Year: 1993

Author: Sim, Cheryl

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Support for student centred, inquiry oriented teaching exists in many current secondary school History programmes, as well as in the National Statement for the Studies of Society and the Environment. This has important implications for teacher education courses in tertiary institutions. On observation of secondary social education classrooms, there appears to be limited evidence of application of this style of teaching.

Why is it difficult to transform secondary school history classrooms from teacher dominated and text-book driven environments? One approach to this question is to analyse teacher education programmes. This paper reports on a particular aspect of action research into the issue of teacher education and its impact on practice.

The focus is the subject matter subjects in a four year degree course for secondary teachers (B.Ed). The paper describes research through a case study of a subject matter subject for future History/Social Education teachers.

The main purpose of the research is to investigate how such subjects might be conceptualised, planned and implemented in order to influence future classroom practice in that subject area in schools.

The paper first suggests the contribution that this research can make to existing knowledge in this area. It then provides a brief overview of literature relating to this research, and describes the directions taken for this case study. The case is described in terms of the design and implementation of a semester subject in history content for all future secondary teachers of Social Education. This subject has been presented to two different groups of students over two years. Action research into this case subject is the methodology used. The paper describes the action research, and presents examples of the evidence collected. Finally, factors emerging from the action research of the case are summarised.