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Validity Evidence to Support the Revision of a Licensure Assessment for Middle School Social Studies Teachers: A Job-Analytic Approach

Swiggett, Wanda D.; Tannenbaum, Richard J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Job Analysis, Licensure, Certification, Middle School, Social Studies, Validity


A job analysis was conducted to define knowledge/skills important for entry-level middle school social studies teachers. The results will be used to guide the development of new test content specifications for the Praxis™ Middle School Social Studies assessment. A draft domain was constructed from professional standards (The National Council for the Social Studies [NCSS], 2006); existing test specifications, including those from the TExES Social Studies 4-8 test; frameworks both for teacher certification and middle school students from states that use the test; and feedback from item writers and reviewers. A national advisory committee (NAC) of middle school social studies teachers and college faculty reviewed and modified the draft domain to reflect the knowledge/skills they believed were important for safe and effective practice and needed at time of entry into the profession. The revised domain consisted of 81 statements clustered within five major categories: (a) United States History, (b) World History, (c) Government/Civics/Political Science, (d) Economics, and (e) Geography. Survey responses of 310 social studies educators provided independent evidence of the importance of the domain. Respondents judged each knowledge/skill statement on a scale ranging from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important). Sixty-eight knowledge/skill statements had mean ratings above 3.50 in the aggregate sample and for subgroups containing more than 30 respondents. These results indicate that 68 statements may be considered appropriate for guiding the development of new test content specifications for the Praxis Middle School Social Studies assessment.

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