Magazine article Social Studies Review

Where Can Teachers Find Resources to Implement the New History-Social Science Framework?

Magazine article Social Studies Review

Where Can Teachers Find Resources to Implement the New History-Social Science Framework?

Article excerpt

During the past decade, especially at the elementary grades, history, social science, and civics have been neglected in many districts. As the country's founders and the original advocates for public education were well aware, the survival of our democracy depends in large part on developing an attachment to our democratic ideals and practices as well as an historical perspective in each new generation. Since for several years we as a country and state have fallen short of our obligations to pass on these beliefs and supporting knowledge, the History-Social Science Framework comes at a crucial time. It should provide a useful tool for the revitalization of the teaching of history, civics, geography, and economics in California's schools. The framework adds much new content and contains several major shifts from previous documents. The framework envisions:

* A much more active classroom instruction with each grade chapter posing engaging questions to encourage deeper learning for students.

* Much greater emphasis on understanding our democracy and civic engagement throughout the grade levels-the knowledge of the basic principles of our democratic ideals, the struggles to honor those beliefs, the effort to incorporate democratic habits of discussion and debate into the classroom and school, and the involvement of students in projects such as Model UN and learning opportunities for civic participation and service learning.

Reflects the growing diversity of California's students and the efforts in this country to broaden the social, economic, and political inclusion of all Americans.

Combines the power and engagement of strong narrative with the analytic skills of how to examine and evaluate primary and secondary sources, distinguish fact from fiction, conduct credible discussions, write essays or undertake projects on pertinent topics and perceive historical connections between current and past issues.

Follows our California History/Social Science Standards as updated by legislation and is organized chronologically to cover United States and California history, world history, and incorporates civic, economic, geographic, and environmental ideas in each grade.

California Department of Education Website Links

If you are reading a print version of this article, here is a link that has all the citations active.

The first place to look for resources and classroom ideas is the framework itself. Its individual grade level chapters contain useful links. (These links and the following links can be found at the California Department of Education (CDE) website page at

Additionally, the framework's appendices are an invaluable resource and can be found at

* Appendix A: Problems, Questions and Themes in History and Geography-seven key themes in History/Social Science. (page 847)

* Appendix C covers teaching the Contemporary World (page 899)

* Appendix D covers civics: Educating for Democracy: Civic Education in the History/Social Science Framework. (page 919)

* Appendix E relates to the teaching of religion in the framework. (page 930)

* Appendix F deals with California and the Environment Initiative. (page 939) with curricular units

* Appendix G outlines the capacities of literate individuals. (page 975)

* Appendix H addresses Practicing Civic Engagement: Service Learning in the H/SS Framework. (page 978)

The CDE also lists the ten recently adopted instructional materials for K-8.

CDE provides links to resources that support the new framework. Further, there is a general recommended literature list which should be helpful with supporting materials such as biographies. …

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