Anthropology BA looking to become a Social Studies Teacher

Discussion in 'General Education' started by dvidetto, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. dvidetto

    dvidetto Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2012

    I just graduated with a BA in anthropology and was looking into getting into teaching (social studies middle or high school). Are there any Anthropologist Social Studies teachers out there? I'm scared about having to take the Illinois Basic Skills test (for anthro social studies) along with taking the Praxis II 0081. Also, what does one do as a social studies teacher having majored in anthropology with not a ton of U.S. history teach? Any and all advice would really be appreciated :)
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    In my state you wouldn't be qualified to teach Social Studies. I'm not sure about Illinois (assuming that's where you are at). Your best bet is to contact your state Department of Education.

    Have you done any research about the availability of jobs for teachers? In Illinois? For Social Studies teachers, specifically? If not, you need to do that before you start the process of getting licensed.
     
  4. dvidetto

    dvidetto Rookie

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    Yeah, I have. I have opportunity to join a residency program (for the organization I work for) next year, I am qualified to teach social studies if I pass the basic skills in social studies and praxis II. I am just concerned about the teaching and knowledge content I would need to have, along with passing those tests.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  6. dvidetto

    dvidetto Rookie

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    I was looking at the AUSL information on testing. I'm pretty sure it's all up to date.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    "AUSL"?
     
  8. dvidetto

    dvidetto Rookie

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    Academy for Urban School Leadership, its a turnaround organization in Chicago.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Here's the Praxis page on which one can look up one's state and the Praxis tests it requires: you'll see a pull-down menu.

    Illinois is conspicuous by its absence.

    You might do well to doublecheck the testing requirements.

    Illinois has been using Pearson rather than Praxis exams since well before Pearson bought out NES. (See http://www.icts.nesinc.com/IL_studyguide_opener.asp for the current tests, and note that the basic skills test is now TAP.)
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'd also recommend checking the Illinois state requirements for teachers, unless AUSL is in the business of giving out its own credentials - in which case it might be difficult to teach for any other organization in Illinois, and in which case I'm pretty sure you can't actually be claimed as a Highly Qualified teacher.
     
  11. dvidetto

    dvidetto Rookie

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    You get certified in the state of Illinois and earn your MAT.
     
  12. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    I'm in Illinois, and I agree... your information seems "off". First and foremost, there is no basic skills test in social studies. There is THE basic skills test that everyone takes... covering reading/writing/math/logic, etc. Following that, you would have to take a content area test. That test would be a social studies test, and could have an anthropology focus. Following that, you would then need to take the APT test, which is a test of teaching practices. PRAXIS is not part of the equation in Illinois.

    But, as a social studies teacher, allow me to be brutally honest. An endorsement in social studies with an anthropology emphasis will get you virtually no interviews whatsoever. Precious few schools have anthropology classes at the high school level, and if they do... its an elective, offered only a few times a day. If you want to teach social studies, you need courses in history, geography, and government.

    Jobs ARE out there for social studies... I got one in 2008, and I don't even coach anything. So it IS possible... but I truly believe that anthropology probably isn't going to get you very far. I'm sorry to say that....
     
  13. dvidetto

    dvidetto Rookie

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    Okie doke. By basic skills I meant content area. :p I don't mind brutal honesty! This is all good to know :)
     
  14. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    AUSL may have separate requirements. I would talk to them directly if you have been hired by them or are part of their alt cert program.

    If you have not- I would follow the State of Illinois requirements.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    If this is information AUSL is handing out as current, it might be prudent to doublecheck other information as well.

    There IS a basic skills test; for you, it should be TAP, and the isbe.net link I posted fairly early on should show it.

    It works best to distinguish basic skills tests (reading, math, writing) from content-area tests - the more so since you've already indicated that your background in US history needs some shoring up. (There's no shame in that: it's better to know that's the case than to go blithely sailing into the test and get sandbagged.) ICTS has one general history exam, however, rather than a dedicated US history exam, which generally means that a weaker performance in one domain can be covered for by a strong performance in the other domains.

    You might want to head over to the Examinations for Teachers forum here on A to Z and check out both the Basic Skills Tests and the Single Subject Tests subforums.

    Each state's content-area exams work a bit differently, but in broad outline they tend to cover fairly similar terrain. (The big issues in US history simply don't vary that radically by state, you know?) That being the case, you might find some of the discussions of other states' exams helpful.
     
  16. dvidetto

    dvidetto Rookie

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    Thank you! I already passed the Basic Skills test a few months ago (right before they changed it to the new one (it was much easier than others made it out to be which was nice))

    Thank you for your help! I will look into the other forums.
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Well I have an Anthropology degree and I was hired as a science teacher so...

    In my experience, what you have your degree in rarely matters. It's whether or not you've passed the subject competency tests. But then again, I am in California, and the Subject Competency tests are what we use.
     
  18. dvidetto

    dvidetto Rookie

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    Illinois just began requiring the Praxis II last year.
     
  19. dvidetto

    dvidetto Rookie

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    PRAXIS was just added to Illinois this past year, so the website must not be up to date yet.
     

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