Concept analysis in social studies
Callan, Arnold W.
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This project was undertaken because of a need to analyse concepts in social science more specifically and sequence them more carefully in a social science program. Concepts have been identified vaguely on many curriculum documents or left in isolation from each other when they are specifically identified. The project's aim was to identify a method for analysing concepts and sequencing their teaching on some rational basis. Once the method for analysing concepts was identified a questionnaire was designed and administered to a random sample of students at the grade three, five and eight levels. The questionnaire attempted to measure their comprehension of specific social science concepts at several levels which became progressively more complex. The major hypothesis was that there would be a direct correlation between age and achievement on the questionnaire. The raw scores were seriated and correlated with the ages of the students using the rankdifference- squared method. For the majority of areas tested it was found that there was a significant correlation between age and achievement on the questionnaire. Variation in the correlation coefficients generated suggests that comprehension of social science concepts is not simply a function of age but is probably a function of several inter-related factors such as reading ability, skill in Basic Thinking Skills and age. Thirty students completed each test. There were three tests in the questionnaire.