This study investigated approaches to the elementary social studies methods syllabus from instructors of courses across the United States. Using qualitative content analysis, we explored 48 methods syllabi using a deductive framework of Information Based Systems of education, Transformation Based Systems of Education, and Inquiry Based Systems of education. Ultimately, we determined that over half (n = 27) of the collected syllabi reflected an Information Based System of education meant to prepare students for certification, lesson and unit planning, and best practice social studies instruction. Fewer (n = 14) prepared pre-service teachers to challenge official knowledge and position social studies instruction within socio-political realities of students and fewer still prepared pre-service teachers to center inquiry-based instruction guided by the C3 Framework (n = 11). We position these findings within dominant trends in elementary social studies scholarship and conclude that too few methods courses reflect the scholarly trend toward transformative, justice-oriented, or inquiry-based elementary social studies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)