The purpose of this study was to determine the status of social studies in elementary classrooms in a local school district. Status was determined by assessing the amount of instructional time that was devoted to social studies, its perceived importance in the curriculum, and challenges associated with teaching social studies. Three research questions were identified in order to examine the status of social studies in Apple School District (pseudonym): (1) To what degree is social studies being taught in the elementary grades one through five? (2) How important is social studies compared to other areas of the curriculum? (3) What do elementary teachers identify to be challenges associated with teaching social studies? Data for this study were gathered through a single distribution of a survey. Teachers of grades one through five from 19 elementary schools participated in this study. Surveys were collected from 351 teachers. Results of this study indicated that social studies was being taught in 98% of the classrooms of teachers surveyed. A post hoc analysis of variance revealed that fifth-grade teachers reported teaching social studies significantly more days per week than first, second, and third-grade teachers. Results also revealed that fourth-grade teachers taught significantly more days per week than second-grade teachers. Participants reported their perception that social studies was less important than literacy, math, and science. Participants also identified challenges to teaching social studies. The three most often mentioned challenges were time constraints, lack of resources and core curriculum issues.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Teacher Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Current Social Studies Practice