Changing Times: Preparing Pre-Service Social Studies Teachers to Teach Disciplinary Literacy Skills

Published In

Mid-South Literacy Journal

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2016


Teachers -- United States, Teachers -- Training of -- United States, Social sciences -- Study and teaching (Secondary)


This case study examined how a cohort of 16 pre-service social studies teachers transitioned from being students while No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was implemented to being teachers of a new generation of standards. To study this transition, the authors analyzed 75 lesson plans created by cohort members to identify which Grade 9/10 Common Core Standards for History/Social Studies they planned to teach. The analysis indicated that pre-service teachers were including the Key Ideas and Details standards at significantly higher rates than the Craft and Structure or the Integration of Knowledge standards, and the Key Ideas and Details standards were most closely aligned with the standards used by NCLB. This conclusion is consistent with previously conducted research suggesting pre-service teachers’ instructional philosophies are often formed by their own experiences as students. This finding is significant because changing teaching practices from covering content in social studies classrooms to developing students’ disciplinary literacy skills is a challenge that requires confronting previously held beliefs about social studies instruction.

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