and Historical Thinking Stanley (1991) described the emerging research base in the area of history teachers' knowledge of subject matter, citing an increasing number of "rich, thick descriptions of instruction that yield insights into how subject matter knowledge relates to teacher competence in various classroom contexts" (252) However, he lamented the lack of a "comprehensive history of practice" in the teaching field In the field of history, a significant aspect of teachers' knowledge, with implications for their classroom practice, is the formulation of teachers' historical "habits of mind" and their 1 4 7


Yeager & Davis disciplined perspectives toward history Teachers' understandings of the discipline of history and of historical thinking enable them to be more sensitive to the role of interpretation, to multiple causation, and to the importance of seeing events in a broad context (Downey & Levstik, 1991) A particular shortcoming of the current state of "rich, thick descriptions" of history teaching is the absence of information on the role of teachers' reading and analysis of historical texts This analysis constitutes a critical dimension of historical thinking, or history's "knowing how" (Ryle, 1949) Historians routinely deal with the analysis of evidence in texts to construct reasonable portrayals, accounts, and explanations of past events ; therefore, a significant part of the history teacher's task is to understand and be able to apply fundamental aspects of historical thinking to a variety of historical texts and evidence These aspects include considerations of perspective, context, authorship, and bias ; the ability to sift through and sort facts into different explanations and tentative conclusions ; and a healthy skepticism that permeates the historical thinking process and demands new information before committing to particular ideas or explanations As teachers incorporate these aspects into their instruction, their students may be able to adopt these habits of mind into their own inquiry of how history is made, both by the individuals who actually were involved in an event, for example, and by historians who have studied the event long afterwards Wineburg (1991a, 1991b) initiated a research focus on the analysis of historical texts His research participants, academic historians and high school students, "thought aloud" while reading eight documents about the American Revolution and attempted to construct meaning and to assign credibility to particular sources for portraying the truth of history In his interpretation of the findings, Wineburg argued that each group brought to the texts a unique epistemological stance, one that shaped and guided the meanings that they derived from the texts He further suggested implications for the role of history in the school curriculum and for the substantive improvement of teaching school history Study Participants and Methodology The scope of the present study is teachers' historical thinking with regard to the interpretation of a particular set of historical texts and interpretive tasks It also focuses on teachers' disciplinary perspectives as factors in their manifestations of historical thinking The study is not intended to suggest that teachers' concerns are only discipline-centered, nor to imply that other areas of teacher thinking are insignificant However, the author assumed that research on history teaching must include greater attention to specific aspects of teachers' thinking about their discipline The study extended Wineburg's research into particular history classrooms and added to the author's previous research on teachers' his1 4 8


Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Texts torical thinking, which focused on elementary student teachers (Yeager & Davis, 1994) and secondary student teachers (Yeager & Davis, in press) As in these two earlier studies, the author explored the following questions :  t How did these teachers read and interpret historical texts?  t How did they construct a "truthful" historical account from analysis of various sources?  t What did they regard as key aspects of historical analysis and interpretation?  t How did they perceive their students' capacities to think historically? Over a period of one year, the author observed and interviewed a sample of fifteen secondary school history teachers while she was supervising social studies student teachers in the public school system of a large (approximately 400,000 population) southwestern city The author chose the teachers largely on the basis of general information (i .e ., teachers' names, levels of experience, subjects and grade levels frequently taught, and areas of expertise) obtained from the school system's central administration office About half of the fifteen teachers were somewhat familiar to the author because they had previously served as cooperating teachers for the student teaching program in which the author was employed However, of these teachers, the author had worked directly with only one prior to this study The remaining participants were selected randomly by the author from the same general list of social studies teachers provided by the school system The author attempted to select a fairly wide-ranging group of participants in terms of their ethnicity, years of experience, and academic specializations Although some of the participants were less articulate in the interviews than others, all appeared interested in the project and were cooperative throughout the entire interview period Also, three other teachers were approached about participating in the study but declined ; two because of extensive commitments to various student organizations, one because of illness After the interviews with all fifteen teachers, the author was able to identify three fairly distinct approaches to, or "profiles" of, historical thinking among the participants For the present study, she chose to feature one teacher in each category who most richly illustrated and articulated each of the three approaches The three teachers are identified here as Jordan, Meredith, and Julie Jordan, a white male, had taught honors and "regular" American history for twenty-five years in one of the city's 1 4 9


Yeager & Davis high schools with a fairly even distribution of white, Latino, and African American students Meredith, an African-American female, had had seven years' American and world history teaching experience in the liberal arts magnet program of another of the city's high schools in which the overall student body was predominantly Latino, while her students were a mix of white, African American, Asian American, and Latino Julie, a white female, was beginning the second semester of her first year, teaching seventh-grade state and American history at one of the city's middle schools ; her students were mostly white, with small Latino and African American populations as well In their undergraduate studies, all three teachers had taken a substantial number of history courses (at least ten to twelve) covering a wide range of historical topics, using a variety of primary and secondary sources, and dealing with a broad spectrum of historical perspectives, from traditional to revisionist This academic background was more or less typical of the entire group Jordan and Meredith had earned master's degrees in history ; Julie had just completed her undergraduate teacher certification program Also, all three had taken social studies methods courses for teacher certification None could recall explicit attention in these courses to the teaching of history or to aspects of historical thinking Rather, the courses focused on a broad conception of the social studies curriculum Julie, for example, explained that her methods course contained "nothing on history teaching, just on general social studies topics like using computers and getting teaching ideas from journals ." Furthermore, these three teachers' divergent experiences with inservice education and other professional activities related to the teaching of history represented the range of the entire group's experiences Julie had not yet participated in any professional development activities related to social studies or history Meredith described numerous positive experiences with inservice history education, both locally and nationally She remained active in several social studies organizations and interest groups, and she regularly attended their conferences, often to lead or participate in activities related to history teaching Jordan took a negative view of his previous experiences with what he called "generic inservice workshops" in social studies He described these as "cursory" and "impractical" because they did not address the specific concerns of history teachers and students For this study, the author conducted a single, individual interview with each teacher In these audiotaped sessions, the author gave each participant typed copies of eight historical documents, the same as those used by Wineburg (1991a, see Appendix) She explained to the participants that they were to read aloud eight documents on the Battle of Lexington and to "think aloud" about them ; that is, they were to verbalize the contents of their thoughts, saying whatever came to mind, as they attempted to deter1 5 0


Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Texts mine what happened at Lexington on April 19, 1775 After this exercise, the participants were asked to rank each document in order of its credibility as a source of information about the Battle of Lexington The length of the sessions varied because of differences in the ways each participant was willing and/or able to talk about the historical documents The author remained silent during this part of the session, only occasionally prompting ("What are you thinking?") if the participant paused for several seconds The author advances specific implications of her findings for the preparation of history teachers as a critical factor in the improvement of the teaching of history in schools and, especially, for the stimulation of students' historical thinking Analysis of the Data Each teacher manifested quite different historical understandings, interpretations, and conclusions as they engaged in analysis of the eight documents The quality and nature of their experiences with history were diverse and illuminating The emergence of three distinct profiles in this study provides a possible framework for sorting through the experiences of history teachers in order to form a basis for understanding their historical thinking For the purposes of both conciseness and depth, the author selected Meredith, Julie, and Jordan to feature in close-up "snapshots" of each of the three approaches to historical thinking that emerged from this study It is important to note that, while each of the three teachers generally represents a particular type of approach found in the group, each is also a unique characterization The author is not suggesting that all of the teachers who emphasized Julie's storytelling theme, for example, had exactly the same analytical difficulties that Julie had Nor does she imply that the participants' tendency to emphasize a particular approach confined them exclusively to that approach in their teaching Rather, these three teachers effectively illustrated a range of insights and difficulties that they encountered as they engaged in the reading of historical texts Meredith : History as Construction of Meaning Meredith was one of three teachers who emphasized a constructivist approach to historical thinking She demonstrated awareness of many aspects of historical analysis and interpretation She especially called attention to students' understanding of these aspects in order to foster their own construction of meaning Meredith approached the task of analyzing the documents in much the same way as the academic historians in Wineburg's study When she began to read the documents, she looked for evidence of the author's assumptions and perspective, the au1 5 1


Yeager & Davis dience for which the document was written, the circumstances and context in which the document appeared and from which it arose, and the purpose of the written text Moreover, she referred to these criteria throughout the interview and emphasized that students must adhere to them in order to construct historical knowledge and meaning from historical sources Like Wineburg's historians, Meredith constructed subtexts of "latent meaning" of the documents she read (Wineburg, 1991b, p 501) Meredith appeared to be a skilled, enthusiastic reader of history because of her "active participation in the fabrication of meaning . pretending to deliberate with others by talking to (herself)" (Wineburg, 1991b, p 503) In her engagement with the texts, she compared historical accounts, acknowledged contradictions and subjectivity, and recognized that stories may have gotten mistranslated in their retelling She called attention to nuances of tone, grammar, literacy, and choice of vocabulary Perhaps most importantly, she often speculated about the documents' authors, the source of the text, dates and the passage of time, and authors' biases and frames of mind, acknowledging that "details are tied to witnesses" (Wineburg, 1991b, p 511) A partial list of the questions she raised while thinking aloud includes :  t Why was this account written?  t Who were these people? What were they like?  t What might the difference be between accounts written by civilians and accounts by military people?  t Why is Paul Revere only mentioned in the textbook account?  t What does this document say about how strategically important Lexington was?  What is the difference between an account by "people of circumstance" like Ezra Stiles and one from an "average person" like Jeremy Lister?  t What was it like to be a British officer during this time? How did they get to America? How educated were they?  t What "contemporary factors" were at play? What was this time in history like? 1 5 2


Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Texts Furthermore, she constantly attended to how her students would use the documents in class, and to how she would guide their historical thinking For example, she remarked : (On the minutemen's statement) : I would ask students to look at the details of this document and see what they could find out about the people of the time, such as what it meant to be "of lawful age ." (On Barker's and Stiles' diary entries, the Lister account, and the newspaper account) : I would have them compare these to other accounts and talk about different perceptions of the same event, particularly with regard to who fired first They could see the confusion in things, both for the British soldiers, who probably were taken aback by what happened when they got to Lexington, and for us, when we try to draw conclusions about what happened after the fact (On Stiles' diary entry) : I would be interested in having my students explore just who this man was, and why this account was written, because he's actually supporting Pitcaim's assertions Who was he in terms of his loyalties? He implies some admiration for Pitcairn, as well as some loyalties to the colonists' cause he refers to "our people" and Pitcaim's "bad cause ." He uses the words "indeterminateness," "promiscuous," and "impetuous" to show how confusing things were (On the textbook account) : A very biased account . .I would use this as an example of bias embedded in a seemingly objective source Also, does this book elaborate on Paul Revere, or does it just assume students know who he was? If there's no other mention of him, I would suggest a New England bias in the book, in addition to an obvious American one One tends to find a New England bias in a lot of textbooks in American history . .I would also use this to have students analyze the historical context of the writing of this textbook, including the events of the early 1960s, and why the account has such a super-patriotic tone Also, students could explore they use of the word "atrocity" in different contexts, from the Boston "massacre" where five people were killed, to the "atrocities" of World War Two 1 5 3


Yeager & Davis (On the Lister account) : First, I would have students examine his grammar and spelling and speculate on his education The fact that he can write suggests something about him I would want them to try to create a profile, based on some research of people of the time What was a typical young British officer like then? Because he seems like such an average guy, I'm intrigued by the social history implications of his account This (document) has so many possibilities for students' analysis Meredith's "healthy skepticism" and her understanding of the tentativeness of historical conclusions led her to the following conclusions about the credibility of the documents : The novel is obviously problematic, until we can find out more about its provenance and authorship The diaries and personal accounts are good, especially Barker's because it is a fresh recollection, a quick "snapshot" of what happened But on the other hand, what was his motivation in writing this account? What were the circumstances? To what extent did he choose his words and the statement he was making? The Lister account is good, but it bothers me that it was written so many years after the fact Why was that? More importantly : I could not really say which of these documents is the most credible, because I simply need to know more about them before trusting them They all have strengths and weaknesses and different motivations People always have different perceptions of the same event, and they depict them in different ways The credibility of sources hinges on many factors, not all of which can be discerned just from the limited information I have here Indeed, in her reading, she often commented upon "what was left out" and emphasized the importance of "elaborative detail" and corroboration of facts in constructing meaning through historical analysis Nonetheless, she found all of the documents "useful" in some way, not just to discuss the Battle of Lexington, but also to stimulate students' historical interpretation and historical research skills 1 5 4


Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Texts Julie : History as Entertainment Julie was one of four teachers who, for the most part, viewed history as a "story to be brought to life ." For her, this meant that sources must "grab my attention" ; she repeatedly referred to particular documents as her "favorites" or as "the ones I like ." She was drawn to sources that she believed were the most "vividly written" and "easiest to read," frequently dismissing those she had difficulty deciphering because of "stilted language," "rambling sentences," and "dense ideas ." On the whole, Julie preferred for historical sources to be captivating, clear, and comprehensible stories that entertained her, and she believed that these kinds of sources best suited her thirteen-year-old students as well In several ways, Julie's reading of the documents approximated that of the high school students in Wineburg's study For these students, reading was a process of "gathering information, with texts serving as bearers of information" (Wineburg, 1991b, p 510) Julie had some difficulty at times gathering and processing information from the documents ; however, unlike the high school students, she did not "fail to engage" with the documents Clearly, to some extent she did engage with sources that she found entertaining But like the high school students, she "rarely saw subtext in what (she) read ; (her) understanding of point of view was limited to which 'side' a document was on" (Wineburg, 1991b, 510) She made few probing comparisons of one account to another ; she rarely speculated about authorship Julie occasionally exhibited difficulty in interpreting both factual and contextual information At many points in the interview, Julie appeared to overlook the identifying information at the end of each document about authorship, bias, dates, type of source, and the location or context in which the accounts were written Julie's interview was fairly brief because she simply skimmed each document, summarized the main idea, and decided if the document had captured her attention after limited analytic commentary or dialogue with herself Often silent and unsure of what to say about the documents, she occasionally required prompts from the interviewer ("What are you thinking . .") in order for her to continue her commentary She stated a few times that she was not "sure what she was supposed to be doing" with the documents Like Meredith, she was left with a fuzzy impression of what happened at Lexington as a result of the conflicting accounts, but she implied that this resulted from her difficulty in sorting through layers and textures of meaning and language in her analysis Some of Julie's remarks include : (On the letter to Franklin) : I have to go back and look at this again because the language is really difficult . (very long pause) This is hard for me to 1 5 5


Yeager & Davis understand . (restates facts in the document in the author's words) I think what has happened is that there has been some inhumane stuff going on, some people died, and others escaped It's kind of stilted, like a speech I may need to come back to this . (later) I think I would need to spend a lot more time on this (On the minutemen's statement) : This is much easier to understand, because it's a first-person account . (restates facts in authors' words) Sounds like they are just swearing what happened in front of three judges The vocabulary in this is easy to understand It makes it sound more like you're there (On the Barker diary) : (frequently pauses to restate facts in her own words) This is from a different perspective, a British guy It was pretty interesting It's my second favorite next to document three It's clear and easy to understand, and with a different point of view (On the newspaper account) : I'd have to reread this one because it goes on and on without any breaks in the sentences It's not really clear (restates a few key phrases and facts from the document) (On the Stiles account) : This is nice and clear Is Ezra a she or a he? He seems to have an unbiased view of things . he's presenting both sides, whereas all the other ones have been one-sided . (restates key ideas in her own words) This is more of a secondhand account The story has gone through a few people, so it's like gossip . .It's probably been changed and probably is not very believable I think it's interesting, clear, and storylike, like you'd see in a storybook It's a lot of fun But it's the least believable of all the ones I've seen so far More like a legend or a tale, I guess (On the textbook account) : This is really short and very clear, but it's very dry and doesn't have the good details that make you want to read more I don't remember a lot of what it said because it's just not too interesting It doesn't make the story very juicy and soap1 5 6


Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Texts opera-ish It doesn't give you that feeling of, "Oh, I can't wait to read more What's going to happen next?" It just tells you fact, fact, fact, just tells you what happened, with nothing personal to make reading interesting (On the Lister account) : (restates main ideas in her own words) I think this is good It doesn't have as many details, but it's a nice, short, understandable personal account On the issue of the documents' credibility as sources of historical information, Julie seemed to equate credibility with interest and readability ; hence, her preference for the fictional account Julie clearly preferred April Morning as a source of information because it was the "most fun . It has vivid details, and it's full of emotion ." However, she appeared unaware that this source was fictional and seemed to accept it as a factual account She talked about the source in this way : It's more credible because of the way he talks about it He's had a gut-wrenching experience, so he's able to remember a lot more than other people might what he said and everything that happened The emotion of the moment makes him believable It's a very personal account Also, this (source) is even easier to understand It grabs your attention at the very beginning I like this account a lot ; it's my favorite so far It's a good introduction to what happened and gives you the feeling of actually being there you're right in the room Lots of good adjectives and powerful expressions It's much more exciting Her rejection of the textbook account as a credible source of information was strictly on the grounds of its lackluster version of events : The textbook is not credible to me because there's no substance It's short, clear, but dry, and it has no interesting details It's just a shell Some of the other sources are better for making the story juicy This account is just a bunch of facts . It just tells you exactly what happened But it's not fun reading It sounds more like a news program or the New York Times Interestingly, however, she believed that the textbook account was unbiased Her conclusion about this source evoked some of the high school students in Wineburg's study, who believed that the textbook excerpt they read simply reported "the facts just concise, journalistic in a way, just 1 5 7


Yeager & Davis saying what happened," or as "straight information, a neutral account of the events" (Wineburg, 1991b, 501) The lack of credibility that she assigned to the Stiles account was based on her view that it was "too gossipy . Its gone through too many people ." Her assessment of this account highlighted another way in which she overlooked the nature and context of particular documents ; that is, Julie believed that the Stiles account contained no bias Even though Stiles' recollections were taken from his personal diary, she applied a different definition of bias to his version of events, describing it as "unbiased" because he "tried to see both sides of the story ." Clearly, Julie indicated that she appreciated the narrative aspects of history, and also that a story framework appealed to her junior-high students Indeed, her assumptions about the significance of a narrative structure for younger learners are well supported in the literature (e .g ., Levstik, 1986,1989 ; Levstik & Pappas, 1987,1992 ; Downey & Levstik, 1991 ; McKeown & Beck, 1994) However, for Julie, like the high schools students in Wineburg's study, "the textbook, not the eyewitness accounts, emerged as the 'primary' source" (Wineburg, 1991b, 501) She indicated that the textbook would be authoritative as a "basic tool" for "reliable facts and information ." Julie explained that she would select other sources to "liven up the story," and she acknowledged the value of different sources for a more entertaining version of history Nonetheless, she did not mention the idea of using different sources together, comparing them for the purpose of corroboration, or for providing students with a richer, more complete understanding of historical events and perspectives Jordan : History as a Search for Accuracy Jordan was one of eight teachers whose primary emphasis was on accuracy in the study of historical facts In his analysis, Jordan's primary concern was for the accuracy of the sources, and he seemed to judge the credibility of the sources strictly on the basis of their corroborative capacities Accuracy was often the only interpretive factor that he mentioned, with an occasional acknowledgment of point of view Jordan commented minimally and did not appear engaged in the story that each document told Like Julie, he frequently disregarded the identifying information about authorship at the end of each document Some of his remarks were as follows : (On the legal statement) : This was written to convince Franklin about the cause, so it didn't necessarily have to be accurate (On the minutemen's statement and Barker's diary) : This is relatively accurate, because he was there 1 5 8


Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Texts (On the newspaper account) : I think he has put two accounts together, the Concord story and the Lexington story, because his doesn't match the other accounts It's probably relatively accurate, although it does reflect the royal point of view (On the Lister narrative) : I'm not sure how accurate this is, written so long after the fact He could have had time to change that (On the Stiles account) : He's had half a year, but it sounds like it's relatively accurate because he talked to someone who did talk to Pitcairn, and he does try to show both viewpoints To the extent that Jordan incorporated different historical sources into his own teaching, he continued to emphasize his students' analysis of their accuracy For example, he explained that he would have students read Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride" and compare it to "other documents" he provided in order to "see what parts of the poem are correct and incorrect ." Although Jordan pointed out that students' inquiry must be placed in context in order to determine "accuracy" and to "document conclusions," he did not explore contextual factors in his own analysis For him, context meant "providing students with an outline of what happened before they use these documents . Otherwise, the document is out of context, and it just doesn't fit ." Jordan occasionally referred to bias and perspective ; however, like Julie and the high school students in Wineburg's study, his understanding of point of view was limited to which side a document was on Indeed, Jordan seemed to imply that the purpose of historical inquiry was eventually to take sides, to clearly come down on one side of a particular historical issue He explained : I would read to them a British version and an American version, and then just say, "This is an American history class, so which one are you going to go along with?" We're going to go along with the American, and if people don't like it, that's just our prejudice We do the same thing with the U .S .-Mexican War, with Mexican and American versions of what happened Like many other teachers in this profile, Jordan did not emphasize students' involvement in the construction of meaning Rather, he explained that, in using different historical sources, he tended to select and interpret 1 5 9


Yeager & Davis sources for his students, mostly because he believed that most of his students would find it "too difficult" to analyze and interpret historical information for themselves For example, he said that his students would fail to recognize April Morning as fictional and would not understand the nature of this source ; he remarked that "they don't see any difference between a primary and a secondary document ." Jordan suggested that his students also had difficulty with ambiguity : If it's not cut and dried, I've lost them I try to embroider, but I know that when it really gets down to what I need them to know, it had better be the cut and dried version Also : I use a lot of documents, but I use them after I've already made up my mind, based on college and high school texts that I get a composite of information from I try to read as many sources as possible, and then make up my mind based on my own prejudices I am teaching American history, and I'm not really interested in some of the revisionism that might confuse my students, some of the more bizarre theories I try to give them some kind of an idea about exactly what happened Besides his assessment of his students' capacities to think historically, Jordan also seemed to believe that teaching historical thinking to students was impractical In other words, this approach did not fit into his "practicality ethic" (Doyle & Ponder, 1977-78) For example, Jordan suggested that he had "too much material to cover to spend a lot of time on students' analysis ." Also, he explained that the American Revolution unit was "just too early in the year" for students to know how to engage in historical analysis with documents and that students could handle this task "maybe later on in the course ." However, he did not suggest how he might help students to reach that point later on in the course Discussion Clearly, the three teachers featured in this study revealed divergent interpretations of the discipline of history and its ways of knowing, as manifested specifically through the reading and analysis of historical texts The acquisition of a fund of historical knowledge clearly was not the primary issue for any of the teachers in this study Each appeared to know a great deal of historical information The three teachers featured here had taken a substantial number of history courses as undergraduates ; Meredith and Jordan had earned master's degrees in history Although 1 6 0


Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Texts Julie recently had emerged from a teacher certification program, she had taken even more undergraduate history courses than the other two teachers Nonetheless, for Julie, as well as for Jordan, the types and amount of knowledge gained from their history courses seemed not to have been a factor in stimulating their analysis of the documents Julie seemed to have difficulty with reading and constructing meaning from the documents on Lexington ; whereas Jordan's reading was cursory, and he appeared uninterested in engaging his students in a similar activity As mentioned earlier, several observers have commented on the relationship between teachers' academic coursework and effective teaching practice In particular, Adler (1991) concluded that arguments for more of one course or another are not well supported, and that the link from more coursework to better teaching simply has not been made Instead, her question, "To what extent is a teacher's social science education ongoing, rather than completed during the preservice?" may be crucial Shaver (1983) went so far as to argue that teachers' professional education ought to focus on their inservice education, instead of the preservice period He believed that teachers were likely to be more reflective about their teaching only after they had experienced classroom realities Though not the focus of this study, the strikingly divergent range and quality of these three teachers' inservice and preservice education in history suggest a closer look at the role of such experiences in the development of teachers' historical thinking Inservice workshops and other professional activities beyond university degree programs may or may not contribute to history teachers' epistemologies of their subject Unfortunately, no well-defined body of research exists on inservice teacher education in history and, especially, in the development of historical thinking In particular, as Adler pointed out, research on inservice education has not focused on "whether teachers have become more reflective practitioners," nor has it focused on "whether they've become better teachers in any sense" (p 216) The role of preservice teacher education must not be discounted Clearly within the purview of preservice social studies education courses and field experiences are the same historical and epistemological issues that inservice education must address As previously discussed, these matters are as essential to the education of student teachers as is the accumulation of history courses More research is needed on the role of preservice education in determining how teachers approach the teaching of history Goodman and Adler's (1985) study of the perspectives of preservice teachers towards social studies education marks a significant starting point ; in particular, they concluded that preservice education was a "crucial period for examining the development of teachers' perspectives" (p 2) They lamented, moreover, that little research evidence informs how preservice teachers "incorporate, or fail to incorporate, their thinking about 1 6 1


Yeager & Davis social studies in actual practice" (p 3) This observation subsequently was confirmed by Evans (1988), who concluded that teacher conceptions of history "are directly related to instructional issues and may shape student learning" and beliefs (p 206) Student teachers, he argued, should "devote more explicit attention to the lessons of history, and more research is needed to clarify conceptions of the meaning of history and their impact on the educative process" (p 203) In addition, secondary student teachers who go into the classroom with increasingly clearer conceptions of history likely will avoid the problem Evans described, in which "muddled" and "unclear" thinking of teachers plays a role in "poorly formed student conceptions . probably due to the lack of explicit attention to meaning" (p .223) Conclusions All three teachers' perspectives described in this study contain elments that, taken together, provide insight into aspects of the teaching of historical thinking Students' construction of meaning from a variety of sources, the search for accuracy in historical accounts, and the appeal of narrative are all viable issues for inservice and preservice education in history and historical thinking For example, Meredith's constructivist approach, nurtured by her rich inservice experiences, led her to suggest that students could use these Revolutionary War sources in an intensive "doucment study activity" early in the school year in order to "really work on their skills of analysis ." She reported that she would ask students to use the documents on other events and ask students to use the documents as a basis for identifying and discussing key factors in the examination of historical evidence Then, later in the course, "I would be able to give them documents on other events and ask them interpretive essay questions that were more content-driven, and their analysis would come to them fairly easily ." Clearly, Meredith was confident that she could teach historical understanding by introducing students to and guiding them through different historical sources from day one of the course Julie's concern for narrative and story, as well as Jordan's concern for accuracy, also have a significant place in the teaching of historical thinking Preservice and inservice educational experiences may help teachers to forge links between these concerns and the processes of engagement with text, to assemble and use a variety of historical sources, and to explore the relationships and contexts of these sources Because students are not as likely to think historically unless their teachers do so, future research must continue to expand the discussion of how teachers think historically and how they deal with historical content and sources Research involving more history teachers in a variety of settings is needed in order to confirm and extend the findings of this explor1 6 2


Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Texts atory inquiry Moreover, additional study of other aspects of teachers' historical thinking seem warranted Also, teachers' actual classroom use of historical texts and different genres of historical literature-including biography, fiction, letters, diaries, and secondary texts-constitutes a rich area for further exploration The possible implications of teachers' thinking about and use of historical evidence in the study of highly controversial topics are especially interesting In order to fully comprehend the impact of different historical sources upon students' historical thinking, additional knowledge is needed about how teachers themselves perceive and interpret these sources This study raises several other significant issues that invite further exploration : What factors besides disciplinary ones influence teachers' different approaches to historical thinking? How does historical inquiry contribute to the larger citizenship goals of social studies instruction? How does teachers' historical thinking translate into actual classroom practice? How do different types of teachers' historical thinking influence their students' thinking? While these questions are beyond the scope of the present study, they constitute important next steps in this line of inquiry Clearly, research already suggests that the teaching of historical thinking is a viable context for students' learning Appendix Documents Used in Study (Adapted from Wineburg,1991a) Document 1-A letter to Benjamin Franklin, colonial representative in London,, from the Massachusetts Provincial Congress regarding the events at Lexington and Concord in April 1775 Document 2-Sworn statement of 34 minutemen before three justices of the peace on April 25, 1775, in Lexington Document 3-Excerpt from the novel April Morning, by Howard Fast (1961) Document 4-Diary entry for April 19, 1775, Lt John Barker, British Army Document 5-Newspaper account from The London Gazette, June 10, 1775 Document 6-Excerpt from diary of Ezra Stiles, president of Yale College, August 21, 1775 Document 7-Excerpt from The United States : Story of a Free People, a high school textbook by Samuel Steinberg, published by Allyn and Bacon, 1963 Document 8-Personal narrative written in 1782 by Ensign Jeremy Lister, youngest of the British officers at Lexington 1 6 3


Yeager & Davis References Adler, S A (1991) The education of social studies teachers In J P Shaver (Ed .), Handbook of research on social studies teaching and learning (pp 210221) New York : Macmillan Blake, D W (1981) Observing children learning history The History Teacher, 14,533-549 Booth, M (1980) A modern world history course and the thinking of adolescent pupils Educational Review, 32, 245-257 Booth, M (1993) Students' historical thinking and the national history curriculum in England Theory and Research in Social Education, 21, 105127 Bradley Commission on History in the Schools (1988 .) Building a history curriculum : guidelines for teaching history in schools Washington, D .C : Educational Excellence Network Downey, M ., & Levstik, L (1991) Teaching and learning history In J P Shaver (Ed .), Handbook of research on social studies teaching and learning (pp 400-410) New York : Macmillan Doyle, W ., & Ponder, G (1977-78) The practicality ethic in teacher decsion making Interchange, 8,1-12 Drake, F D (1986) Using primary sources and historians' interpretations in the classroom Teaching History, 11, 50-61 Evans, R (1988) Lessons from history : Teacher and student conceptions of the meaning of history Theory and Research in Social Education, 16,203225 Friedman, W J (1978) Development of time concepts in children In H W Lipsett (Ed .), Advances in child development and behavior (pp 267-298) New York : Academic Press Friedman, W J (1982) Introduction In W J Friedman (Ed .), The develomental psychology of time (pp 1-11) New York : Academic Press Goodlad, J (1984) A place called school New York : McGraw-Hill Goodman, J ., & Adler, S (1985) Becoming an elementary social studies teacher : A study of perspectives Theory and Research in Social Education, 13,1-20 Gudmundsdottir, S ., Carey, N ., & Wilson, S (1985) The role of subjectmatter knowledge in learning to teach social studies (Knowledge Growth in a Profession Project Tech Rep No CC-05) Stanford, CA : Stanford University School of Education Hallam, R N (1966) An investigation into some aspects of the historical thinking of children and adolescents Unpublished masters thesis University of Leeds, Yorkshire, England Hallam, R N (1967) Logical thinking in history Educational Review, 19, 183-202 1 6 4


Classroom Teachers' Thinking About Texts Hallam, R N (1972) Thinking and learning in history Teaching History, 2, 337-346 Leinhardt, G (1994) History : A time to be mindful In G Leinhardt, I L Beck, & C Stainton (Eds .), Teaching and learning in history (pp 209-255) Hillsdale, NJ : Erlbaum Levstik, L (1986) The relationship between historical response and narrative in a sixth-grade classroom Theory and Research in Social Education, 14,1-15 Levstik, L (1989) Once upon a time past-history in the elementary classroom Social Studies and the Young Learner, 2, 3-5 Levstik, L ., & Pappas, C (1987) Exploring the development of historical understanding Journal of Research and Development in Education, 21, 1-5 Levstik, L ., & Pappas, C (1992) New directions for studying historical understanding Theory and Research in Social Education, 20,369-385 McKeown, M G ., & Beck, I L (1994) Making sense of accounts of history : Why young students don't and how they might In G Leinhardt, I L Beck, & C Stainton, (Eds .), Teaching and learning in history (pp 1-26) Hillsdale, NJ : Erlbaum McNeil, L (1986) Contradictions of control : School structure and school knowledge New York : Routledge Ryle, G (1949) The concept of mind London : Hutchinson Shaver, J P (1983) A call for the reexamination of teacher education in social studies In C Berryman & M Rice (Eds .), New directions in social science teacher education (pp 10-15) Athens, GA : University of Georgia Shulman, L (1986) Those who understand : Knowledge growth in teaching Educational Researcher, 15,4-14 Shulman, L (1987) Knowledge and teaching : Foundations of the new reform Harvard Educational Review, 57,1-22 Stanley, W B (1991) Teacher competence for social studies In J P Shaver (Ed .), Handbook of research on social studies teaching and learning (pp 249262) New York : Macmillan Thornton, S J ., & Vukelich, R (1988) Effects of children's understanding of time concepts on historical understanding Theory and Research in Social Education, 15, 69-82 VanSledright, B ., & Brophy, J (1992) Storytelling, imagination, and fanciful elaboration in children's historical reconstructions American Educational Research journal, 29, 837-859 Wilson, S ., & Wineburg, S S (1993) Wrinkles in time and place : Using performance assessments to understand the knowledge of history teachers American Educational Research journal, 30, 729-769 1 6 5


Yeager & Davis Wilson, S ., Shulman, L ., & Richert, A (1987) 150 different ways of knowing : Representations of knowledge in teaching In J Calderhead (Ed .), Exploring teachers' thinking (pp 104-124) London : Cassell Wineburg, S S (1991a) Historical problem solving : A study of the cogntive processes used in the evaluation of documentary and pictorial evidence Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 73-87 Wineburg, S S (1991b) On the reading of historical texts : Notes on the breach between school and academy American Educational Research journal, 28,495-519 Wineburg, S S ., & Wilson, S (1988) Models of wisdom in the teaching of history Phi Delta Kappan, 70,50-58 Wineburg, S S ., & Wilson, S (1989) Subject matter knowledge in the teaching of history In J E Brophy (Ed .), Advances in research on teaching Greenwich, CT : JAI Press Yeager, E A ., & Davis, 0 L ., Jr (1994) Understanding the knowing how of history : Elementary student teachers' thinking about historical texts Journal of Social Studies Research, 18, 2-9 Yeager, E A ., & Davis, 0 L ., Jr (in press) Between campus and classroom : Secondary student teachers' thinking about historical texts Journal of Research and Development in Education Authors ELIZABETH ANNE YEAGER is Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608 .0 L DAVIS, J R i s Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, 78712 1 6 6


Theory and Research in Social Education Spring 1996, Volume 24, Number 2, pp 167-203 € by the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis in the Social Studies : The Cultural Politics of Methodology in Text Evaluation Research Jo-Anne Dillabough Cambridge University Lynn McAlpine McGill University Abstract Traditionally, social studies researchers have worked in isolation from marginalized cultural groups in developing approaches for assessing cultural representation in textbooks This study attempted to address this issue by developing a culturally driven textbook assessment instrument in cooperation with educators from a culturally marginalized group in Canada First Nations people The instrument reflects the close attention given to the manner in which social studies research processes can be reconstructed to accord with the needs of culturally marginalized groups It also illuminates the concerns of one cultural group in Canada (First Nations people) with regard to their representation in public schooling, including the criteria they identify as central to the assessment of racial inequity in textbooks The findings of this research speak to the need for social studies researchers to commit themselves to critical reflection in their research practice, reconsider the epistemological premises upon which textbook assessments are based, and rethink their roles both as 'expositors' of knowledge and as applied researchers in social studies education We argue that critical engagement with such issues will result in more reflective social studies research and the making of text evaluation projects that have concerns about equity and justice at their center At the historical level Native and non-Native look at the world from opposed positions Not only must they contend with the personal differences in viewpoint, language and experiences ; not only must they contend with cultural differences in val167


Dillabough & McAlpine ues, understandings of human relationships, and modes of communication ; but they must contend with the world shattering difference between the conquered and the conqueror, the exploited and the exploiter, the racist and the victim of racism It is this historical difference of perspective that demands more "than learning about each other's culture" It demands that we change the world (Hampton, 1994, p 305) Both mainstream and radical educational researchers have tended to undertheorize and marginalize phenomena associated with racial inequality (McCarthy, 1990a, p 2) Objectives of Paper The objectives of this paper are to : (1) outline problems associated with utilizing mainstream research methods for evaluating the representation of marginalized cultural groups in social studies textbooks' ; (2) describe an alternative method' and ethnographic form for assessing social studies textbooks that uses evaluation criteria developed in cooperation with a marginalized cultural group in Canada First Nations people 3 ; ( 3) in the spirit of critical ethnography (Kinchloe & McLaren, 1994 ; Simon & Dippo, 1986), critique our own efforts to achieve the aforementioned objectives The description of this methodological framework constitutes one example of the ways in which researchers can transform 'objective' textbook assessments into research practices that more closely resemble what Quantz (1992) calls critical ethnographic praxis, and what Giroux (1992) and HaigBrown (1992) identify as border work, that is to rework, in cooperation with marginalized cultural groups, the political grounds upon which social studies research processes are negotiated and thus formulated In order to situate these objectives within social studies text research, the paper begins with a brief examination of early theoretical tendencies within the critical textbook tradition and problems with current assessment procedures designed to profile textbook content concerning culturally marginalized groups in general and First Nation people in particular Background : The Sociology of Education Tradition and Social Studies Textbook Research In 1978 Jean Anyon published a seminal article in Theory and Research in Social Education, entitled "Elementary social studies textbooks and legitimating knowledge ." In this work, Anyon (1978) argued that social studies textbooks fail to address the myriad political conflicts that exist in society, particularly those casting doubt on the egalitarian and democratic role that mainstream institutions claim to play in recognizing and thus sup1 6 8


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis porting notions of social justice within the polity The goal of Anyon's work (see also Anyon,1979,1981) and others (e .g ., Apple, 1971) was to provide evidence supporting the notion that school curriculum, as a formal mechanism for controlling the organization and distribution of knowledge, contributes to the maintenance of an unequal social order In such an order, superordinate groups retain positions of power through which they discriminate against and marginalize the 'Other' (hooks,1992) In these terms, education is not a democratic form in which justice prevails Rather it is a political institution which maintains and reproduces social inequality Social control thus becomes part of school culture through its assertion that marginalized peoples reinvent themselves in accordance with the virtues of the status quo and the colonial history which prefigured it How might this theoretical position on social control be applied more specifically to the study of social studies textbooks? According to Anyon (1978), social control is exercised within textbooks by structuring their content in a manner consistent with the material relations of society, thereby omitting or distorting text information about culturally oppressed groups Within this ideological frame, such acts of omission and/or distortion are factors which may contribute to ongoing cultural conflict in the polity Since knowledge regarding how to resolve such conflicts is absent from textbooks, children, as members of the polity, may be socially controlled by the textbook's authority 4 Thus the textbook becomes a rather paradoxical instrument of control It reflects the author's desire to rely on so-called 'emancipatory' principles such as 'freedom of speech' but, by virtue of omission or misrepresentation, it simultaneously engages in discourse that may actually impede the progress of individuals struggling to obtain social justice in the political world Freedom of speech, in this case, militates against the 'truth' whether that 'truth' be defined as relative or absolute Since the publication of Anyon's early work, numerous textbook studies have examined both textbook content and the methods whereby textbooks are used as political mechanisms of social control (e .g ., Apple, 1986 ; Apple & Christian-Smith, 1991 ; Ferguson & Flemming, 1984 ; Garcia, 1978 ; Sleeter & Grant, 1991) This empirical and theoretical work ranges from studies of textbook distribution and control (Apple, 1986 ; Apple & Christian-Smith, 1991, Luke, 1988) to assessments of the representation of race, gender and class issues in elementary and high school texts (e .g ., Sleeter & Grant, 1991) In the last twenty years, perhaps the most indirect extension of this work has been the assessment of cultural representation in social studies textbooks 5 Although rarely mentioned in text evaluation studies, the underlying premise of this work echoes the research of Anyon (1978) and others (Apple, 1971, 1986), citing textbooks as one curricular site where the reproduction of inequality can be located Text researchers interested in 1 6 9


Dillabough & McAlpine profiling cultural representation have typically adopted the reproduction of inequality thesis as follows : a structural correspondence exists between disparaging representations of culturally oppressed groups in curricular materials and the deleterious social and economic conditions they face daily in the polity While the reproduction of inequality thesis, derived primarily from a sociological perspective (e .g ., Bordieu & Passeron, 1977), has been underdeveloped theoretically when applied to an examination of the relationship between social studies education and race, its underlying principles have been appropriated by many researchers interested in exposing the racist nature of social studies textbooks (e .g ., Sleeter & Grant, 1991) In recent years, educational research has moved beyond the overly deterministic work of early critical theorists such as Anyon (e .g ., Luke, 1988, Weiler, 1988) However, some studies assessing the treatment of culturally oppressed peoples in American textbooks still support the 'reproduction of inequality' thesis, at least in part In restricting our brief review of this research to the representation of First Nations and Native American people in social studies textbooks, some revealing findings have emerged .6 For example, in examining 48 high school history textbooks used between 1961 and 1972 in the U .S ., Swanson (1977) concluded that important contributions made by Native American peoples to the development of contemporary society had been omitted As Swanson states : to mention that the American Indian provided aid in founding what is reputedly the most popular democracy in the history of the world does not often square with the less than reciprocal treatment of the Indian 200 years since its founding (p 30) Swanson (1977) went on to argue that history textbooks provide an unequal picture of violence in American society For example, in the textbooks that Swanson (1977) reviewed, Native Americans were represented as warriors who killed white men without justification These representational forms contrasted with images of Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn, portrayed as a civilizing hero who was "brave" and "courageous ." Swanson's findings have been corroborated by similar text evaluation studies conducted within the same historical period (e .g ., Garcia, 1978) Similarly, in an examination of 34 K-7 social studies textbooks from the adopted textbook list in Virginia, Ferguson and Fleming (1984) found that not only did textbooks portray Native Americans as members of a society long past but they gave virtually no attention to contemporary Native concerns Only a few American studies concerned with the Native American condition in textbooks have appeared since the publication of Ferguson and Fleming's 1984 study Such studies have replicated Ferguson and Fleming's results (e .g ., Sleeter & Grant, 1991) 1 7 0


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Canadian studies addressing these issues corroborate the American findings For example, in one of the only studies led by a First Nations organization to date, the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood (1974) found that First Nations people were represented in texts as historical artifacts and impediments to the progression of Canadian society This work is one of the few detailed studies that has acknowledged the degree to which textbooks form the foundation of an official perspective on First Nations people in Canadian schools It is also one of the only North American studies to recommend that First Nations people be responsible for the development of more culturally meaningful textbooks for use in the public school Related textbook research undertaken in Canada during the eighties has reported similar results For example, O'Neill (1984), after examining 10 intermediate social studies textbooks, concluded that textbooks represent First Nations people as historical artifacts and place 'Indians' alongside white people in an attempt to profile their assumed cultural inferiority In a review article which summarized his 1984 study and other North American text research, O'Neill (1987) concluded that : Indeed, the Indian continues to be portrayed in extreme, simplistic and stereotypical roles . Thus the evidence, as based on published sources, is overwhelmingly conclusive The status of the North American Indian in most history and social studies textbooks has not been substantially improved in the last 20 years (p 25) In more recent work, Dillabough and McAlpine (1994) found that Canadian elementary social studies textbooks fail to address the political concerns of First Nations people in two principle ways : (1) by not acknowledging central political issues such as self-government and land disputes ; and (2) by continuing the text legacy of portraying First Nations people in racist ways Related research has also suggested that children exposed to stereotypical representations of First Nations people in social studies textbooks are rendered incapable of reasoning effectively about contemporary First Nations issues (Dillabough, 1996a) Other textbook studies which have attempted to profile the representational form of African American and other marginalized groups in school texts have revealed similar findings (for a review see Banks, 1991) An account of these findings sketches, in part, the very issues (e .g ., marginalization and cultural oppression) that critically minded researchers have been trying to politicize in education over the last two decades What is it then that we can claim to understand about cultural oppression as a result of this work? Support has been found for the much debated presupposition that textbooks possess a latent function with regard to the 1 7 1


Dillabough & McAlpine treatment of marginalized cultural groups : social injustice and a lack of recognition for cultural authenticity pervade text discourse and may impact on children's ability to reason effectively about contemporary cultural issues (Dillabough & McAlpine, 1994 ; Dillabough, 1996a) Moreover, political conflicts between First Nations people and the State, and salient facts about the role of the State in the historical and contemporary oppression of First Nations people are typically omitted from textbook representation Finally, a culturally driven perspective, derived solely from the First Nations or Native American groups under investigation, is still absent from textbooks (Manitoba Indian Brotherhood, 1974) While the vast majority of these findings should not be characterized as new empirical insights, they do suggest that little has changed with regard to the representation of First Nations people in mainstream textbooks One is therefore left wondering whether asking questions about the representation of culturally oppressed peoples in textbooks actually lead to forms of empowerment and if not, whether research questions of this nature are still worth asking Upon reflection, we are led to explore other questions which may address this concern : (1) What is meant when it is argued by researchers that culturally oppressed peoples are marginalized within the body of a textbook and how does marginalization, as an empirical construction, take form in research findings? ; and (2) Why have social studies researchers failed to challenge recurring forms of racial inequity in textbooks? We believe that answers to these questions lie, at least in part, in the domain of text evaluation research where profiles of cultural oppression are generated independently by researchers It is the difficulties created by such forms of empirical profiling that we are concerned about in research since, with few exceptions (e .g ., Dillabough & McAlpine, 1994 ; Manitoba Indian Brotherhood, 1974), previous studies tell us little about the First Nations and/or Native American stories that should be told in textbooks or who should be responsible for telling them Such difficulties make explicit a rather crucial drawback of textbook research The scholars concerned, in assuming the role of textbook critic, have relied on their own history and experience in revealing textbook impressions of cultural representation Arguably, however, knowledge constructions (i .e ., findings) emerging from such a critical exercise are strongly influenced by the formalisms and power relations within which researchers are situated, politically and academically (Roman, 1992) In a traditionally positivist/modernist research paradigm, power and knowledge will always be joined in this manner Designing a research strategy with a view to weakening this traditional link is one way of setting the stage for new forms of research praxis and processes in text evaluation research In light of recent evidence suggesting the need for innovative discourse in text evaluation research (e .g ., Dillabough & McAlpine, 1994 ; Wade, 1994), such a theoretical upset 1 7 2


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis should be most welcomed by those working in the field Hence what better place to start than with a critique of social studies research which takes "the politics of culture" (Apple & Christian-Smith, 1991) as its starting point in text evaluation research The "Politics of Culture" and Textbook Evaluation Value-Laden Textbook Critiques and the Missing Research Voice While social studies researchers have played a central role in revealing the latent functions of textbooks, the empirical work which followed Anyon's (1978) political insight failed to answer one rather salient question If textbooks are designed to profile unique cultural groups, how can those trained in mainstream evaluation techniques and university-based research methods investigate the profiles? Will such researchers collaborate directly with those who stand daily in the face of conflict or will they interpret, from their own perspective, the cultural realities of others? Arguably, we are closer to answering this question, thanks largely to the various critical theoretical challenges leveled against Western research paradigms in the late 20th century Nevertheless, the critical voice of the academy still operates at a rather abstract level For example, while critical theorists and researchers (Apple & Christian-Smith, 1991 ; Sleeter & Grant, 1991) have deconstructed the politicized nature of textbooks, they have rarely critiqued their own positions as the 'interpreters' of this lamentable phenomenon Yet even researchers engaging in various forms of radical criticism are nonetheless constrained by their everyday experience and privilege Researchers' interest and skill in deconstructing the power of their own professional roles to perpetuate social inequalities are therefore limited Apple (1986) states : "To the extent that critical work in education remains at such an abstract level, we risk cutting ourselves off from the largest part of the educational community" (p 200) He also poses the question "Who is our audience?" and states that "those involved in critical educational scholarship have the right to ask the reader to take seriously the complexity of . connections between education and class, gender and race inequalities" (Apple, 1986, p 202) In responding to these remarks, perhaps one should also consider whether or not a reader (e .g ., a First Nations person) can take critical scholarship seriously if the 'scholar' has failed to collaborate with marginalized groups in challenging and thus transforming their own labours Otherwise, the answer to the question 'Who is our audience?' yet again suggests that scholars are abstract performers that 'speak to' society about the nature of the world and its inhabitants Since abstract scholarship permeates text research, we believe that neither the politicized researcher nor the contemporary textbook can be viewed as exemplary tools for challenging racial injustice in society A recognition of this problem is bound by our concern that text researchers have 1 7 3


Dillabough & McAlpine not joined recent conversations between critical theorists and qualitative methodologists which address the power relationships between investigators and participants in research (Carr & Kemmis, 1986 ; Lather, 1986a, 1986b ; Lenzo, 1995 ; Roman, 1992) Consequently, investigators still regard themselves "as flies on the wall" (Grant & Fine, 1992) when documenting cultural representation in textbooks and most text research identified as critical does not address salient public issues, remains highly theoretical and ultimately cannot be classified as emancipatory text research This division between text research and the public sphere has meant that virtually no attention has been paid to the political and culturally specific manner in which text assessments are conducted It therefore seems necessary for mainstream researchers to work with culturally marginalized peoples in reconstructing what Beck and McKeown (1991) refer to as the preferred scenario for text evaluation, in the case of the present study, culturally driven and politically appropriate guidelines for assessing the representation of First Nations people in social studies textbooks This recommendation can be justified on two grounds First, within the context of a democratic state, researchers have a responsibility to move beyond their private research interests if they are to fulfill the public requirements of their profession This means, for example, collaborating with those who are often viewed within the polity as token members of society in order to challenge and reconstruct universal systems of knowledge This justification also applies to the reconstruction of research knowledge since new knowledge forms tend to achieve greater credibility when they are identified using empirical means Second, in a society which advocates pluralism and identity politics as central features of democracy, individuals (such as academics) who have access to and are engaged in a debate about whose knowledge is of most worth in schools, must see the inclusion of other cultural perspectives within research methods as both an expression and condition of democratic politics This approach is best expressed as a form of radical equalization in which groups typically excluded from powerful representation within research participate to ensure that their concerns figure centrally in the reconstruction of knowledge frames through which to examine research findings We advocate such an approach in social studies research and pursue this goal in the present study The Outcomes of the Missing Voice : Social Control Functions and the Absence of Critical Reflection in Research The persistence of top-down research hierarchies in social studies has meant that, not unlike the social control function of textbooks, text research also represents a form of social control (e .g ., Connell, 1993) This social control function manifests itself in three ways : (1) by encouraging researchers to act 'on behalf' of culturally oppressed people in determin1 7 4


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis ing the nature of cultural knowledge in social studies textbooks ; (2) by promoting the development of text evaluation criteria without consulting with the cultural groups actually under siege in textbooks ; (3) by failing to question how textbook research and the academy's involvement in research processes combine to render official perspectives on cultural representation in textbooks Each of the aforementioned points find distinctive expression in social studies textbook research For example, the 'social control' imperative in text research has encouraged researchers to take on the role of 'cultural expert' in determining the breadth and scope of textbook evaluation research However, taking on this role may not only alienate culturally oppressed peoples from the process of research but may lead to the formulation of research questions that may have little appeal, use or benefit to such groups ; hence the distinctively private rather than collaborative character of such research This disjuncture between the needs of researchers and culturally marginalized groups can be observed more closely if we develop an understanding of how empirical questions and emergent research findings are linked through ideological forms For instance, it is now well understood that the relationship between the research questions we pose and the results that emerge is "mutually informed" (Fiske, 1994), that is, results are produced, at least in part, through the practice of research Such practices have both social and political meaning(s) We aspire to particular research practices on the basis of our own positioning, interests and critical understanding of their capacity to reveal important insights (Roman, 1992) Arguably, then, a deconstruction of these practices is necessary if we are to understand the implications of our findings This can only be accomplished if the researcher engages in forms of critical reflection while conducting research Nevertheless, social studies researchers have yet to acknowledge the importance of these issues when analyzing textbooks Thus the practice of text research is barely discernible as the research product emerges as an unproblematic profile of cultural representation From such a position, any textbook assessment method designed to produce a perspective on cultural representation is more likely to reflect the 'private' or local needs of the researcher over and above the 'public' needs of the cultural group under investigation The difficulties which arise from a failure to expose and critique the empirical means used to produce research findings thus leads to the reproduction of hierarchically arranged and socially controlled forms of research Consequently, questions such as "How is research an expression of democracy if its public requirements, such as a commitment to the just society, are never achieved?" and "How can the needs of cultural groups be met within research if they are never consulted first hand?" rarely come into view However, as Butler (1992) argues, answers to such questions 1 7 5


Dillabough & McAlpine only become visible when we see that "the task is to interrogate what the theoretical move that establishes foundations authorizes, and what precisely it excludes or forecloses" (p 7) The Dominance of Positivism in Textbook Evaluation Research Since the publication of Bank's (1969) Content Analysis of the Black American in Textbooks, many text researchers have been preoccupied with providing 'scientific' accounts of cultural representation in social studies textbooks This preoccupation has persisted despite broad paradigmatic shifts in other fields of education toward the positionality of the researcher as subjective agent in formulating research questions and interpreting data Within social studies education, this shift has been ignored on two levels : first, at the level of research practice, where marginalized groups are not viewed as potential negotiators in re-constructing research processes and text evaluation knowledge ; and second, at the level of theoretical innovation, as post-structuralist challenges to notions of 'objectivity' remain outside the periphery of most text evaluation practices! Numerous theoretical contradictions within the text evaluation literature suggest that a recognition of the post-structural paradigmatic shift is a necessary step towards a more meaningful social studies research base One of the most obvious theoretical contradictions is the tension between what is described by positivists as objective accounts of textbook content and the subjective methods they use to determine its nature For instance, text researchers must construct, through an interrogation of available literature and their beliefs about what deserves empirical examination, analytic categories to be used as the premise for text evaluation Examples of such categories are those identified in research conducted by Ferguson and Fleming (1984), (e .g ., Representations of Native American Contributions to society, Relationships between Native Americans and NonNative Americans) Arguably, the development of such categories or personal decisions to use them reflect the degree to which a researcher constructs, within the realm of the subjective, notions and preferences for what will and will not be assessed in text analysis A related problem is that once 'objectively' defined analytic categories are identified, one typically accounts for textbook appropriateness by assigning numerical figures to a given category or cultural representation in the text If a category is deemed negative, a researcher gives it a high numerical scoring which supports his/her negative perceptions and the textbook is judged to be inappropriate However, as Garcia and Tanner (1985) have stated : "There seems to be implicit, in textbook evaluation, the danger that an author's concentration (or the lack of one) will merely be replaced in the critique by the reviewer's perception of what is important, with no promise that the second is more accurate than the original" (p 201) One cannot conclude that such an approach is objective However, 1 7 6


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis one can conclude that the basic principles underlying positivism frame such work and this, in and of itself, places the researcher in a position that links his subjective knowledge and position as researcher to an 'objective' and infallible method Furthermore, if a researcher does claim methodological objectivity, questions regarding the qualitative nature of cultural representation (i .e ., rich descriptions of textbook content) still remain and little can be learned about how to approach textbook reform Within this paradigm, it is the investigator who not only defines the course of study but determines whose cultural concerns will be met in the research context This approach has become the normative bench-mark from which to conduct assessments of cultural marginalization in textbooks To address these concerns, we present a textbook evaluation instrument, developed in cooperation with Canadian First Nations people, as an illustration of how social studies researchers can develop more egalitarian and culturally relevant text evaluation tools In contrast to 'top down' evaluation procedures, this model embraces a Canadian First Nations perspective as central in determining the methodological processes and related criteria (i .e ., knowledge constructs) researchers can use to conduct textbook assessments The remainder of the paper describes these methodological processes, the text-evaluation tool which has emerged from our cooperative work with Canadian First Nations educators, and presents a formal critique of our perceived success in constructing a more egalitarian text-evaluation form Framework of Study The Place for Critical Ethnography in Text Research The conceptual framework driving the development of the text assessment tool draws primarily from critical ethnography (Quantz,1992) and democratic measurement procedures in education (e .g ., Carr & Kemmis, 1986 ; Roman, 1992 ; Simon & Dippo, 1986) Within this framework, researchers begin by drawing from the concerns of people who are marginalized within the public sphere and, in many cases, also under-represented in the academy It is this group's experiences that frame the research since the method takes their concerns as the basis for the development of text evaluation knowledge According to Quantz (1992), the primary goal of this process is to create research praxis and processes which "conform to the perceived meaning system of the participants" (Quantz, 1992, p 463) favouring participants' constructions of a preferred scenario for text representation to those of the investigator profiling the text Three research practices set this approach to text evaluation apart from traditional social studies research discourse First, a central goal of critical ethnography is to work collaboratively within the public sphere such that the voices of special interest groups are represented in research 1 7 7


Dillabough & McAlpine forms which lead to the development of new knowledge Thus participatory action engaged in by members of the group, and the representation of their interests and ways of knowing, provide the elusive links required to transform the research context, its concomitant discourse and emergent evaluation knowledge However, one should not assume that the investigator's interests are completely absent from the research discourse Rather researchers, through symbolic interaction with participants, engage in discourse which facilitates a greater awareness of the intrusion of their ideological perspectives into the research process, as well as a commitment to reflect on these perspectives in practice (Quantz, 1992, Roman, 1992) Second, once an instrument has been constructed in such a context it must be validated by the group whose perspectives it intends to represent ; that is, the final instrument must be both representative of First Nations peoples concerns and approved as such Third, the approach is community oriented, with a view towards reformulating research practices in order to address "asymmetrical power relations embedded in particular historical/structural conditions" (Quantz, 1992, p 475) The end result should be a form of respectable cooperation which combines the authentic knowledge base of participants with the skills of researchers interested in stripping from research discourse the notion of researcher as dispassionate critic of textbooks Research Assumptions Since we believe that acknowledging one's political agenda is necessary in research, the following set of beliefs structured primarily around the ethical guidelines developed by the Canadian Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1993) and critical ethnographers (Connell, 1993 ; Quantz, 1992 ; Roman, 1992 ; Te Hennepe, 1994) have been adapted for this study : Cultural Dimension Cultural knowers are those who live the experience which is being documented in texts and elsewhere This implies that research should accord priority and respect to the perspectives, knowledge and accounts of lived experience given by culturally oppressed groups ; Theoretical-Empirical Dimension Cultural knowers should be directly involved in re-constructing social studies text research and the empirical and theoretical processes which pertain to them ; and Political-Institutional Dimension Text researchers need to design research models which have the potential to dismantle barriers between political institutions (e .g ., the academy) and communities of people with urgent social and political concerns In this way, unjust research practices can be revealed and new ways to achieve social justice sought, through more innovative and egalitarian research methods 1 7 8


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Method of Inquiry In order to develop a culturally driven assessment tool, grounded in the experiences of First Nations people, eight First Nations educators from diverse geographical regions and/or Nations of British Columbia were interviewed, with the following goals in mind : (1) to obtain a First Nations perspective on social studies education, particularly as it pertains to provincially recommended textbooks and school curriculum for the teaching of social studies ; (2) to develop actual criteria for textbook assessments, formulated in cooperation with First Nations people and (3) to frame the assessment instrument, as far as possible, from the subjective experiences of First Nations people made explicit through in-depth interviews with the researcher The emerging "situation model" (Beck & McKeown, 1991) led to the development of an instrument designed to assess the representation of First Nations people in social studies textbooks and other aspects of curriculum (see Appendix A) What follows is a description and critique of the methodological processes we have engaged in to construct this tool Through a formal description and deconstruction of our methodological work, we hope to illuminate an alternative theoretical frame (i .e ., critical ethnography) through which to construct more egalitarian and investigative forms in text research Selection of Participants Eight First Nations Educators were selected for interviews on the basis of two broadly conceived criteria : (1) a minimum of five years of expertise in the field of social studies curriculum, public schooling and/or curriculum evaluation on the subject of First Nations peoples and (2) membership in a First Nations community that could speak to the representation of First Nations people in the regional curriculum under investigation in the larger project within which this study was subsumed Participant Involvement Participants engaged in one in-depth and open-ended interview with the principal investigator of this project Seven of these interviews were audio-taped and transcribed Extensive field notes were taken for one interview that was not audio-taped These notes were developed into a written summary of the interview to be reviewed by the participant After the completion of interviews, informal follow-up conversations took place with many of the participants via phone contact or through informal meetings, over a period of approximately 14 months The nature of these discussions varied, for example, from participants' concerns over the use of a particular term in the preliminary draft of the evaluation tool to con1 7 9


Dillabough & McAlpine cerns about social studies education and other aspects of public schooling A detailed diary of all follow-up discussions was kept and used as a guide in revising the instrument and consulting with other participants about related issues Interviews We constructed interview questions that would illuminate First Nations educators' perspectives on the social studies curriculum as it pertained to them A secondary goal was to determine participants"'preferred scenario" (Beck & McKeown, 1991) for representation in social studies education as an alternative to what presently exists This meant tapping First Nations peoples' beliefs regarding what non-First-Nations students should understand about First Nations history, contemporary concerns and everyday experience, through the transmission of social studies subject-matter in public schools The following theme headings guided the interviews and formed the basis of discussion with participants : (1) Canadian First Nations Issues and Concerns (regional and federal)-questions leading to the identification of salient First Nations issues and concerns ; (2) A Critique of Social Studies Curriculum-questions soliciting a First Nations critique of social studies curriculum and public schooling and (3) Social Studies Curricular Assessment Issues-questions leading to the development of assessment criteria for social studies textbooks and school curriculum Consent : The Process and its Goals We envisioned a two-tiered concept of consent : informal and formal In the first instance, individuals were questioned about whether they would be willing to engage in an interview after information was provided to them regarding the goals of the research project Individuals were also told that they would be sent a copy of the transcribed interview to review privately, and that they could then make a final decision about formal participation in the study If informal consent was obtained at this stage, interviews were conducted with participants In the second instance, interviews were transcribed and returned to participants Participants were asked to read through their transcript and revise or add to it if necessary At this time a preliminary draft of the assessment tool (i .e ., Evaluation Criteria) was also sent to participants This allowed them to see how the interview data had been utilized to support the development of an instrument for assessing social studies curriculum It was at this time that we sought formal consent for continued participation in the study 1 8 0


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Research Praxis and the Emergence of Culturally Driven Assessment Guidelines Once interviews had been transcribed and reviewed, data were analyzed in two ways The first consisted of a qualitative categorical analysis of each interview Cross-subject responses were compared and general categories were derived to formalize a "situation model" and develop a "preferred scenario" (Beck & Mckeown, 1991) for evaluating social studies textbooks The emergent categories were referred to as Evaluation Criteria (see Appendix A, e .g, Representations of First Nations People in Social Studies Curriculum : The Avoidance of Racism) To support the development of these categories, interview discourse was analyzed for its thematic content (e .g ., First Nations people are often portrayed as violent and aggressive) and coded to represent a particular category Using an adaptation of the constant comparison method of qualitative analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), a second more in-depth analysis of the data and emerging categories led to the development of a preliminary list of sub-topics which supported formal categories Drawing from the thematic content of interview discourse, these sub-topics were organized under the major categories (e .g ., of sub-topic within category 1 : avoid portraying First Nations people as violent and aggressive) emerging from the first analysis, and treated as assessment guidelines The goal at this stage of the analysis was to examine more closely the manner in which commonalties among sub-topics supported the representation of each category (e .g ., the avoidance of racism, the recognition of First Nations identity) The substantive elements of each similarly coded sub-topic were used to create a profile of what each category should 'look like' in the context of the entire list of evaluation criteria Thus, a criterion is the major category needing examination, and the sub-topics are the specific guidelines to be followed when assessing its representation in textbooks The list of Evaluation Criteria form the foundation of what we refer to as cumulative thematic results Cumulative thematic results represent themes emerging from a qualitative analysis of transcripts but for which some individual criteria may not have emerged as a point in discussion across all participants To many evaluation researchers, this may seem a highly subjective and controversial approach to developing an assessment tool However, our decision to proceed in this manner was based on our belief in the subjectivity of individual responses to particular questions, their regional concerns and their unique cultural authenticity (i .e ., membership in a particular Nation) In this way, the criteria operate both on an individual and on a group level They are individual to the extent that they represent an individual's concern as a member of a given nation and community They are group oriented to the extent that others share that individual's concern and, within the context of their own views, approve 1 8 1


Dillabough & McAlpine of its presence To ensure that the instrument represented the views of both individuals and the group, participants were asked in a self-directed material review session, to provide written comments on any category that they believed did not reflect their own perspectives or best interests as First Nations people While some participants suggested minor revisions to guidelines or terminology (e .g ., replacing the term tolerance with acceptance), none of the participants deleted any of the final categories identified as Evaluation Criteria Thus each category, whether shared or independent, was viewed as a theme capable of guiding text analysis Structural Issues in the Development of Evaluation Criteria The final list of evaluation criteria was divided into two categorical divisions Part 1 of the list reflects what we refer to as the Critical Analysis of textbooks This division reflects the concerns of First Nations educators about curricular material such as the portrayal of First Nations people as 'noble savages' These concerns prevailed as an important aspect of the way in which First Nations people are portrayed when they are addressed within formal subject matter The Critical Analysis also provides guidelines for the development of alternative scenarios that would meet the more general concerns First Nations educators have about who should be responsible for the transmission and screening of First Nations subject matter and the way it is presented to students Part 2 of the list emerged largely due to the concerns participants had over the complete absence and/or partial treatment of specific First Nations issues and/or concerns in curriculum Consequently, the second division is entitled "Representational Analysis" and refers specifically to the representation of content which First Nations people would like to see addressed and acknowledged in social studies education (see Appendix B for sample quotes supporting the development of criteria under the division-heading Representational Analysis) Validity Issues To enhance the ecological validity of the Evaluation Criteria, the same set of First Nations educators examined and refined the criteria and corresponding guidelines in an independent and self-directed material review session (i .e ., documents were mailed to participants to be reviewed independently) In this session, participants were asked to address in written-form the following questions : (1) did the criteria reflect their best interests and perspectives as First Nations People (e .g ., were they culturally and politically relevant criteria?) ; (2) was each criterion accurate and meaningful to them as participants? and (3) were any revisions needed such as the addition, deletion and/or change in the nature of criteria and corresponding guidelines? Every revision or comment was accepted as important feedback for the development of the final list of Evaluation Criteria After receiving all formal revisions, we revised and completed a final set of 1 8 2


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Evaluation Criteria with corresponding assessment guidelines (see Appendix A) Issues Pertaining to Generalizability In traditional research paradigms, it is often considered a limitation of research if the results are not generalizable to some larger comparable entity Although this may be desirable in certain settings, we believe that generalizability of criteria, such as those defined here, to all contexts and textbooks is neither feasible nor valuable Indeed, such an exercise would defy our attempt to view the construction of race as a subjective, multi-sited and politically conditioned phenomenon (Winant, 1994) Such a perspective is supported by the many post-structural epistemological claims made about the localized nature of knowledge construction (Alcoff, 1991, Cherryholmes, 1988 ; McCarthy, 1990b) A post-structural theory of knowledge also invites attention to the sources which underlie the construction of text-evaluation tools, and the argument that issues pertaining to generalizability be confined to a discussion about the relationship between theory and research methodology Indeed, concerns about generalizability are not only the terrain of researchers but are generated by public communities with an interest in being accurately represented in society Such concerns also emerge in the reaction of culturally oppressed groups to the fallibility of 'objective' accounts of race which abound in research (Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, 1993) These types of concerns have also been highlighted by participants in this study We have addressed these concerns within a broadly conceived epistemological frame : any instrument created as a consequence of working with a particular group will be limited in its application to that group's subjective experience and positionality in the world Therefore the value of the contributions made by participants to the development of text evaluation knowledge is that their subjectivity is a positive cultural marker from which to generate research findings that have political implications in the broader society We are not suggesting here that the Evaluation Criteria will be of little worth to others as a conceptual framework for reconstructing research However, the evaluation criteria should not be seen as a set of universal principles that are applicable to all First Nations people since groups represented in any textbook may have different concerns about social studies education to those interviewed in the present study The Evaluation Criteria The conceptual tool which has emerged from the methodological steps we have taken is presented in Appendix A We view this tool as a preliminary conceptual frame through which to re-consider methods which are typically endorsed when constructing and thus defining evaluation knowledge We have located this tool within the post-structural camp since 1 8 3


Dillabough & McAlpine it has been heavily influenced by voices outside the academic canon (i .e ., First Nations people), new movements in critical ethnography (Quantz, 1992), and culturalist theories of race and feminism (Lather, 1986a, McCarthy, 1990a ; Roman, 1992) However, we are aware that the instrument also maintains some modernist properties in that it reflects the idea that critical reflection and praxis form the basis of more emancipatory research processes The history of this perspective can be found in the fields of philosophy and sociology, with which theories of knowledge construction and distribution have been most commonly associated The dualistic properties of this instrument point to the importance of understanding that while the development of alternative research models may involve a paradigmatic shift, this does not mean that it automatically jettisons all aspects of the superseded paradigm or even that such a thing is possible Hence modernist thought will remain to the extent that it facilitates the reconstruction of research language, and will be discarded or contested as alternative voices within and beyond the academy continue to disrupt academic language and its link to modern social theory The process of change in the progress of research is like change in other social domains, a dialectic producing a synthesis which is not an abrupt break with the past but moves categorically beyond it This is the role that the Evaluation Criteria is intended to play in an emancipatory and progressive research agenda The Rise and Fall of Our Methodological Innovations in the Spirit of Critical Ethnography? In keeping with the spirit of critical ethnography (Simon & Dippo, 1986), we must now critique our own efforts to construct a more progressive research agenda In considering such a task, we bear in mind the words of a Canadian First Nations educator, Dr Verna Kirkness (cited in HaigBrown, 1992) : "Every time a white person gets up to talk about Indians, I get knots in my stomach" (p 96) In this paper, we have explored some of the reasons for the pain that Dr Kirkness refers to, specifically, the overdependence of researchers on methodological approaches that marginalize rather than liberate culturally oppressed peoples from the constraints of a racist world We have also charted our procedures in working with another's voice of experience and cultural knowledge, in order to conduct text research These procedures seem to offer a more cooperative and multi-sited process, which we hope enables us to inflict less pain By articulating our assumptions about the assessment of cultural representation in textbooks, we have espoused and thus presumed a particular stance towards research We viewed this stance as an espoused theory, an alternative to what is considered normative within a traditionally modernist/positivist empirical paradigm In the early stages of this work, the development of an 'espoused theory' for conducting text research 1 8 4


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis appeared relatively uncomplicated However, the application of its underlying principles was not easily accomplished in practice, since it involved engagement in a process which ultimately forced us to live out some of the mainstream positions we had hoped to avoidthat is, our mainstream theories-in-use or what Roman (1992) identifies as "intellectual tourism" In the following section we attempt to step back from our original assumptions, and consider the extent to which our mainstream theories-in-use were stretched to approximate our espoused theoretical stance in this study In order to do this, we must first examine the ways in which First Nations and Native American people have critiqued the efforts of researchers working with Aboriginal people We then draw from their perspectives in critically assessing the extent to which we have been able to locate ourselves in an alternative research space for conducting text evaluation research Finding A Politically Defined Research Space for the Missing Voice : First Nations and Native American Concerns About Educational Research Over the past fifteen years, many First Nations and Native American people have written about the potential for abuse in situations where researchers work in First Nations communities (e .g ., Deloria, 1991 ; Laframboise & Plake, 1983 ; Medecine, 1993 ; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1993 ; Wax, 1991) Concerns frequently expressed surround issues of : consent ; control of and power over the research agenda ; the ways in which research findings are utilized ; and the nature of resulting benefits (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1993) Each of these concerns are addressed below with regard to their potential to inform the present work With regard to consent for participation in research, Wax (1991) queries the Western notion of the ethics of obligation-doing what is required by the funding agency or the university while engaged in research He suggests that we move beyond such normative requirements to an ethics of aspiration, the intention to fulfill the 'spirit' of an ethical relationship in conducting research Wax calls this investment in aspiration or hope a covenantal ethic, an undertaking to exceed the written and legal requirements of consent For Wax (1991), the reflexivity resulting from an acceptance of this aspiration may provide the impetus for reconstructing a more ethically motivated research practice Wax's (1991) account of mainstream research does not stand alone in the academic literature For example, in confronting issues of power within mainstream educational research agendas, Laframboise and Plake (1983) argue that Native American research participants are treated as sources of data rather than as individuals capable of transforming the research process and articulating their vision of its 'ethical' content Much research is therefore still driven by empirical questions and ethical stances that are conditioned by traditional research paradigms, and by funding 1 8 5


Dillabough & McAlpine agencies that place minimal value on the concerns of the 'subjects' who become involved in research Following from concerns about control over research agendas is the question of control over knowledge generated through empirical research : who disseminates it and where does it go? According to Laframboise and Plake (1983), the dissemination of research is typically controlled by researchers and is directed to those outside First Nations communities It should therefore come as no surprise that writers such as Deloria (1991) ask : If cultural knowledge is so valuable, why do non-First-Nations people receive greater benefit for their anthropologically derived reconstructions (which then emerge as foundational premises) of First Nations people than First Nations people themselves? At the same time, Deloria (1991) acknowledges the difficulties with breaking from established patterns of research ; he describes the pressure within research communities to maintain the status quo and suggests that one cannot step too far beyond the canon without facing professional and political challenges from one's peers Finally, Native Americans have also expressed concern about the ultimate benefits provided to those who act as 'subjects' in research Arguably, benefits are often one-sided and in support of the success of the academy as a reproductive symbol of the status quo, e .g ., degrees granted, publications and tenure Benefits for participants often slip out of visibility since the research agenda is designed to meet the researcher's needs As a moral response to such concerns, Deloria (1991) and Rothe (1982) cite the need for studies initiated within communities In this way, ideas which are common to a community but not accessible to outsiders can be researched in ways that are culturally meaningful Of course, the question of whether mainstream researchers should be involved in researching issues concerning First Nations people still remains Indeed, we value the need to reappraise our investigative roles in working with marginalized groups At the same time, we must search for ways to be politically responsive within research to the very real grievances of First Nations people and other marginalized groups These concern society's failure to acknowledge their perspectives of the 'good' in the formal bodies of knowledge which abound in the academy and elsewhere Revealing the 'Critical' in Critical Ethnography How do we critique our ability to respond to the concerns of First Nations people in the present text evaluation project? We apply the previously cited four concerns to our research efforts and critique the extent to which we were able to carry out a more equitable research process : (1) consent ; (2) control of the research agenda ; (3) research benefits and (4) dissemination of research Consent In an attempt to move away from standard notions of consent, we originally viewed consent in ways similar to McAlpine and 1 8 6


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Crago (in press) For example, First Nations people first consented informally to participate in an interview and formal consent was only achieved after participants reviewed their transcripts and a preliminary draft of the Evaluation Criteria Participants were thus able see how their contribution to the research had taken shape before providing formal consent This approach not only protected participants from experiencing the frustration of being misrepresented and marginalized within research, but also allowed them to re-consider their commitment to the goals of this study Arguably then, this research comes closer to an ethics of aspiration since consent was not formalized until the participants had developed some conception of how their perspectives were represented in the research Unfortunately, despite our efforts to give First Nations people a picture of the research process, their further involvement in the evolution of the project was not consented to Consequently, while participants understood that the criteria would eventually be applied to the assessment of schooling, they did not guide this process and, as a result, the critical model currently being developed to apply the criteria to textbook evaluation was not cooperatively formulated (Dillabough, 1996b) We have thus come to realize that consent needs to be more far-reaching and inclusive than that undertaken here Consent needs to include ongoing consultation with participants about the evolution of the study, so that their perspectives can be structured into the language of research throughout its course There will always be (as there was in this study) a number of circumstances that affect participant involvement such as time-pressures on researchers and participants, and the amount of funding available for ongoing participant consultation However, this does not obviate the need for more democratic and collaborative models of consent, which would extend the model presented here Questions about cultural perspectives, ideological frames and values in the research process can then be put forward at multiple levels Control of the Research Agenda In this study, the research agenda was initiated by mainstream researchers It was an explicit attempt to address a gap in the fields of social studies and critical ethnography the lack of culturally meaningful knowledge forms to assess cultural representation in textbooks From the outset, we recognized that the development of such ethnographic forms could be best accomplished by First Nations people At the same time, we saw the importance of forming alliances with First Nations people in addressing social injustices in our own research, so the battle against racial inequity could be waged at numerous levels All this notwithstanding, the research agenda still stands firmly within the academy Consequently we must call into question the extent to which we have been successful in moving away from a traditional research paradigm 1 8 7


Dillabough & McAlpine Clearly we have been constrained by the requirements placed on us as members of the academy : most university ethics committees demand that a research agenda is clearly defined before conducting fieldwork If the research is based on doctoral degree work, as it was here, it becomes even more difficult to define the research agenda within a collaborative context, since one is expected to conduct 'independent research .' More importantly, during the initial stages of this work we too were unable to envision the potential benefits of ongoing collaboration It was not until we had been directly involved with participants that we could envision how a more radical transformation of our approach would ultimately lead to less divisive research practices and a substantially richer research experience Despite these constraints, we have premised our methods on the notion that a dialectical relationship between researchers and participants may lead to forms of research that encourage 'scholars' to reconsider the implications of their theoretical and empirical constructions of race This notion is reflected in our current efforts to construct more ethical forms of research (Dillabough, 1996b ; McAlpine & Crago, in press) and re-shape our original research agenda to accord with concerns expressed by participants However, as Butler (1992) points out, we must still deconstruct how the methods embedded in our own "examples and paradigms serve to subordinate and erase that which they seek to explain" (p 5) Indeed, the discrepancy between our interests as researchers and those of participants kept us from achieving and thus articulating the level of egalitarianism we had hoped for We are aware that our research questions may have diverged substantially from those posed here if participants had been consulted as full collaborators prior to the onset of the project Research Benefits Research benefits can be conceptualized in two ways : long term and short term, for participants and researchers The short term benefits go primarily to us as researchers : new knowledge (praxis), publications and presentations The possible long term benefits are less predictable but, we hope, more powerful and far-reaching These could include the use of the instrument by researchers, teachers and curriculists as a model in understanding what it means to engage with social movements in order to act critically, deliberately and more democratically, within professional practice A critique of, and related judgements about, the acceptability of mainstream social studies curriculum would be a central feature of such deliberation The long term goal in such circumstances is to challenge within education the political ethos which undermines First Nations peoples' representation in society However, we acknowledge the dangers of creating an idyllic picture of the potential outcomes of our efforts : we have not assumed that the cross-cultural mechanisms, designed to ensure that both participants and researchers benefit from our work, will necessarily lead to broader political change for First Nations people in Canadian society 1 8 8


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Dissemination of Research Our intentions in the present study were to disseminate research findings to both participants and researchers, but particularly to those who might be unfamiliar with First Nations issues and could use the instrument to engage in reflexive and conscientious professional practice Since the Evaluation Criteria have also been used to assess other aspects of school curriculum in a larger study (Dillabough, 1996b), research findings will be provided to participants in forms that they identify as most valuable to them (e .g ., newsletter columns, informal documentation, open meetings and final reports) We hope this work will provide them with greater political leverage in negotiating an alternative social studies curriculum, one where they have greater control in constructing cultural knowledge which pertains to them The drawbacks of this model of dissemination are clear : First Nations people have not been consulted about the method of research dissemination in the mainstream context Moreover, while participants validated the Evaluation Criteria, they have had little input or control over how it will be interpreted and drawn from for wider use in the mainstream community Our Future as Mainstream Researchers : Personal Stances and Espoused Theories What do these concerns mean for us as mainstream researchers, rethinking the ways in which we carry out research with culturally marginalized groups? How is one to envision a less intrusive and more ethical research approach? Haig-Brown (1992, 1995) outlines some of the ways in which First Nations research may be enhanced with the help of a critical ethnographic approach She suggests that participant involvement is possible at all stages of research as long as this has potential benefits for the community of individuals ; the issue for the researcher, then, is how to find ethical ways to achieve this end Haig-Brown (1992, 1995) suggests that if we see knowledge construction as a social process, we may better come to understand the concerns of participants We might then either carry out research that is related to these concerns or at least enmesh these concerns in our own research agenda The latter suggestion is a recognition that the constraints imposed by academic institutions do not always permit us the degrees of freedom we would like to explore innovative research approaches At the same time, we recognize the necessity of continuing to question our research priorities and make our concerns explicit to those around us Such critically-minded questioning helps transform the researcher's role, and perhaps allow him or her to exchange a spurious 'neutrality' for a genuine sense of social responsibility In Patti Lather's (1986b) terminology, catalytic validity may be one outcome of such a transformation Cata1 8 9


Dillabough & McAlpine lytic validity, in this context, means that the outcomes experienced by participants may extend to researchers interested in reorienting their research towards more explicit forms of politically and ethically motivated practice In this way, isolating research problems with groups who form part of the public sphere may heighten the researcher's understanding of the structural issues he or she must address if the language of text research is to change, and an overly rigid adherence to traditional research practices may be overcome Consequently, in choosing to conduct research with a more equitable sharing of responsibility and benefits, we may be choosing to do border work on two fronts, with First Nations peoples and also with our colleagues We also recognize that we must think more about the way our personal assumptions limit our ability to move beyond the power and privilege of mainstream research methods, and step back from research contexts where we do not belong, cannot contribute, and do more harm than good We have argued here that social studies researchers, even those who claim to take a critical stance, often find ourselves emulating the very processes we are criticizing Indeed, we have come to understand that change cannot come with one or two 'emancipatory' research projects Instead, we must acknowledge that an alternative set of assumptions for conducting social studies textbook research be implemented so that a more elaborate restructuring of the investigative process can be realized Broadly conceived, this could be achieved : (1) by recognizing and respecting the value of a marginalized voice in re-directing mainstream social studies research ; (2) by engaging in more collaborative and politically driven research projects and (3) by moving beyond the modernist paradigm to post-structural margins that upset the balance of power in text evaluation research Researchers who address these concerns might better understand the ideological forces which surround their field and how these forces converge to render research findings that reflect various forms of social control To this end we must conceptualize political and cultural issues as everyday discourse in textbook research and begin to rethink our commitments as applied researchers in education At the same time we must be cautious about the intended outcomes of such efforts Post-structuralist exercises of the kind described herein are only the beginning of a search for what it means to be a critically minded and reflective textbook researcher As Carspecken and Apple (1992) have so poignantly stated : For differential power still exists and we-as researchers and as raced, classed, and gendered actors ourselves-are not divorced from these unequal relations In a social context in which millions of people live in conditions that can only be described as tragic, the question remains : What can we do, with others, to keep the long revolutions on course? (p 551) 1 9 0


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Appendix A Evaluation Criteria Emerging from In-Depth Interviews with First Nations Educators' Part A : Critical Analysis of School Materials (e .g ., social studies texts) and Other Aspects of Mainstream Schooling [The items in Part A reflect some of the concerns First Nations participants have about the inappropriate treatment of First Nations people in mainstream curricular materials including social studies textbooks and the ways in which curricular materials are constructed and utilized in schools Each category (in bold) represents the identification of a theme to be examined in curricular materials whilst simultaneously providing sample guidelines (bullets) for assessing the representation of the theme in textbooks .) 1 Representation of First Nations people in social studies curriculum : The avoidance of racism (covert and overt forms)  t First Nations people should not be portrayed as a thing of the past, they should be brought into the future, i .e ., the contemporary representation of First Nations people "in their voice" is as important as historical representations of First Nations people  t Avoid treating First Nations people as all other multicultural groups in Canada (e .g ., describe special and distinct relationship First Nations people have with both the federal and provincial governments)  t Avoid extreme emphasis on exploration and European history, and expand and improve on the discussion of the role First Nations people have played in the development of Canadian society  t Use terminology surrounding First Nations people carefully and cautiously (i .e ., use terms First Nations people in a given region view as appropriate)  t Avoid generalizing from one First Nations group to another  t Respect the historicity surrounding the lives of First Nations people while simultaneously respecting any changes in culture as part of broader social change  t Reflect the contemporary needs and concerns of First Nations people  t Avoid making First Nations people the "issue"  t Avoid the portrayal of First Nations people as violent and aggressive  t Discuss how and why mainstream culture has encouraged the perpetuation of racist notions of B .C .'s First Nations people 2 First Nations People as Driving Force in Curriculum Development  t Non First Nations communities must work locally and in partnership with First Nations communities regarding the development of First Nations curriculum and other aspects of schooling (i .e ., support for local materials developed by First Nations people should be a priority and evidence of First Nations/Non-First Nations partnerships should be present in curriculum)  First Nations people should play a major and primary role in the development, implementation, evaluation, revision and delivery of First Nations educational materials 1 9 1


Dillabough & McAlpine Appendix A (Continued)  First Nations people should be regarded as curriculum and school experts in their own right (e .g ., First Nations elders do not need a degree to teach First Nations culture to children in schools) as regards curriculum development  t All materials concerning First Nations people which are utilized in the mainstream context should be screened by First Nations people 3 Methods of Instruction Built into the Curriculum  t Notion of integrated curriculum  t Collaborative and democratic teaching styles which are effective and meaningful in local contexts  First Nations control over the education of children about their culture (First Nations teaching representatives, use of First Nations curricular models, e .g ., storytelling, legends)  t The necessity for integrating (rather than merely adding) First Nations resource packages (developed by First Nations people) into the mainstream system as part of formal curriculum  t Use of books and articles written by First Nations people in the domain of social studies and related disciplines Part B : Representational Analysis of School Materials [The items below reflect themes that participants felt should be represented (in relation to developmental level of children) in curriculum and teaching about First Nations people in mainstream schooling and social studies education (e .g ., social studies textbooks) These themes provide a preliminary set of guidelines for constructing an alternative textbook scenario (i .e ., issues and topics that could be addressed) .] 1 Recognition of First Nations Identity  t Social, political, legal and psychological acceptance of the existence of First Nations people  Description of the influence this acceptance must have on the rights of First Nations people and the nature and structure of their institutions  Acknowledgement and public support of First Nations people and diverse identities  t Description of the ways various First Nations groups want to participate in Canada  The identity politics surrounding First Nations membership (e .g ., the role that the DIA played in denying status to so many First Nations people, extent of suffering that occurred as a result of this denial, the struggle First Nations people faced when attempting to gain status, inappropriate federal and provincial policies surrounding the treatment of First Nations people)  Description of the diverse identities of First Nations women in both the historical and contemporary context (e .g ., historical and contemporary roles, current issues, First Nations women in politics) 1 9 2


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Appendix A (Continued) 1 .1 Recognition of First Nations Cultural Identity  t Ways of life  t Ways of knowing, descriptions of First Nations epistemologies  t Ways of teaching own people and other cultures* Description of diversity and richness embedded in First Nations culture  t Description of "who we are" (e .g ., relationships with each other, relation to family, land, environment)  t Identification of the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of First Nations people  t Importance of recognizing that the First Nations identity should not be expressed or defined in relation to non First Nations people 1 .2 Recognition of First Nations Spiritual Identity  t A description of the role the creator plays in the lives of First Nations people  t A description of the role the creator and other spirits play in educating First Nations people about the universe and life  t A description of the role that personal, spiritual, and collective histories play in the lives of First Nations people 1 .3 Related Issues (History of Oppression Faced By First Nations People)  t Educate students about : the role governments have played in robbing people of their cultural and spiritual identity through the forced repression of language in public and residential schools  t Educate students about : the historical reasons underlying the current hardship faced by First Nations People (e .g ., history of colonization) 2 Self-Government 2 .1 General Concerns  A description of the desire, need and right for First Nations people to have responsibility for governing their own lives (this notion also applies to the delivery of programs and educational services to First Nations learners)  The desire and right to possess control over one's own destiny and to obtain independence and autonomy from mainstream society in ways decided by First Nations people  Expression of the reality that self-government has always existed and will always exist through hereditary chiefs and other First Nations political structures and organizations 2 .2 Specific Concerns  t A First Nations definition of self-government  t A description of the major purposes of self-government  t A description of the role and structure of First Nations band and council governments in the broader context of self-government  t A description of First Nations control over education, resources, lands and lives within the context of self-government (also include the identification of existing forms of self-governance in First Nations communities) 1 9 3


Dillabough & McAlpine Appendix A (Continued)  t The further development of First Nations band controlled schools  t The description of First Nations peoples' inherent rights to make decisions about the education of their children  t A description of the different forms of First Nations government  t A description of the role of women in governance  t A description of the role of women as community workers  t A description of the importance of women to the functioning of First Nation societies 3 Land Question  t Defining territory  t History of land question  t Discussion of land claims in the broader context of Canada  t A discussion of treaty issues surrounding land claims in British Columbia (e .g ., the establishment of the treaty commission)  t A discussion of land claim issues in the provincial context  t A description of why making claim to land is important  t A description of First Nations peoples' tie to land and its resources for survival, i .e ., role land has played and continues to play in the survival of First Nations people  t A description of the present status of land claims (e .g ., which nations are negotiating land claims and where) 4 The Rights of First Nations people  t Identification and description of First Nations peoples' rights  t The importance of recognizing First Nations peoples rights  t Nature of historical attribution of rights vs the contemporary role that rights play in the life of First Nations people  t Recognition of rights in relation to self-determination and self-control over First Nations peoples' destiny in B .C and Canadian context (e .g ., the right of First Nations people to live on traditional tribal territory, First Nations peoples' right to use and benefit from the economic potential of their land) 5 First Nations Ways of Knowing and Communication  t Nature and importance of oral tradition in First Nations culture  t Description of the ways information is passed on from generation to generation  t Various forms of First Nations education (ways of educating : past and present)  t Accurate and extensive description of First Nations political and social structures  t The role music, dancing (other fine arts activity) and ceremonial and ritual activities play in First Nations culture  t The role that First Nations art plays in the recognition and expression of First Nations cultural identity  t A presentation of the world views of many indigenous peoples but particularly those that are relevant for the community being educated 1 9 4


Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Appendix A (Continued) 6 First Nations Way of Life  t A description of First Nations peoples' way of life from an Indigenous framework rather than a western anthropological framework  t Accurate, positive and in-depth description of First Nations ways of life (past and present)  t Notion that First Nations culture is dynamic  t A description of the great variation in cultural practices across nations  t Accurate portrayal of family life (e .g ., role of elders and children, kinship relationships)  t Accurate and extensive description of First Nations political and social structures  t The role music, dancing (other fine arts activity) and ceremonial and ritual activities play in First Nations culture  t The role that First Nations art plays in the recognition and expression of First Nations cultural identity 7 Values Inherent in First Nations Culture (Contemporary and Historical Context) [Many participants felt that values could not be summarized by drawing on a few central concepts We have therefore presented the examples listed below as just a few of many possible values held by First Nations people .]  t Cooperation  t Rrespect (e .g ., use of talking stick) for individuals, families, elders and groups (e .g ., respect for traditional territories, land, and the earth)  t Importance of family linkages and extended family  t Hospitality  t Open hands  t Collaboration  t Community relationships  t Harmony, balance 8 Life Conditions of First Nations People  t Variation in conditions of life based on geographical regions in B .C  t A description of how the life conditions of First Nations people have been and continue to be threatened by mainstream culture  t A description of First Nations struggles to improve the life conditions of their people 9 Survival of First Nations People  t A description of the strengths in First Nations cultures despite years of oppressive forces  t The survival of First Nations people and culture over periods of history  t The importance and need for celebrating, through rituals and related activities, the strength and richness in First Nations culture 10 Language  t Describe various languages (give examples)  t Teach various First Nations language (introduce regionally based language programs, work in partnership with communities)  t Emphasize the importance of the interconnectedness between language and culture 1 9 5


Dillabough & McAlpine 11 Environment  t Role the environment plays in the life of First Nations people  t Description of why environment is important to the survival of First Nations people (importance for respect of earth)  t Description of the role the First Nations people have played in protecting the environment (e .g ., Clayoquot Sound, Stein Valley)  t Description of environmental issues affecting First Nations people (e .g ., provincial and federal jurisdiction over resources, draining of rivers to U .S .)  Description of the concept of ownership of environment (e .g ., description of land as mother earth rather than land as productive profit making material)  t Description of First Nations relation to environment, to bioshpere, and to each other Due to the quite extensive nature of this list, we present only example guidelines within each criterion rather than the entire list of guidelines which have emerged from the analysis of interviews Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the entire list may request it by writing directly to the first author Readers must also recognize that this list applies only to the perspectives of the First Nations participants in this study While First Nations people in other communities may well share some of the perspectives represented here, one must not assume, ipso facto, that the views of others will necessarily accord with those represented here Coming to terms with this implies that the reader see this as a model for conducting research or curriculum evaluation rather than something that can be drawn on directly for use in a community without being approved by the First Nations people who reside there Appendix B Examples of Evaluation Criteria Formulated from the Original Thematic Analyses of Interviews with First Nations Educators EXAMPLES OF EVALUATION CRITERIA UNDER REPRESENTATIONAL ANALYSIS : RECOGNITION OF FIRST NATIONS CULTURAL IDENTITY :  t ways of life  t ways of knowing, descriptions of First Nations epistemologies  t ways of teaching own people and other cultures  t description of diversity and richness embedded in First Nations culture  t description of 'who we are' (e .g ., relationships with each other, relation to family land and environment)  t identification of the importance of preserving the cultural heritage of First Nations people  t debunk myths and stereotypes about First Nations cultural identity 1 9 6


Appendix B (Continued) Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Supporting Quotes : Interview (7) with First Nations Educator [Italicized text within quotes signals the themes drawn from participant remarks to support a given criterion .] Respondent : Yeah I guess in terms of priority, the first priority is an understanding a clear understanding of the richness and diversity of the First Nations in the province and the country and the continent Interviewer : Ok R : The fact is that most non-Native people, I think don't really understand how diverse the first peoples of North America are, and there's still a sense that an Indian is an Indian is an Indian, you know that sort of generic Indian stereotype I : Yeah . R : The fact is that there is a lot of people who still don't really understand how fundamentally different Indigenous people are the different values and beliefs, epistemologies, I mean all kinds of things These people just don't, I think, understand that, how different and how-I've worked with a lot of enlightened people who, you know, when you really get sort of right down to it I suspect they think that Aboriginal people are just sort of, sort of screwed up and maybe a little slow White people We've got to overcome that We've got to get people to understand that Indigenous people in the world are-you know, have very very important sets of values and beliefs and things Not simply because it's important for them to understand, but I think that people have a lot to gain from an understanding of that I : Ok All right Anything else? Any other kind of contemporary issue that you might see as relevant? R : You know, I'd certainly, . .I would extend the understanding thing down-you know, to fine tuning the understanding of cultures and things like that Things like kinship relationships and social structures, the way lives are linked together in a very different way than many reductionist structures of Western cultures . .that it's really hard to separate family from community, from politics, from the relationship to the land, all of those things (Transcript 7, pp 13-15) Supporting Quotes : Interview (6) with First Nations Educator Respondent : When you look at how we've been studied, and we've been studied in Grade 4 and it was often what various groups were like prior to contact so usually an Eskimo group and then a southern group, and then those were often generalized for the whole population, and they were studied from really a material orientation It was really material oriented, so transportation, what did you use for transportation, what were the houses like and your clothing and food, but none of what they chose to put into their material category could really describe what, who we really were Interviewer : Mm-Hmm R : Who were the people And they didn't . .and even if you just . even if it was acceptable only to talk about material goods, even the technology in order to be able to live on the land was that opportunity was always missed And when you start . .OK well those studies were from a really Euro-Canadian point of view, where there is great value placed on material goods, on that kind of wealth, on accumulative wealth I : Mm-Hmm 1 9 7


Dillabough & McAlpine Appendix B (Continued) R : Who were the people . and they didn't . and even if you just . even if it was acceptable only to talk about goods, even the technology in order to be able to live on the land was-that opportunity was always missed And when you start . OK well those were from a really EuroCanadian point of view, where there is great value placed on material goods, on that kind of wealth, on accumulative wealth I : Mm-Hmm R : Accumulated wealth But those were for us never really important Like, what was more to us was the relationship with the land and our relationship with our religion, with the Creator And how those were expressed through ceremonies and rituals and songs and names and al of those, you see (Transcript 6, pp 16-17) Supporting Quotes : Interview (5) with First Nations Educator Respondent : For elementary I really think the most important thing is just simply to understand that there's a tremendous number of different people who have lived in the Americas for an awful long . . a long time, and that they've got very sophisticated social, political, economic systems and have for a long, long time Interviewer : Uh-Huh R : That they are, in many cases, well they are fundamentally different from a lot of other kinds of cultures There are a lot of defining characteristics that make them fundamentally different We have a lot to learn from understanding and knowing those things I : Ok, so that would be a sort of general view of what could go on . R : Yeah I : Right, in the elementary context, let's say R : Yeah, and in terms of getting into detail, I mean things like the relations . you know, the world view the First Nations people have and their place in it, you know the relationship they have to the land, to the biosphere, to each other, kinship relationships, political relationships, all those kinds of things I mean, you know, at an appropriate level (Transcript 5, pp 23-24) Notes This article is a revised version of a paper presented to the American Educational Research Association in New Orleans, U .S .A ., April, 1994 The research was supported by a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Max-Bell Canadian and Northern Studies Foundation, and a McGill doctoral research grant from the Social Sciences Research Sub-committee, McGill University Awards Office, Montreal, Canada We wish to extend our gratitude to the First Nations educators who participated in this study This research would not have been possible without their participation We are also grateful to Stuart Robinson for his editorial comments on a previous draft of this paper 1 9 8

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Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis 1 We use the term 'mainstream' to refer to research processes that are defined as either positivist or hierarchical in character particularly to the extent that members of the public sphere are excluded from redefining with researchers the development and amelioration of such processes (Banks, 1995) 2 We wish to make explicit that we are not providing a well-defined assessment method or a full scale profile on critical ethnographic methodologies in the text assessment arena Rather, we are outlining the research processes we have engaged in, through cooperative work with First Nations people, to move textbook assessment processes into the "borders" of post-structuralism where methodological frameworks can be renegotiated within the public sphere 3 We use the term 'First Nations' to refer to the First Peoples of Canada, as endorsed by the Canadian Assembly of First Nations Based on a literature search of the most appropriate terminology for describing the First Peoples of America, we use the term 'Native American' 4 We do not claim that textbooks are the only representational form that have the potential to influence children's constructions of the "other ." Nor do we believe that social control is necessarily a unidirectional process However, like Foucault (1980) we would argue that knowledge forms endorsed by the state are powerful tools which shape children's beliefs about justice The degree to which children are influenced by such forms depends on a myriad of conditions in local school contexts such as community and school politics, the degree to which a textbook is emphasized and the reflexivity embodied in teaching practice (Dillabough, 1996b) A recognition of these conditions does not mean that textbooks can be assumed to be innocuous educational tools which do not marginalize Indeed, an examination of the representational forms of race within textbooks is important in its own right Thus, with respect to the description of Anyon's (1978) work, the use of 'social control' employs her original theoretical framework in order to help the reader grasp the relationship between knowledge production, forms of social control in education, and political and material relations in society 5 "Cultural representation" refers to distilled representational forms which characterize cultural groups in text discourse and images Descriptions of a cultural group's interest and concerns (e .g ., Evaluation Criteria) and descriptions of First Nations people as noble savages or guides to explorers, during the colonial period, are examples of cultural representation 6 A more exhaustive review of Canadian and North American research assessing the representation of First Nations and Native American people in social studies textbooks has been conducted by O'Neill (1987) 1 9 9

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Dillabough & McAlpine 7 The "preferred scenario" and "situation" are terms used by Beck and McKeown (1991) to refer to the situation students are expected to understand in relation to explicit curriculum requirements 8 We use the term post-structural to refer to theoretical practices that are concerned with the examination of 'texts' as representational forms of lived experience, and as an empirical method for deriving meaning from an interpretation and deconstruction of such forms (Lyotard, 1988) References Alcoff, L (1991) The problem of speaking for others Cultural Critique, Winter, 5-32 Anyon, J (1978) Elementary social studies textbooks and legitimating knowledge Theory and Research in Social Education, 6, 40-53 Anyon, J (1979) Ideology and United States history textbooks Harvard Educational Review, 49,361-386 Anyon, J (1981) Social class and school knowledge Curriculum Inquiry, 11(l),342 Apple, M (1971) The hidden curriculum and the nature of conflict Interchange, 24(4), 27-40 Apple, M (1986) Teachers and texts : A political economy of class and gender relations in education New York and London : Routledge Apple, M ., & Christian-Smith, L K (1991) The politics of the textbook In M Apple and L K Christian-Smith (Eds .), The politics of the textbook (pp 1-21) New York : Routledge Banks, J (1969) A content analysis of the Black American in textbooks Social Education, 33, 954-957, 963 Banks, J (1991) Multicultural education : Its effects on students' racial and gender role attitudes In J P Shaver's (Ed .), Handbook of research on social studies teaching and learning (pp 459-469) New York : MacMillan Banks, J (1995) Transformative challenges to the social studies disciplines : Implications for social studies teaching and learning Theory and Research in Social Education, 23,2-20 Beck, I L ., & McKeown, M G (1991) Substantive and methodological considerations for productive textbook analysis In J P Shaver's (Ed .), Handbook of research on social studies teaching and learning (pp 496-512) New York : MacMillan Bordieu, P ., & Passeron, J (1977) Reproduction : In education, society, and culture London : Tavistock Butler, J (1992) Contigent foundations : Feminism and the question of postmodernism In J Butler and J Scott's (Eds .), Feminists theorize the political (pp 3-21) Routledge : New York Carr, W ., & Kemmis, S (1986) Becoming critical : Education, knowledge, and action research London : Falmer 2 0 0

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Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Carspecken, P F ., & Apple, M (1992) Critical qualitative research : Theory, methodology and practice In M D LeCompte, W L Milroy, & J Preissle's (Eds .), Handbook of qualitative research in education (pp 507-554) San Diego : Academic Press Cherryholmes, C (1988) Power and criticism : Post-structural investigations in education New York : Teachers College Press Connell, R W (1993) Schools and social justice Toronto, Ontario : Education Foundation Deloria, V (1991) Commentary : Research, redskins, and reality American Indian Quarterly, 15, 457-468 Dillabough, J (1996a) The deconstruction and re-representation of First Nations people in social studies : The dialectic of voice as an epistemological tool for change Unpublished doctoral thesis, McGill University, Montreal Dillabough, J (1996b) The politics of students' cultural knowledge : Provincial control and the official social studies curriculum Unpublished manuscript Dillabough, J ., & McApline, L (1994) Rethinking research practices in social studies education : A First Nations perspective Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, Louisiana Ferguson, M J ., & Fleming, D B (1984) Native Americans in elementary school social studies textbooks Journal of American Indian Education, 23, 10-15 Fiske, J (1994) Audiencing : Cultural practice and cultural studies In N Denzin & Y Lincoln (Eds .), Handbook of qualitative research (pp 189-198) Thousand Oaks : Sage Foucault, M (1980) Power/Knowledge : Selected interviews and other writing, 1976/1980 New York : Pantheon Garcia, J (1978) Native Americans in U .S history textbooks : From bloody savages to heroic chiefs Journal of American Indian Education, 17(2), 1519 Garcia, J ., & Tanner, D E (1985) The portrayal of Black Americans in U .S History The Social Studies, 76, 200-204 Giroux, H (1992) Border crossings : Cultural workers and the politics of education London : Routledge Glaser, B ., & Strauss, A (1967) .The discovery of grounded theory : Strategies for qualitative research Chicago : Aldine Grant, L ., & Fine, G A (1992) Sociology unleashed : Creative directions in classical ethnography In M D LeCompte, W L Milroy, & J Preissle's (Eds .), Handbook of qualitative research in education (pp 405-446) San Diego : Academic Press Haig-Brown, C (1992) Choosing border work Canadian Journal of Native Education, 19(1), 96-116 Haig-Brown, C (1995) Taking control : Power and contradiction in First Nations Adult Education Vancouver, BC : UBC Press 2 0 1

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Dillabough & McAlpine Hampton, E (1994) Toward a redefinition of American Indian/Alaska Native Education Canadian Journal of Educational Research, 20, 261-311 hooks, b (1992) Representing whiteness in the black imagination In L Grossberg, C Nelson, & P A Treichler's (Eds .), Cultural Studies (pp 338346) New York : Routledge Kinchloe, J ., & McLaren, P (1994) Rethinking critical theory and qualitative research In N Denzin & Y Lincoln (Ed .), Handbook of qualitative research (pp 138-157) Thousand Oaks : Sage Laframboise, T D & Plake, B S (1983) Towards meeting the research needs of American Indians Harvard Educational Review, 53,45-51 Lather, P (1986a) Research as praxis Harvard Educational Review, 53, 257277 Lather, P (1986b) Issues of validity in openly ideological research : Between a rock and soft place Interchange, 17(4), 63-84 Lenzo, K (1995) Validity and self-reflexivity meet post-structuralism : Scientific ethos and the transgressive self Educational researcher, 24(4), 1723 Luke, A (1988) Literacy, textbooks, and ideology Philadelphia : Falmer Lyotard, J F (1988) The differend : Phrases in dispute (2nd ed .) Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press Manitoba Indian Brotherhood ( 1974) .The shocking truth about Indians in textbooks Winnipeg, Manitoba : Manitoba Indian Brotherhood McAlpine, L ., & Crago, M (In press) Who's important here . anyway? Coconsolidating research across cultures In Christiansen, H ., Goulet, L ., Maeers, M ., Marley, P, & Krentz, L (Eds .), Recreating relationships : Collaboration and educational reform Albany : State University of New York Press McCarthy, C (1990a) Race and curriculum : Social inequality and the theories and politics of difference in contemporary research on schooling Philadelphia : Falmer McCarthy, C (1990b) Multicultural education, minority identities, textbooks, and the challenge of curriculum reform Journal of Education, 172, 188-129 Medecine, B (1993, March) Prelude to research in an indigenous community in Canada Paper presented at the meeting of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Montreal O'Neill, P (1984) Prejudice towards Indians in history textbooks : A 1984 profile The History and Social Science Teacher, 20(1), 33-39 O'Neill, P (1987) The North American Indian in contemporary history and social studies textbooks Journal of American Indian Education, May, 2229 Quantz, R A (1992) On critical ethnography ( with some post-modern considerations) In M Lecompte, W Milroy, & J Preissle's (Eds .), Handbook of qualitative research in education (pp 447-505) San Diego : Academic Press 2 0 2

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Rethinking Research Processes and Praxis Roman, L (1992) The political significance of other ways of narrating ethnography : A feminist materialist approach In M D Lecompte, W Milroy, & J Priessle (Eds .), Handbook of qualitative research in education (pp 555594) San Diego : Academic Press Rothe, J P (1982) Researching native education : An ethnomethodological perspective Canadian Journal of Native Education 9(4), 1-11 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1993) Ethical Guidelines For Research, Ottawa : Author Simon, R & Dippo, D (1986) On critical ethnographic work Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 17,195-202 Sleeter, C ., & Grant (1991) Race, class, gender and disability in current textbooks In M Apple & L K Christian-Smith's (Eds .), The politics of the textbook (pp 78-110) New York : Routledge Swanson, C H (1977) The treatment of the American Indian in high school history texts The Indian Historian, 10, 28-49 Te Hennepe, S (1994) Issues of respect : Reflections of First Nations students' experiences in post secondary anthropology classes Canadian Journal of Native Education, 20(2), 193-259 Wade, R C (1994) Conceptual change in elementary social studies : A case study of fourth-graders understanding of human rights Theory and Research in Social Education, 22, 74-95 Wax, M L (1991) The ethics of research in American Indian communities American Indian Quarterly, 15,431-456 Weiler, K (1988) Women teaching for change : Gender, class, and power Granby, MA : Bergin & Garvey Winant, H (1994) Racial conditions : Politics, theory, comparisons Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press Wong, S L (1988) Evaluating the content of textbooks : Public interests and professional authority Sociology of Education, 64, 11-18 Authors JO-ANNE DILLABOUGH is Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK CB2 1QA LYNN MCALPINE is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Director of Native and Northern Education at McGill University, Montreal 2 0 3

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BOOK REVIEWS ESSAY REVIEW Engaging the Struggle for Participation Giroux, Henry, A (1994) Disturbing pleasures : Learning popular culture New York : Routledge 202 pages, paperback $16 .95, ISBN 0-415-90901-5 Review by STEPHEN T WOOLWORTH, College of Education, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105 In his most recent book, Disturbing Pleasures : Learning Popular Culture (1994), Henry Giroux examines the ways in which the political and pedagogical merge in, through, and around the different arenas of popular culture Giroux locates the struggle over power and knowledge in cultural sites where pedagogical activity and practice occur outside the classroom These sites include the electronic media, books, movies, advertisements, music videos, and other vehicles of popular culture where meaning is produced, identities are represented, and beliefs, values and desires are constructed For Giroux, this battle on the cultural landscape reflects a larger power struggle over the hegemonic control of the cultural apparatus in postmodern society The drive to acquire and secure cultural authority on the part of dominant groups has disturbing consequences in the form of new manifestations of racism, and an increased interest in the manipulation and mobilization of popular memory While Giroux acknowledges the power interests at stake in the construction of a singular and uniform cultural framework, and what the subsequent consequences of this are for the younger generations who do not have the analytical skills or life experiences necessary to decipher the meanings constructed within cultural sites, he also envisions these sites, and the pedagogical activity that occurs there, as a possible genesis for a new cultural politics intended to reveal "how meanings are produced within relations of power that narrate identities through history, social forms, and modes of ethical address that appear objective, universally valid, and consensual" (pp 87-88) This review will also introduce the work of other educators and historians in an attempt to synthesize their contributions to the discourse on cultural politics and schooling with those of Giroux Furthermore, this review will discuss how Giroux's conception of a critical pedagogy informs the work of educators and theorists engaged in cultural and social studies Before beginning an analysis of Giroux's call to cultural workers to appropriate cultural sites for pedagogical practice, I will define what pedagogy is for Giroux and how he connects it to popular culture Rather than confine the meaning of pedagogy to traditional classroom instruc2 0 4

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tional styles and techniques, Giroux's conception of pedagogy includes the formation and maintenance of public and communal domains where knowledge, ideas, life stories, and emotions can be expressed, exchanged, and analyzed in relation to and with the struggle for human solidarity Most important for Giroux, though, is the realization of a critical pedagogy which, he maintains, is crucial to bridging notions of power and voice with an activism that identifies and locates authority in the social production of knowledge Given the penetrating potency of popular culture to influence and effect both individuals and collective society through the production of identity representations, through the historical and political decontextualization of traditional modes of domination, and through the attachment of pleasure and desire with consumerism, Giroux's development of a pedagogical theory born out of these constructions seems all the more important and necessary While Giroux recognizes and even, at times, validates much of the criticism hurled at postmodern theory, he also acknowledges the impact and subsequent influence that the politics of representation, which is embedded in the postmodern framework, has had in the production of "meanings mediated through claims to truth represented in images" (p 4) detached from their sociopolitical and historical context Two influential forces active in the production of popular culture are Benetton and The Disney Company ; Giroux uses some of the projects of these companies as examples to support his claims Popular Movies and Advertisement Campaigns For Giroux, the Benetton company epitomizes the recent transformation in advertising campaigns that merge the politics of representation and difference in consumerism By reappropriating and minimizing politics to meet the needs of a marketing strategy intended to usurp controversial issues in the form of photojournalistic images, Benetton demonstrates "how promotional culture increasingly uses pedagogical practices to shift its emphasis from selling a product to selling an image of corporate responsibility" (p 8) By using certain politically charged images and themes in snapshot advertisements, Benetton separates these issues from their historical context, and thereby strips them of their meaning and their location from the realm of historical struggle and popular memory As Giroux notes, this has profound consequences for the construction of the politics of difference as evidenced by two 1989 Benetton advertisements Devoid of any explanatory referents, one advertisement depicts a white baby feeding on the breast of a black woman and the second depicts two male hands, one black and one white, handcuffed to each other Giroux writes : Restaging race relations in these terms exploits the racially charged tensions that underlie current racial formation in the Western industrial countries while simultaneously re 2 0 5

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Stephen T Woolworth ducing the historical legacy of white supremacy to a representation of mere equality or symmetry (p 21) Similar to Benetton in its use of pedagogy to generate profits and power, but more encompassing in its capability to operate in different cultural sites, is the Disney Company Operating behind what Giroux calls a "pedagogy of innocence," Disney has been actively reinventing public memory through its reconstruction of historical events and through the glorification of capitalist and consumer structures that reaffirm patriarchy and subvert the potential for human agency For Giroux, this theme has emerged in several of the company's most prominent movies In the popular film Good Morning Vietnam (1987), for example, Giroux argues that Disney and director Barry Levinson erase the past injustices of colonialism and military intervention by locating the Vietnam War in an ahistorical context while producing racial representations that serve to designate "otherness" as a category excluded from the fabric of national identity In the movie Pretty Woman (1990), Giroux criticizes Disney and director Gary Marshall for structuring "issues of gender and class around family values" (p 41), and reducing a woman's "sense of agency" to her consumer power and a man's to his sexual conquests and capitalist ventures Giroux maintains that the aura of innocence which Marshall and Disney's Touchstone Films create fortifies that constructed ideal of white middle class heterosexual families while continuing to marginalize women and characters of color by identifying them as stagnant political agents satisfied and content with their social and economic position These same themes, Giroux argues, also emerge in Disney's latest box office success, The Lion King (1994) The movie is not simply an innocent coming of age animation for children Rather, Giroux says a closer examination reveals how claims are made about the role of women, and how representations of racial difference are constructed through the symbolic personification of the animal world and the characters identified therein Given some of Disney's past film projects, it should not be considered a coincidence that Scar, the villain in the movie, is a black lion All the other lion characters are represented as having their natural color, but this wicked brother of Mustafa (the first lion king and the father of Simba, the movie's main character) is portrayed as black At some point in the making of the movie, a decision was made to impose this color on the "bad guy ." The hyenas, who help Scar carry out his plan to kill his brother and capture the throne, are given darker than normal skin complexion as well Patriarchal myths are also perpetuated in this "innocent" animation by depicting a male lion as the ruler of all the animal kingdom Female lions, on the other hand, are seen as helpless to act in their own interests without the protection of males Female lions are also portrayed as having value only in so much as they are good mothers and provide needed emo2 0 6

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Engaging the Struggle for Participation tional support to their male counterparts Cultural Politics In Disturbing Pleasure Giroux links both the historical struggle over identity and the politics of representation with the conflict between democracy and culture Since the emergence of identity politics in the 1950s and 1960s, the dominant Western paradigm has come under attack by progressive minded scholars and activists attempting to redefine cultural politics by linking it with democracy and transformative practice As Giroux writes : Central to this debate is an attempt to articulate the relationship among identity, culture, and democracy in a new way For the Left, this has generally meant launching an assault on monumentalist views of Western culture, a onedimensional Eurocentric academic canon, the autonomous subject as the sovereign source of truth, and forms of high culture which maintain sexist, racist, homophobic, and class-specific relations of domination (p 68) Recently, Giroux argues, conservatives have reentered the arena of identity politics by adopting the language of difference to pursue their agenda of cultural and moral uniformity as conceived in the resurgent quest for national and patriotic renewal As Giroux correctly points out though, this change in strategy is an ideological departure from the traditional Eurocentric views of cultural and racial superiority This transition from the old racist politics of representation to the more contemporary and deceptive politics of difference embraced by today's conservatives is clearly visible within the world of popular culture Two movies which exemplify this change are Birth of a Nation (1915) and Grand Canyon (1992) In an essay entitled "The Birth of a Nation : Propaganda as History" in Race and History : Selected Essays 1938-1988 (1989), John Hope Franklin traces the life and career of Thomas Dixon whose writings on the Reconstruction period in the South were influential around the turn of the century in constructing a national identity that was exclusionary of people of color Dixon's most significant project was his joint effort with D .W Griffith that culminated in the movie Birth of a Nation in 1915 This film, although now considered more of a "period piece," stands as testimony to the unabashed assumption of racial and cultural superiority depicted in early forms of popular culture Franklin writes, "Thomas Dixon succeeded in using a powerful and wonderful new instrument of communication to perpetuate a cruel hoax on the American people that has come distressingly close to being permanent" (p 23) In so doing, according to Giroux (1994), the film exemplifies how : 2 0 7

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Stephen T Woolworth the old racism attempts to construct blacks as the objects rather than the subjects of representation-a process that allows whiteness to remain unproblematic even as it projects onto black subjects its own fantasies of noble primitiveness and reckless violence (p 75) More recently, Grand Canyon (1992), directed by Lawrence Kasdan, while not allied with traditional conservative views on cultural diversity, reflects a transition to a new racism that "is more subtle, clean, and New Age" (p 80) The film's storyline and Giroux's analysis of it are both too extensive to describe within the limitations of this review, but briefly, Grand Canyon is about a series of cultural border crossings (i .e ., a wealthy white lawyer becomes friends with a middle class black mechanic, and a wealthy white woman raises an abandoned Third World baby she finds while jogging) in which "whites becoming self-consciously aware of race and otherness as central determinants in shaping the existing social, political, and cultural landscape" (p 82) For Giroux, the film contains disturbing messages that, in the end, further marginalize "otherness" by depicting only white characters as agents of change while also alleviating them of any historical responsibility they may feel for hundreds of years of racial domination Also, for Giroux, the movie retreats from a structural analysis that locates racial, gender, and class oppression inside historical and systematic power relations, and instead, chooses to account for one's social and material conditions as the result of the workings of nature While on the surface, Grand Canyon may appear to be about people sharing their humanity despite economic, cultural, and racial divisions, in actuality, Giroux argues, it symbolically presents a new and sophisticated form of racial and cultural elitism that, in the end, serves to further fortify the existing inequities in the social structure by depicting a scenario in which the white characters have "the opportunity to acknowledge the new cultural landscape without having to give up their power or privilege" (p 82) Pedagogical Interventions Rather than allow dominant groups to reproduce and secure cultural authority in a multicultural society, Giroux sees the potential to strengthen both human agency and the democratic promise by reappropriating popular texts through a new cultural politics fueled by pedagogical practice and critical inquiry For Giroux, a pedagogy of representation must recognize the salience of cultural texts in the formation of social identities, and then effectively scrutinize and confront the construction of those representations and their perpetuation through collective memories "that are taught, learned, mediated, and appropriated within particular institutional and discursive formations of power" (p 45) 2 0 8

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Engaging the Struggle for Participation Central to Giroux's analysis of identity representations embedded within popular cultural texts and his development of a pedagogy of representation from the constructions produced by those texts is his challenge to cultural workers and educators to create spaces for students to critically analyze and address not only the way they relate to each other, but also to the world .This, in turn, he asserts, will better prepare students to participate in the moral and political discourse necessary for the realization of fundamental social change as well as prepare them to be more aware of the relationship between authority, culture, and power and the way they are integrated, and delivered, at times quite deceptively, through the vehicles of popular cultural expression This same point is emphasized by Banks (1995) who maintains that : Students who have a keen understanding of how knowledge is constructed, how it reflects both subjectivity and objectivity, and how it relates to power, will have important skills needed to participate in the construction of knowledge that will help the nation to actualize its democratic ideals (p 24) Indeed, many of the ideas envisioned by Giroux in his formulation of a critical interventionist pedagogy are embodied in suggestions put forth by Banks (1995) who sees value in the use of film and other cultural mediums to engage students in an analysis of how racial identity, and the knowledge surrounding it, is socially constructed To illustrate, Banks suggests showing students films about Native Americans from different historical periods to demonstrate "the ways in which the construction of race reflects the social context, the historical times, and the economic structure of society" (p 23) all the while emphasizing that "race is still in the process of change and reconstruction" (p 23) It is this type of pedagogical activity that Giroux (1994) maintains is essential for the creation of a cultural politics with the potential to reawaken a sense of historical responsibility through the enhancement and cultivation of "emancipatory memories" (p 45) This, he continues, will assist in the development and sustainment of social movements that are both political and pedagogical, and committed to connecting the legacy of the democratic tradition with the realization of a truly multicultural and multiracial society Another activity for social studies educators using a history-centered approach is to have students set off on a search for cultural text (from whatever historical period is being studied) to find examples of collective and individual identity representations These could be evaluated based on the meanings conveyed and whose interests are being served by the construction and/or perpetuation of those meanings Also, such texts could be compared and contrasted with contemporary ones to exemplify how 2 0 9

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Stephen T Woolworth social constructions based on race, class, and gender are reflective of particular historical periods and the accompanying economic, political, and social structure Activities such as these will enable students to locate themselves in the texts while simultaneously enhancing historical awareness By searching for and analyzing texts, students also become the subjects rather than the objects of these representations This, in turn, strengthens the bond between democracy and culture by fostering critical thinking that promotes agency while exposing the relationship between power and culture In addition, it acknowledges the social struggle over meaning in cultural texts Giroux's book also informs the work of critical theorists and methodologists working within the area of social and cultural studies It not only challenges educators to examine the correlative and dynamic relationship between identity and difference, but urges educators to merge these constructs within the discourse of democracy and power When rethinking political identity and cultural difference, Giroux urges theorists to develop a new language that not only captures the transformation of cultural identities negotiated through power, language, and history, but a language that "makes the relationship between unity and difference a political project, one that promotes contemporary alliances among oppositional groups" (pp 58-59) In doing so, however, Giroux cautions educators against essentialist notions of identity, and maintains instead that they themselves become more reflective and conscious of both their own social positionality and theoretical work so as to illuminate any systems and/or forms of domination "with which they might be complicit" (p 63) The pedagogy which Giroux advocates suggests that educators, theorists, and cultural workers cross borders, and "move within multiple discourses" (p 62) to create critical public domains where intercultural dialogue can occur as part of the process of organizing diverse groups around the principles of social and economic justice, equality, and freedom Giroux also maintains that educators within the fields of cultural studies and other related disciplines, interested in developing or sustaining a critical pedagogy need to look not only at the content and context of curriculum, but at the notion of pedagogy itself Critical pedagogy must be acknowledged not merely as a cultural practice that exposes the production of identities and knowledge in sites such as schools, but as an act of cultural production that addresses and politicizes the relationship between thought and experience as part of the process of broadening the potential for human agency This requires that classroom knowledge be related to the taken for granted and everyday experiences of students so that the pedagogical traditions of listening, sharing, and naming can occur This, in turn, will validate student knowledge, "destabilize fixed notions of what constitutes valuable social knowledge" (p 121), and transform student resistance into collective involvement Not to be missed here, 2 1 0

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Engaging the Struggle for Participation however, is the need for educators, as classroom practitioners, to problematize how authority is normatively located within their role as teacher, and for theorists and methodologists to take note of how they account for and situate power and authority in their texts Lastly, Giroux's Disturbing Pleasures serves to remind educators, cultural workers, and community builders that pedagogy, like schools and the knowledge produced and distributed in them, is a site of conflict and contestation Because of this, educators must be cautioned against envisioning a pedagogy which can be reproduced as a collection of truths or transmitted as a methodological process located apart from or external to social and historical struggles Pedagogy must be conceived of as a shifting and dynamic "set of theoretical and political interventions into the relationship between knowledge and authority and how the latter are expressed and taken up within specific contexts" (p 155) Most importantly though, a critical pedagogy must be self-critical in that it encourages investigations into "the politics of its own representation" (p 155) From this perspective, pedagogy not only illuminates systems of domination at work within classrooms, curriculum, and popular narratives by removing the veil of objectivity but it also brings attention to what is excluded, absent, or denied in those sites Because of this, a critical pedagogy enables students to perceive the world from a multiplicity of subject positions which not only promotes opportunities for students to recognize when voices are being silenced, but also to detect how power and authority are embedded within language, history, and systems of knowledge production On a different level, Giroux's literary style is cumbersome and arduous Even by most academic standards, Disturbing Pleasure reads like a "thick text" and thus presents itself as potentially inaccessible to the discourse outside of higher education This has become a familiar critique in recent years of not only Giroux's work but of other theorists writing in the critical tradition who position themselves ideologically as transformationists but deliver their ideas through language that is elitist and, at times, all too academic In doing so, their work runs the risk of reinforcing many of the very structures they seek to transform While a claim can be made that the complexity of power relations requires such an exclusive analysis, the truth remains that few of the educators and cultural workers that Giroux is trying to inspire have the time or the space to give this text the several readings it may require to render itself wholly applicable to the immense challenges they face each day Conclusion As the United States moves toward the 21st century, and the struggle over the cultural apparatus persists, the importance of the educational process will likely heighten as access to the means of participation in an increasingly complex and stratified society becomes more difficult to 2 1 1

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Stephen T Woolworth attain In the 21st century, participation will no longer be defined exclusively as one's role in the economic sector, but by one's contribution to social and political movements prioritizing diversity and embracing cultural difference The preparation for this type of contribution must begin in the classroom and in home and community settings where pedagogical practice flourishes For Giroux, and others concerned with how issues of power, authority, and domination intersect within people's everyday lives and experiences, pedagogy, as an act of cultural production and critique, must effectively address not only the politics of representation but the cultural sites where the struggle over meaning occurs Giroux's Disturbing Pleasures is an important wake-up call to those who have not recognized the influence of popular texts as a force that shapes identities, values, and beliefs because, as Giroux demonstrates, students must now, more often than ever before, develop the skills and techniques necessary to recognize and identify the process by which meanings are presented, and knowledge is constructed Disturbing Pleasures has important messages and suggestions for teachers, critical theorists, and other cultural workers committed to transformative practice without which a collective sense of possibility undoubtedly would be threatened Giroux's latest book is just one of the many contributions to the struggle to prevent this from occurring ) Note 1 I would like to thank Dr James Banks of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington for his support and assistance with the preparation of this article References Banks, J .A ., (1995) The Historical reconstruction of knowledge about race : Implications for transformative teaching Educational Researcher, 24 (2), 15-25 Franklin, J .H (1989) Race and history : Selected essays 1938-1988 Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press Giroux, H A (1994) Disturbing pleasures : Learning popular culture London : Routledge 2 1 2

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ESSAY REVIEW Promoting Best Practice in Social Studies Teacher Education Merryfield, Merry M ., & Remy, Richard C (Eds .) (1995) Teaching about international conflict and peace Albany, NY : State University of New York Press 392 pages, paperback $21 .95, ISBN 0-7914-2374-3 ; hardcover $64 .50, ISBN 0-7914-2373-5 Review by STEVEN THORPE, Department of Education, Southern Oregon State College, Ashland, Oregon, 97520 During the past two decades, much has been written about global studies Even more has been written about exemplary practice in social studies education Only recently, however, have these topics been combined in a manner that deals with more than awareness-level advocacy Teaching About International Conflict and Peace is part of this growing discussion It offers all social studies educators a framework for both curriculum and professional development as they apply to global studies content In fact, it offers far more than the title indicates for Merry Merryfield and Dick Remy have assembled a team of authors who link substantive scholarship about international conflict and peace with discussions about exemplary practice in social studies curriculum development, including the use of a professional development school model to promote effective teacher education The publication of Teaching About International Conflict and Peace demonstrates that educators at Ohio State University (OSU) continue to be leaders in the creation of quality social studies education programs at the pre-collegiate and collegiate levels As Associate Director of the OSU Mershon Center, Dick Remy has been influential in the fields of political socialization and citizenship education with an emphasis on international security issues He has created the Mershon Center's Program on Citizenship Development for a Global Age which coordinates a number of projects designed to enhance the teaching of global studies Teaching About International Conflict and Peace is in part a product of these activities Similarly, Merry Merryfield continues to take a leading role in defining the global studies field and identifying exemplary practice In recent years, she has directed several projects designed to analyze and improve the inclusion of global studies in pre-service teacher education These projects have led to a number of important publications, including Teaching About the World : Teacher Education Programs with a Global Perspective (Merryfield, 1990), and 2 1 3

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Steven Thorpe t Promoting Best Practice a special issue of Theory into Practice (Merryfield, 1993) on teacher education with global perspectives In addition, Merryfield has sought to improve the social studies teacher preparation program at OSU by working with pre-collegiate social studies educators in the Columbus, Ohio area to form a professional development school relationship built around the global studies graduate program that she has helped to organize Drawing on these activities, Merryfield and Remy, in collaboration with colleagues from their respective projects, have published Teaching About International Conflict and Peace The authors are pre-collegiate and collegiate educators from institutions across the United States They represent a variety of fields linked to international conflict and peace issues Thus, they bring multiple scholarly perspectives to the task of teaching in the global studies field Unfortunately, however, this group is not sufficiently diverse when dealing with international conflict management issues While the entire group has experience working with people in a variety of countries around the world, apparently the only author from outside the United States is the person who put together the book's resource list for teachers Ironically, as Merryfield (1995) has pointed out else where, a social studies curriculum is incomplete if it lacks voices from other world regions The good news is that Teaching About International Conflict and Peace is the first of a series of publications on the topic Merryfield and Remy, along with others in the Mershon Center, are currently working on a series of projects involving scholars and educators from a wider range of countries Another context factor is worth noting Teaching About International Conflict and Peace is the second volume to deal with global studies in the SUNY Press series on, "Theory, Research, and Practice in Social Education ." In 1992, Barbara and Kenneth Tye published Global Education : A Study of School Change which offers a strategy for school improvement through the use of a global studies staff development program Merryfield and Remy now present a pre-service social studies teacher education model utilizing international conflict management as the content These two books are in the forefront of efforts to weave global studies into a core of effective teacher education The authors have identified research-based programs which have contributed to effective professional development for both pre-service and in-service educators Peter Martorella, the editor of the SUNY Press series, should be commended for coordinating the publication of these texts which extend both the theory and practice of social education Merryfield and Remy have organized Teaching About International Conflict and Peace so that it will help pre-service social studies educators "better understand international conflict management as they learn about instructional methods and begin to teach" (p x) The book arises from the editors' belief that teacher education programs do not prepare students to address the growing number of policy mandates for global studies courses at the pre-collegiate level More specifically, Merryfield and Remy main 2 1 4

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Promoting Best Practice taro that most teachers receive their global education preparation from brief, awareness-level workshops supplemented by a course or two in international studies While there may be more global studies coursework in pre-service teacher education programs now than twenty years ago, very often such course work tends to be limited in scope and awareness-level As Lamy (1990) has argued, pre-service students tend to enroll in human-centered culture courses rather than international security courses Merryfield and Remy seek to remedy this shortcoming by providing social studies teachers content knowledge about the management of international conflict and the means with which to transform this knowledge base into effective global studies curricula Thus, Part 1 of Teaching About International Conflict and Peace deals with the relationship between substantive scholarship on international conflict management and exemplary social studies teaching practice, and Part 2 contains seven essays by scholars who analyze key components in conflict management Additionally, as referred to above, the text contains a resource list for teachers Part of the attraction of the book is that it is comprehensive, and at the same time, specific It may be used as a pre-service social studies methods textbook, and is also a valuable international conflict management reader In addition, it offers a case study of a professional development school designed for the effective education of social studies teachers Even though Merryfield and Remy make a strong appeal for the inclusion of global studies in pre-service teacher preparation, they do not provide a clearly stated definition of global studies People tend to define the field either by identifying the content under consideration or by promoting desired perspectives (Begler, 1993 ; Case, 1991) Implicitly, at least, Merryfield and Remy define global studies by the content of international conflict and peace The book is based on their beliefs that students "must develop some fundamental understanding of the management, resolution, and avoidance of international conflict" (p 10) This focus may seem limiting for educators who deal with a more broadly-defined conception of global studies In an earlier work, Remy (Woyach and Remy, 1989) has acknowledged that an international conflict management approach is only one of several ways that a person could develop a global studies curriculum .However, he and Merryfield have chosen to maintain this focus because they believe it is directly applicable to current events which they claim are often motivating for pre-collegiate students On the other hand, the international conflict management model often lacks the historical depth of a world history approach It also lacks the human-centered emphases which are characteristic of a cultural geography model (Lamy, 1990) 2 1 5

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Steven Thorpe These points notwithstanding, Merryfield and Remy are convinced that students need training in international conflict management Thus, they argue : Not just any historical or social science knowledge will prepare young people for citizenship in the twenty-first century The ever increasing political, economic, social, technological, and environmental connections between the United States and the rest of the world demand that American students develop an understanding of why international conflicts arise and how such conflicts can be managed, resolved, or possibly avoided (p 8) This is a strongly worded statement, one intended as Merryfield and Remy make clear, to be as inclusive as possible In fact, they offer examples of how international conflict management content can be woven into other approaches, including world history, world geography and economics The key point is that Merryfield and Remy view the study of international conflict management as imperative to citizenship education Moreover, they have provided readers with the social studies methods that delve deeply into this specific subset of the global studies field Although citizenship education is defined as the principal goal of their social studies program, Merryfield and Remy are somewhat vague in their approach to citizenship education Judging from examples, though, they appear to believe in a reflective inquiry orientation in which students are required to make "informed judgments and decisions" (p 10) While the authors dwell at length on the cognitive and skill elements of international conflict management, they also attend to the values domain The principal emphasis throughout the book, however, is definitely on the cognitive domain Teaching About International Conflict and Peace is a book intended for students in pre-service social studies teacher education programs As such, the content level is introductory For example, some chapters are written without references Each chapter, however, ends with a substantial and very helpful annotated bibliography for further reading Most chapters, moreover, represent a decidedly liberal point of view, one in which there is continued progress toward the resolution of international conflicts The authors include little of the critical perspectives that Johnson (1993) says should be incorporated in the curriculum of graduate-level global studies programs Thus, someone using this book in a teacher preparation program would have to depend on other materials to achieve a broader and more balanced perspective on these topics 2 1 6

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Promoting Best Practice Despite the fact that the bulk of the book deals with international conflict management material, the main thrust of Teaching About International Conflict and Peace is the curriculum and instruction section In this "methods" part of the book, Merryfield and Remy delineate some basic assumptions about teaching and learning that they believe are essential In general, they emphasize the application of concepts rather than the simple recall of factual information They make clear that they believe effective social studies teaching is based on such "conceptual understandings" (p 7) Even though the title of the book appears to be discipline-specific, Teaching About International Conflict and Peace promotes a multidisciplinary approach to social education Its content is drawn from "knowledge available from the social sciences, history, the humanities, and occasionally other disciplines" (p 7) Merryfield and Remy recommend that social studies educators organize this content into thematic units with topics such as "conflict resolution and democracy" or "global environmental issues" (p 17) Moreover, they maintain that "active, reflective learning is essential"(p 8) for effective social studies teaching, and therefore recommend that teacher education programs be based on critical thinking models about content-based social studies issues Like Parker (1991b), they believe "that attempting to teach problem solving and higher-level thinking skills in the absence of solid content is not effective" (p 7) The curriculum development model that Merryfield and Remy advance is referred to as backward planning in which curriculum development, teaching and assessment are performance-based They urge social studies educators to identify performance and content standards for students and then develop learning tasks in which the students can acquire the desired objectives In the end, students should be expected to "demonstrate their mastery of learning through meaningful task, performances, or exhibitions that are authentic for their adult life as citizens in a democracy" (p 8) What is especially exciting and valuable about the book is not that Merryfield and Remy propose the use of performance-based teaching and assessment, but that they incorporate descriptions of teacher teams implementing this mode of curriculum development and teaching The opening chapter, "Choosing Content and Methods for Teaching About International Conflict and Peace," which is written by the editors, presents a clear model for curriculum development and instruction The authors apply it to a variety of topics and offer specific examples from three classrooms which utilized the performance-based approach they recommend From the point of view of a teacher educator, however, the most interesting piece in the book is the chapter entitled "A Case Study of Unit 2 1 7

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Steven Thorpe Planning" by Shapiro and Merryfield In this chapter, the authors report on the work of OSU's Professional Development School Network in Social Studies and Global Education This study describes the collaborative work of Shapiro, who is a high school teacher, Matt Shafer, an OSU social studies student teacher, and Merryfield, as they develop and implement a unit on resolving racial conflict in South Africa Using this international conflict content, these educators employed the backward planning curriculum development model to produce an effective and engaging teaching unit Yet, the real value of this approach to teacher preparation comes in the professional development realm Based on this experience and others in the past two years, Shapiro and Merryfield have identified four positive results from the use of a professional development school system for teacher education Pre-service teachers, they argue : "1) become better able to appreciate the complexity of teaching and synthesize their field and seminar experiences in new and profound ways, 2) learn to focus more on the processes and factors affecting how their students learn, 3) become more critical of their own planning and current practice, and 4) get in the habit of seeking out multiple perspectives on their planning, teaching, and assessment (pp 42-43) Clearly, the authors believe, and argue persuasively, that this sort of professional development school collaboration holds much promise for the enhancement of social studies teacher education In addition to the benefits derived by pre-service teachers, the authors believe that the professional development school model will help to break down barriers between pre-collegiate and collegiate educators Deliberative curriculum development work among professionals from these separate institutions is just the sort of work that Parker (1992) and Leming (1992) have identified as necessary to overcome these difficult barriers In sum, Teaching About International Conflict and Peace is highly recommended for all social studies educators The authors of both the international conflict management material and the material on curriculum and teaching offer much to think about They also provide rich lists of resources for further exploration But, the real value of this book is the description of the application of these components in the professional development school approach to teacher education It is an excellent example of what Lieberman (1995) refers to as "best practice" in teacher education References Begler, E (1993) Spinning wheels and straw : Balancing content, process, and context in global teacher education programs Theory into Practice, 32 (1),14-20 Case, R (1991) Key elements of a global perspective : Explorations in development/global education (Occasional paper No 25) Vancouver : Research 2 1 8

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Promoting Best Practice and Development in Global Studies, University of British Columbia/ Simon Fraser University Johnson, D (1993) Academic and intellectual foundations of teacher education in global perspectives Theory into Practice, 32 (1), 3-13 Lamy, S .L (1990) Global education : A conflict of images In K Tye (Ed .), Global education : From thought to action (pp 49-63) Alexandria, VA : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Leming, J S (1992) Correct, but not politically correct? A response to Parker Theory and Research in Social Education, 20, 500-506 Lieberman, A (1995) Practices that support teacher development : Transforming conceptions of professional learning Phi Delta Kappan, 76,591596 Merryfield, M M (1990) Teaching about the world : Teacher education programs with a global perspective Columbus, OH : Mershon Center, The Ohio State University Merryfield, M .M (1993) (Ed .) Teacher education in global perspectives Theme issue of Theory into Practice, 32 (1) Merryfield, M .M (1995) Reaction : Education for equity and diversity in an interconnected world Theory and Research in Social Education, 23, 2126 Parker, W C (1991) Achieving thinking and decision-making objectives in social studies In J P Shaver (Ed .), Handbook of research on social studies teaching and learning (pp 345-356) New York : Macmillan Parker, W C (1992) Back to the melting pot? A response to Leming Theory and Research in Social Education, 20,493-499 Tye, B B ., & Tye, K .A (1992) Global education : A study of school change Albany : State University of New York Press Woyach, R B and Remy, R .C (1989) Approaches to world studies : A handbook for curriculum planners Needham, ME : Allyn and Bacon 2 1 9

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BOOK NOTE A Voice From the Classroom Gish, Steven C Mr Gish, may I go to the bathroom? Peanut Butter Press, Seattle $9 .95, paper ISBN 0-89716-520-9 Reviewed by, KATHERINE LEAVITT, Durham High School, Durham, California 95908 Researchers, administrators, curriculum coordinators, and education professors at universities around the country often ponder the question of what can be done to better facilitate the development of a student teacher into an effective first-year teacher Through daily journal entries during his own first year experience, Steven C Gish addresses many of the complex issues involved in this process in the book, Mr Gish, May I Go to the Bathroom? Having just completed my first year teaching, I believe that Mr Gish does an inadequate job of commenting on these issues Mr Gish, a former lawyer of 14 years, attempts to offer readers candid insights into such matters as his teaching abilities, his classroom management skills and his efforts at curriculum development Throughout, he carefully colors his remarks in hues of superficial optimism While this may reflect his personality, it does not offer prospective teachers an accurate or relevant view of the first-year experience For example, Gish says, "[i]t's clear that some kids don't listen to simple directions Some don't have any idea I'm even giving a direction because I'm simply not what they're focusing on," but quickly adds "that most of the time in all my classes, the kids are attentive and trying" (p 34) This sort of fine-tuned superficiality which permeates the book is neither insightful nor enlightening of the challenges that inexperienced teachers are likely to face as they seek to implement the instructional strategies they were taught in their professional preparation programs What Gish does offer is many humorous looks at his mistakes, his successes, and his frustrations in and out of the classroom Such anecdotes may be somewhat consoling, but that is really the extent of their value Furthermore, in comparison with my own first-year experience, Gish fails to address in any depth a number of critical issues, including parent-teacher relations and administrator-teacher interactions He also ignores such questions as student-athlete concessions, evaluations, extra duty responsibilities, and teaching contracts, all of which are very real parts of the first-year experience For example, students whose parents are influential in a community can make life difficult for an inexperienced teacher 2 2 0

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Sometimes such parents can force a new teacher to compromise the values and ideals that were taught in professional preparation programs This can be a great source of frustration to a first-year teacher who is attempting, among other things, to maintain a sense of academic integrity while at the same time keeping all parties happy, including administrators, parents, students, and peers Throughout the book, Gish attempts to deal with the frustrations involved in trying to please everyone with whom he works I found myself disturbed by his concern for appearances For example, at one point he acknowledges that he tries to run his classes "in such a way that I'm doing my job yet in a way that the kids will like me" (p 19) This seems a clear indication of the most shallow educational goal In addition to substantive issues, the book's many editing errors also proved a distraction Indeed, I am amazed a publisher would allow such sloppy editing to go to press The following is typical of the sort of semblance, grammar, and syntax errors found throughout the book : However, given the choice between being totally prepared and without much instinct for the thing versus going only on instinct and ability to think on your feet, I'd rather be the quick thinker anytime (p 59) So, in the end, is this book of value to first-year social studies teachers? Does Gish offer useful insight into this critical period of professional development? Unfortunately, in my opinion, the answer to these questions is no After reading the book and surviving my own first-year teaching, I found Gish's stories to comprise an incomplete and somewhat misleading depiction of the first-year teaching experience I suspect a beginning teacher upon finishing the book would still be left asking what do I really need to know during my first year in the classroom? 2 2 1

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Theory and Research in Social Education INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS Statement of Purpose Theory and Research in Social Education is designed to stimulate and commimicate systematic research and thinking in social education Its purpose is to foster the creation and exchange of ideas and research findings that will expand knowledge and understanding of the purposes, conditions, and effects of schooling and education about society and social relations Manuscripts reporting conceptual or empirical studies of social education are welcomed Submission of Manuscripts All manuscripts submitted will be considered for publication The original and four copies should be sent to : E Wayne Ross Editor, Theory and Research in Social Education P O Box 6000 School of Education and Human Development State University of New York at Binghamton Binghamton, NY 13902-6000 Manuscripts are accepted for consideration with the understanding that they are original material and are not being considered for publication elsewhere Ordinarily, manuscripts will not be returned Specifications for Manuscripts All material submitted for publication must conform to the style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (4th ed ., 1994) Manuscripts should be typed on 8 .5 x 11-inch paper, upper and lower case, double spaced, with 1 .5 inch margins on all sides All manuscripts should be sent with an abstract of 100-150 words The first text page of the article should have the complete title, but no list of the authors Subsequent pages should carry only a running head Subheads should be used at reasonable intervals to break the monotony of lengthy texts Only words to be set in italics (according to APA style manual) should be underlined Abbreviations and acronyms should be spelled out at first mention unless found as entries in their abbreviated form in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition Pages should be numbered consecutively Manuscripts should typically run between 15-30 typed pages Author Identification The complete title of the manuscript and the name(s) of the author(s) should be typed on a separate sheet to assure anonymity in the review process The firstnamed author or the corresponding author should submit a complete address, telephone number and electronic mail address (if available) Notes and References Footnotes are explanations or amplifications of textual material They are distract ing to readers and expensive to set and should be avoided whenever possible When

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Spring 1996 they must occur, they should be typed on a separate sheet and numbered consecutively throughout the manuscript A reference list contains only those references that are cited in the text Their accuracy and completeness are the responsibility of the author(s) Tables, Figures and Illustrations The purpose of tables and figures is to present data to the reader in a clear and unambiguous manner The author should not describe the data in the text in such detail that illustrations or text are redundant Figures and tables should be keyed to the text Tables should be typed on a separate sheet and attached at the end of the manuscript All tables must be included on the disk that accompanies the manuscript Figure captions also should be typed on a separate sheet One high-quality, camera-ready version of each figure must be submitted with the manuscript Photocopies may accompany the additional copies of the manuscript Review Process Manuscripts will be acknowledged by the editor upon receipt Following preliminary editorial review, manuscripts will be sent to reviewers who have expertise in the subject of the article The review process takes anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months Authors should expect to hear from editors within that time regarding the status of their manuscript Theory and Research in Social Education uses the blind review system The names of referees are published in the journal periodically Right to Reply The right to reply policy encourages comments on recently published articles in Theory and Research in Social Education They are, of course, subject to the same editorial review and decision If the comment is accepted for publication, the editor shall inform the author of the original article If the author submits a reply to the comments, the reply is also subject to editorial review and decision The editor may allot a specific amount of journal space for the comment (ordinarily about 1,500 words) and for the reply (ordinarily about 750 words) The reply may appear in the same issue as the comment or in a later issue Book Reviews Book reviews are normally solicted, however, unsolicited reviews will be accepted for consideration Book reviews (five copies) should be sent to : Michael Whelan, State University of New York at New Paltz, 75 S Manheim Blvd ., New Paltz, NY 12561-2499 The length may vary from 500 to 3,500 words The format for the top of the first page is as follows : Author (last name first) Date of publication (in parentheses) Title (in italics) City of publication : Publisher, total number of pages, list price (for both hard and softcover, if available) ISBN number Reviewer's name, followed by institutional address, complete with postal code 2 2 3

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Theory and Research in Social Education REVIEWER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The editor would like to thank the following individuals for their time and for the attention they gave to the manuscripts they reviewed for this issue and upcoming issues of TRSE Susan Adler Gloria Alter Beverly Armento Ceola Ross Baber Robert Bangert-Drowns Kathy Bickmore Allen Brandhorst Linda Biemer Jere Brophy James Byrnes Jeffrey Cornett Joseph DeVitis Richard Diem Terrie Epstein Jack Fraenkel Geneva Gay S .G Grant Joel Jenne Robert W Johns Margaret Laughlin Linda Levstik Andra Makler Perry Marker Peter Martorella Sandra Mathison Sharon Pray Muir 2 2 4 Petra Munro Fred Newmann Anna Ochoa Walter C Parker Gail McCutcheon Thomas McGowan Valerie Ooka Pang Stuart Polanski Barbara Regenspan Thomas Schwandt Kathy Scott James Shaver Peter Seixas Alan Singer Dorothy Skeel Robert Stahl William Stanley Larry Stedman Lynda Stone Cynthia Sunal Stephen Thornton Ronald VanSickle Bruce VanSledright Rahima Wade James A .Whitson Jack Zevin

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Executive Committee of the College and University Faculty Assembly 1995-1996 Dorothy Skeel (Chair, 1996) t Gloria Ladson-Billings (1997) Vanderbilt University t University of Wisconsin, Madison Wilma Longstreet t Ceola Ross-Baber (1998) (Chair-Elect, 1998) t University of North Carolina, University of New Orleans t Greensboro Linda Levstik t Brenda Weikel (1998) (Immediate Past Chair) t Syracuse University University of Kentucky Clifford T Bennett (1996) t Jack Zevin (1997) University of Virginia t Queens College, City University of New York Marilynne Boyle-Baise (1997) E Wayne Ross, Editor, TRSE Indiana University t State University of New York at Binghamton CUFA Program Chair, 1996 Bruce VanSledright University of Maryland, College Park National Council for the Social Studies Officers 1995-1996 Michael Hartoonian, President Pat Nickle, President-Elect 2 2 5 Spring 1996

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Theory and Research in Social Education Announcing The TRSE Electronic Discussion Group (TRSE-L) Readers of Theory and Research in Social Education now have access to an electronic discussion group The TRSE-L is a new way for CUFA members and other social educators to be involved in discussions of issues affecting research and practice in social studies TRSE-L will allow participants to post electronic mail messages to all list subscribers and will provide an interactive forum for discussion of issues raised in the pages of TRSE To subscribe send the following message : "SUB TRSE-L Your Name" to l istserv@bingvmb .cc .binghamton .ed u

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CALL FOR MANUSCRIPTS Defining the Social Studies : An Inclusive Perspective In 1997, Theory and Research in Social Education will highlight the history of social studies from a broadly inclusive perspective The Editorial Board is interested in articles that consider the development of social studies from the standpoint of diversity (e .g ., race, class, ethnicity, etc .) This theme builds on recent retrospective treatments of the field during the seventy-fifth anniversary year of the National Council for the Social Studies to examine those theorists whose work could be viewed as historical antecedents to contemporary writing about multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion in the social studies See the "Information for Authors" in this issue for guidelines on manuscript preparation Spring 1996

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Teoiy &Rese/ rch in Social Education NCSS 3501 Newark Street, T\rW Washington, OC 20016 3 i x I a f t i A t n I second Class Postage ~ PaWqt Washington, D .C sand additional mailing offices


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