A Discipline Divided: Sociology in American High Schools

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Lexington Books, 2007 - Education - 152 pages
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A Discipline Divided brings together the literature on the sociology of sociology and the research on the teaching of sociology to examine the ways in which historical, intellectual, and structural forces shaped the content and objectives of high school sociology courses between 1911 and 2001. Relying on questionnaire and interview data, published descriptions of past high school sociology courses, and current teachers' course materials, Michael DeCesare documents how teachers and sociologists have conceptualized the high school sociology course. On one hand, teachers have consistently taught social problems with an eye toward developing good citizens. On the other hand, sociologists have pushed for scientific sociology in the high school classroom, especially since the 1960s. A Discipline Divided points the way toward a new approach to the study of teaching-one that leads away from individualistic explanations for pedagogical decisions and toward an understanding of contextual and structural influences. Concluding with recommendations for bridging the historical gap between sociology teachers and academics, A Discipline Divided is a comprehensive and detailed study of the first sociology courses many students encounter, and an essential book for sociologists and education researchers.

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About the author (2007)

Michael DeCesare is assistant professor of sociology at California State University, Northridge.

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