E. Social Studies - History (for students ages 7-18+)



Checklist - anchor

Application/Examples -anchor

Note.  Printed with permission from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, (Social Studies – History Standards, 1998),www.nbpts.org. All rights reserved. 


Preparing for student learning

___a. Knowledge of students

___b. Valuing diversity

___c. Knowledge of subject matter 

Advancing student learning

___d. Advancing disciplinary knowledge and understanding

___e. Promoting social understanding

___f. Developing civic competence

___g. Instructional resources

___h. Learning environment

___i. Assessment

___j. Reflection

___k. Family partnerships

___l. Professional contribution



Preparing for student learning 

___a. Knowledge of students

  • Teachers understand the cognitive, physical and social development of young people and the diversity among them, observe them insightfully, and use this information to guide their practice and to form constructive relationships with their students.

___b. Valuing diversity 

  • Teachers understand that each student brings diverse perspectives to any experience; teachers encourage all students to know and value themselves and others.

  • Teachers are committed to providing all their students the help they need to progress as language learners and as inquisitive, informed, responsible human beings. 

  • Teachers have a welcoming attitude and are eager to work with each of their students, and they create a classroom culture in which all students feel safe and respected and therefore are willing to take risks.

  • Teachers are aware of the cultural diversity in the classroom; they choose texts for whole-class consideration that draw from a variety of literary traditions and that promote accurate, unbiased and objective images of different races, cultures, languages, and genders.

  • Teachers are supportive of all their students, respecting individual needs; teachers create environments where equity is modeled, taught, and practiced.

  • Teachers frequently arrange students in heterogeneous small groups to bring students from different backgrounds into contact with one another; they allocate instructional resources, including one-on-one attention, fairly.

___c. Knowledge of subject matter 

  • Teachers draw on a broad knowledge of social studies and history to establish important and challenging instructional goals that engage and empower students, and then plan an integrated curriculum based on the major concepts, themes, principles, relationships, and processes illuminated by history and social studies.

  • Teachers are able to call upon their disciplinary knowledge--facts, topics, generalizations, concepts, and themes.

  • They use this knowledge alongside their command of disciplinary thinking--abilities, skills, and disposition about the disciplines.

  • Teachers select significant topics and themes that are most appropriate for their students' developmental levels and align tasks and materials accordingly.

Advancing student learning 

___d. Advancing disciplinary knowledge and understanding

  • Teachers have a repertoire of strategies and techniques that engage student interest in and advance student understanding of U.S. history, world history, economics, political science, and geography.

  • Teachers teach students how to find, organize, and evaluate a wide variety of data, including information accessible through new technologies and data emerging from original student research.

  • They work with students to employ data in various learning contexts.

  • Teachers help students to find patterns, make generalizations, master evidence and formulate arguments and opinions.

  • Teachers work with students to develop skills in speaking and writing and give students the opportunity to put their skills into practice through letter, essay, and report writing; public speaking and debate; discussions and presentations.

  • Teachers select worthwhile topics for study and provide students opportunities to decide which topics are worth exploring.

  • Teachers encourage students to combine ideas, themes, and knowledge from social studies and history and from other disciplines in order to explore important issues and address problems.

___e. Promoting social understanding 

  • Teachers promote in their students an understanding of how the social aspects of the human condition have evolved over time, the variations in societies that occur in different physical environments and cultural settings, and the emerging trends that seem likely to shape the future.

  • Teachers support students in understanding how societies function and in appreciating the variety of cultures, integrating and applying learning. 

___f. Developing civic competence 

  • Teachers develop in their students the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be responsible citizens of a constitutional democracy.

  • Teachers develop in their students the necessary knowledge, values, skills and habits of mind to enable them to become effective citizens.

  • They help students understand the history of democratic institutions and how governments in the U. S. are organized and structured.

  • Teachers help students understand the processes of government and how they as citizens are part of the process: how laws originate, are passed and enforced; how decisions are made at different levels; and how the process responds to external influences.

  • Teachers focus on developing civic virtue and civic participation.

  • Teachers model and practice with students the kinds of reasoned decision making that conscientious citizens are called upon to make.

  • They place before students real cases to debate and analyze.

  • Teachers work with students to practice and model the skills necessary to be effective participants in public discourse.

  • They encourage students to consult a variety of sources for information about a given topic.

  • They value and model listening to other points of view, model strong interpersonal skills, and provide students with ample opportunities to work collaboratively and to debate issues with peers and others.

  • Teachers allow students to see the variety of ways people express dissent and dissatisfaction, as well as the consequences of such actions on the individual protestor.

  • The practice of teachers presents for students a variety of opportunities for leadership and participation.

___g. Instructional resources 

  • Teachers select, adapt, and create rich and varied resources for social studies and history and use them productively.

  • Selection, adaptation, and creation of materials meet the differing needs and abilities of students.

  • Teachers often blend materials from a variety of sources to serve their broad curricular objectives (written materials, electronic media, artifacts and other visual aids, technological resources).

  • Teachers use materials appropriately and creatively.

  • They view colleagues and the community as important resources.

___h. Learning environment 

  • Teachers create and foster for students dynamic learning environments characterized by trust, equity, risk taking, independence, and collaboration.

  • Teachers demonstrate an interest in their students' ideas, activities, lives, and work.

  • Teachers create an environment where students feel empowered, intellectual adventurousness is encouraged, and students make decisions, knowing they belong and that their ideas matter.

  • Teachers provide an orderly, open, and democratic learning environment.

  • Teachers model persistence, inquisitiveness, and good humor, refuse to accept complacency, and share their passion for social studies and history with their students.

  • Lessons are marked by smoothness, clarity, and coherence.

  • Classroom management seems almost effortless, transition flows easily, and teacher and students work harmoniously.

  • They involve all students in classroom activities.

  • They provide student choices among learning and performance options, accommodating as wide a variety of expression and response as possible, recognizing a range of accomplishments and positive behaviors.

  • They involve students in setting clear expectations for classroom behavior and uphold them consistently.

  • Teachers facilitate social development and encourage the understanding of different points of view.

  • Teachers develop (by modeling and teaching) in students the skills needed to work efficiently as part of a team.

  • Sportsmanship, sharing, and fair play are encouraged.

  • Teachers raise questions that help students recognize their individual prejudices and stereotypes and that serve to neutralize polarizing and acrimonious disputes.

  • Inquisitiveness and persistence in learning are encouraged.

___i. Assessment 

  • Teachers employ a variety of assessment methods to obtain useful information about student learning and development and assist students in reflecting on their own progress.

  • Clear criteria are established.

  • Teachers can create their own tools for assessment, such as portfolios, videotapes, demonstrations, performances, and exhibitions.

  • Teachers ask incisive questions during group discussions to assess how well students understand the central ideas being considered, and they talk individually with students who are working independently.

  • They observe students working in small groups and in the field.

  • Teachers monitor each student's ability to evaluate evidence; readiness to grasp new ideas, theories, and concepts; ability to connect and accept various forms of knowledge; and awareness of the complexities of the world.

  • Students are encouraged to set high personal goals for themselves and are taught how to evaluate their own personal progress toward these goals.

  • Teachers provide substantive feedback to each student, parents, and others.

___j. Reflection 

  • Teachers reflect on their practice, on students' performance, and on developments in their field to steadily extend their knowledge, improve their teaching, and refine their philosophy of education.

  • Teachers evaluate results and seek input systematically from a variety of sources.

  • Teachers continually refine practice through study and self-examination.

___k. Family partnerships

  • Teachers understand and value the distinctive role of parents and guardians, and they continually seek opportunities to build strong partnerships with them.

  • They gain support through active family involvement.

  • Teachers capitalize on parents' and guardians' insight by facilitating access of all families and cultivating families' interest in supporting their children's education.

___l. Professional contribution 

  • Teachers regularly work with others to foster the growth and development of their colleagues, their school and field.

  • They contribute to the advancement of the profession.

  • They involve themselves in curricular decisions.

  • Teachers collaborate with colleagues.