Assistant professor reports on social studies K-6 instruction

Finds indications of inconsistent instruction across grade levels

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Julie Funasaki Yuen, (808) 454-4870
Public Information Officer, Public Relations and Marketing Department
Posted: Nov 17, 2009

In a recent report on whether students are getting the optimal instruction in social studies, UH West O‘ahu Assistant Professor Paula B. Mathis finds the results may not be encouraging. In her recently published article in the Social Studies Research & Practice Journal titled “Who is Teaching Social Studies? Pre-Service Teachers’ Reaction,” Mathis reports the results of pre-service teachers’ reflections with regards to observed social studies instruction in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Reflections indicate that social studies is taught inconsistently across grade levels, best practices were not used for instruction, and there is a trend toward decreased social studies instruction. Classroom teachers exhibited frustration because of these issues.
The Social Studies Research and Practice Journal is a peer-reviewed, electronic journal that focuses on providing a venue for P–16 social studies research and practice manuscripts, lesson plans, reviews, and issues related to higher-level learning outcomes. The article may be viewed at
Paula B. Mathis is an assistant professor of Elementary Education at UH West O‘ahu. Her research interests include identifying ways to use culturally responsive materials to stimulate classroom discussions, awareness and appropriateness regarding various cultural contributions to academic learning and comparing in-class social studies best practices to current social studies practices with regard to the No Child Left Behind Act.
About UH West O'ahu
UH West O‘ahu became a four-year, comprehensive university when it served its first class of freshmen in fall 2007. The University offers quality education, small classes and personalized attention at convenient locations. UH West O‘ahu held a ground blessing ceremony in January in anticipation of the start of construction for a state-of-the art, new campus in the City of Kapolei. For more information, visit,, or call 454-4700 or toll-free (866) 299-8656.