Secondary Teacher Preparation in Social
Studies

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Secondary Teacher Preparation in Social Studies

The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.

Best practices

Not only does Indiana ensure that its secondary social studies teachers possess adequate content knowledge of all subjects they intend to teach—through both coursework and content testing—but the state's policy also does not make it overly burdensome for social studies teachers to teach multiple subjects. Other notable states include Georgia and South Dakota, which also do not offer secondary general social studies certifications. 

Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Secondary Teacher Preparation in Social Studies national results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/national/Secondary-Teacher-Preparation-in-Social-Studies-6
Best practice 1

State

Meets goal 2

States

Nearly meets goal 2

States

Meets goal in part 32

States

Meets a small part of goal 1

State

Does not meet goal 13

States

State requires a test of secondary teacher candidates’ content knowledge in every subject they are licensed to teach.

2011
Figure details

State requires a single-subject test for every subject a teacher is licensed to teach.: IN, TN

State requires single-subject tests; however, its policy has significant deficiencies regarding science and/or social studies.: AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

The state does not require a single-subject test for every subject a teacher is licensed to teach.: AK, AZ, CA, CO, IA, MN, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, OR, RI, WY

Do states require secondary candidates to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the endorsement area in order to earn an endorsement?

2011
Figure details

Yes. State requires a single-subject test to add an endorsement area.: IN, TN

Partially. State generally requires single-subject tests; however, its policy has significant deficiencies regarding science and/or social studies.: AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, KS, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, ND, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

No. State does not require a single-subject test to add an endorsement area.: AK, AZ, CA, CO, DC, HI, IA, LA, MD, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, OR, RI, WY

Research rationale

Carlisle, J. F., Correnti, R., Phelps, G., & Zeng, J., "Exploration of the contribution of teachers' knowledge about reading to their students' improvement in reading." Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 22, 459-486 (2009) includes evidence specifically related to the importance of secondary social studies knowledge.
 
In addition, research studies have demonstrated the positive impact of teacher content knowledge on student achievement.  For example, see D. Goldhaber, "Everyone's Doing It, But What Does Teacher Testing Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness?" Journal of Human Resources, vol. XLII no.4 (2007).  Evidence can also be found in White, Presely, DeAngelis "Leveling up: Narrowing the teacher academic capital gap in Illinois," Illinois Education Research Council (2008); D. Goldhaber and D. Brewer, "Does teacher certification matter? High School Certification Status and Student Achievement." Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 22: 129-145. (2000); and D. Goldhaber and D. Brewer, "Why Don't Schools and Teachers Seem to Matter? Assessing the impact of Unobservables on Educational Productivity." Journal of Human Resources (1998). See also Harris, D., and Sass, T., "Teacher Training, Teacher Quality and Student Achievement." Teacher Quality Research (2007).

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