Applying the Ogden Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to the introductory Sociology Course: 1892-1957

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Higher Edu and Learning Technology

Date of Award

Fall 2012


The purpose of the study was to construct a chronological history and analysis of the published educational objectives for the Introductory Sociology survey course in the colleges and universities of the United States from 1892 to 1957, as reflected by objective statements from selected peer-reviewed periodicals. Because of the gradual transformational characteristics of sociological change, the period 1892 to 1957 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 educational 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. Six Sociological journals that met the criteria to be included in this study published a total of 17,945 articles during the years studied. Only 0.44% of articles written addressed the undergraduate Introductory Sociology course. Of those, 27.8% actually mentioned objectives for the course. Only 0.12% of all articles addressed educational objectives and produced a total of 89 objective statements. Knowledge objectives were most prevalent with 30, followed by 22 Process statements, 20 Cultural Awareness statements, and 17 statements of Attitude and Interest. 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 Application to Daily Life, those statements that tie the application of use of major facts, principles, concepts, or fundamentals of sociology to real life situations as well as those objectives that stress the accumulation of a body of knowledge. This objective type presumably served in the foundational curriculum design of the course. The paucity of data in this study precluded any ability to determine or predict trends in learning objectives.


Jon Travis

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Technology