Date of Graduation

12-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Mounir Farah

Committee Member

Kit Kacirek

Second Committee Member

Tom Smith

Third Committee Member

Michael Wavering

Keywords

Education; Inquiry-based instruction; Social studies

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers' perceptions, understanding, and use of inquiry-based instruction in the Social studies, to assess the impact of inquiry-based units on instruction, to detail implementation successes and challenges reported by teachers when implementing inquiry-based instruction, and to provide recommendations for future efforts. Teachers' perceptions of teaching and learning, particularly their beliefs about inquiry-based instruction, changed during the study. Throughout the study, teachers' perceptions and beliefs about teaching Social studies had an impact on how they planned, implemented and reflected on inquiry-based instruction. Many of the teachers changed their perceptions and began regularly teaching with an inquiry-based focus, and some changed from a belief system that focused on a teacher-centered model to a more student-centered focus.