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International Journal of Social Education, v21 n2 p18-45 Fall 2006-Win 2007

While recent research has begun to explore how social studies teachers are responding to a standardized curriculum and its accompanying high-stakes tests, little is known about how teacher education programs are preparing their pre-service teachers for a world in which state curriculum standards and standardized testing often determine the content of the curriculum they will have to teach and in which the stakes are becoming increasingly higher. This study, conducted at a medium-sized university in Ohio, sought to assess pre-service social studies teachers' beliefs about standardized testing and identify some implications for how to better prepare them for their future role as classroom teachers through a case study approach. The setting for this study consisted of two separate undergraduate social studies methods courses at a medium-sized university in Ohio, one for Middle Childhood majors and one for Adolescent-Young Adult majors. Data collection for this research included the administration of a traditional multiple-choice "Content Knowledge Assessment," consisting of thirty-three multiple-choice questions selected from "What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know?" Data sources consisted of the students' actual assessments and their written responses following the classroom discussion. Results show that the AYA students scored substantially better on the assessment than the Middle Childhood students. As the pre-service social studies teachers in this study faced the world of high-standards, high-stakes in the near future, it was evident that they were struggling to understand its true impact. While they worried about how to cope with the reality of curriculum standards and the high-stakes tests their future students would have to pass, most participants in this study failed to critically analyze the content of the assessment. (Contains 3 tables and 56 notes.)

Descriptors: Preservice Teacher Education, Methods Courses, Teacher Education Programs, Standardized Tests, High Stakes Tests, State Standards, Teacher Attitudes, Program Attitudes, Social Studies, Case Studies, Undergraduate Students, Multiple Choice Tests, Attitude Measures

International Journal of Social Education. Ball State University, Department of History, Muncie, IN 47306. Tel: 765-285-8700; Fax: 765-285-5612; Web site:

Autor: Doppen, Frans H.


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