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Social Studies Education Resources 

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Program Prerequisites

Program Options/Programs of Study

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Kevin MeuwissenProgram Director: Kevin Meuwissen

Program Advisor for NYS Teacher Preparation: Terry Mirt

Teaching and Curriculum Faculty Directory

Stories of Impact
Kevin Meuwissen on Generating Productive Political Discussions on Huffington Post

Kevin Meuwissen, assistant professor and director of the social studies teacher education program at the Warner School, contributed an opinion piece on generating productive political discussions on contentious political issues, like the rationales for and impacts of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on Huffington Post.

Read Other Stories Related to Social Studies Education



Teacher Education Programs in Social Studies

The Warner School’s secondary social studies teacher education programs prepare individuals interested in teaching students to critically engage with challenging social and historical dilemmas at various age levels and in a variety of contexts, including schools in and beyond the United States and informal settings, such as after-school or summer programs. Graduates of our programs become teachers who ground their curricular and instructional decisions in how students think and learn and emphasize the social studies’ unique power to help learners make sense of their worlds.
It is essential that effective social studies teachers understand the importance of inquiry, investigation, and public deliberation and action to students’ civic lives. At Warner, we prepare dedicated and knowledgeable teachers to strengthen these aims and connect them to effective teaching practices, in an effort to change many students’ perceptions that the social studies are settled and irrelevant. Instead, we help students engage critically with history and become informed citizens on important issues in society and their communities.
Social studies education encompasses several disciplines, from history and geography to political science and economics. Our graduate programs prepare social studies teachers who will develop and use their disciplinary knowledge to support students in asking powerful questions and actively participating in dialogues about history, government, and social issues, in and beyond the classroom.
A central goal of our social studies education programs is to educate teachers who are purposeful in their work, know how to adapt their teaching to evidence of students’ learning, and can navigate the sociopolitical contexts of the educational institutions in which they work. They understand how diverse students learn and interact with one another around the subject matter. They also seek out and develop professional networks that help them work within school cultures, improve student learning opportunities, and advance dialogue in the field.
Throughout our programs, graduate students benefit from a truly collegial approach that supports and encourages them to continuously, cooperatively, and critically reflect on their own educational perspectives and teaching practices. The program is distinguished by its small learning community, its individualized attention from faculty, its reciprocity between coursework and fieldwork, and its emphasis on graduate students’ collective development of knowledge and practice. Throughout coursework and field experiences, our students bridge investigations of students’ thinking and their planning and teaching strategies with theory and research that support them. They also construct learning environments that emphasize the importance of literacy and writing to social studies learning and teaching and integrate technology to support those objectives.
The program is committed to advancing equity and social justice as a framework for teaching. Warner graduates focus on providing traditionally underserved students with access to high-quality social studies educational opportunities. They understand how to develop appropriate curriculum and instructional strategies for meeting the diverse needs of all adolescents. And, they become teachers who are dedicated to helping students from every background develop to their fullest potential and succeed beyond high school.

Non-certification program for social studies teachers:

This program has been designed for individuals who are not interested in obtaining or eligible to obtain New York State (NYS) teaching certification, as they plan to work in contexts that do not require it (e.g., international, private, or charter schools; other informal learning settings, such as camps, clubs, or after-school programs).  As such, this option does not include field experiences or student teaching, and has more flexibility in terms of curriculum and electives.

  • MS – Social Studies Education (without NYS certification) (GH1)

Programs leading to NYS certification in social studies:
To teach social studies in secondary schools in New York State, you need to obtain initial teaching certification in adolescence education (grades 7-12) as a specialist in social studies. Eventually, a master’s degree is required for professional certification. Social studies teacher education at the Warner School will provide you with all of the coursework and support needed to apply for NYS certifications as part of a master’s degree program. Provided you have the necessary content background, our program also allows you to pursue multiple certifications simultaneously, with minimal additional credits.
A key highlight of our social studies teacher preparation programs leading to NYS certification is the integration of multiple educational contexts, particularly urban education, across the curriculum. We make a focus on urban education part of every course, so that prospective teachers are equipped and prepared to work in all schools, particularly the most underserved, with a strong need for high-quality, innovative educators.

Select the option that best matches your situation:

Programs preparing individuals seeking NYS certification in social studies as their first certification (plus possible enhancements for inclusion, urban settings, and teaching grades 5-6):

Programs for current teachers seeking additional certification in social studies:

Programs for holders of initial certification in social studies seeking professional certification:


Prerequisites for students seeking NYS certification
Any program leading to NYS certification requires the GRE exam or the Miller Analogies exam and a 3.0 GPA, effective fall 2016. Prerequisites for entry-level teachers teaching social studies include a bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal arts or science, one course in a language other than English (or equivalent), and 30 credits of coursework (at either the undergraduate or graduate level) in social studies subjects, including at least 21 credits in history and geography of the United States and the world, and coursework that provides a background in economics and government.  If you have questions as to whether you have the prerequisites to enter the program, please contact the Admissions Office. Please check the detailed program of study for the program you are considering for specific prerequisites and other requirements for certification.
We expect students entering our teacher preparation programs to have already fulfilled these prerequisites. If this is not the case, you may still be allowed to enter our programs at the discretion of your advisor; you will, however, have to take the needed coursework before the end of the program in order to be recommended for certification to the New York State Education Department. Some subject matter courses taken at the graduate level can be used as electives in a master's program, provided that they are taken at the graduate level and have been approved by your advisor as part of your program of study.

New Graduate Entrance Exam Requirement for Teacher Applicants
New York State has approved and enacted a law that requires all colleges and universities with graduate-level teacher and educational leadership programs to require candidates to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Miller's Analogy Test (MAT) or a substantially equivalent admission assessment, effective July 1, 2016. See the full announcement to understand what is now required and how that impacts students starting in Summer and Fall 2016 and beyond.

New York State Certification Exams

The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) requires initial teaching certification candidates to pass the following examinations before they will be eligible for certification:
  • edTPA
  • Educating All Students Test (EAS)
  • Revised Content Specialty Test (CST)
Information regarding the examinations is available at http://www.nystce.nesinc.com/index.asp
The Warner School strongly recommends that you pass the appropriate Content Specialty Test (CST) in the discipline in which you are pursuing a base certification before you begin student teaching. Not doing so may place your student teaching placement in jeopardy.