The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Connecticut only offers an endorsement in "history and social studies" for secondary social studies teachers. Candidates must complete either a major in history with 18 semester hours in social studies; a major in political science, economics, geography, anthropology or sociology, with at least 18 semester hours in history; or an interdisciplinary major. They must also pass the Praxis II "Social Studies" content test. Teachers with this license are not limited to teaching general social studies but rather can teach any of the topical areas.
To teach history and social studies in middle school, Connecticut requires one of the following: a subject area major in social science, history, political science, economics, geography, anthropology or sociology; an interdisciplinary major in history/social science; or 24 semester hours of study in a subject and either 15 semester hours in another subject or 15 semester hours in an all-level endorsement subject. Commendably, candidates must also pass the Praxis II "Middle School Social Studies" test.
Regulations of State Board of Education 10-145d-446; 451 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.
States that allow general social studies certifications—and only require a general knowledge social studies exam—are not ensuring that their secondary teachers possess adequate subject-specific content knowledge. Connecticut's required assessment combines all subject areas (e.g., history, geography, economics) and does not report separate scores for each subject area. Therefore, candidates could answer many—perhaps all—history questions, for example, incorrectly, yet still be licensed to teach history to high school students.
Connecticut recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.