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Yay! C3 social studies standards come out today! Wait. What? Not today?

Social studies teachers all over the country had been looking forward to Saturday afternoon. Well . . . maybe just me but pretty sure there were others as well.

Saturday was the day that the Council of Chief State School Officers was scheduled to release their public draft of the new C3 national social studies standards. At the National Council for the Social Studies national conference. In front of the entire social studies nation. In front of lots of social studies teachers from all over the nation.

Did we get ’em?

Nope. What we got was 50 minutes of introducing the writing committee, listing the states involved in the writing, and basically filling time until they officially told the audience that

. . . hmm, we didn’t bring the standards with us.

I think most of us knew ahead of time that the document wasn’t done yet. But it was still disappointing. Apparently some of the latest reviews suggested a few extra changes. I suppose it’s better to get it right rather than get it, you know, on time.

The writing committee did pass out a Vision for the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Inquiry in Social Studies State Standards. And it’s a handy document that provides a nice sense of the final document’s structure:

  • Dimension 1. Developing Questions and Planning Investigations
    Students will develop questions as they investigate societal issues, trends, and events.
  • Dimension 2. Applying Disciplinary Concepts and Tools
    Students will analyze societal issues, trends, and events by applying concepts and tools from civics, economics, geography, and history.Dimension 3. Gathering, Evaluating, and Using Evidence
  • Dimension 3. Gathering, Evaluating, and Using Evidence
    Students will work toward conclusions about societal issues, trends, and events by collecting evidence and evaluating its usefulness in developing causal explanations.
  • Dimension 4. Working Collaboratively and Communicating Conclusions
    Students will draw on knowledge and skills to work individually and collaboratively to conclude their investigations into societal issues, trends, and events.

And while we’re not completely sure what the final document will look like, we are sure that it will be an expansion of the four dimensions listed above – not a list of specific content. You will not find units on the Civil War, the Great Depression, or any people, places, and events for that matter.

The C3 Framework will focus primarily on inquiry and concepts, and will guide — not prescribe — the content necessary for a rigorous social studies program.

The final document is designed to help states re-design their own standards to focus on historical thinking skills and college/career readiness.

The forthcoming framework, to be released in 2013, will be a significant resource for all states to consider in their local processes for upgrading state social studies standards, rather than set standards for states to adopt.

This is why I’m disappointed. We’re very close to finishing our own state standards revision and it would been handy to have had the document’s ideas. I think we’ve got a state document that does a great job of encouraging high levels of historical thinking but some validation from the national group woulda been nice.

Oh, well. I’m a Kansas City Chiefs fan. I’ve learned to live with disappointment.

I suppose I can wait.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kate Gavalier #

    That was an excellent way to describe exactly what happened on Saturday! I was disappointed as well. Traveled from Ohio, (by way of JFK airport, no less) to get nothing!

    November 20, 2012
    • glennw #

      Oh, no! That’s perhaps one of the worst flights I’ve ever heard of – middle of country to east back to west. Wow.

      Hopefully you had at least a few sessions that were worth your time while at the conference.

      But this session was disappointing.


      November 20, 2012
  2. Do you have any updates on the state of the draft SS Stds?
    Thank you,
    Lance Fialkoff

    December 3, 2012
    • glennw #


      What we heard at NCSS was spring 2013. So . . . you’re guess is as good as mine right now. I’ve got some feelers out to some folks but the whole process has been pretty tight-lipped so not sure what I’ll be able to find out. if I do, I’ll be sure to post back here.


      December 3, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. CCSSO chickens out. C3 framework work moves to NCSS | History Tech
  2. CCSSO chickens out. C3 framework work moves to NCSS | Stop Common Core Illinois

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