This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Examining Influences on the Beliefs and Practices of Secondary Social Studies Teachers in their Early Careers: A Multiple-Case Study




Jones, Robert Colby

Type of Degree



Curriculum and Teaching


This study examined the enduring effects of a pre-service teacher preparation program rooted in problem-based historical inquiry on the beliefs and practices of five program graduates in their early careers. Interviews with participants and observations in their classrooms allowed me to explore the enduring effects of the pre-service program as well as the interplay of other factors that influenced the beliefs and practices of the teachers in the field. Findings suggest that the pre-service program continued to have some impact on the beliefs and practices of all participants, though this impact varied a great deal due to other factors. Other mitigating factors included content coverage pressures, testing pressures, perceived time constraints, and beliefs about students. The early career experiences of the two participants who were the most successful at translating their pre-service teaching rationales into current beliefs and practice suggest the importance of perceived autonomy, continued connections between teachers and their pre-service teacher education programs, and the support of like-minded veteran teachers and communities of practice.