The way that students have traditionally learned social studies in secondary schools, with their teacher at the front of the classroom lecturing as students are expected to take notes and memorize facts, is an outdated method. This way of “learning” makes social studies unenjoyable, and often makes social studies seem completely unrelated to students’ lives today. These are a few reasons why social studies is often considered the least favorite subject of students in school. When social studies is taught in ways that piques students’ curiosity and makes curriculum relevant to students’ lives, is becomes enjoyable and can even be transformative for a students’ education.

To develop my ability as a teacher and go beyond the social studies classroom strategies I experienced in my secondary education, in this action research I implemented new strategies into the classroom where I am student teaching. I implemented lessons that worked towards a goal of social justice, using student- centered strategies and an inquiry model of learning for social studies from the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework, with an overall goal of engaging students in social studies learning that is relevant to them. Although implementing these changes in the classroom was not an easy task, as I found all students needed significant scaffolding for this style of learning they were unfamiliar with, the outcome was worthwhile.

Exit Requirement

Action Research

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (initial licensure)

Committee Chair

Jaclyn Caires-Hurley

Committee Member

Drew Moneke



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Secondary Education

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