Abstract 4- Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 2008

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 2008



Improving Content Literacy in Social Studies Classrooms: Teachers Voices within Comprehensive School Reform

Mary E. Little
University of Central Florida


The increased demands for access to and accountability for mastery of social studies curriculum by all students, including students with disabilities (SWDs) and diverse learning needs, is a current reality within secondary schools. Research has suggested classroom implementation of evidence-based instructional practices to improve content literacy. However, the lack of descriptive data related to classroom implementation of instructional practices seems to be an area of concern, especially following professional development (Correnti & Rowan, 2007). Research related to the context and conditions of classroom implementation is needed. This manuscript describes a district-wide professional development initiative within secondary social studies classrooms, outlines qualitative research, reports findings related to teacher perceptions of classroom implementation, and describes the considerations and implications related to implementation of professional development as part of comprehensive school reform.

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About the Author(s)…

Mary E. Little is currently an associate professor in Exceptional Education at the University of Central Florida. She has taught students at the university level and within school districts as a teacher at the secondary level for over thirty years. Her passion for teaching and learning motivates her current initiatives in research, teaching, and service. In addition, within that tenure, Dr. Little’s passion for teaching at the university continues to extend to teachers in the school districts also through the professional development and research grants she has authored and received from both state and federal agencies. Her research interest of bridging the research-to-practice gap in education underlies most of her current external funding proposals. Contact information: University of Central Florida, College of Education, P.O. Box 161250, Orlando, FL 32816-1250; phone: (40) 832-3275 and fax: (386) 274-0179; email: mlittle@mail.ucf.edu.