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An Evaluation of the Instruction of Generalization in Elementary School Social Studies Program

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Author(s): Mükerrem AKBULUT TAŞ | Özden DEMİR

Journal: Journal of Social Studies Education Research
ISSN 1309-9108

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 60;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Generalization | Instruction of generalization | Social studies lesson | Elementary students

ABSTRACT
Generalizations are important content materials that should be instructed in the Social Studies program. The instruction of generalizations and the causal relationships emphasized in generalizations are important for students to have meaningful learning experiences and to gain causal reasoning and critical thinking skills. Social Studies program emphasizes the acquisition of creating scientific generalization skill as a fundamental skill to be instructed directly, and the importance of generalization instruction is highlighted. Therefore, this study is important in that it draws attention to the importance of teaching generalization and creates basis for the future research in the field. In this regard, it aims at evaluating the instruction of the generalizations in the “Our Country and the World” unit in Social Studies program for 6th grades in Primary School. In line with this general purpose, the instruction of the generalizations in the unit was analyzed qualitatively. The study was conducted with three social studies teachers working in three different schools located in Seyhan, Adana. The data were collected through the observation technique with a view to obtaining in depth data about the instruction of generalization in social studies lesson. Semi-structured observation form, prepared in the light of the generalization content elements, was used as the data collection tool. These content elements consisted of four aspects: generalization statement, concepts related to generalization, cause-effect relationships between concepts, and facts about generalization. In addition to observation, document analysis was conducted with a view to supporting results and strengthening the implications. The documentary analysis was performed based on the generalizations and previously identified elements about the generalizations in the scope of the six topics in the “Our Country and the World” unit. The data collected from the observations were analyzed using descriptive analysis techniques. The content elements of generalization were used as themes creating conceptual framework. The data was analyzed taking into account these themes. The reliability was enhanced by the separate calculation of the coder reliability for the analysis of the generalizations in the units and the observation data.
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