FTCE Social Science 6-12 (037) Book + Online

FTCE Social Science 6-12 (037) Book + Online

by Cynthia Metcalf

Paperback(Third Edition, Revised)

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FTCE Social Science Grades 6-12 Test Prep with Online Practice Tests

3rd Edition - Completely Aligned with the Current Exam

REA's FTCE Social Science Grades 6-12 test prep is designed to help teacher candidates pass the FTCE Social Science exam and get certified to teach. Our test prep is perfect for teacher education students and career-changing professionals who are seeking certification as social science teachers in Florida.

Written by a Florida education expert and fully aligned with the latest test specifications, our book contains a targeted review of all the competencies and skills tested on the exam: geography, economics, political science, world history, U.S. history, and social science and its methodology.

An online diagnostic test based on actual FTCE exam questions pinpoints strengths and weaknesses and helps you identify areas in need of further study.

Two full-length practice tests (in the book and online) are balanced to include every type of question on the test. Our online tests are offered in a timed format with automatic scoring and diagnostic feedback to help you zero in on the topics and types of questions that give you trouble now, so you can succeed on test day.

This test prep is a must-have for anyone who wants to become a social science teacher in Florida!

REA books and software have proven to be the extra support teacher candidates need to pass their challenging tests for licensure. Our comprehensive test preps are teacher-recommended and written by experts in the field.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738612157
Publisher: Research & Education Association
Publication date: 06/01/2017
Edition description: Third Edition, Revised
Pages: 468
Sales rank: 202,845
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.60(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Read an Excerpt



Geography is the study of the Earth's surface, including such aspects as its climate, topography, vegetation, and population.

Geography is much more than just memorizing names and places and studying the physical features of the Earth. While geography requires an understanding of the Earth's surface, it also is concerned with the distribution of living things and Earth's features around the Earth. Geography focuses on three questions: Where? Why there? What are the consequences of it being there? Geographers look at the Earth's physical space and investigate patterns. For example, a geographer might look at the space of your bedroom and ask several questions: How are things distributed? Why are they where they are? What processes operate in that space? How does this space relate to other nearby spaces? Geographers call this way of identifying, explaining, and predicting human and physical patterns in space and the interconnectedness of various spaces the spatial perspective. Geography views the Earth through a lens of location and space and seeks to find patterns of place or interactions between places and people. Thus, geography is the science of space and place.

Branches of Geography

Generally, geography can be divided into four main branches:

Human Geography focuses on humans and the cultures they create relative to their space. It encompasses population geography, economics, and political geography and looks at how people's activities relate to the environment politically, culturally, historically, and socially.

Physical Geography addresses Earth's physical environment: water (hydrosphere), air (atmosphere), plants and animals (biosphere), and land (lithosphere). Physical geographers study land formation, water, weather, and climate (weather patterns, specifically precipitation and temperature, over time), as well as more specific topics such as geomorphology, biogeography, and environmental geography.

Regional Geography organizes areas of Earth that have some degree of similarity and divides the world into different realms.

Topical/Systemic Geography is the orderly and methodical study of climate, landforms, economics, and culture.

The main focus of geographers, no matter the subfield, is the spatial perspective. For example, population geography deals with the relationships between geography and population patterns, including birth and death rates. Political geography concerns the effect of geography on politics, especially on national boundaries and relations between states. Economic geography focuses on the interaction between Earth's landscape and the economic activity of the human population.


Apply the six essential elements of geography.

Geographic Education: 18 Standards, 6 Elements

The National Geography Standards (http://nationalgeographic.org/standards/national-geography-standards/) Were published in 1994 to guide the teaching and learning of geography in the United States. The 18 standards are organized under six essential elements. These elements indicate what a geographically informed person should know and understand in terms of factual knowledge of geographic concepts and information, mental maps and tools, and thinking in geographic terms.

Element 1: The World in Spatial Terms

Geography connects the relationships between people, places, and environments by structuring the knowledge of them into real and mental maps and then conducting a spatial analysis of that information. So, maps become a primary tool that geographers use in order to present, acquire, process, and decipher information in spatial terms. Standards that address this element are:

1. how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information;

2. how to use mental maps (a person's internalized picture of a part of Earth's surface) to organize information about people, places, and environments;

3. how to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's surface.

One of the first things geographers do is identify a location in spatial terms: absolute and relative location.

Absolute location is the physical whereabouts of a place as shown on a map or geographic representation. Every point on Earth has a specific location that is determined by an imaginary grid of lines denoting latitude and longitude. Parallels of latitude measure distances north and south of the line called the equator. Meridians of longitude measure distances east and west of another imaginary line called the prime meridian. Geographers use latitude and longitude to pinpoint a place's absolute, or exact, location. Addresses (e.g., 200 Main Street, Orlando, Florida) also denote absolute locations.

Relative location is the type of location most commonly used: a description of a place in terms of other places. Relative locations reflect a person's mental map (internalized picture of a part of Earth's surface) to organize information about people, places, and environments. Relative location is usually described by landmarks, time, direction, or distances from one thing to another. So while the absolute address might be described as 200 Main Street, Orlando, Florida, the relative location might be "the three story-building on Main Street across from the public parking lot and next to Joe's Pizzeria." While the absolute location (200 Main Street) may remain the same, the relative location could change if Joe's Pizzeria becomes a grocery store or if the public parking lot becomes a dog park.

Element 2: Places and Regions

The basic units of geography are place and region. Geographers use these units to explore the physical and human characteristics of areas to understand how the areas work. Places and regions also involve people's perceptions of areas, the mental regions that people create from their own view of the world, and people's methods of organizing these perceptions or biases. Standards within the element of places and regions are:

1. the physical and human characteristics of places;

2. that people create regions to interpret Earth's complexity;

3. how culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.

Place addresses the question: What's it like there? Place is a unique combination of physical and cultural attributes that give each location on the Earth its individual "stamp" and help us understand its nature. A place's physical characteristics comprise its natural environment and emanate from geological, hydrological, atmospheric, and biological processes present in that location. Physical characteristics of a place include mountains, rivers, beaches, topography, flora (plant life), fauna (animal life), resources (trees, oil, petroleum, and diamonds), landforms (rivers, plateaus, plains), bodies of water, climate, soils, and natural vegetation. The human characteristics of a place are derived from the changes to an environment as a result of human ideas and actions. Such characteristics include architecture, religion, food, and transportation and communication networks. Looking at the physical and human characteristics of a place helps answer two major questions that geographers ask: "Where is it?" and "Why is it there?"

Geographers divide the world into more manageable units called regions. Regions have unifying characteristics that may be physical, cultural, or human-based. They may occur over large spaces and can be found across great distances. Physical characteristics of a region include landforms such as a mountain range, climate, soil, and natural vegetation. Regions may also be distinguished by human characteristics, including language, economic, social, political, and cultural similarities.

There are three basic types of regions:

Formal regions (sometimes referred to as uniform regions) are areas that have common (or uniform) cultural or physical features. They are often defined by governmental or administrative boundaries (i.e., United States, Jacksonville, Brazil). However, formal regions can show other characteristics. For example, a climate region is a formal region because it links places that share a climate. The places on a map that shows where a specific language is spoken make up a formal region because they share the feature of a common language.

Functional regions (sometimes referred to as nodal regions) are linked together by some function's influence on them. However, if the function ceases to exist, the region no longer exists. Functional regions are created through the movement of some phenomenon, like a disease; or a perceived interaction among places, like pizza delivery routes. For example, a functional region might appear on a map of Delta Airlines' flights from Atlanta, Georgia. A mapmaker would plot all the places to which Delta travels from its hub in Atlanta, the node. Then the mapmaker would draw a boundary enclosing all of those places into one functional region. The area affected by the spread of a flu epidemic is another example of a functional region. Functional regions are defined by the places affected by the movement of some phenomenon from its source, or from the node of other places.

Vernacular regions are those loosely defined by people's perception (e.g., the South, the Middle East). The boundaries of a perceptual region are determined by people's beliefs, not a scientifically measurable process. For example, the space in which the "cool kids" sit at lunch would be a perceptual region because its boundaries are totally determined by the region maker's perception of who is cool and who is not — something that could be debated by any other person in the room. Another example of a perceptual region is the American South. People differ in their perceptions of which places are considered part of the South.

Element 3: Physical Systems

Physical processes shape Earth's surface and interact with plant and animal life to create, sustain, and modify ecosystems. This element of geography looks at environmental phenomena and their interaction through ecosystems, renewable resources, and the water cycle. Standards involving physical systems include:

1. the physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface;

2. the characteristics and distribution of ecosystems on Earth's surface.

A place's physical characteristics comprise its natural environment and emanate from geological, hydrological, atmospheric, and biological processes present in that location. Some physical characteristics of a place include mountains, rivers, beaches, topography, flora (plant life), fauna (animal life), resources (trees, oil, petroleum, diamonds), landforms (rivers, plateaus, plains), bodies of water, climate, soils, and natural vegetation.

Element 4: Human Systems

People are central to geography in that human activities help shape Earth's surface. Human settlements and structures are part of Earth's surface, and humans compete for control of Earth's surface. This element looks at characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations. It also tries to find patterns — in culture, economic interdependence, human settlement, conflict and cooperation — and how these patterns influence people's relationships with each other and the Earth. This element consists of the following standards:

1. the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations;

2. the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth's cultural mosaics;

3. the patterns and networks of economic interdependence;

4. the processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement;

5. how forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth's surface.

Movement is a key factor in human systems. Movement involves transportation (imports and exports), flow of people (immigration and migration), and spread of ideas and information (communications, Internet usage). For example, cultural diffusion is an aspect of movement that focuses on how ideas, innovation, and ideology spread from one area to another. Spatial interaction describes how places interact through movement. Although everything is theoretically linked to everything else, nearer things are usually related more to each other than to faraway things. Thus, the extent of spatial interaction often depends on distance.

In evaluating movement and spatial interaction, geographers often evaluate the friction of distance, the degree to which distance interferes with an interaction. For example, the friction of distance for a working-class Ohio man wanting to visit a dentist in Ethiopia is quite high, meaning that the distance gets in the way of this interaction occurring. However, the friction of distance has been reduced in many aspects of life with improved transportation and communication infrastructures. Thus, the friction of distance is not as much of a problem for a business in Florida to sell something to a business in Taiwan. Businesses can now communicate over the Internet, buying and selling their goods in transactions that would have taken months to complete just 30 years ago. This increasing sense of accessibility and connectivity seems to bring humans in distant places closer together, a phenomenon known as space-time compression. Note that space-time compression is reducing perceived distance, which is the friction of distance thought by humans, not the actual distance on the land.

Related to space-time compression is the effect of distance decay, in which the interaction between two places declines as the distance between the two places increases. Imagine putting a magnet on your desk and putting an iron nail on it. The farther you pull the iron nail away from the magnet, the less of a pull effect the magnet has on the nail. It is the same with distance decay; as the distance between two entities increases, the effect of their interaction decreases. However, improved transportation and communication technologies have reduced the effect of distance decay on most human interactions. On any given day in 1850, a person living in Atlanta probably never interacted with someone from 30 miles outside the city. Now a person in Atlanta can interact with people from all over the world via the Internet and improved transportation.

Element 5: Environment and Society

Humans modify the Earth's environment through their actions. Such actions happen largely as a consequence of the way people value or devalue the Earth's resources. This element consists of the following standards:

1. how human actions modify the physical environment;

2. how physical systems affect human systems;

3. the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.

Geographers look at both the positive and negative effects that result from human interaction with the environment: how humans rely on the environment, alter it, and adapt to it — and how the environment may limit what people are able to do. Much of the way that people relate to the environment reflects their economic and political circumstances, as well as their culture and theirtechnological capabilities. One significant issue is that the interaction between humans and the environment can change quickly, and such change might be temporary. For instance, building a dam changes the environment, but then floods, earthquakes, drought, or mudslides could destroy the dam and change the environment again.

Element 6: The Uses of Geography

Geography informs people about the relationships they have between place and environment over time. This element explores how humans modify the physical environment, how physical systems affect human systems, and how the changes occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources both in the past and potentially in the future. This element addresses the following standards:

1. how to apply geography to interpret the past;

2. how to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future.


Identify the ways natural processes and human–environment interactions shape the Earth's physical systems and features.

The Earth's physical systems and features are shaped and reshaped by natural processes and human interactions with it. Physical processes are nature's way of producing, maintaining, or altering the physical systems of the Earth. Physical processes can be categorized into four areas:

• Air — referred to as atmospheric and includes examinations of climate and meteorology.

• Land — referred to as lithospheric and includes examinations of plate tectonics, erosion, and soil formation.

• Water — referred to as hydrospheric and examines things like the circulation of the oceans and the hydrologic cycle.

• DAnimals — referred to as biospheric and examines plant and animal communities and ecosystems.


Excerpted from "FTCE Social Science 6–12"
by .
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Excerpted by permission of Research & Education Association.
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Table of Contents

About Our Author,
About Our Editor,
About REA,
Chapter 1. Geography,
Chapter 2. Economics,
Chapter 3. Political Science,
Chapter 4. World History,
Chapter 5. U.S. History,
Chapter 6. Social Science and Its Methodology,
FTCE: Social Science 6–12 Practice Tests Also available online at www.rea.com/studycenter,
Practice Test 1,
Practice Test 2,

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