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The impact of the voluntary national social studies and related discipline standards on social studies education at the state level in the United States

Karen A Graff, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This descriptive research study was designed to determine the impact of the voluntary national standards in social studies and in the individual disciplines of civics and government, geography, and history on social studies education at the state level. The Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, the National Standards for Civics and Government, the National Geography Standards, and the National Standards for History were the focus of this study. The Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics had not been published at the time of data collection; thus, their impact was not formally considered. ^ A researcher-designed survey was utilized to obtain preliminary data that enabled the researcher to select participants for subsequent interviews. The surveys yielded quantitative data, while the interviews provided narrative depth. The population for the study was the Council of State Social Studies Specialists, which has members in each of the 50 states and the District or Columbia. Interviews of 13 of the 38 survey respondents were conducted. ^ Three research questions addressed the impact of these standards on state legislation for social studies education, on leadership activities performed by the state social studies specialists, and on state department of education guidelines for social studies education. The standards appeared to support existing legislation, had a moderate impact on the role of the specialists, and had minimal impact on state department of education guidelines. However, they were used frequently as a resource in the creation or revision of state academic standards. ^ Another research question considered the extent to which professional organizations promoted the standards. Training and promotion increased awareness and availability of some publications. The final research question attempted to determine which standards publication had been used most extensively to influence social studies education. The NCSS Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, the National Standards for Civics and Government, and the National Geography Standards appeared to have the greatest impact of the seven publications under study. Attributes of the publications and agreement with the states' philosophy of education determined the extent of their use. ^

Subject Area

Education, Social Sciences|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Graff, Karen A, "The impact of the voluntary national social studies and related discipline standards on social studies education at the state level in the United States" (1999). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9929200.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI9929200

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