I-20b: Percentage of Public Middle School Students in Classes Taught by a Departmentalized Instructor* with Certification and a Postsecondary Degree in That Subject, for Selected Subjects, 2011–2012

* Middle school teachers are those who taught students in grades 5–9 and did not teach any students in grades 10–12. Teachers who identified themselves as elementary or special education teachers were excluded.
** The Social Science category includes (and treats as credentialed in social science) history teachers who have a postsecondary degree and/or certification in general social science (including social studies) or a constituent discipline. (The collector of these data treats history as a social science discipline rather than as one within the humanities field.) See the “Note on Credentials of 'Social Science' Teachers in Public Middle Schools” for further explanation of the relationship between the “history” and “social science” categories.
*** The Natural Science category aggregates teachers of general science and specific science disciplines (e.g., chemistry). Such teachers are considered to hold a credential in the subject they teach if the degree or certification is in general science or a specific science discipline.
! Interpret data with caution. The standard error for this estimate is between 30% and 50% of the estimated value.
† The population in this category was too small to achieve a reliable estimate.
# Estimate rounds to zero.

Source: Stéphane Baldi, Catharine Warner-Griffin, and Chrystine Tadler, Education and Certification Qualifications of Public Middle Grades Teachers of Selected Subjects: Evidence from the 2011–12 Schools and Staffing Survey (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2015), 29 table 25.

Per the report, most of the teachers in U.S. public middle schools (“defined as those who teach grades 5–8 but no grades lower than 5 and no grades higher than 9”) were classified as departmentalized. Departmentalized teachers “are those who instruct several classes of different students most or all of the day in one or more subjects.” The SASS report for 2012 estimates that there were 183,600 departmentalized middle school teachers in the humanities disciplines of English, French, German, Spanish, and history (with 139,100 in English, 3,600 in French, 500 in German, 10,900 in Spanish, and 29,500 in history). In comparison, the report estimates only 13,100 English teachers classified as nondepartmentalized, with no estimates for the other humanities subjects. The nation’s English middle school instructors taught 14,275,700 students. French teachers served 477,900 students; German teachers, 56,200; and Spanish teachers, 1,552,000. History teachers were responsible for the learning of 3,909,400 young people. Please see the “Note on the Credentials of ‘Social Science’ Teachers in Public Middle Schools” for an explanation of the relationship between the history and social science categories included in the graph.

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