I spent yesterday working on final drafts of the Kansas state social studies standards. It’s been a very interesting ride. We believe that the document that has developed over the last year or so is a good one – one that focuses on historical thinking skills rather than just the memorizing of foundational content. It incorporates a wide variety of discipline specific habits of mind and Common Core literacy skills.
Well, there are several problems actually. There will be tons of in-service training needed to help classroom teachers understand and integrate historical thinking skills into their instruction. There will need to be a huge shift in the design and implementation of the state assessments. And I’m pretty sure those won’t get solved any time this week.
So the real problem we dealt with yesterday?
Should we incorporate the soon to be released national social studies standards? If yes, how to do that? Technically the national standards are called the College, Career, and Civic Life Framework for Inquiry in Social Studies State Standards. Or CCCLFISSSS, for short.