Open Access Capstone
This study is a comparative discussion of social studies curriculum content instructional practices, and learning environment between two countries' education settings--the U.S. and the Republic of Georgia.
Research on the peace skills education in secondary school settings shows a meaningful relationship between three variables: curriculum content, instructional practices, and learning environment. I conducted qualitative research to try and answer the question "How do schools educate students so they acquire peace skills?" This study argues for the recognition of the importance of the interdependence of these variables to reinforce students' achievement in peace skill dimensions: the recognition of contribution and success, acting with respect, sharing power to build community, and making peace.
The study uses qualitative methods that incorporate social studies curriculum analysis, interviews, and observations. U.S. documents on social studies curricula included guidelines from the national, state and local levels. Georgian documents included History textbooks, Georgian subject time tables, and a letter from the director of the world bank-funded Georgian education reform program, "Education system realignment and strengthening Program." In addition, four formal and four in-formal interviews were held with teachers from Amherst (Massachusetts) Regional Middle School, and in-depth interviews were held with two Georgian teenagers. Observations of the U.S. school setting were held in middle school classrooms, cafeteria, and the playground.
Based on the research and analysis, several recommendations were developed for the Georgian education system, specifically for middle schools.