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Social Studies Education Review


Social studies, Teacher education, Qualitative research, Accountability reforms


As a discipline, social studies develops critical and historical thinking skills while exposing students to democratic values. Such skills remain essential to preparing future leaders of America. Yet, recent research continues to demonstrate the increased marginalization of social studies, especially in light of educational reform movements and accountability measures. This study interviewed eight 3rd grade teachers from diverse central Massachusetts elementary schools to better understand the voices of teachers. In particular, the teachers described factors impacting their instructional opportunities in social studies. Implications from this study include additional collaborative opportunities with other educators at the same grade level to gain more pedagogical skills and content resources in social studies. Additionally, participating teachers needed improved educational opportunities during teacher preparation and in-service profession development to gain more familiarity with current standards, frameworks, and resources. Such opportunities also support improved pedagogical content knowledge.