Investigation of the Relationship Between Social Studies Teachers’ Beliefs and Practice

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Provides greater understanding of the role of teacher beliefs in guiding or influencing classroom practice. It also provides researchers and educators with a framework for identifying those components that comprise a teacher’s belief system. It provides administrators, teacher educators and others engaged in classroom observation with an instrument for evaluating teacher practice in a more holistic manner than traditional methods. In addition this study provides a model for naturalistic inquiry which may be utilized with further teacher beliefs investigations, as well as other classroom based, ethnographic studies.


“Dr. Cantu’s literature review reveals the design flays of some previous studies in the research on teachers’ thought processes. These include contrived laboratory methods of investigation far removed from the reality of classroom reality, sloppy operational definitions and methodologies, and researcher bias in favor of forced a priori typologies. Dr. Cantu’s study is a welcome addition to the new scholarship on the reform in research on teaching. . . . Studies such as this are the last and logical frontier in the effort to improve schooling.” – Dr. Ann Wynne

“Dr. Cantu has made an interesting and valuable addition to the literature in teacher education in general and social studies teacher education in particular. By studying social studies teachers who have been identified as exemplary teachers in the classroom, he provides us some insight into the thinking, beliefs and behavior of good social studies teachers.” – Dr. Lee Morganett

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