Abstract 4- Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2009

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2009



U.S. History Interpretations of Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers

Thomas A. Lucey
Illinois State University

Jeffrey M. Hawkins
Oklahoma State University

Duane M. Giannangelo
The University of Memphis


Teachers’ understandings of content affect their abilities to develop creative instructional strategies for learning. The authors investigated understandings of United States history among a convenience sample of pre-service and in-service teachers enrolled in social studies methods and multicultural education courses at two institutions of higher learning. They employed a 30-item survey concerning events and topics from all 10 United States historical eras, involving both conventional and revisionist interpretations. The authors found very low percentages of correct responses. Respondents taking more history courses generally answered more items correctly. White students answered more revisionist items correctly than underrepresented students. The findings are generally consistent with previous interpretations of pre-service and in-service teachers’ United States history understandings. The authors provide suggestions for teacher preparation and future research.

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About the Author(s)…

Thomas A. Lucey joined the faculty of Illinois State University in August of 2005 as an assistant professor in social studies education in the College of Education. He holds an Ed.D. in instruction and curriculum leadership from The University of Memphis. His textbook (co-edited with Kathy Cooter, Ballermine University) Financial Literacy for Children and Youth is available from Digitaltextbooks.

Jeffrey M. Hawkins joined the faculty of Oklahoma State University in August of 2006 as an Associate Professor in the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership at Oklahoma State University. He holds an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. His research interests concern multicultural issues and content analysis in social studies.

Duane M. Giannangelo is a Professor in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership at The University of Memphis. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

Primary Contact Information: Curriculum and Instruction, Campus Box 5330, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-5330; Email: tlucey@ilstu.edu