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Social Studies

Ensuring that an appropriately prepared and endorsed teacher is assigned to teach in Michigan’s classrooms is critical to student achievement. The State Board of Education (SBE) has approved standards for preparing teachers in each endorsement area.

Teachers in Social Studies and Social Sciences are prepared in ways that may provide a variety of endorsements to be placed on a Michigan certificate.

The Social Studies (RX) and the Social Science (CX) are group endorsement areas, covering multiple subareas including history, political science, government/civics, economics and geography. The Social Science (CX) endorsement includes all the same subareas as the Social Studies (RX) as well as the areas of psychology, sociology, anthropology, behavioral studies, and cultural studies. The Social Studies (RX) endorsed teacher has not been prepared to teach psychology. The Psychology (CE) endorsement remains in place and is required when the CX is not available.

The Social Science (CX), Anthropology (CH), Cultural Studies (CL), Sociology (CF), and Behavioral Studies (CM) endorsements have been discontinued. Discontinued endorsements are not removed from teaching certificates and will continue to appear on valid Michigan certificates. Teachers assigned to these courses must hold a valid Michigan Teacher Certificate with, at minimum, an endorsement at the appropriate grade-level for the students being instructed, and the teacher must illustrate content knowledge and skill to the district.

In addition, specific subareas of social studies or social sciences can also be taught by holders of the specific subarea endorsement. For example, while the Social Studies (RX) or Social Science (CX) endorsed teacher may be assigned to teach an economics course, so may a specific Economics (CA) endorsed teacher. However, the CA endorsed teacher may not be assigned to teach a course covering multiple areas of social studies, e.g., “7th grade Social Studies”.

When staffing an integrated course such as “World History & Geography” or a “U.S. History & Geography” course districts must determine the appropriately endorsed teacher for the assignment. It is essential to evaluate the content of that course. A teacher may teach these courses with just a History (CC) or Geography (CB) endorsement as long as the following guidelines are met:

  • If it is a history class with elements of geography embedded within it, then the teacher holding the Social Studies (RX), Social Science (CX), or History (CC) endorsement and be considered appropriately placed.
  • If it is a geography course that has historical elements embedded within it, the teacher may hold the Social Studies (RX), Social Science (CX), or Geography (CB) endorsement and therefore be considered appropriately placed.

Please note that teachers completing Geography (CB) or History (CC) programs prior to June 2009 may need to provide additional evidence to the district that they hold appropriate content knowledge to provide instruction in a “World History & Geography” or a “U.S. History & Geography” course. Those prepared under the standards post-2009 have been prepared to teach these integrated courses without having to demonstrate additional content knowledge.

Additional information regarding appropriate placement of teachers can be found in the Quick Reference: Courses That Can Be Taught and the Proper Placement Considerations documents. If a certified teacher does not hold the appropriate endorsement or is not available for the position, additional options for placement exist. Michigan has developed a system of permits that is structured to support the appropriate placement beliefs outlined in this document.