Date of Award:

1-1-1968

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department:

Applied Economics

Advisor/Chair:

Malcom Allred

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify elementary teacher education programs within the State of Utah, to describe those parts of each program specifically designed to prepare prospective elementary school teachers for teaching social studies, and to determine the attitudes and opinions of various groups concerning the adequacy of the programs.

This study was of descriptive research design. The subjects were selected to include all prospective 1967 graduates in elementary education in the state of Utah (a total of 603), all 1966-67 first-year elementary school teachers who had graduated from a Utah university or college (a total of 511), and a faculty respondent from each Utah university and college preparing elementary school teachers (a total of 6).

The questionnaire was selected as the instrument to be used in the collection of basic data in this descriptive research. A preliminary questionnaire was constructed utilizing Guidelines for the Preparation of Elementary Social Studies Teachers (National Council for the SocialStudies, 1965) as the basic document for the identification of the several items. The questionnaire was submitted to experts in the field of social studies and teacher education for their comments and suggestions. The preliminary questionnaire was subsequently expanded to its final form.

Appropriate mailing and follow-up techniques were used in administering the questionnaire. Three follow-up contacts yielded the following total respondent returns: prospective graduates, 305 respondents, 58 per cent; first-year elementary school teachers, 345 respondents, 68 per cent; and faculty representatives of the universities and colleges, 6 respondents, 100 per cent.

Two different techniques were used to substantiate the data received in this study. One technique utilized a randomly selected population of 21 non-respondents in a follow-up survey 9 months after the initial contact. A second technique was concerned with respondent and nonrespondent stratification analysis. Both of these techniques and their resultant findings supported the utilization of data gathered on the original questionnaire return.

Findings indicate that programs of Utah universities and colleges preparing elementary school teachers for teaching social studies are varied and different. There is little uniformity among the universities and colleges regarding these programs.

Other important findings suggest that (1) sixty per cent of the graduates completing programs of preparation in elementary education within the state of Utah enroll in a social studies methods course; (2) most students enrolling in a social studies methods course rate their preparation for teaching elementary school social studies as "moderate" or '' little" preparation ; (3) university and college faculty representatives largely believe the methods courses are "very greatly" or "greatly"preparing their graduates to teach elementary school social studies; (4) students and former students report areas emphasized in the social studies methods courses as centering around "Unit Structure'' and related areas, they also reported "Critical Thinking" as an area of emphasis; (5) in the social sciences, prospective elementary school teachers are completing the greatest number of hours of course work in history, psychology, and geography, with the average student completing less than 1.5 hours of course work in any one of the following disciplines of anthropology, philosophy, general social science, and economics; and (6) students and former students believe courses best preparing them for teaching social studies to be those social science courses in which they complete the most hours of course work.

It is concluded that the staff of the department or division of elementary education at each of the six institutions of higher learning within the state is primarily responsible for determining the program for preparing elementary school teachers for teaching social studies. Such changes as determined desirable by these groups would therefore seem possible with little opposition or difficulty in implementation.

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