An Empirical Study: To What Extent and In What Ways Does Social Foundations of Education Inform Four Teachers’ Educational Beliefs and Classroom Practices?

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    • Abstract:
      Within the state selected for this study, teacher preparation programs and state certification criterion require that educators examine the relationship between school and society within social foundations of education (SFE) coursework. Using observations and interviews, this study examines to what extent four experienced, urban classroom teachers both speak in belief and exhibit in classroom practice an understanding of SFE. Two sets of measures, rooted in the social foundations and curriculum traditions, were devised to examine the degree to which teachers’ beliefs and practices matched to the tenets of SFE. Inconsistencies were evident within each teacher's beliefs and practices. Also, among the four respondents, there was minimal uniformity. From this study, when teaching even with a limited understanding of SFE, instructors engendered practices essential for a democracy. Students composed critical works, combining academic content as well as skills essential for life in a self-representative government. Use of these particular measures could be applied to inform pre-service teacher education programs as well as professional, in-service development. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
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