Abstract 5- Volume 1, Number 3, Summer 2006

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 1, Number 3, Winter 2006



Virginia vs. Florida: Two Beginning History Teachers’ Perceptions of the Influence of High-Stakes Tests on Their Instructional Decision-Making

Elizabeth Anne Yeager
University of Florida

Stephanie van Hover
University of Virginia


This paper examines how a beginning teacher in Virginia and a beginning teacher in Florida make sense of the high-stakes tests in their state. By examining beginning teachers in two states where the tests are so very different, we gain important insight into whether there are similarities and differences across states and how the nature of the test affects the teaching and learning of history. We first offer insight into the context of accountability in Virginia and Florida and then discuss what ambitious teaching and learning look like in these states as informed by the literature. Then, we turn to our research methods, findings, and implications for the field of social studies.

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About the Author(s)…

Elizabeth Anne Yeager is Professor of Social Studies Education in the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida. She is also editor of Theory and Research in Social Education. She currently teaches a graduate course in global studies methods and a doctoral seminar on critical issues in democratic citizenship education. Her research interests include the teaching and learning of history, wise practice in the teaching of social studies, and civic education. Contact information: eyeager@coe.ufl.edu, University of Florida.

Stephanie van Hover is Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at the Curry School of Education of the University of Virginia. She serves as the program coordinator for social studies education and teaches all courses related to secondary social studies education. Her research interests include the professional development of social studies teachers as well as the instructional decision-making of beginning history teachers in a high-stakes testing environment. Contact information svanhover@virginia.edu, University of Virginia.