Abstract 3- Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2009

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2009



On Borrowed Time: How Four Elementary Preservice Teachers Learned to Teach Social Studies in the NCLB Era

Sara Winstead Fry
Boise State University


This study presents the findings of a qualitative investigation about four elementary preservice teachers’ experiences learning to teach social studies in the No Child Left Behind era. The participants’ internship took place in an elementary school which devoted the majority of the day to literacy and mathematics instruction. Because previous interns in the school had limited or no opportunity to teach social studies, the four participants were required to complete an Interdisciplinary Teaching Assignment to ensure that they were able to teach and reflect upon teaching social studies at least one time during the semester. Findings indicated the interns found the experience meaningful and rewarding because of their students’ enthusiasm toward the content and instructional approaches. After meeting the requirements of the assignment, the participants found ways to borrow time from the hours dedicated to literacy and mathematics instruction in order to address social studies topics and themes. The paper concludes with a discussion of teacher educators’ roles in preserving social studies education in American elementary schools while the discipline’s presence is threatened by national curricular trends.

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About the Author(s)…

Sara Winstead Fry is Assistant Professor of Education at Boise State University. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Wyoming, and Fry’s research interests include elementary social studies education, novice teacher induction, and instructional technology. She teaches social studies methods courses and supervises student teachers.

Contact Information: Boise State University, College of Education, 1910 University Drive, Boise, Idaho 83725-1745; Email: sarafry@boisestate.edu