Date of Award:
Doctor of Education (EdD)
John D. Haas
The purpose of this study was to trace the development of the content of the disciplines in the social studies curriculum in the public secondary schools of Utah from 1847 to 1967. The factors considered in dealing with the development of the social studies curriculum were: textbooks, courses of study, and associated teacher materials used by the students in the public secondary schools of the Utah territory and state. The school subjects within the social studies curriculum included: history, geography, civics, economics, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. These school subjects were examined chronologically for the period, 1847-1967, to determine events that reflected major educational changes in the school curriculum of Utah.
From the findings of the study, it was concluded that:
1. History as a subject in the public secondary schools of Utah from 1847 to 1967 was characterized by growth and development. This was through the greater availability of textbooks and the appearance of the subject at different grade levels. National committees in the United States have prominently influenced the instructional content of history in Utah through textbooks and courses of study.
2 . Geography was taught as a separate subject of study in the public secondary schools of Utah. As one of the first of the social studies offered it received major emphasis during the territorial period. Efforts in the nineteenth century to improve the geography textbooks in American education brought forth materials that included maps, globes, drawings of the earth's physical features, and study of the pupil's home region, Present-day practices traced to national developments came from the Committee of Ten, 1892, and the 1916 report of the Committee of Social Studies by the National Education Association which exerted influences on geography instruction in the secondary schools of Utah.
3 . Civics and other associated materials in the political science field including law and constitution owe their greatest debt of existence in the Utah territorial schools to the teaching of American history, The first evidence of a separate offering of materials from the study of civics in Utah's public schools was in 1892. On the national level various committee reports since 1892 by the American Political Science Association, American Historical Association, and the National Education Association have materially shaped school courses in Utah in the great task of citizenship training.
4. Economics, formerly known as political economy, never enjoyed a prominent position in the schools of Utah. During the first three decades of the present cenmry the subject of economics gained a foothold in the program of studies of Utah schools, Since the 1960's implementation of economic materials have assisted in promoting greater economic understanding.
S. Psychology as a school study was found in other subject-matter textbooks used in Utah secondary schools before psychology became an independent and separate subject in 1921. A very limited number of high school textbooks in psychology on state approved textbook listings, over the years, may be evidence that this subject has not been a strong, separate and independent subject in Utah schools.
6. Sociology prior to 1913 was not an independent subject of study in Utah schools. Since 1913 it has been taught on a limited basis. The emerging in 1930 of the course in present-day problems in American democracy contained then as it presently does, elements of sociology, economics, and political science.
7. Anthropology in Utah schools had been taught from the behavioral content of history, geography, sociology etc., but there has been little effort to identify the anthropological concepts. Anthropology has not yet become firmly established as a separate and independent subject in Utah schools.
Rampton, George O., "The Development of Secondary Social Studies Content in the Public Schools of Utah from 1847-1967" (1969). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 3415.
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