2011 Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Louisiana requires that secondary social studies teachers have a focus area in general social studies, which requires a total of 25 hours of social studies coursework, in addition to the six semester hours required for general education. Candidates must also pass both the Praxis II "Social Studies: Content Knowledge" test and the "Social Studies: Interpretation of Materials" 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 Louisiana must have two focus areas and must take a total of 19 semester hours of science: 12 hours are a general education requirement; seven hours are a focus-area coursework requirement. Commendably, candidates must also pass the Praxis 2 "Middle School Social Studies" test.
Louisiana Administrative Code Title 28, Bulletin 746, sections 209, 211 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 these secondary teachers possess adequate subject-specific content knowledge. Louisiana's required assessments combine all subject areas (e.g., history, geography, economics) and do 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.
Louisiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.