Social Studies Education
Kim Foss, Tomson 290
The purpose of teaching social studies in middle and high school (grades 5-12) is three-fold:
- To provide middle and high school students a broad foundation in what is known about human social experience, interaction, and behavior;
- To provide students with perspectives that will assist them in understanding self and others; and
- To provide students a foundation for appreciating and critically evaluating claims of knowledge about human social experience, interaction, and behavior.
Overview of the Major
Social studies education is an interdisciplinary major involving seven disciplines: economics, education, history, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology/anthropology. It is a necessary component for a license to teach social studies in middle school and high school.
The field of social studies education demands reflective practitioners with a broad foundation in the liberal arts and specific knowledge in each of the seven disciplines. The social studies education major equips students with this core content knowledge while also providing multiple opportunities for critical thinking about the various ways we construct knowledge and communicate the human experience. Students may consider a double major with one of the seven disciplines or combine the major with a concentration in racial and ethnic studies or other interdisciplinary concentration. Students may graduate with a social studies education major without completing requirements leading to a license to teach (see additional requirements below).
See Academic Honors
Criteria for Distinction
- Achievement of the minimum grade points of 3.0 overall and of 3.5 in the major coursework;
- A major, substantive project or paper prepared with the direction and approval of the program director. It should either confirm or improve the student’s record in course work by demonstrating the quality of the student’s skill as a researcher, as an interpreter of the ideas of others, and as a thinker. The final project or paper must be reviewed and approved for distinction by the program director and one other faculty member;
- A short essay (1000 words) that addresses how their major coursework, and major, substantive project or paper, has assisted in their intellectual development to be submitted to the Education Department faculty for approval. This essay will accompany their major, substantive project or paper when submitted to the Program Director and faculty member for review;
- Presentation of the project or paper to faculty and students at a department colloquium prior to May of your senior year; and
- Presentation of the project or paper at a national conference, and/or presentation at a state level conference complemented with submission for publication to a professional journal approved of by the program director.
Please contact the program director for more information on distinction in this major, and for guidance on initiating the process.
Students may choose from a wide number of domestic and international off-campus study opportunities within each of the various disciplines to complement the major. They can also participate in various off-campus Interims offered through the Education Department provided they meet all prerequisites. Students who pursue a teaching license may consider student teaching in an international setting at one of our partner schools in India. Further information on field experiences, mentoring and tutoring opportunities, and independent study options are available in the Education Center.
Special Note: All prospective students should read the material in the Education Department section of this catalog and must meet with an Education Department faculty advisor.
Social Studies Education Major
Social studies education is a 12-course major consisting of 10 prescribed courses and two electives. Students may graduate with a social studies education major without completing requirements leading to a license to teach (see the following additional requirements). Up to a maximum of two courses either taken off-campus with non St. Olaf faculty or transferred from other institutions may be included in the major. Not more than one course graded S/U may count toward the major.
|HIST 191||Europe from the Reformation to Modern Times||1.00|
|HIST 199||American History Since 1865||1.00|
|One level II history area course on Africa, Asia, or Latin America||1.00|
|ECON 121||Principles of Economics||1.00|
|ID 234||Human Geography of the Middle East||1.00|
|PSCI 111||American Politics||1.00|
|PSYCH 125||Principles of Psychology||1.00|
|Select one of the following:||1.00|
|Introduction to Cultural Anthropology|
|Race and Class in American Culture|
|EDUC 290||Educational Psychology||1.00|
|EDUC 334||Social Studies Perspectives||1.00|
|Global environmental elective 1||1.00|
|Multicultural elective 1||1.00|
See department for course choices
Social Studies Major with 5-12 Teaching Licensure
Students must take all twelve courses required for the major described above plus HIST 198 American History to 1865 and a prescribed set of education courses and experiences required for licensure. Students must meet with Robert McClure, education faculty, to plan their program. Students are encouraged to double major and/or take additional coursework in economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology.
The licensure program extends student development in disciplinary content and in pedagogy, which meets or exceeds Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board Rules 8710.4800: Standards for Teachers of Social Studies. In addition to courses and student teaching, requirements include passing MTLE licensure tests and observations and teaching in classroom settings, including one in a diverse setting. For complete information about the teaching license, see Education.
EDUC 334: Social Studies Perspectives
This course examines basic assumptions about social science, primal thought, feminism, humanities, history, post-modernism, and thematic social studies. Students pursue methodologies of structuring knowledge and the means of advancing knowledge in each discipline. Students learn how to relate their social studies subject matter to the total social studies curriculum. Offered annually in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: EDUC 260 or EDUC 290 or permission of instructor.