Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)



Committee Chair(s)

James P. Shaver


James P. Shaver


This research project was a study to determine the relationship of two characteristics--dogmatism and educational philosophy--to teachers' acceptance and understanding of the New Social Studies (NSS).

The sample consisted of 222 secondary social studies teachers from three counties in tho San Francisco Bay Area. Questionnaires were mailed to schools selected at random and were administered by an agent, in most cases, the department chairman, to all social studies teachers in the school, during a single administration period.

The questionnaire utilized four measurement scales. Trolldahl and Powell's Short Form Dogmatism Scale and Curran's Short Test of One's Educational Philosophy, published and used in previous studies, were employed. A two-part social studies test, designated the S Scale, was developed for this study. Part I, the Acceptance Scale, consisted of 16 statements constructed using a Likert-type scale to test teacher acceptance of the NSS. Part 2, the Understanding Scale, was designed to test teacher understanding of the rationales of the NSS. Respondents were asked to rate 18 statements about the social studies along a three position continuum from traditional to "new".

Results indicated that both degree of dogmatism and educational philosophy were significantly related (P

Neither sex, age, nor years of teaching experience were significantly related to a teacher's degree of dogmatism or educational philosophy, nor were those variables significantly related to acceptance or understanding of the NSS.

The only significant difference among undergraduate group mean scores on any of the tests was for the Dogmatism Scale, significant at the .05 level. The area in which respondents received the master's degree against those who had not was on the Dogmatism Scale, where the difference was significant at the .01 level.

Whether teachers had attended one or more social studies institutes or had never attended an institute had no significant relationship to their mean dogmatism or educational philosophy scores. Also, there were no significant differences on any of the tests between respondents who had applied for and those who had never applied for a summer social studies institute fellowship.

When grouped by membership in professional organizations, the respondents were not significantly different in their mean acceptance, understanding, dogmatism, or philosophy scores.

It was found that, for this sample, teachers's degree of dogmatism and educational philosophical orientation are significantly related to the extent to which they accept and/or understand the rationales and strategies of the New Social Studies.



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