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Examining the current beliefs and practices of elementary social studies teachers and preservice teachers suggests that there are similarities and differences between how they perceive their roles as curricular-instructional gatekeepers (Thornton, 1991). Using both survey data and focus groups, cooperating teachers describe their contemporary elementary social studies teaching practices as a blend of stand-alone activities and integrated instruction. Elementary teachers recommend more hands-on activities and literacy development strategies be taught in social studies methods classes. Preservice teachers also reported their preferred teaching practices and rationales in social studies, showing some significant differences from cooperating teachers.