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History and social studies curricula: Shifting paradigms for the twenty-first century

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Item Summary

Title:History and social studies curricula: Shifting paradigms for the twenty-first century
Authors:Hall, Deborah C.
Contributors:Menton, Linda (advisor)
Education (department)
Social Studies
Twenty-first century
Date Issued:Aug 2003
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Citation:Hall, Deborah C. (2003) History and social studies curricula: Shifting paradigms for the twenty-first century. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawai'i, United States -- Hawaii.
Abstract:One of the enduring characteristics of history and social studies curricula in the past century has been their continuous recycling of previous trends. From the progressive educators at the turn of the century to the "new social studies" movement in the 1960s and 1970s, the social studies curricula continued to demonstrate a lack of awareness of its own history. This trend continues today, but with a new twist. The culture wars have brought about an awareness of content that is different from past curricula. History has evolved over the course of the twentieth century from the grand narrative to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the past. This has migrated into secondary classrooms as teachers' help students grapple with various interpretations of historical events. The purpose of this dissertation is to review these historical changes, and to investigate what is being taught in American classrooms today. To learn this, I surveyed a group of teachers involved in a program sponsored by the College Board entitled Vertical Teams Social Studies (VTSS), a multi-grade approach to building student skills and content mastery to prepare them for the rigors of an Advanced Placement course in high school. One finding indicated that the issue of content versus process remains potent today. A second finding demonstrated that the teachers surveyed have strong reactions to standards-based testing. A third finding indicated that middle school teachers, with an academic background in history, were more likely to identify with the multi-disciplinary approach to history than their high school counterparts, who viewed their work more in terms of a federation of social sciences. Finally, the teachers surveyed raised questions about teacher education, and particularly what combination of disciplines secondary teachers should be trained to teach: history or social studies? Although sixty percent of the teachers surveyed claim they are social studies teachers, they are teaching more history (fifty-nine percent) than social studies (thirty-two percent). Because the culture wars appear to be far from over, the findings also provide fertile ground for future research as we strive to understand what is being taught and learned in American classrooms.
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Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Education

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