Wise Social Studies in an Age of High-Stakes Testing

Essays on Classroom Practices and Possibilities

Edited by:
Elizabeth Anne Yeager, University of Florida
O. L. Davis, University of Texas - Austin

A volume in the series: Research in Curriculum and Instruction. Editor(s): Cheryl J. Craig, Texas A&M.

Published 2005

The chapters in this volume illustrate how teachers are bringing creativity, higher-order thinking, and meaningful learning activities into particular school settings despite pressures of standards and testing. We chose the word wise for the title of this book, and we use it frequently to describe the pedagogical practices we have identified. The words powerful and ambitious are used as well. The larger point, as Keith C. Barton makes in his chapter, is that there is no necessary connection between content standards and high-stakes tests on the one hand, and lowlevel, rote instruction on the other. He reminds us, as Thornton (1991) and Wiggins (1987) previously have argued, that "teachers play a crucial role in mediating educational policy, and their intentions and interpretations have at least as much influence on classroom practice as does the content of standards and highstakes tests." Barton also asserts that “this makes it all the more crucial to identify the wisdom of practice that enables teachers . . . to engage students in powerful educational experiences.”

Foreword. Introduction: The “Wisdom of Practice” in the Challenging Context of Standards and High-Stakes Testing. Elizabeth Anne Yeager. “I’m Not Saying These Are Going To Be Easy”: Wise Practice in an Urban Elementary School. Keith C. Barton. How She Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Test. . .Sort Of. Andrea S. Libresco. Voices of Florida Elementary School Teachers: Their Conceptions of Wise Social Studies Practice. Diane Yendol-Hoppey, Jennifer Jacobs, and Keith Tilford. A Good Teacher in Texas: Conversations about Wisdom in Middle School Social Studies Practice. Mary Lee Webeck, Cinthia S. Salinas, and Sherry L. Field. The Impact of Accountability Reform on the “Wise Practice” of Secondary History Teachers: The Virginia Experience. Stephanie D. van Hover and Walter F. Heinecke. More Journey Than End: A Case Study of Ambitious Teaching. S.G. Grant. Wise Practice in an Innovative Public School. Diana Hess. Wise Practice in High School Social Studies: The Case of Joe Gotchy. Bruce Larson. Engaging Pedagogy in an Advanced Placement European History Classroom. John K. Lee.