Thursday, January 2, 2014

Examining Elementary Social Studies Marginalization

Utilizing data from the National Center for Education Statistics Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), a multilevel model (Hierarchical Linear Model) was developed to examine the association of teacher/classroom and state level indicators on reported elementary social studies instructional time.

Findings indicated that state testing policy was a significant predictor of elementary teachers’ reported time spent on social studies instruction. Teachers’ perceptions of workplace autonomy and grade level were also associated with increased time on social studies. Conversely, teacher credentials, classroom socioeconomic contexts, and test design were not substantially associated with social studies instructional time.

This study suggests that state policy mandates, grade-specific curricular organization, and teacher disposition have a substantial impact on the prioritization of social studies in US elementary schools.

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