Date of Award

5-2004

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Teacher Education

Major Professor

Thomas N. Turner

Committee Members

Lester N. Knight, C. Glennon Rowell, Mary Jane Moran

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine elementary Social Studies methods courses as taught in teacher education programs in the Southeastern United States. Ninety-nine colleges and universities were identified to use in the study. The survey instrument was a mailed questionnaire created by the researcher. The questionnaire sought to find the extent to which music, creative writing, drama, and/or storytelling were used in the elementary Social Studies teacher preparation courses at each university surveyed, to what extent each instructor had over course design, and what types of instructional strategies/media other than music, creative writing, drama, and/or storytelling were used in elementary Social Studies methods courses.

The study found that most elementary Social Studies methods instructors in the Southeastern United States are new to teaching elementary methods courses, and do not have more than five years experience teaching in elementary school. Most instructors do value the creative aspects of teaching Social Studies, and still teach Social Studies as a freestanding course at their institution, but few teach an actual Social Studies practicum. Textbooks are required in most elementary Social Studies methods courses, but instructors do not generally choose the textbooks because they include one of the creative elements dealt with in this study. Most instructors do rely heavily on student-centered activities rather than lecture in their courses, with student projects accounting for a large percentage of students’ final grades.

The conclusions of the study were that most elementary Social Studies methods instructors deem creative activities such as music, creative writing, drama and/or storytelling as one of the most important aspects of their methods course, however, music is used much less frequently than the other aspects. Art was not dealt with directly in this study, but at the research questions were analyzed, art stood out as an important aspect of the elementary Social Studies methods course. Also newer forms of technology such as Internet research and computers in general are used quite frequently in elementary Social Studies methods courses.

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