Teacher voices: A call for more content

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Research has shown that the academic success of high school students is impacted by the depth of their teachers' content knowledge. In other words, the more teachers know about their subject, the better they teach it. Teacher preparation programs should therefore be seeking to ensure that all high school teachers are experts in their content area. As 10th grade world history teacher Matt points out in the latest of our teacher voices video series, aspiring teachers can handle a tougher workload.

While majoring in history perfectly aligns with becoming a history teacher, what's the proper content background for teacher candidates pursuing a general social science certification? Found in the vast majority of states, this general certification allows for teaching assignments in all social science courses, including history, political science, economics, and psychology -- and it is where the Teacher Prep Review found that programs are coming up short. 

Of the 367 undergraduate programs that fail to ensure all social science teacher candidates have adequate content coursework, 91 percent are failing because of weaknesses in majors leading to general certification. Of those, 40 percent don't even require a minor in history, even though that's the subject graduates are most likely to be assigned to teach.

See more on this in the Common Core High School Content Standard findings report. And to learn more about the available certifications in your state, check out the high school certification framework from the Resources section of the Teacher Prep Review.