This mixed methods study investigates the relationship between fifth-grade teachers' social studies knowledge and beliefs and their relationship to classroom practices. Quantitative data were collected through a beliefs and classroom practices survey and 60-item knowledge test covering the areas of American History, America and the World, Political Philosophy and American Government, and The Market Economy, in order to provide a comprehensive picture of fifth-grade teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and self-reported classroom practices relating to social studies. Additionally, qualitative data were collected through individual and focus group interviews. These data were used to provide an in-depth look that expanded on fifth-grade teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and self-reported classroom practices relating to social studies. The findings of this study indicate that there is a relationship between teachers' beliefs and their self-reported classroom practices in the areas of resources, best practice, time, the Sunshine State Standards, and personal interest. While there were no significant relationships between teachers' knowledge of social studies as a whole and their self-reported classroom practices, there were several significant correlations found in the areas of American History and Political Philosophy and American Government. Further findings indicate that teaching experience and demographic variables, such as age, gender, and education level moderate some of these relationships. Implications and suggestions for further research are offered for elementary education, teacher education, and the field of social studies.
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Elementary education, Teacher education, Social studies education|
|Keywords:||Beliefs, Classroom practices, Fifth-grade, Knowledge, Social studies, Teacher knowledge|
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