Secondary Teacher Preparation in Social
Studies: Indiana

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy


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

Best Practice
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Secondary Teacher Preparation in Social Studies: Indiana results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Indiana's policies

Indiana articulates that secondary social studies teachers must qualify for a concentration in at least one of the following content areas: economics, geographical perspectives, government and citizenship, historical perspectives, psychology or sociology. The state also stipulates that teachers may only teach in the social studies areas of concentration. Further, as of September 1, 2012, candidates must pass the subject-specific Praxis II content test; the general social studies test will no longer be available. 

Commendably, the state requires middle school social studies teachers to pass the Praxis II "Middle School Social Studies" test.


Recommendations for Indiana

State response to our analysis

Indiana was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.

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).