Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Imbeau, Marcia

Reader

Bell, Karmen

Second Reader

Kerr, Grace

Abstract

The study explored elementary teachers’ perceptions of how history is taught in today’s classrooms. To gather the data, the researcher created a survey that asked about the demographics of the schools, how the teachers teach history, and questions to explore teacher’s ideas about the role of history in education. The survey was shared on social media and through email to personal contacts asking contacts to share the link to complete the questionnaire. The participants consisted of fifty-one teachers most of whom are residents of Kansas, Arkansas, or Texas and teach kindergarten through sixth grade in general education classrooms. The participants’ schools were in mostly suburban settings though some were in urban and rural communities and the socioeconomic status of the schools were mostly middle to low or of mixed income status. Their experience ranged from first year teachers to thirty-seven years of experience with the largest majority of teachers having between one and ten years of experience. Once the data were collected, each question was analyzed to find the frequency of each answer and to look at patterns across answers. The analysis showed most teachers agreed on the importance of teaching history in elementary classrooms, student interest, and the use of a variety of methods to teach history, but feel limited by time and standards. The findings suggest that teachers generally support the inclusion of history in standards and spending more on teaching history in elementary classrooms.

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