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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2008v33n6.4

Abstract

A significant issue in primary teacher education is developing a knowledge base which prepares teachers to teach in a range of subject areas. In Australia, the problem in primary social science education is compounded by the integrated nature of the key learning area of Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE). Recent debates on teaching integrated social sciences omit discussions on the knowledge base for teaching. In this paper, a case study approach is used to investigate primary pre-service teachers’ approaches to developing a knowledge base in designing a SOSE curriculum unit. Data from five teacher-educators who taught primary SOSE curriculum indicates that novice teachers’ subject content knowledge, as revealed through their curriculum planning, lacked a disciplinary basis. However, understanding of inquiry learning, which is fundamental to social science education, was much stronger. This paper identifies a gap in the scholarship on teaching integrated social science and illustrates the need to support and develop primary teachers’ disciplinary knowledge in teacher education.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2008v33n6.4