The state should ensure that social studies teachers know all the subject matter they are licensed to teach.
Wyoming offers secondary certification in general social studies. Candidates are required to 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. It also appears that the state offers endorsements in the specific subject areas of social studies, such as history, geography and political science; however, a content test is not required.
Wyoming's secondary certification in social studies is valid in grades 6-12, so there is no additional middle level requirement for social studies teachers at the middle school level.
Endorsement Areas http://ptsb.state.wy.us/Licensure/EndorsementAreas/tabid/129/Default.aspx 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 their secondary teachers possess adequate subject-specific content knowledge. Wyoming'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—perhaps all—history questions, for example, incorrectly, yet still be licensed to teach history to high school students.
Wyoming should also require subject-specific content testing for all of its social studies endorsements because that is the only way to ensure requisite subject matter knowledge.
Wyoming recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.