In recent decades states have mandated brief, multiple-choice exams to assess the content knowledge of history teachers for certification. Despite the efforts of college professors to assess student learning through research papers, essay exams, and other assignments, the ability of college students to graduate and become certified to teach history depends on a passing score on a small number of multiple-choice questions. The overlooked story of how standardized testing came to shape the certification of history teachers began at least 80 years before federal legislation such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Used in almost every state, such exams undermine the work of historians in teacher education and promote a narrow view of the discipline that emphasizes consensus and historical facts at the expense of diversity and historical thinking. The exams also highlight the persistent problem of preparing history teachers in an educational climate that has long asked more of its students than its teachers.
"Preparing History Teachers and Scholars?: Content Exams and Teacher Certification from the Progressive Era to the Age of Accountability,"
The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Studies: Vol. 72
, Article 5.
Available at: http://thekeep.eiu.edu/the_councilor/vol72/iss2/5
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