Applying the Ogden Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to the introductory Sociology Course: 1954-2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Higher Edu and Learning Technology

Date of Award

Fall 2012


The purpose of the proposed study was to construct a chronological history and analysis of the published learning objectives for the Introductory Sociology survey course in the universities of the United States from 1954-2008, as reflected by objective statements from selected peer-reviewed periodicals. Because of the gradual transformational characteristics of sociological change, the period 1954-2008 was divided into five slightly overlapping subperiods on the basis of major social, political, and educational events, following the design first used by Ogden (1972). Selected periodicals were searched for statements of learning objectives for the collegiate Introductory Sociology survey course. These statements were cataloged into Knowledge, Process, Attitude and Interest, and Cultural Awareness categories. Statements were further cataloged into 12 objective types. The resulting data were classified within and across subperiods according to frequency of occurrence, category, authorship, and year. Eleven Sociological journals that met the criteria to be included in this study published a total of 30,903 articles during the years 1954-2008. Only 0.26% of all journal articles examined addressed the undergraduate Introductory Sociology course. Of those, 18.9% actually wrote about objectives for the course. Only 0.05% of all articles were concerned with teaching or learning objectives. A total of 52 objective statements was found. Knowledge objectives were most prevalent with 21, followed by 16 Process statements, 9 Attitude and Interest statements, and 6 Cultural Awareness statements. Authors of articles used in this study could not specifically agree upon what should be taught in the Introductory Sociology course, except for the relative importance of specific categories of learning objectives. The Most Important Objective type for teaching the Introductory Sociology course was found to be Major Facts, Principles, Concepts, or Fundamentals that stress knowledge for the sake of knowledge or its relation to the understanding of sociology. The research indicated that this objective type should presumably serve as the primary foundation in the curriculum design of the course. A paucity of data in this study precluded any ability to determine or predict trends in learning objectives.


Jon Travis

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Technology