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Social Sciences Teaching

  • Available as major (B.S. degree) and minors in social sciences teaching and history teaching

    Show the next generation how they can be citizens who will positively influence our world. Become a social sciences teacher.

  • As a social sciences teacher, you will help students grow in their understanding of history, geography, cultures and politics.

    At Olivet, you can:

    • Study historiography, sociology, philosophy, physical geography, American public policy, early adolescent development, ethnic relations.
    • Learn how to plan lessons and manage a classroom.
    • Develop a Christian approach to education in the public school setting.
    • Grow in your critical thinking and research skills.
    • Understand social sciences from historical, biblical and contemporary perspectives.
    • And so much more!

    As a social sciences teacher, you may be called on to teach courses in social studies, history, geography, American government, political science, psychology, economics or sociology. Presented with a core curriculum, you will be responsible for designing lessons and learning activities to present to your students. You will create a positive educational climate in which your students can learn.

    You will also have the responsibility of showing your students what it means to be a Christian and a good citizen in today’s world. They will be observing you. When you discuss current events and issues with them — and respect their different points of view —they will take note. When they see you volunteering for projects and organizations in the community, they will join you.

    Putting knowledge to work

    Before your student teaching experience, you will complete between 100 to 130 hours of field experiences. The Teacher Education Program will assist you in securing the school placements for all your field experiences.

    Our Student Education Association (SEA) empowers you and other future educators to invest in the lives of the next generation. Through professional and social activities, you will bond with other students, faculty and educators who are already working in their chose careers. SEA is the largest student organization on campus with more than 200 students who take part in activities each year!

    Your student teaching assignment gives you experience in taking on more responsibilities for directing the learning activities of a group of students in a “real-world” classroom. The minimum time is 60 full official school days. You will be supervised by a classroom teacher, the principal of the school, and the university supervisor. A faculty member will observe you on site. This is a time for you to grow, learn and develop as a teacher.

    Join Capitol Hill Gang, the political science club open to all students. Dedicated to increasing political awareness and fellowship among students, this group educates students about what’s happening politically, both nationally and internationally. Students vs. faculty debates and service projects provide additional learning opportunities.

    Additional Opportunities

    Two educational trips to Washington, D.C., are offered each year:

    • Federal Seminar program (study trip) – For nearly 50 years, our students have spent a week in our nation’s capital each January. This trip is sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals. Attend seminars by congressmen, senators, Supreme Court justices, ambassadors and the public liaison from the President’s office.
    • Capitol Hill Gang trip (working trip) – Get engaged in the activities of government. Interview congressmen and senators. Spend an afternoon as an intern in the office of a nonprofit or policy-making organization. Work for an evening in a community development program for a low-income neighborhood.

    American Studies Program (ASP) semester in Washington, D.C., helps you connect biblical faith with public life and vocation. Many internship opportunities are available with government departments and leaders, nonprofit organizations. Focus on domestic or foreign policy.

    Study abroad. Gain that understanding of who you that you find only when you plant your feet in someone else’s backyard. Find a different perspective. Gain a new understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Western civilizations. Immerse yourself in life at a different level of economic activity. Become a different kind of Christian leader because of your experiences.

    Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education, was established in 1911. This group exists for the purpose of promoting professionalism and excellence in teachers, and to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of education. Each year, 80 students are inducted into the Nu Beta Chapter at Olivet, which was chartered in 1973. Juniors and seniors with a minimum grade point average of 3.3 who are majoring in various fields of education are eligible.


    “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants” (Deuteronomy 32:2).

    If you enjoy:

    • empowering students to be active citizens
    • helping others analyze and organize facts so they can form opinions and take action
    • being an active citizen involved in your community
    • explaining human behaviors and societal situations
    • the energy and eagerness of teens

    then a career as a social sciences teacher may be right for you.

    For more information

    This is a brief overview of what this program offers. For more detailed information about procedures and requirements, go to the online catalog.

    Social Science Education is part of the Department of History and Political Science within the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education.

  • Social Sciences Teaching Right Image
  • Help shape the minds and hearts of the next generation through a career in education.

  • Department Faculty

    Click on name
    for full bio.

    Stephen Lowe

    David Van Heemst

    Complete list of faculty