Survey: Social studies teachers agree on content, not impact

GERMANTOWN, Md. — Public and private school teachers agree on what students should learn in social studies classes, but private school teachers appear more confident that the lessons are getting through, according to a new study.

The December issue of CAPE Outlook reported on the study, titled “High Schools, Civics, and Citizenship: What Social Studies Teachers Think and Do.” The study was conducted by the American Enterprise Institute’s Program on American Citizenship.

All teachers surveyed held similar views on the importance of specific content, such as “tolerance of people and groups who are different,” and “instilling good work habits,” CAPE Outlook reported. But private school teachers were significantly more likely to say they felt confident the students had mastered the content, the report said.

Private school teachers also were more likely than public school teachers to say their school considered social studies “absolutely essential” by 68 percent to 45 percent, the study showed, according to CAPE Outlook.

CAPE Outlook is the monthly newsletter of the Council for American Private Education.

CAPE Outlook, “Social Studies Teachers Agree on Content, Not Results,” December 2010

Michigan Education Report, “Private Schools Cope with Weak Economy,” May 26, 2010