A study to assess the status of the teaching of contemporary issues in secondary social studies classrooms in selected school divisions in the state of Virginia
This study assesses the status of the teaching of contemporary issues in secondary social studies classrooms in four southwest Virginia school divisions. One hundred and sixteen secondary teachers in these school divisions were surveyed concerning their attitudes toward contemporary issues and the instruction of these issues in their social studies classrooms. Mean score results show that the issues that teachers perceived to be most significant to humankind were generally those issues that were given more extensive coverage in the curriculum. Teachers were divided when asked what issues would best be covered in each of the four major secondary subject areas. Each subject area was clearly noted for specific coverage of particular issues, with government classes providing the greatest amount of coverage and world history classes the least amount. A variety of teaching strategies, sources of information, and evaluation strategies were implemented in this instruction. Teachers also detailed what they considered to be major sources of support for the teaching of these issues. Finally, while teachers noted that contemporary issues were detailed in their curricula, they perceived limited coordination among teachers in this instruction. They also reported that more coordination among teachers of different secondary social studies courses should exist.