Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

C. Kenneth Murray.


This study was designed to investigate perceptions held by pre-service elementary teachers about instructional activities and content areas for the social studies. Four major questions were addressed: (1) What do respondents perceive to be the classroom activities with the most educational value? (2) What do respondents believe students find to be the most enjoyable activities? (3) What do respondents say are the classroom activities they would most prefer to use at the various grade levels? and (4) What do respondents say are the most preferred content areas for elementary social studies?;The sample for this study consisted of 80 pre-service elementary teachers at West Virginia University. These students had sequenced through the teacher education program and were anticipating their internship placement. The population was primarily traditional college age females in their senior or fifth year with a grade point average of 2.5 to 4.0, with most falling in the 3.0 to 3.49 range.;Respondents preferred Instructional activities for their educational value, not those which might be more popular with students. Their preferences appear to be based on age/grade/cognitive ability of students and not on the basis, of activities that might be easier to grade or which might facilitate classroom control. Their choices were not limited to just a few activities.;In terms of preferred content areas, the respondents, across all grade levels, most preferred current events, drug education, and multicultural education. They also endorsed the study of conflict resolution and values education for Grades K--3, U.S. history for Grades 4--6 and 7--8, state history for Grades 4--6, and career education for Grades 7--8. They least preferred philosophy, religion, and law-related education across all grade levels. Other lowest ranked instructional content areas were anthropology, archeology, economics, and political science. A comparison of respondent ranking of the content areas with instructional goals and objectives published by the West Virginia Department of Education shows minimal congruence.;In conclusion, this author found the data to show the respondents as having a discerning and sophisticated knowledge to deal with their future responsibilities: a very positive message about social studies in the new millennium.