Time for a Social Studies Revival? New Guidelines Designed to Blend History and Civics into Common Core
Zalaznick, Matt, District Administration
Some educators are making a push to bring a renewed emphasis to social studies, as subjects like history and civics have taken a backseat to math, science and English in the nation's rush to improve academic achievement.
A bill introducted in Congress--the Sandra Day O'Connor Civic Learning Act (bit.ly/13ewFo8)--would allocate $30 million in federal funding to humanities instruction. The bill, known as HR 1802, is currently in committee. In September, the "College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards" was released through the National Council for the Social Studies. Three years in the making, it can now be downloaded for free at www.socialstudies.org/C3.
The C3 framework is designed to help states and school districts blend social studies instruction into the Common Core standards, says Michelle Herczog, vice president of the National Council for the Social Studies.
"That's going to be a powerful tool to assist state and local districts in updating social studies standards in ways that will make them aligned to the Common Core," Herczog says. "The good news is the Common Core State Standards initiative encourages and welcomes interdisciplinary teaching."
The C3 standards, like the Common Core, will push students to not just memorize dates and facts, but to make in-depth inquiries into the subjects they're studying--and then write insightfully about the more difficult concepts they've learned, she says.
Representatives from more than 20 states and 15 social studies organizations helped develop the standards, which were reviewed by thousands of social studies educators, college professors, and school district administrators. …