Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 2010
Beyond MIVCA: How Social Studies Student Teachers Negotiate the National Council for the Social Studies’ (NCSS) Curriculum Guidelines for Powerful Teaching and Learning
Indiana University at Bloomington
This paper presents case studies of three student teachers negotiating the demands of the National Council of the Social Studies’ (NCSS) five characteristics of powerful teaching and learning (meaningful, integrative, value-based, challenging, and active instruction) while engaged in the context-specific tasks of student teaching. For these three student teachers, the context of both their teaching and beliefs about teaching combined to help them focus on two of the five characteristics more deeply than the others. These case studies suggest that social studies pre-service teachers can constructively use their student teaching semester to focus on developing strengths in those characteristics most appropriate to their beliefs about teaching and their teaching contexts, and that social studies methods courses can aid in this process by helping student teachers to reflect on these factors prior to their student teaching semester.
Key words: case study, characteristics, qualitative methodology, social studies, student teaching, teacher education