The BS in Social Studies Education program leads to certification to teach social studies in grades 5 through 12. Because the prospective social studies teacher must be proficient in a number of disciplines, the Social Studies Education curriculum requires a depth of understanding from a broad panorama of social and cultural experience.
Social studies is at the center of a good school curriculum because it is where students learn to see and interpret the world. Future social studies educators must be prepared to think deeply, critically, and adapt instruction to promote students’ understanding in a complex and ever-changing world.
Generally, “social studies” is considered an amalgamation of disciplines in history, government, economics, geography, and behavioral sciences. As such, pre-service teachers must be prepared to teach the unique literacies of each discipline and work to promote understanding within (depth) and across (breadth) disciplines. This is no small task as social studies teachers accept the awesome responsibility to help young people develop as enlightened and engaged democratic citizens in a culturally diverse society, and to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good.
The course work is specifically designed to address competencies outlined by state and national curriculum standards. This program meets the requirements of both the state and national accrediting agencies including the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
By graduation, teacher candidates who have majored in Social Studies Education will have developed the knowledge, disposition, and ability to:
- Create learning opportunities at the appropriate school levels that support learners’ intellectual, social, and personal development.
- Create learning experiences that fit the different approaches to learning of diverse learners.
- Develop a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills.
- Develop appropriate school level learning environments that encourage social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
- Employ verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques that foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
- Plan instruction for the appropriate school levels, based on understanding of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.
- Create and evaluate student learning using various formats including performance-based, discussion, traditional testing techniques, and portfolio assessments.
- Create formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of learners.
- Foster cross-subject matter collaboration and other positive associations with parents and others in the larger community to support student learning and well-being.
- Demonstrate the responsibility of being reflective practitioners and continuous learners.