Author ORCID Identifier
Year of Publication
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Kathy Swan
Dr. Ryan Crowley
This explanatory case study examines how two secondary social studies teachers use inquiry-based learning to mitigate the risks of teaching contentious social studies in a charged classroom. Research questions included: 1. How do two in-service secondary teachers use inquiry-based instruction to navigate teaching contentious social studies during charged times? 2. What curricular and pedagogical choices were made by the in-service teachers to navigate risk when designing inquiry-based instruction that features contentious social studies during charged times? 3. What curricular and pedagogical choices were made by the in-service teachers to navigate risk when delivering inquiry-based instruction that features contentious social studies during charged times? Through interviews, observations, and artifacts, this study examined the teachers' instructional choices as they taught units featuring American Reconstruction and Europe’s interwar years and the rise of Hitler. Data was analyzed using Swan et al.’s (2018) Questions, Tasks, and Sources [QTS] Observation Protocol and Pace’s (2021) Framework for Teaching Controversial Issues. The author identified three broad themes: curriculum control, ideological distancing, and community utilization. The teachers exerted significant control over their instruction, privileging safety over openness in how they designed and delivered their lessons. Additionally, when instructing on topics in which they held different views than the school’s community, they distanced themselves from the contentious issues they taught. Finally, the teachers’ engagement with the community and strong positive regard for their students facilitated greater and more effective risk-taking in their teaching practice. This work speaks to the impact of official curricula on teachers’ praxis when teachers and communities hold different views of topics as open or closed to deliberation.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Lewis, Bonnie Patrice, "DOING THE WORK: USING QUESTIONS, TASKS, AND SOURCES TO NAVIGATE TEACHING CONTENTIOUS SOCIAL STUDIES IN SECONDARY CLASSROOMS" (2023). Theses and Dissertations--Education Sciences. 122.