What Are the Requirements to Teach High School History?

Read about the curriculum and degree programs that prepare you to become a high school history teacher, as well as the licensing and certification requirements. Schools offering Teaching - Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Education Will Prepare Me to Teach High School History?

High school teachers work with students in grades 9-12, so if that's the age you'd like to teach you'll need the right degree. Many colleges offer degrees in history education or in secondary education with a history concentration. Some schools refer to history as social studies, so you may also find your degree program under that title.

While you could earn a plain Bachelor of Arts in History online, a degree for history education will need to be earned in a traditional on-campus format. In addition to the education, history and other courses you attend as a student, you'll spend time in front of a class as a student teacher. All states require such an internship as a condition of licensing; most history education degree programs build this supervised teaching experience into the later part of the curriculum.

Necessary DegreeA bachelor's degree in history education or in secondary education with a concentration in history or social studies
Common CoursesGeography, classroom management, curriculum development, pedagogy, a variety of history electives
CertificationA teaching license must be obtained through your state's board of education

What Kind of Courses Can I Expect?

These programs combine education courses with history topics. Social studies is not only the study of history but of world organizations and governments. Your history electives can be met with an emphasis on one culture's history or many. Some of the cultures you'll study include Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern, African American and Native American. You'll also look at Latin, Chinese, American and women's history, geography, primary sources and oral histories.

You'll learn teaching skills such as curriculum development, classroom management and pedagogy. You'll also study ethics and learn how to teach students with learning disabilities, adolescents and special needs students. Teaching methods for writing, language acquisition and presentation are also covered.

How Do I Pursue Certification?

Once you have completed your degree program you'll need to obtain state teaching licensure. This is a requirement to teach in public schools in all 50 states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). This license can be obtained through your state's board of education. Each state has its own requirements and assessment methods. Some states require classroom observation, so be sure to check the state requirements prior to graduation. This requirement may be met in your classroom internship.

A voluntary National Board Certification is also offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, or NBPTS (www.nbpts.org). This voluntary certification complements state licensure and shows your dedication to a quality learning environment. NBPTS certifications are valid for ten years. There are certificates in 16 subjects, including social studies.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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