Secondary education majors are history following curriculum change

A curriculum change for social studies and history secondary education majors was approved by the faculty senate last Thursday evening. A major in history secondary education will no longer be available.

“We are combining the best of both programs,” said Dean Cantu, chair of the teacher education department. “We are taking the breadth of preparation from the social studies program and combining it with the depth of preparation in the history program.”

The change will affect incoming freshmen, who will not have the option to major in history secondary education, only social studies secondary education. Students already in the program will have the option to switch but will not be required to and can still finish in the history program if they choose.

“I do not think I will switch, but I would be more inclined to take different classes offered through the new major,” said junior history secondary education major Adam Grosman.

Efforts to change the curriculum in both the history and education departments have been on going for years.

“We’ve been talking about it for two or three years but the actual change has been in the works for about a year,” said Stacey Robertson, the chair of the history department.

Because the plans have been discussed for years, many people have had a significant impact on the planning and executing of the change.

“John Williams, the former chair of the history department, and Stacy Robertson, the current chair, have helped to draft the plans for the revised major,” said Cantu. “The teacher education department has been working very closely with the department of history.”

The change was drafted in response to surveys of advisers from high schools and middle schools as well as changes in national standards.

“The [school districts] want someone who has the[wide extent] of preparation, but they want them to be really strong in history,” said Cantu. “People coming out of school with a degree in social studies have a very good chance that they will be teaching history.”

The National Council for the Social Studies has a set of standards for college requirements. Colleges which meet the standards get national recognition from the NCSS.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic change,” said Robertson. “Students will have a terrific blend of classes including economics, political science and sociology in addition to the history foundation which is going to give students what they need to be marketable and really have a great knowledge base to be excellent teachers.”

The changes are in line with new national standards from the NCSS, which are reviewed and revised every seven years and would allow Bradley to continue to have national recognition from NCSS.

Senior social studies secondary education major Jacob Larson said he is optimistic about the change in the program.

“From my experience in the social studies program, I fully trust the parties involved in the development of the new curriculum,” he said. “The change will continue to give future graduates a competitive advantage in the job market and in the 21st century classroom.”

While new classes are still in the developmental stages, such as a course on the Early American Republic, the curriculum change should not affect any faculty employment.