A comparison of social studies curriculum needs as perceived by urban Mexican American parents, students, and teachers

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1974

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Abstract

Statement of the Problem The purpose of this study was to accomplish the following: 1. Develop a needs assessment instrument to assess the perception of Social Studies Curriculum needs as viewed by urban Mexican American parents, students, and classroom teachers of Mexican American students. 2. Compare and contrast differences in the perception of Social Studies Curriculum needs as viewed by urban Mexican American parents, students, and classroom teachers of Mexican American students. 3. Test the null hypothesis and the research hypothesis. Null hypothesis: There are no significant differences existing in Social Studies Curriculum needs as perceived by Mexican American parents, students, and classroom teachers of Mexican American students. Research hypothesis: There are significant differences existing in Social Studies Curriculum needs as perceived by urban Mexican American students. The hypotheses were tested by submitting the collected data to the procedures of factor analysis and discriminate analysis. Conclusions The results of the study indicated the following conclusions: 1. A significant difference existed in Social Studies Curriculum needs as perceived by urban Mexican American parents, students, and classroom teachers in the following four identified areas: (1) Concepts and Skills Dealing with Time, Location, and the Placement of Events in Their Perspective and Sequence (Factor IV); (2) Economic, Historical, and Political Concepts (Factor V); (3) Interpretation, Organization, and Communication (Factor VI); and (4) Identification of Man's Social and Cultural Needs (Factor X). 2. Teachers as a group agreed on the importance of the various items and Social Studies Curriculum needs but Mexican American students and parents expressed significantly different responses with regard to Factors IV, V, VI, and X (see Conclusion 1). 3. The students as a group agreed on the importance of the various items included in the instrument, and their agreement on Social Studies Curriculum needs supported the existing difference between urban Mexican American students, parents, and classroom teachers. 4. The parents as a group agreed on the importance of the various items included in the instrument, and their agreement on Social Studies Curriculum needs further supported the existing difference between Mexican American parents, students, and classroom teachers. 5. The student and parent groups were more in agreement with each other than they were with the teacher group over the importance of the various items. 6. The teacher group was closer in agreement with the student group than they were with the parent group over the importance of the various items. Recommendations As a result of the findings and conclusions of this study it is recommended that: 1. Social Studies Curriculum personnel and representatives of the Mexican American community study and discuss Factors IV, V, VI, and X (see Conclusion 1) for purposes of clarification of Social Studies Curriculum needs. 2. Social Studies Curriculum personnel, principals, teachers, parents, and students work together to change Social Studies Curriculum for Mexican Americans within those areas identified by Factors IV, V, VI, and X (see Conclusion 1). 3. People from the community be involved in the implementation of the Social Studies Curriculum in the classroom. 4. Teachers working with Mexican American students consider their cultural backgrounds and individuality. Students' thinking will at times vary from those of their parents and their teachers. 5. Similar research be conducted in other Mexican American communities. This will determine whether the results were unique to this study or will also apply in other Mexican American communities. 6. Additional research be conducted on needs assessment with Anglo, Black, and other groups and that the results be compared with the results of this study for purposes of designing more adequate Social Studies Curricula.

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