Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Florida only offers secondary certification in general social science. Candidates must either earn at least a bachelor's degree with a major in social science, social studies, history, political science, geography, sociology, economics or psychology or at least a bachelor's degree with 30 semester hours in social science or social studies that include six semester hours in U.S. history, along with coursework in the following: Western civilization or European, Asian, African, Latin American or Middle Eastern history; economics; the U.S. government; geography; and sociology or psychology. Candidates must also pass the FTCE "Social Science" test. Teachers with this license are not limited to teaching general social studies but rather can teach any of the topical areas.
Middle school social studies teachers in Florida must earn at least a bachelor's degree with a major in social science, middle grades social science or middle grades social studies or a bachelor's degree with 18 semester hours in social science or social studies that include six semester hours in U.S. history, along with coursework in the following: Western civilization or European, Asian, African, Latin American or Middle Eastern history; economics; U.S. government; and geography. Candidates must also pass the FTCE "Middle Grades Social Science" test.
Florida has approved the repeal of its middle grades integrated curriculum certification, which will now ensure specific content certification rather than an integrated model.
Florida State Board of Education Administrative Rules 6A-4.03321; 6A-4.0331; 6A-4.0233 Florida Teacher Certification Examinations www.fl.nesinc.com Repeal Approval http://www.fldoe.org/board/meetings/2011_09_20/40233.pdf
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 these secondary teachers possess adequate subject-specific content knowledge. Florida's 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 history questions, for example, incorrectly, yet still be licensed to teach history to high school students.
Florida was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.