Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Waggoner, Jan

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine social studies teachers' perceptions about social studies goals and content areas that should constitute the social studies curricula of grades five to 10 in Oman. This national study involved a population of 538 social studies teachers in basic education schools of the second cycle (grades five-10). Of 538 surveys, 407 surveys were completed and returned for a response rate of 76%. Cronbach's alpha values for each subscale ranged from .723 to .861. The resulting alpha value for the whole scale was .886, which indicates sufficient internal consistency reliability. Major findings indicated that social studies teachers supported all social studies goals suggested in this study. However, the degree of implementation of each goal was significantly lower than that of importance (p < .005). Overall, social studies teachers indicated more support for social studies goals of citizenship transmission, social science disciplines, and life adjustment than for social studies goals of reflective thinking, global education, and civic participation. The most important social studies content areas were perceived to be current events, core values of Oman society, geography, environmental education, history, family life education, and public issues. Geography and history, along with the perceived most important content areas, received the highest degree of implementation. The lowest-rated content areas in both importance and implementation were sociology, political science, psychology, and law-related education. The degree of implementation of each content area was significantly lower than that of importance (p < .003). Findings of the post hoc analyses revealed that there were statistically significant differences between male and female teachers in their perceptions about the importance and implementation of some goals and content areas, favoring female teachers. Among these content areas were environmental education, current events, public issues, geography, and history. Findings suggested that teacher gender influences curricular decisions about teaching some goals and content areas. Major barriers to teaching social studies were centered on the lack of participation of local community and students in determining social studies goals and content areas. Social studies teachers reported having little control over the curriculum they teach. It was concluded that social studies is not a high priority subject in basic education schools of the second cycle. Recommendations were made to improve the status of social studies in Oman.

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