The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Colorado offers an endorsement in general social studies. This appears to be the only secondary social studies endorsement. To demonstrate content proficiency, candidates may either complete 24 semester hours of course credit or achieve a passing score on either the PLACE test ("Social Studies") or the Praxis II "Social Studies" test. Teachers with this license are not limited to teaching general social studies but rather can teach any of the topical areas.
Colorado does not articulate any additional requirements for middle school social studies teachers. The state also allows middle school social studies teachers to teach on a generalist K-8 license (see Goal 1-E).
Colorado Initial Teaching License-Approved Programs www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/Licensure_tch_approved.asp Program for Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educators www.place.nesinc.com Praxis Testing Requirements www.ets.org
Require secondary social studies teachers to pass tests of content knowledge for each social studies discipline they intend to teach.
Although coursework plays a key role in teachers' acquisition of content knowledge, program completion should not replace the requirement of an assessment, which is the only way to ensure that teachers possess adequate knowledge of the subject area. While a major is generally indicative of background in a particular subject area, only a subject matter test ensures that candidates know the specific content they will need to teach.
Require middle school social studies teachers to pass a test of content knowledge that ensures sufficient knowledge of social studies.
Colorado asserted that the content standards for secondary subject matter, which all teachers must meet, are delineated in the Rules for the implementation of the Educator Licensing Act.