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Michigan Sociological Review
Michigan Sociological Association
An attendee of a workshop on teaching high school sociology at the 2003 ASA annual meeting raised a fundamental question for which sociologists currently have no answer: Why is a sociology course offered in some high schools but not in others? The only empirical study that has attempted to answer this question is more than 20 years old. After analyzing a dataset from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and questionnaire and interview data collected from high school sociology teachers in Connecticut, I argue that the decision to offer a sociology course is made at the level of individual schools. It is not influenced by community- level variables, as previous research has suggested. Four factors in particular affect sociology's existence in high school curricula: student interest and enrollment, teacher changes and shortages, ongoing curriculum revision, and the prevalence of standardized testing. In conclusion, I recommend ways in which sociologists and ASA representatives might take these results into account as they continue to lobby for increasing sociology 's presence in high school curricula.
(2006). What Determines Whether Sociology is Taught in High School?. Michigan Sociological Review, 20, 211-229.
Available at: http://scholarworks.merrimack.edu/soc_facpub/15
© 2006 Michigan Sociological Review, the official publication of the Michigan Sociological Association. Journal website available from: http://www.gvsu.edu/msr/