About This Masters Degree
Teacher Preparation 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) https://www.warner.rochester.edu/programs/program/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.
No doubt you had a teacher who took a genuine interest, who really opened your eyes to the possibilities. You can become that teacher: The one who creates a classroom where spirits soar and success is the expectation.
At Warner, you’ll grow into a thoughtful practitioner with a deep understanding of your subject and the best way to teach it. You
will develop an approach that is grounded in current research and authentic practices, that promotes social justice and supports students’ growth and development.
And you’ll do it quicker. A teaching degree from the Warner School can be completed in just 15 months. (Most take two years.) Classes begin in May, right after graduation, and run through the following August. And since New York has some of the toughest certifications around, you can take what you’ve learned just about anywhere.
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. See https://www.warner.rochester.edu/admissions/