Misconceptions between Social Studies and Social Sciences among Pre-Service Elementary Teachers

Miftakhuddin Miftakhuddin, Ali Mustadi, Heri Maria Zulfiati


This quantitative study was conducted to identify the misconception between social studies and social sciences among pre-service elementary teachers. Data were collected from the subjects (n=122) drawn by cluster sampling in Yogyakarta. Aiken's validity and Cronbach Alpha were then employed to examine the instrument's quality. Collected data were analyzed using descriptive techniques to examine the level of misconception. The popular misconceptions between social studies and social sciences were identified by the criteria developed by Abraham, Grzybowski, Renner, & Marek (1992). The results of the study show that there was a greater understanding of social studies and social sciences for the specific fields of geography, anthropology, and politics. Therefore, the main emphasis should be placed on these fields. The fields that were misconceived included economics, geography, and history. The implications of this research will eventually become the basis and guideline for social studies lecturers to give emphases on the fields of study belonging to social studies, distinguishing them from those of social sciences. In addition, each social science discipline adopted into social studies must receive special attention, given the greater level of misconception among the pre-service teachers in these fields.


Misconception; pre-service elementary teacher; social sciences; social studies

Full Text:



Abraham, M. R., Grzybowski, E. B., Renner, J. W., & Marek, E. A. (1992). Understandings and misunderstandings of eighth graders of five chemistry concepts found in textbooks. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29(2), 105–120. https://doi.org/10.1002/tea.3660290203

AD-PGSD. (2015). Capaian pembelajaran: program pendidikan guru sekolah dasar, program pendidikan profesi guru SD, program magister pendidikan dasar, program doktor pendidikan dasar. Asosiasi Dosen PGSD Indonesia.

Arnold, J. H. (2000). History : A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780192853523.001.0001

Barton, K. C., & James, J. H. (2010). Religion in history and social studies. Perspectives: Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association, 48(5), 50–51.

Beal, C., & Bolick, C. M. (2013). Teaching social studies in middle and secondary schools (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Çelikler, D., & Aksan, Z. (2014). Determination of knowledge and misconceptions of pre-service elementary science teachers about the greenhouse effect by drawing. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 136, 452–456. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.05.355

Collingwood, R. G. (1956). The idea of history. London: Oxford University Press.

Douglass, M. P. (1967). Social studies: From theory to practice in elementary education. New York: Lippincott Company.

Ellis, A. K. (1998). Teaching and learning elementary social studies (6th ed.). Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.

Ersoy, A. F. (2010). Social studies teacher candidates’ views on the controversial issues incorporated into their courses in Turkey. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(2), 323–334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2009.09.015

Gufron, A., Budiningsih, C. A., & Hidayati. (2017). Developing instructional model based on cultural values of Yogyakarta at primary school. Cakrawala Pendidikan, 37(2), 309–319.

Gunning, D. (1978). The teaching of history. London: Routledge.

Hartoonian, H. M. (2010). The social studies and project 2061: An opportunity for harmony. The Social Studies, 83(4), 160–163. https://doi.org/10.1080/00377996.1992.9956224

Jarolimek, J. (1986). Social studies in elementary education (7th ed.). New York: The Macmillan Company.

Kartodirdjo, S. (1992). Pendekatan ilmu sosial dalam metodologi sejarah. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

Keçe, M. (2014). Problems related to the teaching of social studies and suggestions for solution: Teachers’ opinion based on a qualitative research. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 122, 388–392. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.1359

Keles, Ö., Erta, H., Uzun, N., & Cans, M. (2010). The understanding levels of preservice teachers ’ of basic science concepts’ measurement units and devices, their misconceptions and its causes. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 9, 390–394. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.12.170

Kohlberg, L., & Hersh, R. H. (1977). Moral development: A review of the theory. Theory into Practice, 16(2), 53–59. https://doi.org/10.2307/1475172

Maclsaac, T. (1996). From Collingwood Teaching. Teaching History, 84, 15–18.

Moedjanto, G. (2003). Social sciences dan social studies. Retrieved March 5, 2019, from perpustakaan.bappenas.go.id

NCSS. (1984). Task force on scope and sequence: In search of a scope and sequence for social studies. Washington DC: National Council for the Social Studies.

NCSS. (1989). In search of a scope and sequence for social studies: Report fo the national council of the social studies task force on scope and sequence. Washington DC: National Council for the Social Studies.

NCSS. (2008). A vision of powerful teaching and learning in the social studies: Building social understanding and civic efficacy. A position statement. Washington DC: National Council for the Social Studies.

NCSS. (2010). National curriculum standards for social studies : Executive summary. Washington DC: National Council for the Social Studies.

Oliva, P. F. (1982). Developing the curriculum. Boston: Little Brown and Company.

Ormrod, J. E. (2012). Human Learning (6th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Parker, W. C. (2010). Social studies today: research and practice. New York: Routledge.

Rodgers, A. (2011). Redesign and professionalizing teacher education by piloting alternatives to traditional supervision: Addressing the challenges of the Indonesian context. International Journal of Education, 5(2), 121–133. https://doi.org/10.17509/ije.v5i2.5277

Seefeldt, C., Castle, S., & Falconer, R. C. (2014). Social studies for the preschool/primary child (9th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Segal, R. A. (1990). Misconceptions of the social sciences. Zygon, 25(3), 263–278.

Setianto, Y. (2012). The dichotomy between value-free and educational value in history learning. Jurnal Pendidikan Dan Kebudayaan, 18(4), 477–488.

Sim, J. B., Chua, S., & Krishnasamy, M. (2017). “Riding the citizenship wagon”: Citizenship conceptions of social studies teachers in Singapore. Teaching and Teacher Education, 63, 92–102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.12.002

Sukmadinata, N. S., & Alexon. (2012). The development of culture-based integrated learning model to improve students’ appreciation on local culture. International Journal of Education, 6(2), 129–142. https://doi.org/10.17509/ije.v6i2.5298

Sulthon, M., & Tasnim, Z. (2012). Quality improvement fo PPL output for PGSD students through a Lesson Study guided by clinical supervision. Jurnal Ilmu Pendidikan Sekolah Dasar, 1(2), 234–245.

Sunal, C. S., & Haas, M. E. (2011). Social studies for the elementary middle grades: A constructivist approach (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Tannebaum, R. p. (2018). Teaching about religion within early chilhood and elementary social studies: Exploring how preservice teachers perceive their rights and responsilities as educators. Journal for Social Studies Education Research, 9(4), 30–48.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17509/ije.v12i1.17514


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Miftakhuddin Miftakhuddin

Lisensi Creative Commons
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.