Abstract 1- Volume 1, Number 2, Summer 2006

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 1, Number 2, Summer 2006

 

 

To Test or Not to Test?: The Role of Testing in Elementary Social Studies A Collaborative Study Conducted by NCPSSE and SCPSSE

Tina Heafner
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

George Lipscomb
Furman University

Tracy Rock
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Abstract

There are growing concerns among social studies professionals that social studies instruction is disappearing from elementary schools. These concerns have become more pressing as educational policies emphasize core curricula of reading, writing, mathematics, and science. Questions arise as to how social studies can resume its traditional role as one of these core curricula. One possibility is to have social studies included in the accountability movement through testing. This article contemplates the role of testing in impacting social studies instruction in the elementary curriculum through a comparative analysis of data collected from a study of practicing elementary teachers in two states: one in which social studies instruction is tested and the other in which social studies instruction is not tested.

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About the Author(s)…

Tina L. Heafner, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is the social studies program coordinator and methods instructor for undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of Middle, Secondary, K-12 Education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Curriculum and Instruction, and her research interests include K-12 social studies education, comprehension strategies for 6-12 social studies, and technology integration in the 6-12 social studies curriculum. Dr. Heafner is the President-Elect for the North Carolina Professors of Social Studies Education (NCPSSE) and currently serves as a third-year director on the North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Board of Directors. Contact information: theafner@email.uncc.edu, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

George B. Lipscomb, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Education Department at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. A former middle and high school social studies teacher, he currently instructs elementary, middle level, and secondary social studies methods, curriculum and technology, and geography among other courses. Dr. Lipscomb has served the last three years on the board of the South Carolina Council for the Social Studies and helped to organize the South Carolina Professors of Social Studies Education (SCPSSE). He has also presented workshops around the state on “Using Technology in the Social Studies Classroom” and served on panels to review the SC Social Studies Curriculum Standards and the End of Course US History test. Contact information: george.lipscomb@furman.edu, Furman University.

Tracy C. Rock, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Curriculum and Instruction and is a methods instructor for elementary social studies methods. Her research interests include elementary social studies education, inquiry models of teacher professional development, and technology integration in the elementary curriculum. Dr. Rock is the past president of the North Carolina Professors of Social Studies Education (NCPSSE) and is a retired director for North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Board of Directors. Contact information: tcrock@email.uncc.edu, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.