skip to main content skip to footer

Validity Evidence to Support the Revision of a Licensure Assessment for Sociology Teachers: A Job-Analytic Approach

Swiggett, Wanda D.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Job Analysis, Licensure, Certification, Sociology, Validity


A job analysis was conducted to define knowledge important for entry-level sociology teachers. The results will be used to guide the development of new test content specifications for the Praxis Series Social Sciences: Content Knowledge and Praxis™ Sociology assessments. A draft domain was constructed from sources such as national program standards, national curriculum standards, and current test specifications. A national advisory committee (NAC) of sociology teachers and college faculty reviewed and modified the draft domain to reflect the knowledge they believed was important for safe and effective practice and needed at time of entry into the profession. The NAC met virtually (i.e., distance-based) via telephone and computer along with ETS staff who facilitated the meeting. The revised domain consisted of 54 statements clustered within six major categories: (a) Sociological Perspectives and Methods of Inquiry; (b) Culture, Socialization, and Social Organization; (c) Social Stratification; (d) Deviance and Conformity; (e) Social Institutions; (f) Demography and Social Change. Survey responses of 204 sociology educators provided independent evidence of the importance of the domain. Respondents judged each knowledge statement on a scale ranging from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important). A total of 42 knowledge statements had mean ratings above 3.50 in the aggregate sample and for subgroups containing more than 30 respondents. The results indicate that these 42 statements may be considered appropriate for guiding the development of new test content specifications for the Praxis Social Sciences: Content Knowledge and Sociology assessments.

Read More