New Framework for Social Studies State Standards

Alexander Pope is an assistant professor in the Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies at Salisbury University. He also serves on the KDP Public Policy Committee.

Last week, a consortium of professional organizations released the College, Career, and Civic Life C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards. Like the Common Core State Standards, C3 does not specify content standards for the different states. Unlike Common Core, the C3 standards do specify social studies—specific skills and targets for all grade levels.

According to the National Council for the Social Studies, which helped author C3, the standards were developed to serve two audiences:

  • for states to upgrade their state social studies standards
  • for practitioners—local school districts, schools, teachers and curriculum writers—to strengthen their social studies programs.

Given that these and other standards are meant to guide teacher practice, how do you work to incorporate new standards? Do you find them helpful, challenging, a nuisance…?

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One thought on “New Framework for Social Studies State Standards”

  1. I should share: I think this framework is a positive step for three reasons.
    First, this framework addresses a gap in the Common Core State Standards. CCSS did not describe specific abilities for social studies prior to grade 6; this framework offers that description.
    Second, this framework connects to what is right about CCSS and other abilities descriptions. C3 focuses teachers and students on lines of inquiry, opening up easy avenues for interdisciplinary investigations.
    Third, this framework does not mandate new content standards for teachers. Though teachers may take issue with their existing content standards, C3 did not require the debate that would inevitably have occurred over national social studies standards. What this framework does is give teachers a clear way of thinking about their approach to teaching their existing content in meaningful and authentic ways.

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