Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Missouri only offers a secondary general social studies certificate. Candidates must take a total of 40 semester hours of coursework that includes U.S. history, world history, political science, economics, geography and behavioral science. 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.
Middle school social science teachers in Missouri must earn a minimum of 21 semester hours in social science and, commendably, must also pass the Praxis II "Middle School Social Studies" test.
Compendium of Missouri Certification Requirements http://www.dese.mo.gov/schoollaw/rulesregs/EducCertManual/Index.htm 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 do not require content tests for each area—are not ensuring that these secondary teachers possess adequate subject-specific content knowledge. Missouri'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.
Missouri recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.