Posted: August 6th, 2013
The research makes an analysis of the various attitudes that students have with regard to Social Studies. The research shows the relationships that shape the attitudes of students towards Social Studies. Other than this, the objective of the research is also to show the correlation that exists between the attitude of the students and their performance in the subject. The need for the research arose from the rampant spread of a negative attitude towards the discipline. Students have the assumption that such disciplines are irrelevant in their lives, and their classes are boring. The aim of the research is to make a prediction of these relationships and to alter them to favor a positive attitude among the learners of Social Studies (Chiodo, 2007).
The research used forty-eight participants, and they comprised of students from the eighth and eleventh grades. This caliber of participants was chosen due to the alarming results that previous researches have recorded. Students from these two grades recorded the highest number of students who rank Social Studies as irrelevant. Apart from this, the participants were also singled out because of being in the developmental stages of cognitive growth (Chiodo, 2007).
Data Collection Procedures
Information was gathered from students by carrying out interviews. These interviews were recorded then later transcribed in order to ensure that information was not distorted during data collection (Chiodo, 2007).
The methodology that was used by the research had a phenomenological approach. This is to imply that the research sought the actual experience of the learners and to relive their classroom experiences (Chiodo, 2007).
Data Collection Instruments
The interviews were carried out with the use of questionnaires, tape recorders, and notebooks to capture the data (Chiodo, 2007).
The results of the study show that the there are two major factors that influence the attitude of the students towards the discipline. One such factor is the involvement and enthusiasm of both the students and teachers. Such an environment encouraged a positive attitude towards the subject. The second factor, on the other hand, included the value that the students placed in the discipline. Some students saw a lack of utility in the subject and developed a negative attitude towards it. On the contrary, those that placed utilitarian value on the discipline were able to relate well with it (Chiodo, 2007).
Previous researches have shown that teachers play a major role in ensuring that Social Studies are interesting and relevant. The image of the discipline can be reconstructed through a change in the learning climate of the students. This change in climate can be significantly influenced by the teachers. This is because of the role that they play in compilation of the curriculum to be used for studies and the creation and implementation of the lessons plans. Therefore, this suggests that the packaging of Social Studies is done by the teachers. The research then adequately represents objective truths in the reformation of students’ attitude towards Social Studies (Chiodo, 2007).
Data Analysis Procedures
After the data was collected, the researchers compiled the similarities and differences exhibited from the interviewees’ information. The researchers then went ahead to compare data from the two different grades. Themes were then developed, and data with similar themes were clustered. This was done through careful scrutiny of the answers that the students gave towards the research. The researchers then identified conformity to the developed themes. These procedures allowed the researchers to consider the perspective of all the participants at the same time citing the common features exhibited in the multiplicity of answers. Comparative analysis is essential in establishing similar patterns needed for the construction of student attitude towards various disciplines (Chiodo, 2007).
Analysis of Conclusions of the Research
There could be a disparity in the results of researches carried out in different schools (Chiodo, 2007). The researchers therefore recommend that further research should be carried out in order to gather a wide scope of views. These views will complement those on the attitude of students towards Social Studies. This is because of the possibility of state guidelines in influencing the attitudes of students. There is relevance to this consideration because the support of federal governments in the curriculum of social studies could easily influence the parents’, teachers’ and students’ in schools.
Different research methods are proposed as alternative approaches to the research (Chiodo, 2007). These methods are qualitative and quantitative analyses. These alternatives are relevant as they are likely to give different results and findings. This is especially so because the phenomenological analysis took a qualitative approach. The shortcomings of the qualitative approach can limit the results of the research. Such shortcomings are like its labor intensive nature and its in-depth study. The fact that it is labor intensive makes its expensive for the researchers. Its in depth nature limits the scope of study that can be covered by the research.
The researchers identify the need to carry out the research periodically (Chiodo, 2007). This should be done as an evaluation measure to analyze the effects of previous researches. This is relevant because it builds up on the productivity of the researches. The goals of the researchers should be measurable and subsequently they should be able to measure that which they have achieved. This creates room for proper planning while coming up with strategies for preceding researches.
Interrelation of the Data Analysis, Results and Conclusion
Data analysis enabled the researchers to come up with thematic expressions that represent the students’ attitudes towards the learning of social studies. These expressions not only provide an emphasis of the students’ attitudes, but they also allow researchers to note the trends in the relationships that affect these attitudes (Chiodo, 2007). Data analysis provided the grounds on which effective results could be extracted from the collected data.
The results show that the students fall into two distinct themes (Chiodo, 2007). The first theme is the influence by the enthusiasm of the teachers and student participation while the second theme is the influence by the perception of the utility of Social Studies. These two themes represent a simplification of diverse ideologies that were gathered from the students. Other than the task of data simplification, the results also allow researchers to come up with the recommendations that aptly address the raised concerns. In this research, the results show that the teacher plays a crucial role in determining the learning atmosphere for Social Studies. This result is addressed in the conclusion whereby emphasis is laid on creation of awareness among the teachers. The data analysis process, results and conclusion ultimately share a developmental relationship whereby one expounds on the efforts of the other.
Significance of the Study to My Field
The research shows to be relevant especially in the assessment of the influence of a teacher to the learning environment. As a student, I learn to appreciate the role played by educators in the learning process. The awareness also allows me to act on the lack of involvement of facilitators in the units and courses that I pursue. This will allow me to go the extra mile in sufficing the deficiency.
Chiodo, John J. (2007). Do They Really Like Social Studies? A Study of Middle School and High School Students: Journal of Social Studies Research. Retrieved from: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3823/is_200404/ai_n9406032/print August 17, 2012.
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