The bitter and the sweet: The irony of assessment-driven social studies professional development in one US school

Lynn E. Brice, Lynn Nations Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article is focused on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (hereafter referred to as the MEAP), and its immediate and evolving influence on social studies professional development at Reed Elementary School located in a Southwest Michigan Public School District in the United States. This particular elementary school has a 7-year-old schooluniversity partnership that involves university coordinators and a concentrated number of intern teachers (from 9-20 per semester). The school/university partners (two university coordinators and 10 mentor teachers) meet each week for 2 hours to focus on professional development. This study examines the evolution of the mentor teachers as they requested to become involved in a professional development focus on social studies. Their progress toward increased social studies developed slowly, but there is substantive evidence which documents the group's progress in three areas, i.e. their understanding regarding the intersection of and defined differences between social studies and socialisation, an increased understanding of the scope of social studies and its interdisciplinary nature, and greater clarity regarding the nature of the MEAP and the school-wide, cross-grade planning that must be developed to assist children in their social studies learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-556
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of In-Service Education
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

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