On Borrowed Time: How Four Elementary Preservice Teachers Learned to Teach Social Studies in the NCLB Era

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This study presents the findings of a qualitative investigation about four elementary preservice teachers' experiences learning to teach social studies in the No Child Left Behind era. The participants’ internship took place in an elementary school which devoted the majority of the day to literacy and mathematics instruction. Because previous interns in the school had limited or no opportunity to teach social studies, the four participants were required to complete an Interdisciplinary Teaching Assignment to ensure that they were able to teach and reflect upon teaching social studies at least one time during the semester. Findings indicated the interns found the experience meaningful and rewarding because of their students' enthusiasm toward the content and instructional approaches. After meeting the requirements of the assignment, the participants found ways to borrow time from the hours dedicated to literacy and mathematics instruction in order to address social studies topics and themes. The paper concludes with a discussion of teacher educators’ roles in preserving social studies education in American elementary schools while the discipline’s presence is threatened by national curricular trends.

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