High School Social Studies Teachers Beliefs and Education for Democratic Citizenship
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This study explores secondary social studies teachers' beliefs about the concept of citizenship. The development of citizenship in young people is an often-stated goal for schooling in the USA. The most prominent social studies professional organization, the National Council for the Social Studies, describes education for citizenship as the ultimate aim for social studies in the schools. Researchers in both political science and social studies education have linked certain aspects of classroom climate to positive political socialization outcomes. Classroom climate is related to teachers' instructional decision-making. Teachers' instructional decision-making, in turn, is related to teachers' beliefs, conceptualizations, and thinking. This study used multiple data sources to explore and describe teachers' beliefs about citizenship and education for citizenship. Four teachers in a college preparatory urban public secondary school participated. Data sources included a survey instrument, a series of teacher interviews, a series of classroom observations, and examination of documents. Data analysis was an ongoing and recursive process. All data were analyzed using hand coding. The research supported nine findings consistent with related research relevant to perceptions about social studies and its goals, conceptions of citizenship, ideas about education for citizenship and influences on teacher decision-making. A tenth finding emerged from this study: teachers' levels of personal political engagement seemed consistent with their conceptions of citizenship, the relative openness of the climate in their classroom, and the degree to which their students would discuss controversial issues in the classroom.
Table of Contents
Abstract -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- Review of Literature -- Research Methods -- Data -- Significance and Conclusions -- Appendix A. Sampling, Data Collection and Data Analysis -- Appendix B. Consent for Participation in a Research Study -- Appendix C. Administrator Permission Letter -- Appendix D. SSIRB Approval Letter -- Appendix E. Administrator Perceptions of Social Studies Teachers -- Appendix F. Conceptions of Social Studies Inventory-Revised -- Appendix G. Interview Guide: First Interview -- Appendix H. Interview Guide: Second Interview -- Appendix I. Interview Guide: Third Interview -- Appendix J. Teacher Observation Form -- Reference List -- Vita.