An examination of factors affecting secondary teachers' levels of use of the National Standards for United States History
This study examines the impact of state mandates on teachers' levels of use of the National Standards for United States History (hereafter referred to as the "Standards"). Exploring relationships between factors which may affect teachers' use of the Standards and teachers' levels of use of the Standards, this study surveyed ninth through twelfth grade United States history teachers in Iowa and Oregon. The research method to determine teachers' levels of use of the Standards was informed by the Levels of Use dimension of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model;The survey questionnaire consisted primarily of sections describing teachers': social and demographic characteristics; philosophical agreement with historical thinking skills in the Standards; levels of use or non-use of the Standards; and comments about the benefits or limitations of using the Standards. Statistical analyses revealed that teachers in Iowa and Oregon have low levels of use of the Standards but have high levels of agreement with the historical thinking skills which are integrated into the Standards. Higher levels of use of the Standards were related to teachers' knowledge of the Standards, subscription to professional history or social studies journals, membership in professional history or social studies organizations, participation in staff development using the Standards, and work in curriculum development or collaboration with others in developing curriculum using parts or all of the Standards. Multiple regression analysis identified teachers' knowledge of the Standards and collaboration with others in developing curriculum which includes part or all of the Standards as predictors of higher levels of use of the Standards. There were no significant differences between teachers' levels of use of the Standards in Iowa and Oregon;It is concluded that teachers may need to become more informed about the Standards, and that school districts and state departments of education may need to support teachers efforts to work collaboratively on curriculum development, to increase teachers' levels of use of the Standards.