PRAXIS II Citizenship Education Exam (5087)

The PRAXIS II Citizenship Education Exam (5087) is a two hour exam given to individuals who plan on entering the field of education as citizenship education teachers at the high school level. This test evaluates the capability to understand and teach the subject. There are 120 multiple choice questions on this exam that cover the five following subjects as follows:

27 questions covering United States History
27 questions covering World History
27 questions covering Government/Civics/Political Science
19-20 questions covering Geography
19-20 questions covering Economics

The United States History category of questioning includes geography and the history of the U.S. beginning with the history of Native Americans, and covering each major war, the building of the nation, important eras, and new advancements.

The World History questions cover history starting with early societies (circa 3000 B.C.E.); the rise of civilizations and empires through 500 C.E.; the migrations of societies and civilizations; the beginning of international relationships; political and industrial revolutions; and values, rivalry, and growth during the 1900’s. This area will also include the current status of global relationships.

The category of Government/Civics/Political Science will test the examinees knowledge of subject matter relating to types of governments and their election processes, and understanding of political parties, ideas, and theories. This area will additionally focus on the politics and government of the United States, and on global relations, organizations, and legal aspects of international affairs.

The questions pertaining to Geography will cover a variety of topics, one being the creation and use of maps from the vantage of space, map characteristics and types, and the concepts of longitude and latitude. Another topic will involve locations, from cities to large regions, their economic patterns, and the characteristics of the regions. The area of geography also includes the physical features of the Earth, such as plate tectonics, erosion, and weather. Populations and human factors such as language and politics, environmental matters, and the utilization of Geography will also be questioned on the exam.

The Economics category covers the subtopics of microeconomics and macroeconomics. Under microeconomics, knowledge will tested in areas such as economic systems, supply and demand, scarcity, productions, markets, and income distribution. Macroeconomics encompasses the areas such as economic performance, employment and unemployment, banking, and investment.

PRAXIS II Citizenship Education: Content Knowledge Practice Questions

1. Examples of cultural diversity are found in the:

A. language
B. arts
C. traditions
D. All of the above

2. Which of the following is not a responsibility of citizenship?

A. Voting
B. Ignoring the rights of other citizens
C. Serving in the military
D. Paying taxes

3. Economics is the study of:

A. production of goods and services
B. personal and business income earned
C. components of the national economy
D. All of the above

4. Which of the following is not an economic system?

A. Macroeconomics
B. Capitalism
C. Mercantilism
D. Socialism

5. Which of the following is not a characteristic of a republic?

A. Representatives freely elected by the people
B. Representatives serve for a specific period of time
C. Fear and intimidation is used to maintain control.
D. A majority decides who will govern.

Answer Key For Citizenship Education Content Knowledge

1. Answer: D

Diversity is the fact or quality of having distinct characteristics-variety within the populace as a whole. When used to describe a society, diversity means the cultural differences found within the language, dress, arts, and traditions of the aggregate group. There are differences in how individual groups are organized, their understanding of morality, and the ways in which each group interacts both inside and outside their circle. Members of an ethnic group usually identify with a shared ancestry and are frequently bound by a common language, cultural heritage, religious belief, and behavior patterns.

When students are taught to appreciate diversity, it enables them to function more effectively in a complex, multicultural society. They learn to respect the historical experiences of every cultural group and understand how past actions affect present circumstances. Integrating information about and studying the impact of all cultures greatly enhances students’ ability to get along with different racial, ethnic, and gender groups. America may be a melting pot, but that pot contains the hopes, dreams, history, and struggles of many ethnic groups. Each one made unique contributions to the society we have today.

2. Answer: B

The American Heritage College Dictionary defines citizenship as “the status of a citizen with its attendant duties, rights, and privileges,” while a citizen is “a person owing loyalty to and entitled by birth or naturalization to the protection of a state or nation.” These definitions need to be used in tandem because both are important to understanding the term. Teaching citizenship means explaining the benefits of pledging allegiance to a country, but also outlining the responsibilities that accompany the privileges and protection of that country.

Specific responsibilities include paying taxes, serving in the armed forces when needed, and obeying the laws as enacted by duly elected governing bodies, even when out of the country.

Moral and ethical duties are a little more difficult to define. A citizen should be committed to his community, exercise his right to vote, work to improve the quality of life for everyone, and offer constructive criticism when warranted. A citizen has a responsibility to respect and be prepared to defend his rights and the rights of others against those who would abuse or deny those rights.

3. Answer: D

ECONOMICS is the social science that studies the production, allocation, and use of goods and services. Economists research issues and analyze data to determine the most effective ways to use scarce resources to meet the needs of the greatest number of people. Because the world of the twenty-first century is connected in many ways, the economies of every nation play a role in the production, distribution, and consumption of every known resource and commodity, so it is important to take a global view in order to truly understand how economics works.

MACROECONOMICS is the study of an entire national economy. It includes the value of goods and services produced, the total personal and business income earned, how many employable people are working at any one time, and how and why prices change.

MICROECONOMICS is the study of the components of the national economy including individual companies, households, and consumers. It considers how everyone is a producer and consumer, and analyzes how production and consumption determines availability and prices, which helps define the market for a particular commodity.

4. Answer: A

CAPITALISM is a free-market economy. In this free-enterprise system, people own businesses and property and buy goods and services. Because of the establishment of monetary systems and legal rules, mercantilism provided the foundation for the formation of capitalism.

MERCANTILISM relied on government regulation to control the flow of goods and services between rivals. The worth of the economy and the power of the government were based on how much gold and silver was in the treasury. This led to trade treaties designed to increase the possession of precious metals.

SOCIALISM is considered a transitional state between communism and capitalism. The government owns most large industries and provides education as well as health and welfare benefits. The citizens are given some choices. The Soviet Union is an example of centralized socialism. Denmark and Sweden are examples of noncommunist socialism.

COMMUNISM is a system where the community owns all assets, and resources are divided according to need. In practice, the government owns all property and industries and controls production allocation based on strict class divisions and status.

5. Answer: C

A REPUBLIC is governed by representatives freely elected by the people for a specific period of time. In a democratic republic the majority of the population has the opportunity to help decide who will govern their country.

A PARLIAMENTARY form of government is run by representatives who are chosen from a particular political party. Each stays in office as long as his party is in power.

In a MONARCHY, the king or queen has power because of his or her lineage. The title is passed through family ties. Sometimes the monarch is merely a figurehead, while at others he or she has absolute power.

A THEOCRACY is a system of government based on the tenets of a particular religion or an agent of a certain deity. Frequently, other religious beliefs are not allowed or tolerated.

A DICTATORSHIP is ruled by one person who has not been elected. He may have come to power as the result of a coup or revolution of some kind. Force is frequently used to maintain control through fear and intimidation.