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Wyoming Geographic Alliance|University of Wyoming | Department of Geography

Status of Geography in WY

 

State Education System Description

for WYOMING 

1) State curricular frameworks/standards:

Geography is integrated into the Social Studies and Science standards.

2) Statewide assessments:

There is no state-wide assessment for geography.

3) Professional development (pre-service and in-service):

There is minimal or no geography professional development.

4) Teacher certification/recruitment:

      At present this is what is available about teacher certification in geography.  We are awaiting a response from the WDE personnel responsible for highly qualified to find out if this is still the policy.  Some changes have taken place.  We will update this information as soon as we know more.

            Geography (Middle and Secondary) is one of the teaching areas requiring highly qualified status in Wyoming.  A teacher certified in Special Education is considered "highly qualified" (HQ) in Wyoming based on their special educator major. 

            No Child Left Behind (NCLB) recognizes a teaching degree from an accredited university in a content area is considered a "demonstration of competency".  Applicants with a teaching degree in a HQ content area are HQ based on his/her major -- and will be issued a five year standard teaching license without additional requirements (no test required). 

            Applicants for first time licensure in Elementary Education or Social Studies Composite:    

  • A)  Elementary majors are required to submit a passing score to PTSB on the PRAXIS 0011 -  Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • B)  Social Studies Composite majors are required to submit a passing score to PTSB on the PRAXIS 0081 - Social Studies: Content Knowledge

            Applicants who have held, or currently hold, a teaching certificate in Elementary or Social Studies are eligible for a five (5) year Wyoming Educator License   without submission of either of the PRAXIS exams.

            OR 

            No Child Left Behind (NCLB) recognizes a teaching degree from an accredited      university in a content area is considered a "demonstration of competency".  Applicants with a teaching degree in a HQ content area are HQ based on his/her major -- and will be issued a five year standard teaching license without   additional requirements (no test required). 

            OR 

            You MAY be eligible to use the HOUSSE rubric; please see the HOUSSE Rubric Guidelines.

5) Curricular materials:

Local districts determine curriculum and texts.

6) Classroom instruction (that is, "what's actually happening in the classroom", as in content being taught, teaching practice, etc.):

Elementary level has little to no geography instruction.  Secondary level in a few cases has stand alone geography classes.  If geography is taught at either level it is most often integrated into other subjects.

7) Governance, other parts of the education system that affects "ways of doing business" (e.g., org. structures, decision-making, allocation of resources, incentives):

At this time, there is no support from the state-no allocation of resources or incentives to teach geography.  Wyoming has fallen victim to what is tested is taught.  The University of Wyoming does provide an office and storage space for the WGA.  However all decision making is at the local level guided by state assessments.

8) Other:

Depending upon what we learn about highly qualified in Wyoming, it may be an avenue for the WGA to assist teachers to reach highly qualified in geography.

 

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