Masters in Social Studies Education

Social studies isn’t simply about memorizing a set of dates.

Teachers understand that to motivate and interest their students in the subject, they need to connect those dates with real implications for students’ modern lives. Armed with a greater respect for history, students are better prepared to avoid the mistakes of the past and chart a new course for the future.

To help students realize the importance of history, economics, politics, and other social studies topics, teachers hone their skills and abilities during their master’s in education programs. A master’s degree in social studies education allows teacher to further explore the intricacies of teaching, fosters critical thought, and provides teachers with a greater range of assessment tools.

How will a graduate degree in social studies education help me as a teacher?

Master’s in social studies education programs specifically focus on building content knowledge in social studies education, and different ways of introducing those conceptual topics to students. Whether a teacher focuses on history or economics, a master’s degree better prepares them to explore the critical thinking behind the subjects.

By advancing their knowledge of research in social studies education, teachers not only expand their current knowledge of the subject, but also how to teach it. Each student learns social studies in a different way, and while memorizing flash cards might work for one, another may need more attention in the classroom.

Teachers who complete master’s in education programs have a wider understanding of historical interpretations, allowing them to back up their teaching practices with primary sources. These sources help put a face on historical events, connecting students with the past.

English teachers aren’t the only professionals who emphasize solid writing skills – social studies students typically make sense of the past through writing exercises. Master’s programs in social studies education explore the concepts of proper research writing for students, giving teachers more tools to assess writing styles, and offer suggestions for improvement.

By exploring methods of student assessment, teachers learn how classroom discussion, historical simulations, and research help to improve student learning outcomes. Coursework in graduate-level social studies classes provides teachers with examples and case studies of successful social studies teaching, giving them research-backed teaching methods to pull from in the classroom.

In today’s culturally diverse classrooms, teachers also need to understand the underlying values and communication styles of various cultures. This is especially important for social studies teachers, considering the global focus of the subject itself. Master’s programs place special emphasis on providing teachers with knowledge and strategies to address these differences.

Subjects Taught: Master’s in Social Studies Education
  • Diversity in the social studies classroomExplore how different learning styles and cultures affect the teaching of social studies. Identify resources to improve your differentiated teaching styles.
  • Advanced Pedagogy in Social StudiesFocus on advanced curriculum design and teaching methods. Help facilitate classroom debates, student research, and historical simulations.
  • Theory and Research in Social StudiesCraft literature reviews and explore research topics in history, geography, politics, and economics. Read well-known scholars and determine the research methodologies they used to discover hidden secrets in history.
  • Curriculum assessment and teaching methodsDetermine ways to assess student learning outcomes, and methods of adjusting curriculum and teaching to change or reinforce those outcomes.
  • Subjects in Social StudiesDevelop advanced understanding of topics in social studies, including American history and western civilization. Focus on particular topics to gain a mastery of the subject.

Additionally, master’s-level teachers are better suited to advance to leadership positions at their schools. In a leadership role, you’ll be able to enact school-wide changes to teaching or curriculum, backing those changes with knowledge gained in your master’s degree program.

How will a graduate degree in social studies education help my students?

Students need help wading through the huge output of historical interpretations of serious and sometimes controversial events. Master’s programs give teachers better tools to explain those interpretations, sort through inaccurate ones, and make sense of challenging moments in history.

Because a master’s program focuses so strongly on exploring multiple sources in the Field of Social Studies, students of master’s-level teachers gain a broader understanding of how historical research is used to understand the past. This allows for a greater connection to the content, increasing student motivation and interest in social studies.

Want to learn more?

If you’re interested in learning more about how a master’s degree in social studies education can improve you as a teacher, research and contact schools offering graduate programs in the subject. Pick your state from this map representing Master’s in Education programs throughout the country.

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