Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Sarah Montgomery


Social sciences--Study and teaching (Elementary); Fifth grade (Education);


Social studies education is one of the four core subjects taught to students in elementary schools. Teaching social studies provides students with the content knowledge and ways of thinking to allow them to be participating members in their communities. Although there are many skills students learn from social studies, due to federal legislation starting with No Child Left Behind, social studies has been put on the back burner while math and reading take the forefront. The goal of this study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of teachers regarding their social studies teaching. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with veteran teachers about their current approach to teaching social studies and changes they have made given the increasing marginalization of this subject area. Major themes related to social studies in fifth grade classes included a lack of emphasis on social studies, reduced instructional time, a changed instructional approach, gaps in student learning, a changed teaching response, and increased teacher advocacy.

Year of Submission



Department of Curriculum and Instruction

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (30 pages)



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