ELED 379: Social Studies Content for Elementary Teachers

Spring 2017

Wed/Fri 1:20 - 2:20

SEB 113

2 Credits

Prerequisite: EDU 212

Instructor: Kurt Johnson        

Office: SEB 116

Office Hours: T/TH 8-10 & 1-4  or by appointment

Contact Information:

Course readings/materials


Formal Course Description

An introduction to Social Studies topics associated with a K-6 curriculum.  The course covers basic overviews of US History, key World History time periods, economic terms, government themes, particularly the US Constitution, geography and behavioral sciences. (Prerequisite: EDU 212.)

Informal Course Description

This course is required of prospective elementary teachers seeking the initial teaching certificate in accordance with standards established by the state of Hawaii. It uses a mixture of lecture, reading, peer-based instruction, and examinations to equip the prospective elementary teacher with knowledge and skills to pass the Social Studies Subtest (5004) of the Praxis II Elementary Education Exam (5001).  

“The Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects: Social Studies subtest is designed to assess whether an examinee has the broad knowledge and competencies necessary to the licensed as a beginning teacher a the elementary school level.  The 55 selected-response questions are based on the materials typically covered in a bachelor’s degree program in elementary education. “

-The Praxis Study Companion (https://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5001.pdf)

This course reviews necessary content knowledge including but not limited to: 1) United States history, government and Citizenship; 2) geography, anthropology, and sociology; and 3) world history and economics.  Practice exams are given to help students prepare.

Learning Outcomes Alignment


Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

Major (ELED)

Program (SOE)

Institution (BYUH)

Know European exploration and colonization in United States history and growth and expansion of the United States


4e/j/k/l/m/n/o/p/q/r& 9a/b/e/k/m/n


Know about the American Revolution and the founding of the nation in United States history

Know the major events and developments in United States history from founding to present (e.g., westward expansion, industrialization, Great Depression)

Know about twentieth-century developments and transformations in the United States (e.g., assembly line, space age)

Understand connections between causes and effects of events

Understand the nature, purpose, and forms (e.g., federal, state, local) of government

Know key documents and speeches in the history of the United States (e.g., United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Address)

Know the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy

Know world and regional geography (e.g., spatial terms, places, regions)

Understand the interaction of physical and human systems (e.g., how humans change the environment, how the environment changes humans, importance of natural and human resources)

Know the uses of geography (e.g., apply geography to interpret past, to interpret present, to plan for future)

Know how people of different cultural backgrounds interact with their environment, family, neighborhoods, and communities

Know the major contributions of classical civilizations (e.g., Egypt, Greece, Rome)

Understand twentieth-century developments and transformations in world history

Understand the role of cross-cultural comparisons in world history instruction

Know key terms and basic concepts of economics (e.g., supply and demand, scarcity and choice, money and resources)

Understand how economics affects population, resources, and technology

Understand the government’s role in economics and the impact of economics on government

Elementary Education Learning Outcomes

This course meets the following Learning Outcomes for the Elementary Education Major. (https://efolio.byuh.edu/content/elementary-education-0)

Upon completing a major in Elementary Education, students will:

  1. Demonstrate literacy in basic principles and knowledge of content in the specialty area.
  2. Understand and apply basic learning theories and models in the classroom.
  3. Use student input and information from diagnosis of student learning needs to develop learning outcomes.
  4. Evaluate teaching and curriculum resources for effective use in the institutional process.
  5. Plan lessons which use authentic situations, previous learning and integration across subjects.
  6. Provide learning experiences which actively engage students as individuals and as members of collaborative groups.
  7. Create a communication-rich environment that supports and encourages language development and use.
  8. Use a variety of instructional strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners, including students of diverse cultural backgrounds.
  9. Use current curriculum standards to construct assessments, identify performance indicators, and create lessons needed to prepare for the assessments.
  10. Use effective classroom management techniques that foster positive interpersonal relationships, self-control, self-discipline, and responsibility.
  11. Use community and parent resources as an integral part of the teaching process to promote student learning.
  12. Demonstrate competency in the use of technologies available in the school setting.
  13. Work collaboratively with other professionals.
  14. Demonstrate positive dispositions (attitudes, actions, ethics, and good work habits) in line with those required for the profession.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completing a major in Education, students can demonstrate an understanding of these outcomes:

  1. Learner Development - The teacher candidate designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
  2. Learning Differences - The teacher candidate creates inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
  3. Learning Environments - The teacher candidate works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  4. Content Knowledge - The teacher candidate understands the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
  5. Application of Content - The teacher candidate uses differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
  6. Assessment - The teacher candidate uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher's and learner's decision making.
  7. Planning for Instruction - The teacher candidate plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals.
  8. Instructional Strategies - The teacher candidate uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
  9. Professional Learning and Ethical Practice - The teacher candidate uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  10. Leadership and Collaboration - The teacher candidate seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, and to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals.

Institutional Learning Outcomes (Brigham Young University-Hawaii)

A Brigham Young University–Hawaii education prepares students for a lifetime of service by helping them develop:

  1. Breadth and depth of knowledge
  2. The thinking skills and character of a servant-leader, which are the Ability to
  1. Inquire
  2. Analyze
  3. Communicate
  1. Disposition to act with
  1. Integrity
  2. Stewardship
  3. Service


This course focuses on content knowledge. Consequently, a majority of your grade will come from exams.  All exams will be patterned after the Praxis Elementary Education Social Studies Subtest (5004). Additionally, you will be in charge of class instruction for one class period (with or without a partner). You will be expected to prepare and become a ‘content expert’ on the topic you teach. Details are provided on Canvas.


% of grade


Exam 1-7


Midterm Exam


Comprehensive (exams 1-4)

Final Exam


Comprehensive (exams 1-7)

Class Instruction


One class period.  Study guide provided.

(subject to change)







Dr. Johnson

Praxis and HCPS III Social Student Content


Geography: Terms

Exam 1


Geography: Beyond the Terms


World History: Classical civilizations

Exam 2


World History: Classical civilizations


World History: Middle Ages to the Twentieth-century


World History: Twentieth-century developments and transformations


US History: Pre-colonial America (   - 1607)

Exam 3



US History: Colonial America (1607-1763)


US History: Revolutionary Period (1764-1789)


US History: New Nation (1790-1828)


The US Constitution: Articles I - VII

Exam 4


The US Constitution: Amendments 1-10 (Bill of Rights) & 11-27



US History: Western Expansion & Reform (1829-1859)

Exam 5



US History: Civil War (1860-1865) & Reconstruction (1866-1877)


US History: Gilded Age (1878-1889)



Challis Cox

Great War & Jazz Age (1914-1928)


Emily Todd

US History: Depression & World War II (1929-1945)

Exam 6


US History: Modern Era (1946 - present)


US History: Court Cases, Speeches, and Documents


Anthropology & Sociology

Exam 7


Economics: basic concepts


Economics: government’s role


Dr. Johnson

Hawaii: ‘ahupua'a system



Tongan Culture


Hawaii: Post-contact


Final: Wednesday, June 7  1:00pm – 3:50pm

*Apr 6 THU: Last day to drop  **Apr 25 TUE Withdrawal deadline

BYU-Hawaii School of Education Policy Statement(s) and Disclosure(s)

General Rationale

The School of Education advocates the development of the character traits and work ethic that will enable the pre-service teacher to perform successfully in the professional workforce. The internalization of these attributes, in addition to academic course work, into the pre-service teacher’s repertoire of “applied knowledge” is critical to their future success and a significant part of what is broadly referred to as being a “true professional.”  

Generally speaking, classes in the School of Education are constructivist, participatory, hands-on and interactive in nature and so attendance at all classes is critical.  A student cannot satisfactorily makeup missed class experiences by reading the text and talking with fellow students.  For these reasons the faculty of the School of Education has agreed upon the following standards for each course taught in the School of Education.

We trust that all students will understand the cooperative spirit with which this policy has been designed.  


Tardy to class is defined as arriving anytime after the scheduled start of class, but not more than fifteen minutes after the start of the class.  A student tardy more than twice will have their final course grade reduced a one-time 1/3 grade reduction of ( A to A-, A- to B+, B+ to B, etc.).


Unexcused absence from class is defined as failing to arrive within the initial fifteen (15) minutes of the class hour.  A student who is absent without excusal from professor or without prior notification will have their final course grade reduced by 1/3 of a letter grade for each class hour they are absent.

Note the critical nature of this policy as it applies to blocked classes.  For example, if a student is absent on one day of a three-hour blocked class, (s)he has been absent the equivalent of one week of regular class time and will have their grade reduced by 1 full letter grade.  

University approved activities that prevent a student from attending class are exceptions to this policy, provided the student has obtained the appropriate approvals as outlined in university policy and notified the School of Education faculty member in advance of the absence.

Late Assignments

Because all assignments in the School of Education courses are important, each must be completed in order to receive credit for the course.  Late assignments received by the will be accepted and graded; however, the maximum earned mark for a late assignment will be a 70%.  

Children in Class

While we appreciate the challenges faced in babysitting when both parents are students, this situation has posed challenges for instructors and other students in classes.  In the case of emergencies, please consult your instructor if there is a need to make an exception to this policy on basically a one-time only basis.  This one-time exception should not be cause for any disruption to the regular conduct/teaching of the class  

Final Examination Policy

Brigham Young University Hawaii policy is that final exams are offered on the specific day and time as determined by the official university final exam schedule.  Students must plan travel, family visits, etc., in a way that will not interfere with their final exams.  Less expensive airfares, more convenient travel arrangements, family events or activities, and any other non-emergency reasons are not considered justification for early or late final exams.  Exceptions to this policy would include (a) university-sponsored activities which take the student away from the campus at the time of the final exam, (b) emergency situations which are clearly beyond the control of the student or (c) some other extenuating circumstance clearly beyond the scope of the student’s control that would merit a deviation from the spirit and letter of the policy statement.  In such cases, the student must submit a written letter outlining the reason(s) for an exception to the university policy to the Dean of the School of Education as soon as the situation arises.

Grades and Grading

The School of Education operates on a standards-based paradigm.  It is imperative students understand that a standards-based program means that all assignments in a course must be completed at or above the competency level.  You, therefore, need to demonstrate at least minimum competency in every graded assignment. If you do not demonstrate competency on all graded assignments, including exams, within the semester/term, you will be need to either repeat the entire course or components of the course.  

In addition, out of fairness to students who complete assignments well on the first attempt, any assignment that must be re-submitted to meet the standard will not receive a grade higher than a competency level rating.  In a standards-based program, grading is not determined by merely averaging grades.  In other words, you cannot take an “F” on one assignment and an “A” on another and conclude that you have “met” the course requirements because your “average” is a “C.”  Again, in a true standards-based program, averaging does not exist.  

The following interpretation of grades applies in our standards-based program:  

A = Exceptional Achievement



Superior performance







B = Above Average Achievement



Very Good performance







C = Acceptable Achievement



Adequate performance







D = Unacceptable Achievement



Poor performance








University Policies

The Honor Code exists to provide an education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Students, faculty and staff are expected to maintain the highest standards of honor, integrity, morality, and consideration of others in personal behavior.  Academic honesty and dress and grooming standards are to be maintained at all times on and off campus.  For specific information see http://honorcode.byuh.edu/

Discrimination:  The University is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status in admissions, employment or in any of its educational programs or activities.  For specific information see the non-discrimination policy at https://policies.byuh.edu/

Title IX and Sexual Misconduct:  The University will not tolerate any actions proscribed under Title IX legislation, specifically sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic or dating violence or stalking perpetrated by or against any university students, university employees or participants in university programs.  For specific information see https://titleix.byuh.edu/

All faculty and staff are deemed responsible reporting parties and as such mandated to report incidents of sexual misconduct including sexual assault to the Title IX Coordinator:

                                Debbie Hippolite-Wright, PhD

                                           Title IX Coordinator

                                                        Vice President of Student Development & Services

                                                        Lorenzo Snow Administrative Building

                                                        55-220 Kulanui Street

                                                     Laie, HI  96762

                                Office Phone:  (808) 675-4819

                                                        E-Mail: titleix@byuh.edu

Student Academic Grievance policy:   Students who feel that their work has been unfairly or inadequately evaluated by an instructor are encouraged to pursue the matter as an Academic Grievance by following the steps found in the Academic Grievance policy at http://catalog.byuh.edu/node/300

Disability Services:  Students with disabilities or those who are pregnant are encouraged to contact the instructor for a confidential discussion of their individual needs for academic accommodation. It is the policy of Brigham Young University Hawaii to provide flexible and individualized reasonable accommodation to students with documented disabilities or those who are pregnant. To receive accommodation services for a disability, students must be registered with the Office of Disabilities Services.

If you have a disability and need accommodations, you need to contact the Disability Officer/Coordinator at:

                        Disability Services

                        McKay 181

                        Phone:  (808) 675-3518 or (808) 675-3999

                        Email address:  leilani.auna@byuh.edu

REPORT A CONCERN: If you have a concern to report go to http://about.byuh.edu/reportaconcern


ELED 379: Social Studies Content for Elementary Teachers