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Ravitch, Diane. "The Educational Backgrounds of History Teachers." In Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives, edited by Peter N. Stearns, Peter Seixas and Sam Wineburg, 143-55. New York: New York University Press, 2000.


Ravitch provides a statistical exploration of history teaching by discussing the findings from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics on the educational backgrounds of history teachers.  She finds that while a greater percentage of history teachers had social studies backgrounds in 1998 than in 1996, there remains a very low percentage of teachers who actually have a history background, which makes the concentrated teaching of history a challenge.  Looking at state requirements for teacher certification and state curricular standards that exacerbate this problem, she emphasizes that this situation can be reversed at the same level.  She concludes her discussion by identifying two areas needing further research: state policies for future history teachers,  and the educational backgrounds of social studies teachers.

Samantha Cutrara