Date of Award

5-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Theatre Arts

First Advisor

Matt Omasta

Abstract

Educators and researchers have long discussed methods for improving student achievement in the social studies and history. Research on student attitudes reveals that the social studies suffers from a lack of interest among students . Common complaints among students are that the subject is tedious , does not relate to their lives, is not particularly useful for their future careers, is repetitive, or that it is simply boring (Schug et al., 1982}. Even when students recognize the utilitarian value of skills they learn from social studies/ history, they rarely express an interest in the subject (Chiodo, 2004). After reviewing the body of literature on student attitudes towards the social studies, Shaughnessy and Haladyna (1985} concluded , "most students in the United States, at all grade levels, find social studies to be one of the least interesting, most irrelevant subjects in the school curriculum" (p. 694). Russel and Waters (2010) linked these attitudes to the prevalence of passive learning (lecture, worksheets and other busy work , and rote memorization) within contemporary social studies classrooms.

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