An Emerging Critical Lens: Elementary Teacher Candidates’ Developing Evaluation of Social Studies Resources on Online Sites of Curriculum Sharing


  • Jennifer Gallagher East Carolina University


This article shares findings from a qualitative inquiry that explores preservice teachers’ evaluation of social studies curriculum resources found on Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers. Both at the beginning and the end of their elementary social studies methods course at a large university in the southeastern United States, the teacher candidates were asked to identify good and bad examples of social studies resources and justify their choices. Their choices and the justification they provided were analyzed using qualitative coding. Findings indicate that while teacher candidates’ choices and justifications were sometimes further developed by the end of their social studies methods course, their critical evaluation of shared online curriculum resources was incomplete or limited to near-exact examples from the class. The author poses a number of on-going considerations regarding teacher candidate equity literacy skills as they relate to evaluation and usage of online curriculum sharing sites.