Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Social Studies Education

Director, 2007-08: Robert McClure (Education), K-12 foundations and methods, elementary education

Faculty, 2007-08: John Welckle (Education), educational psychology, social studies education

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 adviser.

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 purpose of teaching social studies in middle and high school (grades 5-12) is three-fold: 1) to provide middle and high school students a broad foundation in what is known about human social experience, interaction, and behavior; 2) to provide students with perspectives which will assist them in understanding self and others; and 3) to provide students a foundation for appreciating and critically evaluating claims of knowledge about human social experience, interaction, and behavior.


Social studies education is a contract major: Students must meet with Education Department faculty to design their curriculum plan and complete the contract. Students may graduate with a social studies education major without completing requirements leading to a license to teach.

The Major

Social studies education is a 12-course major consisting of prescribed course combinations. It is made up of a four-course primary core in one of economics, history, political science, psychology, or sociology/anthropology, a secondary core consisting of at least one course in all of the four remaining areas, and two professional education courses.

Courses common in all contracts for the major include History 191 or 195, 198, 199; Economics 121; Political Science 111 and 112; Psychology 125; Sociology/Anthropology 128; Education 290, 334. The remaining required courses are contract electives. See the Education Department for probable revisions to the major and licensure requirements.

The Teaching License

Students seeking a teaching license in social studies must complete the major and add the prescribed courses that are designated to meet Minnesota licensure standards. The licensure program extends student development in disciplinary content and in pedagogy, which meets or exceeds Minnesota Board of Teaching Rules 8710.4800: Standards for Teachers of Social Studies. In addition to courses and student teaching, requirements include passing Praxis I and Praxis II standardized tests and observations and teaching in classroom settings, including one in a setting of diversity. Students seeking a Minnesota License to teach social studies must submit a Professional Education Plan with the Education Department in their sophomore year. For complete information about the teaching license, see EDUCATION, page 125.


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 means of advancing knowledge in each discipline. Students learn how to relate their social studies subject matter to the total social studies curriculum.