The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Hawaii only offers secondary certification in the general field of "Social Studies." Candidates are required to pass the Praxis II "Social Studies: Content Knowledge"" test. Teachers with this license are not limited to teaching general social studies but rather can teach any of the specified areas.
Middle school social studies teachers who opt for the middle grades certificate are commendably required to pass the Praxis II "Middle School Social Studies" test.
Required Praxis Tests www.htsb.org/docs/Praxis_09_10.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. Hawaii'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 history questions, for example, incorrectly, yet still be licensed to teach history to high school students.
Hawaii acknowledged its general license in social studies and added that when the state reviews its license fields, it will take this issue into consideration.