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Certified social studies teachers must also understand the major causes and consequences of revolutions, and periods of significant social and economic change. This includes periods such as the Renaissance in Europe, as well as the Enlightenment.

Potential teachers must display how these and other movements have influenced the organizations of societies around the world, and led to major economic and social transformations, for example, the spread of the market economy, world religions, and industrialization.

Certified social studies teachers also must understand the role of conflict and war on the shaping of world history. For example, teachers must demonstrate knowledge of the major economic, ideological, and political consequences of World War I and World War II.

In America, culture and society have been influenced by how the founding fathers envisioned it so many years ago. Teachers understand the philosophical influences the European colonists brought to North America, and how these influences impacted U.S. history.

Certified social studies teachers must understand how and why Europeans founded colonies in North America, and how the development of these colonies still influences today’s society. For example, one of the major reasons for colonizing America was religious freedom, still a major aspect of U.S. life today.

Teachers should know about the origins of the U.S. revolution, and how its impact still resonates today in diplomatic policies with other countries. This includes the development of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and an understanding of how these documents protect American rights and ideals.

During high school, students also begin to more deeply analyze the consequences that arose from territorial expansion, such as its effect on Native American tribes. Certification tests teachers on their knowledge of these developments, as well as how Native Americans interacted with Americans through the colonial and expansion periods.

Before obtaining certification, potential teachers must show how to map this data, and use these maps to interpret individuals’ relationships to their environments. This includes an understanding of Geographic Information System software, which teachers might use to demonstrate patterns in air pollutants or population density around a major metropolitan area.

Social studies teachers should also know the borders, state formations, and contemporary areas of conflict that make up political geography. This political geography is not only identified by physical borders, but also by different systems of government. Government and Civics

To pass certification, teachers must distinguish between the major political theories and concepts that make up countries and ideologies within those countries. These ideologies include political orientations, such as liberalism and conservatism, as well as forms of government like theocracies and democracies.

This also includes different political parties, both current and old, especially in the history of the United States. Potential teachers should understand the election process, voting, and citizen rights in America, and show how these rights are protected by governing documents, such as the U.S. Constitution.

Government and civics topics also include the limitations and strengths of the country’s legal system, including the courts, so teachers should understand important Supreme Court precedents, and how they affect and protect all of those living in America and abroad.

Before becoming certified, teachers must demonstrate their knowledge of how decision makers in a country use, allocate, and distribute resources. The study of economics examines the costs – both intended and unintended – of economic choices.

Possible social studies teachers should know about economic topics, such as markets and prices, competition, economic growth, and measurements of economic performance. They should also understand the role of government in developing economic fiscal policies, and the implications of market fluctuations.

The certification process also tests potential social studies instructors on their knowledge of economic schools of thought. To pass certification, these individuals should understand schools of thought like Keynesian, classical, monetarist, and supply-side economics. Becoming certified in social studies

Social studies is an important subject if today’s leaders wish to avoid the mistakes of the past. With their wide-range of topic specializations, social studies teachers give important insight into government systems, past failures, and sound economic principles.

According to “Tinsel Town: Hollywood Film in the High School Classroom,” published in The History Teacher, using historical films is a good way to engage students in difficult topics. In the article, authors Alan S. Marcus and Jeremy D. Stoddard note that history, more than most subjects, is dominated by textbook reading.

Most textbooks are written to give an impartial view of history, leading to an unfortunate side effect. Marcus and Stoddard write that most textbook reading is devoid of emotion, despite being about human sacrifice and tragedy in the face of insurmountable odds.

But more teachers are helping their students experience the emotion of history through Hollywood movies. According to Marcus and Stoddard, 92% of history teachers they surveyed reported using some portion of film at least once a week in the classroom.

For example, Marcus and Stoddard write, students spent more time empathizing with and thinking about issues of slavery after watching the film Amistad, a story about African slaves. Students participated more in class discussion than after reading a few paragraphs about slavery in their textbooks.

However, teachers must be careful to present film as only one part of the historical puzzle. Films might contain falsehoods and inconsistencies because of the nature of the film industry, which is more focused on economic success than historical accuracy at times. But by supplementing scenes in film with other sources, teachers find their students more engaged and interested in the material.