Embracing innovation and gaining ‘ownership’ of the social studies exemplars: A classroom based study
Ramsbottom, R. (2007). Embracing innovation and gaining ‘ownership’ of the social studies exemplars: A classroom based study (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2318
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2318
This research supports the on-going national research that has accompanied thedevelopment and implementation of the New Zealand Ministry of Education's socialstudies curriculum exemplars (2004). A social studies exemplar is a sample of authenticstudent work annotated to illustrate learning, achievement and quality in relation to levels 1-5 of Social Studies in the New Zealand Curriculum (SSNZC, 1997). The aim of the researchwas to support teachers to implement the social studies curriculum exemplars in informedways by encouraging and promoting the use of the social studies exemplars as models of quality social studies teaching. This small scale qualitative research was undertaken by asyndicate of four Years 5/6 teachers and the researcher. The four primary teachers assumedroles of teacher-researchers and worked together collegially with the researcher within acommunity of practice to co-construct the research process. The research involvedincorporating aspects of the exemplars into their social studies programmes during 2006.The community of practice engaged in regular collegial conversations relating to theexemplars. Three of these narratives were taped semi-structured conversations captured insitu. Transcripts of student-teacher conversations were collected, analysed and commentedupon to provide some information about student learning outcomes in relation to theexemplars.The notion of reciprocity underpinned this research, since it involved the researcher beingwilling to contribute to the research in return for the teachers' time and involvement in thestudy. The support and guidance provided by the researcher was provided as an outcome ofher experience in teaching social studies for the School of Education.The research takes into account contemporary ideas about learning and teaching theory, aswell as the nature of social studies pedagogy. It examines the implications of socioculturalprocesses for learning with its emphasis on interaction and collaborative learningivenvironments. The research context and the methodology were informed by newunderstandings about the empowerment of teachers implementing their own professionaldevelopment and conducting research into their own practice.This research makes a contribution to the field of social studies curriculum and widerprofessional contexts by informing pre-service teachers' understandings of the intent anduse of the New Zealand Ministry of Education's social studies curriculum exemplars.Additionally, it supports in-service social studies professional development, illustratesprocesses around communities of practice and exemplifies social studies pedagogy.
The University of Waikato
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