Curriculum Enhancements in Inclusive Social Studies Classrooms: Effects on Students with and without Disabilities




Marshak, Lisa R.

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The purpose of this study was to obtain evidence of potential efficacy of supplementary social studies materials providing differentiated curriculum enhancements for students with and without disabilities in seventh grade social studies classrooms. Eight inclusive seventh grade social studies classes were randomly assigned to either the curriculum enhancement or traditional instruction conditions. Differentiated curriculum enhancements included peer mediation using materials containing embedded mnemonic strategies, which could be used when necessary to provide strategic information and supplemental practice with important content, and necessary levels of support for students with disabilities. The curriculum enhancements were relevant to the 7th grade social studies end-of-year Standards of Learning (SOL) Assessment. Participants included 186 seventh grade students, including 42 students with disabilities, and 16 students in the English Speakers of Other Language program. Three general education teachers and two special education teachers participated in this study. Students received instruction over three units for approximately10 weeks and were pre and post tested on all content covered. Overall findings revealed, that students in the curriculum enhancement condition statistically outperformed students in the comparison condition on content learned and that students with disabilities in the treatment condition statistically outperformed students with disabilities in the comparison condition. Moreover, it appeared the embedded mnemonic strategic items may have facilitated recall of additional content in the unit. Students and teachers reported enjoying the use of the peer mediated curriculum enhancement materials. Findings are discussed with respect to future research and practice.



Learning Disabilities, Inclusion, Classwide peer tutoring, Mnemonics, Social Studies