Elementary social studies instruction: documenting teachers' perceived use of integrative practices

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

This study utilizes qualitative methodologies, specifically case study inquiry through interviews, observations, and lesson plans to investigate how and whether four sample elementary teachers used integrative teaching methods in social studies instruction. The problems guiding this research were the (1) absence of comprehensive research and data findings investigating teaching methods elementary teachers practice in social studies instruction and (2) how teachers determine their use of those teaching methods. The purpose of the study was to add to available research, scholarship, and empirical studies related to teaching social studies in Kindergarten-5 education in light of the major deficit existing in this area of research. The research questions investigated teachers’ described and demonstrated instructional teaching methods for implementing social studies education and the criteria teachers employed to determine their use of those teaching methods. Data collected from participants were transcribed, coded, and analyzed while applying within-case and across-case analysis. Research findings noted across cases revealed four themes: (1) incorporating literacy using social studies topics, (2) discussion strategies, (3) technology in social studies, and (4) read alouds. Findings noted across cases indicated four criteria teachers’ employed to determine their use of strategies: (1) The cultural climate of College Career and Readiness standards, (2) teaching English language arts, (3) social studies topics used to implement reading, and (4) the impact of standardized testing and accountability on social studies instruction. Recommendations for future research call for investigating how teacher education programs are addressing some of the potential barriers teachers encounter when attempting to use integrative instructional methods to teach social studies. Researchers might further explore experimental research in social studies and the impact of teaching methods on student perceptions and engagement in social studies.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Elementary education, Education