Social studies education programs are ideal for pre-service and in-service teachers who want to specialize in humanities and other social sciences. In this article we look at how to become a social studies teacher. Social studies is an integrated area of study of various social sciences and humanities subjects aimed at promoting civic competence. It is the taught as a set of courses in primary and secondary schools or elementary, middle, and high schools.The field of social studies is broad, and students learn how to research and explore various topics related to the social sciences. These areas are: history, civic education and government, economics, psychology, geography, sociology, anthropology, and other humanities. In order to teach in K-12, all states require teachers to have a teaching certification or license. Most private schools also have this requirement. The aim of social studies education is to help students learn more about social, cultural, and physical world. It provides a context where students can understand the structure and processes of society.
Social Studies Courses and Training
The purpose of social studies is the preparation of effective citizens both nationally and internationally. It is both a single discipline and multi-discipline, having its own research base as well as drawing from other disciplines like political science, economics, geography, history etc. Social studies courses might include the following or similar:
- Methods of Research in Education
- Action Research
- Social-cultural Foundations of Education
- Teaching in the Social Sciences
- Social Studies Concept
- The Psychology of Learning and Learners
- Multicultural Education
Social studies majors are required to take various courses in the arts and humanities. Further, courses in the program would require you complete practicum courses or internship courses toward the end of the program of study. In many cases the social studies education degree is offered under a curriculum and instruction degree as a specialization or concentration, taking courses like U.S. history, U.S. government, world history, geography, and civics.
Often the degree is offered as a Bachelor of science in Education (BEd), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) and the Master of Science in Education (M.Ed.). You may also pursue an Educational Specialist degree (EdS) specializing in social studies education, a Doctor of Education (EdD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) down the line.
These can be courses in political science, history, geography, religion, etc. In addition, teachers are required to take teacher education courses that include classroom management, educational research, educational psychology, pedagogical methods, etc. In addition, pre-service and in-service teachers are required to have state-issued teaching certification, which is acquired by taking a standardized exam.
Social Studies Teaching Careers
Social studies education prepares one in a wide range of professional career goals that include classroom teaching, working in museum education programs, curriculum development of social studies instructional materials, social studies curriculum specialists, and educational administration and leadership positions. With your degree, you would likely be teaching high school social studies courses in areas that include history, political science, economics, geography, sociology and psychology, etc.
Depending on the state social studies teachers need to be certified. To teach in elementary school teachers should have at least majored in education and minored in social studies. To teach in high school teachers should have a more specific degree as well as possess teaching certification in an area such as
Estimated Income and Projected Career Growth
The The United States Department of Labor (BLS) estimates that elementary school teachers in 2008 earned a median annual income as follows: Kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranged from $47,100 to $51,180. The lowest 10% earned $30,970 to $34,280 and the 10% earned between $75,190 and $80,970. Education administrators, who typically have a graduate degree in the field, commanded an estimated $82,120 in 2007.
And according to the BLS, science teachers and administrators are in high demand in K-12 schools especially in areas like mathematics, science, and bilingual education. The BLS projects positive employment opportunities for qualified, certified mathematics educators and curriculum developers in order to meet the demand.
Employment of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers is expected to grow by around 13% between 2008 and 2018. in addition to graduating from a campus on online social studies education accredited program, being certified or licensed in for all public education schools and a majority of private schools in necessary.
Social Studies and Social Science Education Programs
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Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland
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