Research Critique: Do They Really Dislike Social Studies?

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Choido (2007) describes a research project where he attempts to discover if social studies is still the least liked subject among middle and high school students, and if it is, he attempts to discover why. This paper contains a critique of the research paper by Choido. This response essay is constructed around nine inquiries. Within this paper, the subjects or participants in the research study will be described. The methodology, procedures, and instruments used will be summarized. The data analysis procedures will be described and determined for adequacy. The results of the study will be described and determined for adequacy. A description of the conclusions of the research study will be provided. The adequacy of the conclusions based on the analysis and the results will be determined. How the data analysis, results, and conclusions for a research study are interrelated will be described.

The participants of the study were two student groupings of eighth and eleventh graders. Choido (2007) chose these grade levels because he felt that he would be able to garner the most information from the two groups of students, one reason being that eighth and eleventh grades are cognitively stable years for teenagers, and he felt he needed one sample with younger teenagers and one sample with older teenagers who were diverse learners to see if there were any difference in attitudes between the two groups. The participants were selected from a school that had very large class sizes and a variety of classes and electives were offered. He chose his samples from select classes within the school system, then chose students from those four classes to ensure his sample was representative of the student body of the school. Forty-eight students were chosen, half representing each grade level, then half of those samples representing each gender, male and female.

For a research design and procedures, Choido (2007) chose a phenomenological study to interview the participants where the interviews were recorded on a recording device for verbal feedback and on paper for interviewers to note gestures, eye contact, or other clues as to the feeling and attitude of the student. Choido based his interview questions upon questions asked from previous studies. The audio and notes were reviewed to coordinate verbal feedback with nonverbal feedback. The interviews of the eighth and eleventh-grade students were compared to realize any salient trends contributing to the development and progression of attitudes. 

Choido (2007) sought for themes within the replies of the students and categorized all the similar responses together to create the themes. The two themes that emerged were that teacher enthusiasm and teaching style affected student attitudes towards social studies, and also students’ attitudes towards the subject matter of social studies were not looked upon negatively by the students, which are also the conclusions Choida drew from the study. 

Choido (2007) did a very good job with this study on several levels, which are depicted as important to qualitative studies by Marshall and Rossman (1999). He demonstrated the importance of his research for his field of study, as well as the need to research his subject further. His data analysis and research methods were sound for a phenomenological study, and his conclusions were based on sound research methods. He comprised his study in a way where the research design yielded viable results, according to Marshall and Rossman. In qualitative research, a straight line must be drawn between the topic question all the way to the conclusion, stated Marshall and Rossman, and in doing this, it increases the viability of qualitative methods. Choido brought the reader through the process of his inquiry and literature review, how his literature review led to insufficiencies in past research and the development of his research questions, and how the responses revealed themes that he depicted in the results and conclusion to arrive at the answer to his research question

This paper critiqued Choido’s (2007) research around nine areas of inquiry. This critique revealed Choido did a decent job in his research. His intentions, procedures, and conclusions were clear from beginning to end, making this a strong qualitative study.


Choido, J. J. (2007). Do they really dislike social studies? A study of middle school and high school students. Journal of Social Studies Research, 1-12. Retrieved from

Marshall, C. & Rossman, G. B. (1999). Designing qualitative research (3rded.). Washington, DC: Sage Publications.