Date of Award
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Frank M. Pelton
Elementary schools have organized their curricula to insure the teaching of fundamental skills and subject matter, such as reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, social studies, and art. Over the years, schools have assumed other responsibilities upon the insistence of the public which supports education. One of these added responsibilities has been education for citizenship.
Education for citizenship is a vague term and no one seems to I know how t his education is to be accomplished. For a number of years, there have been well conceived plans for attacking this problem in secondary schools with suggestions that some of these approaches might be adaptable for elementary schools. However, no objective evaluation of a program in operation has established the way f or educating elementary children for citizenship .
Two teachers at the Broad Street Elementary School, Providence, Rhode Island, became interested in the problem and organized a project in citizenship or their fifth and sixth grades . The focus of t his project was a study by the children of their Rhode Island heritage . This has been reported in another thesis . As the children worked, their activities were organized, directed, and supervised in such a manner t hat basic skills and concepts underlying good citizenship were developed and emphasized. This thesis gives a descriptive account of these activities . All evaluation of the project is personal, based upon observation and subjective appraisal of the behavior of the children involved in the project.
In developing the project, much attention was given to class organization, to individual and group work, to assuming personal responsibility, and to working together cooperatively. Community participation was a large factor in the success of the project . These are described in detail so t hat other teachers might find helpful suggestions for carrying out similar projects.
While having no objective data showing the effectiveness of this project for citizenship training, the writer concludes that in the light of her experience and subjective evaluation it was effective. citizenship education comes not from subject matter ·but from group I experiences, such as are herein described.
Alger, Mildred Claire, "A Project in Civic Education in Elementary Schools Through Pupil Participation" (1954). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 984.