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van Hover, Stephannie D., and Elizabeth Anne Yeager. “Challenges Facing Beginning History Teachers: An Exploratory Study.” International Journal of Social Education 19(1) (2004): 8-21.


Beginning teachers face a myriad of challenges as they enter schools, including a growing emphasis on standards and accountability, an increasingly diverse student population, and lack of support or mentoring. Current attrition rates for beginning teachers are high and continue to grow. This situation is more pronounced in low-income urban schools and in schools with large numbers of minority students. Research on beginning teachers demonstrates that novice teachers often struggle both psychologically and instructionally as they enter their first few years of teaching. This article begins by discussing different components of "best practice" in history instruction, particularly as they apply to methods courses and the instructional decisions of preservice and beginning teachers. Next, the research design and methods are described, followed by a description of key themes and issues emerging from the data. The article concludes with a discussion of the findings and analysis of implications for social studies teacher education.