National Council for History Education
Statement on Teacher Qualifications

History teachers at all levels need a thorough understanding of the processes of historical thinking and a deep immersion in a wide range of historical content.  To that end, all those who teach history in the schools (whether trained in traditional teacher preparation programs or in non-traditional alternative licensure programs) should have the following preparation:

Secondary School Teachers (Grades 6-12)
All secondary school history teachers should take a significant number of history courses, preferably the equivalent of a college major in history. 

This course of study should include:
  - History of a broad range of geographical areas and chronological periods
  - Courses that provide a broad synthetic understanding of history, including upper division courses that provide such a synthetic understanding
  - Upper division courses that examine historical events and themes in significant depth
  - Courses that develop history’s habits of mind by providing a thorough grounding in the skills required for historical thinking, including an in depth understanding of how to read and utilize primary sources, significant experience in historical writing, significant experience in historical research and an understanding of the principles of historiography
  - Teaching methods courses taught by an historian and/or an experienced master teacher of history with at least an MA in history
  - Courses that provide grounding in the fundamental concepts of geography, civics and economics
  - Clinical experiences (student teaching) guided by experienced history teachers with at least a BA in history, three years of teaching experience and a license to teach history.

Elementary Teachers (Grades K-5)
All Elementary School teachers should be required to have in depth exposure to courses in history, preferably equivalent to a college minor in history. 
This course of study should include:
  - At least four courses in history (two in US History; two in World History/Western Civilization)
  - An exposure to history’s habits of mind and an exposure to the skills required for historical thinking, including an understanding of how to read and utilize primary sources, experience in historical writing and experience in historical research
  - An exposure to the fundamental concepts of geography, civics and economics
  - Teaching Methods courses which include a significant and identifiable unit devoted to the concepts of history teaching and the concepts of historical thinking.

All who teach history at any level should participate in programs for ongoing professional development that focus on events and themes of history, and on the development of historical thinking and an understanding of history’s habits of mind.

Adopted by the NCHE Board of Trustees on December 21, 2006

Copyright 2014 National Council for History Education