Title

Deciding What Is a Controversial Issue: A Case Study of Social Studies Curriculum Controversy

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Theory and Research in Social Education

Volume

36

Issue

4

Publisher

National Council for the Social Studies

Publication Date

2008

First Page

290

Last Page

307

Abstract

Frame analysis was used to examine how competing stakeholders framed a sixth grade curriculum controversy over whether the WWII internment of Japanese Americans should be categorized as a controversial issue. Teachers and administrators in a northwestern U.S. school claimed that the internment was clearly wrong and not controversial, but these claims were challenged by a small group of activists. Three data sets were analyzed: 11 semi-structured interviews, 40 public documents, and curriculum materials. Although activists could not change the school's claims, they were able to change the curriculum. Findings illustrate the ways that stakeholders in social studies curriculum controversies negotiate whether an issue should be categorized as controversial. Categorizations were dynamic and contingent on historical, contemporary, and ideological contexts.

Comments

Originally published by the National Council for the Social Studies. Abstract available through remote link via ERIC. Subscription to Theory and Research in Social Education required to access article fulltext.