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The C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

Guest Editor Michelle M. Herczog

Volume 77, Number 6 November/December 2013

The official journal of National Council for the Social Studies

November/December 2013

EdItORIAL StAFF Editor in Chief Michael Simpson Senior Editor Jennifer Bauduy Associate Editor Steven Lapham Art Director Rich Palmer DePARtMent EdItORs Democracy Education Diana Hess Elementary Education Mary E. Haas Instructional Technology Michael J. Berson Meghan McGlinn Manfra Looking at the Law Tiany Willey Middleton


Volume 77, Number 6

292 Sources and Strategies Helping Students Visualize the Process of Change with Historic Images Stephen Wesson and Cheryl Lederle The featured photographs by Lewis Hine can help launch a lesson about child labor reform and demonstrate how public debate can fuel legislative action. 298 Teaching about Gay Civil Rights: U.S. Courts and the Law Robert W. Bailey and Brbara C. Cruz Examining the issue of gay civil rights through court decisions and government legislation will give students a deeper understanding of democratic processes within the context of human rights and legislative studies. 304 Looking at the Law A Look Ahead: Supreme Court Likely to Have a Blockbuster Term Catherine Hawke This term, the Supreme Court has already considered hot button issues such as campaign nance and afrmative action, and will soon hear cases dealing with international child kidnappings, the Fair Housing Act, and the First Amendment and reproductive rights. 307 Education for Peace and Understanding Charles Haynes An innovative program for schools that promotes respect and understanding between major religions enables students to engage with peers around the world via videoconferencing. 310 Against the Grain: Teaching Historical Complexity Dave Neumann Skilled teachers confront students assumptions about history and then strategically counter those notions to underscore the complexity of the past. 314 Surng the Net Whats New and Updated on My Favorites/Bookmarks for Teaching Social Studies with the Internet C. Frederick Risinger This list of favorite social studies websites for teachers highlights sites with quality lesson plans, resources, and professional development tools.
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Research and Practice Walter C. Parker Sources and Strategies Lee Ann Potter Surfing the Net C. Frederick Risinger Teaching with Documents Maria Marable-Bunch
SOCIAL EDUCATION (ISSN 0037-7724) is published by National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) six times a year: September, October, Nov/Dec, Jan/Feb, March/April, and May/June. Logotype is an NCSS trademark. Contents 2013. ONLINE: Visit us at and READERS: The editors welcome suggestions, letters to the editor, and manuscripts to our peer-reviewed journal. Guidelines and services at publications; Contributors express their own views, reecting divergent opinions. Send manuscripts for departments to the department editors. DELIVERY AND CHANGE OF ADDRESS: View and update your record,; send new address to; or call 800298-7840 ext. 111. Callers outside the U.S. and Canada use 301-588-1800 ext. 111. PERMISSION to reproduce articles for academic use, contact Copyright Clearance Center, Academic Permissions Service, 222 Rosewood Dr., Danvers, MA, 01923; 978-750-8400 (phone), 978-750-4470 (fax). ADVERTISING: Visit for rates and specications. Contact Doran Communications,; 302-644-0546. INDEXED by Institute of Education Sciences, and by ProQuest, POSTMASTER: Periodicals postage paid at Silver Spring, MD, and additional mailing ofces. Send address changes to Social Education NCSS, 8555 Sixteenth St. Suite 500 Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA

National Council for the Social Studies

Founded 1921 NCSS Officers Stephen Armstrong, President William H. Hall High School and King Phillip Middle School, West Hartford, CT Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT Michelle Herczog, President-Elect Los Angeles County Ofce of Education, Downey, CA Kim ONeil, Vice President Liverpool Elementary School, Liverpool, NY BoarD of Directors Karen Burgard Franklin College, Franklin, IN (2015) Terry Cherry Naaman Forest High School, Garland, TX (2014) Andrew Demko Rainier Jr/Sr. High School, Rainier, OR (2015) Diane Hart Menlo Park, CA (2014) Kimberly Heckart Prairie Ridge Elementary, Cedar Rapids, IA (2016) Elizabeth Hinde Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (2016) Mary McCullagh Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, FL (2015) India Meissel Lakeland High School, Suffolk, VA (2015) John Moore, Past President Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY (2014) Elyse Poller Manseld Middle School, Manseld, CT (2014) Anton Schulzki William J. Palmer High School, Colorado Spring, CO (2016) Loraine Stewart Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (2014) Charles Vaughan Richland Northeast High School, Columbia, SC (2016) EX OFFICIO William R. Daniel Chair, House of Delegates Steering Committee (2013) Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, KY Executive Director Susan Grifn Department Directors Timothy Daly Administration Brenda Luper Finance David Bailor Meetings and Exhibitions Ana Chiquillo Post External Relations and Council Communication Cassandra Roberts Membership Processing Michael Simpson Publications
MEMBERSHIPS in NCSS are open to any person or institution interested in the social studies. Join at; e-mail membership@; or call 800-298-7840 ext. 111. Callers outside the U.S. and Canada use 301-588-1800 ext. 111. Comprehensive members receive a journal and bulletins published during their period of membership for $82. Regular members receive a journal for $69; students, rst-year teachers, and retired members for $40. Add the other journal (get both) for $30. Members have access to the online services: Publications Archive, TSSP newsletter, and Middle Level Learning. Institutional membership comprehensive $133; regular $118. SUBSCRIPTIONS, for institutions only, through Metapress. Visit and Online-only subscription is world wide, IP supported, and SERU friendly for $152. In the United States, paper subscription is $70; and paper-plus-online is $162. Canada add $10, international add $22, for these mailings. SINGLE COPIES of paper journals, $6.00 member; $7.95 nonmember, 770280-4196. Single articles (PDF) are also available, $9.95 for nonmembers, at P.O. BOX: To become a member or subscribe (as an institution) by mail, send a check to NCSS, P.O. Box 79078, Baltimore, MD 21279-0078. RETURN ADDRESS: Social Education, NCSS, 8555 Sixteenth St. Suite 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA

316 Special Section: The C3 Framework for Social

Studies State Standards

Introduced and edited by Michelle M. Herczog 317 Beating the Odds: The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards Kathy Swan and Susan Grifn The C3 Framework is the culmination of an unprecedented collaboration between professional organizations representing the different social studies disciplines. 322 From Inquiry Arc to Instructional Practice: The Potential of the C3 Framework S. G. Grant Teaching through an inquiry approach demands scaffolding and the skilled use of questions that enables even young children to examine issues of substance and interest. 327 Is the Common Core Good for Social Studies? Yes, but John Lee and Kathy Swan The Common Core State Standards has opened up an opportunity for educators to re-frame literacy instruction in the social studies. 331 The Links between the C3 Framework and the NCSS National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies Michelle M. Herczog Like the NCSS national standards, which outline content and concepts for teachers and curriculum developers, the C3 Framework delineates pedagogical approaches and guides states in upgrading their social studies standards. 334 Can Assessment Improve Learning? Thoughts on the C3 Framework Bruce VanSledright The C3 Framework shifts the conversation away from tests and towards assessments that allow students to show how well they understood what they have learned. 339 Taking Informed Action to Engage Students in Civic Life Meira Levinson and Peter Levine When students work together as citizens in response to rigorous inquiry in the social studies, they foster a more engaged, democratic, and revitalized public life. 342 From Receivers to Producers: A Principals Perspective on using the C3 Framework to Prepare Young Learners for College, Career, and Civic Life Michael Long First graders in Los Angeles investigate rules and laws in society in a civics lesson that illustrates the inquiry approach of the C3 Framework. 346 Exploring the Black Death: The Medieval View and Response Michael M. Yell In this lesson, which supports the C3 Frameworks Inquiry Arc, students explore primary sources and hypothesize on how medieval people understood and coped with the Black Death.
291 Editors Notebook S o c i a l E d u c at i o n 290 352 Advertiser Index

Social Education 77(6), p 291 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

Michael Simpson
assumptions), which often requires careful attention to comments made by students in class. Teachers who have an accurate sense of the understandings that young people have of the past will be in the best position to develop the abilities of their students to appreciate historical complexity. In his Internet column, C. Frederick Risinger lists some of his favorite sites for teaching social studies, including recommendations sent to him by NCSS members in response to his request to readers to submit the sites they find most useful. He welcomes such suggestions and urges us as social studies educators to do what we can to promote social studies and civic education in our communities: The nation needs itand us. (315) Much of this issue of Social Education is devoted to a special section on the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, which was released online in September, and will soon be available in print format in an NCSS Bulletin. The C3 Framework offers guidance on enhancing the rigor of state standards in K-12 civics, economics, geography, and history. As Michelle M. Herczog, who is NCSS president-elect and the guest editor of the special section, points out The C3 Framework emphasizes the acquisition and application of knowledge to prepare students for college, career, and civic life. It envisions social studies instruction as an Inquiry Arc of interlocking and mutually reinforcing elements that speak to the intersection of ideas and learners. The four dimensions of the Inquiry Arc center on the use of questions to spark curiosity, guide instruction, and deepen investigations, enabling students to acquire rigorous content, and to develop their knowledge and ideas in real-world settings in order to become active and engaged citizens in the 21st century. (316) The Framework is the first nationally published framework for standards in social studies to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies. The contributors to the special section include many of the leaders who developed the C3 Framework: Kathy Swan, C3 project director and lead writer; Susan Griffin, chair of the C3 Framework Task Force of Professional Organizations; S. G. Grant and John Lee, senior advisors and contributing writers to the C3 Framework; and Bruce VanSledright, Meira Levinson, and Peter Levine, members of the C3 writing team. The special section also includes a perspective on the C3 Framework from Michael Long, an elementary principal in Whittier, California, and a lesson plan on the Black Death developed by former NCSS president Michael M. Yell, which will be helpful to teachers interested in aligning their lessons with the C3 Framework. Further details about the special section are included in the Introduction of the Guest Editor, Michelle M. Herczog, on page 316. As always, the editors of Social Education welcome the comments of readers on any of the contributions to this issue at

Editors Notebook
One of the principal missions of social studies is to teach students the knowledge and skills needed to investigate and evaluate major issues. This edition of Social Education abounds with articles dealing with major issues, and includes a special section on a recently released document that marks a turning point in inquiry-based social studiesthe C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards. In our Sources and Strategies column, Stephen Wesson and Cheryl Lederle use the photographs of Lewis Hine from the Library of Congress collection to introduce students to the heated debate in the first part of the twentieth century about child labor. The website can be used to track the progress of legislation from the point of its introduction to the point of becoming law. The authors demonstrate how to use the website to track the progress of the 1916 Keating-Owen bill, which severely restricted interstate trade with businesses that used child labor. Even though the bill was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court, it paved the way for the future abolition of child labor. This historic controversy poignantly illustrates the passionate efforts of reformers who tried to abolish child labor, and the institutional and political obstacles to their success. In an article on a major contemporary issue, Robert W. Bailey and Brbara C. Cruz investigate the challenge of teaching about gay rights in the social studies classroom. They recommend approaching the topic by examining important legal cases related to gay rights and civil rights. This approach enables students to become more familiar with the decisions of the courts (which the authors describe as the least understood of the three branches of government) and also to understand and evaluate the arguments of proponents and opponents of gay civil rights. Catherine Hawke forecasts a blockbuster term in her review of upcoming Supreme Court cases for our Looking at the Law column. In the 20132014 term, the Courts agenda includes cases on campaign finance, affirmative action, the Fair Housing Act, the right of public protest, and the search of cell phones of arrested individuals, any of which could result in landmark rulings. The column reviews these and other cases that are of great potential interest to teachers of lawrelated subjects. Religious bigotry is a major problem in the contemporary world, and Charles C. Haynes points out that teachers face the challenge of teaching students how to engage people of different religions and cultures with civility and respect. (307) He introduces Face to Faith, a program offered free to schools by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which enables students to use videoconferences to connect with students in schools in other countries who often have different religions from their own. Students of history, Dave Neumann reminds us, are never blank slates, and they have often formed impressions of many historical topics before receiving formal classroom instructionfrequently via popular culture. (310) One of the challenges facing teachers is identifying students pre-instructional assumptions (or the absence of such

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Social Education 77(6), pp 314315 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

Surng the Net

Whats New and Updated on My Favorites/Bookmarks for Teaching Social Studies with the Internet
C. Frederick Risinger
Each of us has different criteria for selecting a website for our bookmark list. I have about 40 folderseach with anywhere from 4 to 100+ websites listed. I like to cook, so my Freds Cookbook folder has more than 80 recipes under sub-headings such as appetizers, soups, and main dishes. But my largest bookmark folder is titled Social Studies, and it has many subfolders such as World History, Web 2.0, and Professional Development. You can sort your bookmarks in various ways, so I sorted my folder by date added. I selected several recent ones that I think classroom teachers should check out. This is my third column on recommended websites for teachers bookmarks/favorites menu. I have a list of more than 20 sites that I wanted to mention, but there wont be enough space to include them all. One criterion that I used for selection is whether or not the site has its own list of recommended websites that are relevant to the same topic or issue. So, one of my recommended sites might lead you to a dozen or more similar sites. As Fareed Zakaria says on my favorite news show, Lets get started!
Sweet Search (Finding Dulcinea)

Civics, and other social studies topics, and has lesson plan outlines on a wide variety of topics. For example, both a first-year teacher and a veteran would find the course outline for Economics both interesting and valuable. A useful Links Pages includes links to help integrate technology into social studies.
National Council for the Social Studies Im breaking my rule about sites Ive used in the past by including Sweet Search in this column. I have used this site after an NCSS convention where I went to their session. Sweet Search has developed a search engine and a database of websites that I really recommend. Every site has been examined and approved for use by studentsnot just for appropriate

content, but also for good resources for both students and teachers. From the home page, click on Social Studies or type it in. Itll take you to a great list of sitesthe first one being 101 Sites for Social Studies Class. This specific link should be in your bookmark/favorites link. But wait, theres more. This site provides more lesson plans, video links, professional development links and tools, and just about anything a social educator (pre-K-12 or college-level) could use. I dont even have it in a folder; its number 2 in my total bookmarks list (just after the link to my bank checking account).
The Social Studies Help Center The Social Studies Help Center is a great resource for social studies teachers and provides information and links to other sites that may be helpful. It focuses on U.S. History, Economics, Government/
S o c i a l E d u c at i o n 314 Yes, this is the NCSS websitewith a special inside link featured here: The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: State Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History. The C3 Framework was put together with the collaboration of many professional and well-respected social studies/ social science organizations. You can download the complete framework and, while youre there, check out other great features of the NCSS home site. There are links to social studies in the news, a focus on all grade levels, news about state and local council events, lessons for K-12 students, and many more helpful features. The NCSS SmartBrief is published every few days and keeps me up-to-date on whats going on around the country

and makes me feel proud to be a social studies teacher. The NCSS site should be at the top of your bookmarks folder. And, if youre not already, you should definitely become a member.
World NewspapersAlternative News

are well-written opinions on foreign policy and political and social issues that teachers can copy and provide to students doing group projects.
American Social History Project As many of you know, Im a news addict. However, I like to see different points of view. The World-Newspapers. com website links to a huge array of newspapers in the world, divided by continent, country, and topics such as history, health, technology, education, and much more. The alternative news section highlights links to news with a range of perspectivesprogressive, conservative, and everything in-between. I like the one titled Adbusters, devoted to the critique of consumerism and corporate media. Im not recommending this site for student searching, but there Based atThe City University of New York Graduate Center, ASHP/CML produces print, visual, and multimedia materials that explore the richly diverse social and cultural history of the United States.Social history, which I consider the most interesting facet of U.S. history, is generally pushed out of the classroom by the great man, big battles concept. This website offers an amazing array of art works from well-known museums, some great web projects, a media lab, and a very good newsletter.
Larry Ferlazzos Websites

websites than I could find in a year of searching. And, hes an interesting guy. Scroll down to his Websites of the Year link. You will spend an hour on here just checking things out. Its on my bookmark list, for sure. Thats as many of my new websites that I can fit into this column. Last time, several of you sent me your suggestions. Three of those are described above. If you want to send me your favorite useful websites or ideas for future column, my e-mail address is below. Be well and do the best you can to push social studies and civic education in your community. The nation needs it and us.

C. Frederick Risinger is retired as director of

professional development and coordinator of social studies education after 31 years at Indiana University, Bloomington. He currently is working on two writing projects, and works two shifts a week as a bartender at a local microbrewery. He can be reached at risinger@ Ok, I cannot even describe this blog/site. Larry Ferlazzo has more links to good


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10/21/13 12:53 PM

Special Section

Introduction to The C3 Framework

Michelle M. Herczog
This special section of Social Education offers a unique introduction to the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History. The Framework, which was published online in September 2013, and will soon be available in print, is the result of a remarkable cooperation between state specialists, professional organizations, and other experts and practitioners in the social studies disciplines. It was developed to enable states to upgrade their social studies standards and to assist practitionerslocal school districts, schools, teachers, and curriculum writersin strengthening their social studies programs. The C3 Framework promotes the following goals: 1. It enhances the rigor of social studies disciplines; 2. It builds critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills that enable students to become informed citizens; 3. It aligns social studies programs with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies. It is the first nationally published framework for standards in social studies that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The C3 Framework emphasizes the acquisition and application of knowledge to prepare students for college, career, and civic life. It envisions social studies instruction as an Inquiry Arc of interlocking and mutually reinforcing elements that speak to the intersection of ideas and learners. The four dimensions of the Inquiry Arc center on the use of questions to spark curiosity, guide instruction, and deepen investigations, enabling students to acquire rigorous content, and to develop their knowledge and ideas in real-world settings in order to become active and engaged citizens in the twenty-first century. The articles in the pages that follow offer special insights on the C3 Framework and its implications for social studies education. Kathy Swan, C3 project director and lead writer, and Susan Griffin, chair of the C3 Framework Task Force of Professional Organizations, describe the unprecedented collaborative effort by a cross-section of the entire social studies community, representing civics, economics, geography, history, and the humanities, to develop a new model framework for enhancing social studies state standards. S. G. Grant, a senior advisor and contributing writer to the C3 Framework, introduces the Inquiry Arc that is at the heart of the framework, and discusses the challenge of designing lessons and units around compelling and supporting questions. John Lee, also a senior advisor and contributing writer to the C3 Framework, and Kathy Swan describe how the C3 Framework takes up the challenge of providing a framework for literacy in social studies that aligns social studies with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/ Social Studies. NCSS has already published national standards for the social studies, and my article in the special section shows how the C3 Framework can be used to implement these standards and build upon them. Bruce VanSledright, a member of the C3 Framework writing team, tackles the challenge of developing assessments for the C3 Framework, pointing out the need for a significant shift in methods of assessment of learning in social studies. Meira Levinson and Peter Levine, also members of the C3 writing team, offer suggestions for implementing the component of the C3 Framework dealing with civic action. Michael Long, principal of Lake Marie Elementary in Whittier, California, whose school is committed to inquiry-based learning, offers his perspective on the C3 Framework. Michael M. Yell, an award-winning teacher and former NCSS president, presents a lesson plan on the Black Death, and demonstrates the ways in which his lesson supports the goals of the C3 Framework. The publication of the C3 document is a watershed moment that offers social studies a framework for preparing students for the challenges of the twenty-first century. For all of us, it is a call to action to reassert social studies as a core subject area that is part of a well-rounded education for all students across the nation
Michelle M. Herczog is the History-Social Science Consultant for the Los Angeles County Ofce of Education. She is President-Elect of National Council for the Social Studies. Excerpts from this article have been included in an information yer on the C3 Framework that has been prepared by the author and can be downloaded from the NCSS website. NCSS members are encouraged to use and disseminate the yer, which is a one-pager (i.e., two sides of a page that can be printed back-to-back), and is accessible at

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Social Education 77(6), pp 317321 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

The C3 Framework

Beating the Odds: The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards
Kathy Swan and Susan Griffin
When the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards project began, there really was nowhere else to go but up. The project was up against great oddsa dearth of funding, a history of incivility amongst the disciplines within social studies, a knack for ending up in media battles over what should be taught in a social studies curriculum, a lack of disciplinary and interdisciplinary coherence within previous social studies standards documents, and the list went on.1 In the first couple of months, one of the more optimistic colleagues on the C3 project gave the work about a 30 percent chance of success. He wasnt that far off. But fear is a great motivator. At the time this project began, the Common Core State Standards reform movement was sweeping the country.2 The majority of states had formally adopted the new standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics emphasizing a fewer, higher, clearer approach to K-12 education.3 That action created tremors within the social studies community that we could be further squeezed out of the curriculum. As the Common Core Standards gained momentum, the need for a framework for state social studies standards became increasingly evident. Many in the social studies community feared that the effect of the Common Core Standards on social studies would be to emphasize English Language Arts, and make the English Language Arts Standards the de facto standards for social studies. It was essential to reassert the importance of social studies subjects, especially as the Common Core Standards acknowledge the necessary contribution of history and other social studies subjects to literacy in grades 6-12. The Common Core Standards also include a substantial emphasis on informational text, much of which is drawn from social studies disciplines, in the English Language Arts Standards for grades K-5. 4 As state departments of education faced greater budget cuts, and in the absence of a clear consensus around the purpose and outcomes of social studies education, many in the social studies community feared that social studies would be marginalized further. Where once disciplinary quarrels and boundary disputes might have sunk any attempt at constructing social studies standards, the potential elimination of social studies as a viable school subject created a more constructive environment.
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A Social Studies Alliance Forms

By January 2010, a few months before the Common Core Standards were officially published, two groups were meeting concurrently to discuss the critical state of social studies education. The Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction (SSACI) is a state collaborative within the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) made up of state-level social studies consultants, assessment experts, and administrative personnel who are on the front lines of adoption and implementation of standards within their states. The SSACI collaborative membership structure allows the group to meet six times a year (three face-to-face meetings and three virtual meetings). These meetings provide a forum for examining the current needs and issues facing the states and allow state education agencies to draw from a greater pool of experience. After much discussion about the ways in which the Common Core standards implementation was eclipsing social studies in their respective departments, SSACI decided to work toward the creation of a resource for members to assist them in upgrading their respective social studies standards. At the same time SSACI was meeting, the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) joined with the

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools (CMS) to sponsor a summit of 15 national organizations representing civics, economics, geography, and history education. Within a half-day meeting, the organizations had agreed that social studies could not be further marginalized and they must work together to elevate the field. They cemented their partnership that day by crafting a working definition of social studies that focused social studies on the four disciplines named in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 by recognizing the interdisciplinary focus of citizenship education, and by acknowledging the role of literacy education within and across the disciplines: The social st udies is a n interdisciplinary exploration of the social sciences and humanities, including civics, economics, geography, and history in order to develop responsible, informed and engaged citizens and to foster

civic, economic, global, and historical literacy. It was agreed that the initiative would focus on state standards on the four disciplines identified in the No Child Left Behind framework as the core social studies subjectscivics, economics, geography, and history. Through the grapevine, we heard about each others work and after a series of phone calls and summer meetings, SSACI extended an invitation to form the Task Force of Professional Organizations (See Sidebar A) to unite with SSACI to collectively work on a common resource for social studies. Initially, the group decided to follow in the footsteps of English Language Arts and Mathematics by creating a uniform set of standards that states could opt into. At the time, we referred to the work as the Common State Standards for Social Studies Project, and hoped that a stateled initiative would improve the chances of acceptance by state policymakers and mitigate the possibilities for corrosive political controversy. Although the ethos of the project remained intact, over the course of the project, standards would necessarily turn into a framework for development of standards as a more flexible document focusing on social studies skills and concepts had the greatest appeal to a wider range of states. For example, while some of the SSACI states were on the eve of standards creation (e.g., Kentucky), many states had either just created and adopted new social studies standards (e.g., Kansas and North Carolina). A framework would assist all states in utilizing the document as either a companion to existing standards, as a foundation for new standards, or as a mandate to initiate a conversation about the importance of social studies in their state. Also influencing the framework decision was the enduring tension of skills versus content. While the document would focus on disciplinary processes and skills as well as vital
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Task Force of Professional Organizations

American Bar Association American Historical Association Association of American Geographers Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools Center for Civic Education Constitutional Rights Foundation/ Chicago Constitutional Rights Foundation/USA Council for Economic Education National Council for Geographic Education National Council for History Education National Council for the Social Studies National Geographic Society National History Day Street Law, Inc. World History Association

Sidebar A:

conceptual content, it would avoid historically divisive prescriptions of curricular content (e.g., names, dates, places, historical eras). However, it is important to note that the group did not want the work to devolve into the old debate of knowledge versus skills, forcing educators to fall into two opposing camps. Instead, the group recognized that a robust and complete social studies education includes an understanding of essential content knowledge, but the decisions around curricular content would need to be determined at the state or local level. At first glance, the voluntary, stateled effort to develop what would become the C3 Framework faced long odds as it hinged on professional collaboration between and among a loosely a rra nged coa l it ion of state departments of education and professional organizations. If the past is any kind of predictor (e.g., history wars of the 1990s), social studies educators seemed like the last content area group who should be betting on a cooperative movement. Further, while CCSSO had initially agreed to host these meetings, they were clear that their commitment to the Common Core initiative did not extend to taking a leadership role in the development of state social studies standards. At the time, Chris Minnich, now executive director of CCSSO, expressed the tacit support his organization was willing to offer: Our board has been very clear that theyre not interested in leading the social studies work in the same way weve led the common core in Math and English Language Arts. Were hopeful that states working together can write social studies standards as they would like to. Some states are interested in upgrading their standards, and that is what we are interested in helping support. We are not part of the development as we were with the common standards [in math and English Language Arts].5

While our group had a living room, we knew the residence would be temporary,6 and that there was the possibility of eviction if the work became too precarious. Against this tenuous backdrop, the group forged ahead.
Building a Foundation for the C3 Framework

twenty-first century world. Social studies should maintain disciplinary integrity but should be rooted in an interdisciplinary inquiry approach. Social studies is an organizational structure which brings together unique ways of knowing from the disciplines of political science or civics, economics, geography, history, and behavioral sciences. Social studies should include a strong emphasis on disciplinary knowledge and the structures of specific disciplines but, at the same time, social studies should provide students with opportunities to apply disciplinary knowledge and skills as they examine enduring questions related to human experiences. Students must develop the creative and adaptive habits of mind that come with interdisciplinary thinking so as to apply those ways of thinking to realworld problems in college, career and citizenship.

Work on the C3 Framework began in the fall of 2010 with the development of a conceptual guidance document written by individuals from the Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction state collaborative and representatives from the Task Force. In the section that follows, we summarize a number of these foundational ideas that provided a common frame of reference for the group and became a guide to the writers of the C3 Framework. Social studies prepares the nations young people for college and career, and equally important, civic life.

The ideas, concepts, skills and understandings gained in a study of the social studies disciplines prepare young people to be more effective citizens and provide students with the tools to understand, interpret, and effectively meet challenges in our ever changing

Sidebar B: C3 Writing Team

Kathy Swan, Ph.D. (Lead Writer), Associate Professor, Social Studies Education, University of Kentucky Keith C. Barton, Ed.D., Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Adjunct Professor of History, Indiana University Stephen Buckles, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer (formerly Professor) in Economics, Vanderbilt University Flannery Burke, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, Saint Louis University Jim Charkins, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Economics at California State University, San Bernardino; Executive Director of the California Council on Economic Education S.G. Grant, Ph.D., Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Binghamton University Susan W. Hardwick, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Oregon John Lee, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Social Studies Education, North Carolina State University Peter Levine, D.Phil., Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), Tufts Universitys Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service Meira Levinson, D.Phil., Associate Professor of Education, Harvard University Anand Marri, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Social Studies Education, Teachers College, Columbia University Chauncey Monte-Sano, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Educational Studies, University of Michigan Robert Morrill, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Geography, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Karen Thomas-Brown, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Social Studies Education and Multiculturalism, University of Michigan-Dearborn Cynthia Tyson, Ph.D., Professor of Social Studies Education, The Ohio State University Bruce VanSledright, Ph.D., Professor of History and Social Studies Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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Social studies should prioritize deep and enduring understandings using concepts and skills from the disciplines. Social studies should emphasize deep and enduring understandings over surface level learning. This represents a shift in the current status of teaching and learning in social studies. The C3 Framework focuses on inquiry skills and key concepts, and guides the choice of curricular content necessary for a rigorous social studies program. While curricular content is critically important to the disciplines within social studies, the C3 Framework illustrates the disciplinary ideas, such as political structures, economic decision-making, spatial patterns, and chronological sequencing that lead to deep and enduring understanding. Social studies shares in the responsibility for literacy education. As a core area in the K12 curriculum, social studies shares in the responsibility for literacy education, including the development of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language skills. Because many of the states involved in the C3 Framework project had recently adopted the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, it was imperative for the Framework to seek to define disciplinary literacy for social studies. With consensus on this set of core ideas, SSACI and the Task Force recruited a team of writers who represented the individual disciplines as well as social studies education (see Sidebar B, p. 319). The writers built the C3 Framework around four dimensions that weave together several important threads: inquiry, disciplinary integrity, common core literacy, and civic engagement. In the articles that follow in this special issue, our writers and participants illustrate these foundations in greater detail

focusing on aspects of the document including the Inquiry Arc, Taking Informed Action, and Literacy in the C3 Framework.
The Writing Process for the C3 Framework

As important as what the document says is how it was constructed. Collaboration and community were central tenets of the work. There was a conscious effort to bring stakeholders who had never all talked together into the same room for an extended period of time. Our job was to manage the discourse within and across the individual stakeholder groups, making sure that a range of voices were heard and that the writing process moved forward. The team of writers, hired in the summer of 2011, initially met in disciplinary teams to map out the key practices and processes of the individual disciplines. The writing team wanted the four disciplines to be represented as distinctive but complementary, with equal weight given to each. The products of these conversations, which are featured in Dimension 2 of the C3 Framework, spurred additional deliberations around the broader social studies practices that bind these unique disciplines together. Dimensions 1, 3, and 4 were built to frame the disciplinary processes and concepts, to provide an interdisciplinary structure to social studies inquiry, and to help define and elaborate approaches to disciplinary literacy in the social studies. As the writing team worked, they received editorial guidance from a team of teachers and state education personnel (Sidebar C). These individuals on the Editorial Committee helped translate the occasionally academic prose of the writing team into language more useful for the broader social studies community. As the document moved through the editorial team, it was vetted by individuals representing 23 SSACI member states and affiliates, the directors of the 15 Task Force professional organizations, and a group of 42 elementary and secondary
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teachersthe Teacher Collaborative Councilchosen by the state education department personnel. Feedback loops across these groups occurred every few months and continued for approximately a year and a half. After each round of review, the writers would look for consensus in the comments as well as individual insights that would improve each draft. Once the C3 Framework took a more final form, additional voices representing K-12 educators, university faculty, state education personnel, professional organization representatives, educational publishers, and cultural organizations were asked to weigh in during a series of targeted reviews in the spring of 2013. By May 2013, more than 3,000 individuals had reviewed the C3 Framework draft, and the great majority of the numerous comments sent to the Writing Team found the document compelling. One of our favorite comments during the reviews said, I hope it will be a document that will bring at least 70% positive comments. We were happy to report back this past summer that the document received over 90% positive feedback in the last round of review. Energized by overwhelming response to the document, the writers spent the summer finalizing the document, paying close attention to suggestions that bubbled up in the spring. One of the most prominent suggestions made during the reviews of the draft was to move beyond the original focus of the

Sidebar C: C3 Framework Editorial Committee

Fay Gore, North Carolina, Co-Chair William Muthig, Ohio, Co-Chair Kim Eggborn, Maryland Maggie Herrick, Arkansas Mitzie Higa, Hawaii Marcie Taylor Thoma, Maryland Jessica Vehlwald, Missouri

project on the four federally-defined core areas of social studies by including more social and behavioral sciences in the final publication. The American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, and the American Anthropological Association responded favorably to an invitation to contribute, and worked steadily in the late spring and summer months of 2013 to produce companion documents, which are Appendices B, C, and D, respectively, of the C3 Framework. Despite great odds and retaining a collaborative model of development, the C3 Framework was published online by National Council for the Social Studies on behalf of the Task Force on Constitution Day, September 17, 2013.
The Grand Challenge of the C3 Framework

networks, such as state social studies specialists, social studies supervisors, national and state council conferences, meetings sponsored by other Task Force members, workshops and webinars. Our guess is that those who take up the C3 banner will face the challenge to reform social studies with the same gusto and energy as those who worked to develop the C3 Framework. The challenges awaiting social studies educators are considerable, but the stakes are high. So, what can you do right now to help implement the C3 Framework? Support your students as they begin to ask questions and conduct academic inquiries. Examine your own strengths and weaknesses around facilitating student inquir y. A nd then, experiment instructionally with aspects of the inquiry arc! Push for more rigorous and authentic assessment that measure inquiry and not just names, dates, and placeseven if its in your own classroom! Find ways to incorporate and support the Common Core Standards for literacy in social st udies using the C3 as a companion document. Be a leader in your school and/ or your Professional Learning Community (PLC) around the C3. Be creative and aggressive in locating funding for new projects in social studies. Meet with an administrator about using the C3 to measure good social studies instruction. Advocate for the C3 Framework in your state, given your unique needs. In the end, we encourage you to find
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what our colleague Walter Parker calls wiggle room, and further the C3 project within your current context.7 Will it seem insurmountable at times? Yes, but we are social studieswe invite grand challenges!
Notes 1. Tracy C. Rock, et al., One State Closer to a National Crisis: A Report on Elementary Social Studies Education in North Carolina Schools, Theory and Research in Social Education 34, no. 4 (2006): 455-483; Ronald W. Evans, The Social Studies Wars: What Should We Teach the Children? (New York, N.Y.: Teachers College Press, 2004); S.G. Grant, Locating Authority Over Content and Pedagogy: Cross-Current Inuences on Teachers Thinking and Practice, Theory and Research in Social Education 24, no. 3 (1996): 237272; James C. McKinley Jr, Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change, The New York Times (March 12, 2010), education/13texas.html; E. Wayne Ross, Social Studies Curriculum: Purposes, Problems, and Possibilities (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2006). 2. The Common Core State Standards Initiative website ( has a map that shows how the Common Core State Standards have been adopted in the U.S. and its territories. 3. Stephen Sawchuck, More Than Two-Thirds of States Adopt Common Core Standards, Education Week (August 6, 2010), articles/2010/08/06/37standards.h29.html?qs. 4. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Ofcers (CCSSO), Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/ Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (Washington, D.C.: NGA and CCSSO, 2010). 5. Catherine Gewertz, Specialists Weigh Common Social Studies Standards, Education Week (May 18, 2011),

As daunting as it seems, the publication of the C3 Framework was really just the beginning. From its inception, the participants in the C3 project knew that to usher in an ambitious new era in social studies education, more than just standards were required. State-wide and classroom based assessments need to evolve to overcome current shortcomings; instructional materials and resources need to be either aligned or developed to assist teachers in promoting inquiry and facilitating students in taking action; new teacher standards need to recognize the C3 approach to teaching and learning; and, in order to move the needle, funding for professional development around the C3 Framework needs to be plentiful. Additionally, we need to continue to widen the C3 tent to include other partners and stakeholders who can provide further insight into cross-subject matter connections and special student populations. The success of the C3 Framework will lie in its implementation. The Task Force and writing team do not seek adoption (like the Common Core Standards initiative). Successful implementation requires educators to use all their

6. Catherine Gewertz, Chiefs Group Terminates Role in Social Studies Framework, Curriculum Matters (blog), June 7, 2013,
edweek/curriculum/2013/06/chiefs_group_ terminates_role_i.html.

7. Walter C. Parker, Constructing Public Schooling Today: Derision, Multiculturalism, Nationalism, Educational Theory 61, no. 4 (2011): 413-432.

Kathy Swan was project director and lead writer of

the C3 Framework leadership team. She is associate professor of social studies education at the University of Kentucky. Susan Grifn is executive director of National Council for the Social Studies. She served as chair of the C3 Framework Task Force of Professional Organizations. Much of the text of this article also appears in a chapter written by both authors, The Development of the C3 Framework, published in NCSS Bulletin 113, Social Studies for the Next Generation: Purposes, Practices, and Implications of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.

Social Education 77(6), pp 322326, 351 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

The C3 Framework

From Inquiry Arc to Instructional Practice: The Potential of the C3 Framework

S. G. Grant
Students are clear: They do not like social studies.1 What they dislike, however, is not the civic, economic, geographic, and historical ideas they encounter so much as the instructional practices they experience. And instructional experiences matter: Students who read more than textbooks, who write more than end-of-the-chapter questions, and who have more rather than fewer opportunities to discuss ideas outperform their peers in more traditional classroom settings.2 Smith and Niemi argue that if faced with a choice of only one solution to raise history scores, it is clear that instructional changes have the most powerful relationship to student performance.3 Although numerous attempts have been made to revitalize social studies, the bulk of them have focused on curricular reforms rather than on instruction.4 The Inquiry Arc featured in the C3 Framework is a form of guidance for social studies curriculum writers. 5 It also represents an approach to instructional planning that moves away from traditional textbook coverage to a model that is more consistent with the research on ambitious social studies teaching.6
Overview of the Inquiry Arc

the intersection of ideas and learners. Those four dimensions are: 1. Developing questions and planning inquiries; 2. Applying disciplinary concepts and tools; 3. Evaluating sources and using evidence; and 4. Communicating conclusions and taking informed action. Key to the Inquiry Arc is the use of questions. As noted in the Scholarly Rationale of the C3 Framework, children and adolescents are naturally curious, and they are especially curious about the complex and multifaceted world they inhabit.8 Curiosity drives interest and interest drives knowledge, understanding, and engagement. At heart, social studies is about understanding the things people do. Whether those things are brave, ambitious, and inventive or cowardly, nave, and silly, social studies is about using questions to direct our investigations into the world
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We begin with the hypothesis, asserts Jerome Bruner, that any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development. 7 Bruners quote is not cited in the C3 Framework, but its spirit runs throughout the document in general and the Inquiry Arc in particular. Defined as a set of interlocking and mutually reinforcing elements, the four dimensions of the Inquiry Arc speak to

around us. Dimension 1, then, features the development of questions and the planning of inquiries. If social studies is about understanding why people do the things they do, then Dimension 2Applying Disciplinary Concepts and Toolsis a fundamental step in the Inquiry Arc. With a robust instructional question in mind, teachers and students determine the kind of content they need in order to create a plan to address their questions. This process is an artful balancing act; teachers must preload some disciplinary content when developing questions with their students. At the same time, teachers must provide students with enough content to propel their inquiries without quashing their curiosity or, worse yet, doing their work for them. Children will naturally begin proposing solutions to instructional que st ion s ba sed on t hei r l ived experiences. Rich social studies teaching, however, offers students opportunities to answer those questions more thoroughly through disciplinary (civic, economic, geographical, and historical) and multidisciplinary venues. Dimension 2 sets forth concepts from the disciplines, such as the historians habit of accounting for how perspectives of people in the present shape their interpretations of the past. This practice from history and the distinctive habits of thinking from other disciplines inform students investigations and contribute to an

instructional framework for teaching social studies. Instructional questions posed may demand content representing a single discipline. For example, a question like Which will you buylunch or a new video game? would have teachers and students draw primarily from the concepts of economics. A question that asks, Has the definition of Americans changed over time? would feature concepts from civics/political science. Many questions, however, can best be explored through the use of multiple disciplines. For example, a contemporary environmental question such as Should transcontinental pipelines be banned? demands the use of economic, geographical, historical, and political lenses. With a question in hand and a sense of the relevant concepts and ideas, the Inquiry Arc turns toward the matter of sources and evidence. Social studies, like science, is an evidence-based field.

The disciplinary concepts represented in Dimension 2 provide a solid base from which students can begin constructing answers to their questions. Equally important, however, is knowing how to fill in the gaps in their knowledge by learning how to work with sources and evidence in order to develop explanations and to make persuasive arguments in support of their conclusions. Evidence can come in many forms, including historical and contemporary documents, data from direct observation in environments, graphics, economic statistics, and legislative actions and court rulings. Digital sources are now also more readily available than ever via the Internet. That said, not all sources are equal in value and use. Sources do not, by themselves, constitute evidence. Rather, evidence results from the choices made by teachers and students to appropriate information from sources in support of an explanation or argument. Helping students develop a capacity for gathering,


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evaluating, and then using sources in responsible ways is a central feature of Dimension 3. For example, a question like Was the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s a success? demands that students examine more than one or two sources. A wide range of perspectives is available in both primary and secondary form, and so having students gather, evaluate, and use a subset of those sources offers teachers opportunities to make key instructional points about the nature of evidence. Those activities also offer students opportunities to demonstrate their abilities to develop explanations and to make and support arguments in answer to their questions. Breaking the power of the multiplechoice test, developing explanations and making and supporting arguments can take the form of individual essays, group projects, and other classroombased written assessments, both formal and informal. But they need not be limited to those options for there are any number of ways that students can express the evolution of their ideas. Although there is no substitute for thoughtful and persuasive writing, Dimension 4 of the Inquiry Arc supports expanding the means by which students communicate their findings and conclusions. It also expands the venues in which students participate. Classroom and school sites are important arenas for students as they work through their ideas. But if students are to take informed actionthe second aspect of Dimension 4then they will need to be able to interact in other arenas as wellfrom cross town to across the globe. Defining questions, seeking the best knowledge available, examining and using source material, and constructing and communicating conclusions are the hallmark qualities of thoughtful and engaged students. Helping students prepare for civic life demands new means of expressing themselves and new settings in which to do so. In one sense, Dimension 4 closes the Inquiry Arc. Every good teacher knows, however, that teaching and

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learning play off one anothernew sources can lead to new disciplinary and multi-disciplinary concepts, new concepts can lead to new questions, and new questions can lead to new audiences. The Inquiry Arc, then, offers teachers multiple opportunities to involve students in powerful learning opportunities and to develop as thoughtful, engaged citizens. The C3 Framework in general and the Inquiry Arc in particular were designed to help state and local curriculum writers retool their social studies standards. To that purpose, I would offer a secondthe Inquiry Arc as an instructional arc, a lesson and unit planning approach that foregrounds the use of teacher- and student-developed questions.
Compelling Questions

Pushed into the classroom, the Inquiry Arc challenges some basic and longheld instructional practices. Perhaps the most challenging element, however, is designing lessons and units around questions. Teachers have long used questions as part of their pedagogical repertoire. But there is a big difference between using questions to check for student understanding and using questions to frame a teaching and learning inquiry. Good questions can be difficult to create, but they can also help teachers and their students focus their inquiries and produce powerful learning outcomes. Questions, as envisioned in the Inquiry Arc, are of two types compelling and supporting. Compelling questions address problems and issues found in and across the academic disciplines that make up social studies.9 They deal with curiosities about how things work; interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts; and unresolved issues that require students to construct arguments in response.10 In short, compelling questions are provocative, engaging, and worth spending time on.

Compelling questions must satisfy two conditions. First, they have to be intellectually meaty. That means that a compelling question needs to reflect an enduring issue, concern, or debate in social studies and it has to draw on multiple disciplines. For example, Was the American Revolution revolutionary? works as a compelling question because it signals a continuing argument about how to interpret the results of the Revolution. And, although it sounds like a history question, to address it fully demands that one must look at it through a range of disciplinary lensesDid the Revolution yield dramatic political change? Economic? Social? All of the above? The second condition defining a compelling question is the need to be student-friendly. By student-friendly, I mean a question that reflects some quality or condition that teachers know students care about and that honors and respects students intellectual efforts. The American Revolution question above seems to fit these qualifications as well: It brings students into an authentic debate and it offers the possibility that adults may be confusedhow could the American Revolution not be revolutionary? The latter is a condition that students tend to find especially fascinating. Quiz time: Which of the following examples fit the criteria for a compelling question? 1. Why do we need rules? 2. What are the five largest sources of oil for U.S. markets? 3. Why is Albany the capital of New York? 4. Who are our community helpers? 5. Can Canada and the U.S. be friends forever? 6. Who won the Cold War? I would argue that numbers 1, 3, 5, and 6 fit the bill as compelling questions. For example, Can Canada and the U.S. be friends forever?
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satisfies the student-friendly criteria in that it keys off the idea that young people find the notion of friendship intriguing. On the substantive side, the notion of U.S.-Canada relations can be explored on multiple disciplinary dimensions. Think about it: If the U.S. and Canada compete on an economic level, can they still maintain good relationships on the political and/or social level? Similarly, the question, Who won the Cold War? qualifies as a compelling question because it meets the intellectually meaty criteria of highlighting a genuine dispute and the student interest criteria because it presumes that students can offer a useful perspective on the question through the arguments they make. By contrast, What are the five largest sources of oil for U.S. markets? and Who are our community helpers may be useful in developing a larger inquiry, but on their own, they do not carry the day either in terms of substantive or student interest engagement.
Supporting Questions

the social conditions before and after the Revolution? Supporting questions like these offer important pedagogical support, but typically lack either the intellectual heft or the student connections necessary to be considered a compelling question. Returning to the list of questions in the preceding sections, I would argue that What are the five largest sources of oil for U.S. markets? and Who are our community helpers could work as supporting questions. For example, identifying the sources of oil would be helpful if students were tackling a compelling question like, What path should a new transcontinental oil pipeline take? In similar fashion, Who are our community helpers would aid an inquiry into a question such as Should our community grow?
Implications for Practice: Thinking about What Matters

however, can be a challenge for teachers to create, especially for those who work with younger students. But if the compelling questions offered meet the conditions outlined above, teachers will find that student effort and engagement will soar. 2. Students questions matter. The C3 Framework argues that questions both compelling and supportingcan originate from teachers and/or students. It does not advocate turning over the question-developing responsibility to kindergartners, but it does promote the idea that students should play an increasingly prominent role in defining inquiry questions over the course of their school lives. Needless to say, teachers play a key role in helping students identify compelling questions that will work for instructional purposes. 3. Language matters. If we are going to take Bruners quote at the beginning of this article seriously, then we need to realize that one of the biggest challenges teachers and students will face is at the level of language. This issue has two dimensions. First, although students can grasp almost any social studies construct through their lived experience, they do not always have the language or vocabulary to participate fully in classroom discourse. (Imagine, for example, a student who misses the point of a discussion because he or she does not understand the difference between guerrilla and gorilla warfare.) The second challenge lies more on the teachers side: One of the trickiest parts of being an inquiry-based teacher is learning how to hear the kernels of rich ideas in what seems like the fumbling, inarticulate, and confusing things that students of all ages say. Students can be useful partners in constructing compelling questions, but only if we can help them articulate their ideas.

From an instructional perspective, if a compelling question helps frame a unit of study, supporting questions can provide the infrastructure for lesson planning. Supporting questions are intended to contribute knowledge and insights to the inquiry behind a compelling question. Furthermore, they focus on descriptions, definitions, and processes on which there is general agreement.11 In other words, supporting questions help scaffold students investigations into the ideas and issues behind a compelling question. For the question about the revolutionary elements of the American Revolution, supporting questions could include the following: What were the regulations imposed on the colonists under the Stamp and Townshend Acts? How did colonists respond? What were the arguments for and against the Revolution? What were the political conditions in America before and after the Revolution? What were the economic conditions before and after the Revolution? What were

The College, Career, and Civic (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards offers a different way of thinking about curriculum development. Instead of advocating for the creation of long lists of names, dates, and places, the C3 Framework pushes curriculum writers to think about how the meaningful concepts and skills of civics, economics, geography, and history play out across an inquiry arc. Equally important, however, may be the push the C3 Framework offers to teachers who are interested in employing an inquiry approach in their instructional practice. Taking such an approach calls for a kind of mindfulness that echoes standard teacher practice, but pushes well beyond it. In teaching through inquiry, these six distinct, but inter-related elements matter: 1. Questions matter. Successful teaching and learning inquiries are built around powerful questions of two sortscompelling and supporting. Most teachers and students have extensive experience working with supportingstyle questions. Compelling questions,
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continued on page 351

Social Education 77(6), pp 327330 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

The C3 Framework

Is the Common Core Good for Social Studies? Yes, but

John Lee and Kathy Swan
The Common Core State Standards present a unique challenge for social studies educators. They put social studies teachers in the position of possibly having to adjust their practice to meet new demands for literacy instruction, and thus raise many difficult questions. How can we fit new requirements for literacy instruction into an already crowded social studies curriculum? What kinds of training and development opportunities will be needed for teachers? Do existing or emerging assessment systems support a new emphasis on Common Core literacies without eclipsing social studies content and practices? Compounding these challenges, the Common Core has arrived at a precarious time for social studies. Social studies has recently struggled under the dual pressures of marginalizationthe loss of instructional time at the elementary leveland the narrowing of instruction in response to multiple-choice high-stakes testing.1 Many social studies educators have justifiably been worried about the Common Core State Standards, whose focus on English Language Arts and Math has seemed to some like yet another knock against the field. But sometimes a bit of adversity can summon resolve. Instead of morphing social studies into an arm of literacy instruction, the Common Core State Standards have provided an opportunity for social studies educators to re-frame literacy instruction in such a way as to allow social studies to regain a more balanced and elevated role in K-12 curriculum. The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards is changing the conversation about literacy instruction in social studies. Instead of just responding to the Common Core, the C3 Framework defines the proper role of literacy in social studiesthat is, literacy for a social studies purpose. In this article, we address the presumptive questionIs the Common Core good for social studies? We make an argument that, in fact, it is good, but is an incomplete vision as it leaves out the vital purposes and practices of a meaningful social studies education, including disciplinary inquiry and civic engagement. The C3 Framework builds on the foundational strengths of the Common Core State Standards to establish an ambitious context for teaching literacy in social studies. Two current approaches to literacy instruction in social studies provide an important context for this endeavor. 1. Content area reading. Content area reading focuses on the context of the reading experience. Urquhart and Frazee describe content area reading as occurring at the intersection of what a reader brings to the reading experience, the climate in which the reading occurs, and the specific characteristics of the text.2 The general idea is that teachers in content areas are best equipped to help students interact with text and develop meaning in those content areas, given the unique intellectual or academic nature
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of the text. Content area reading tends to focus on making meaning in addition to other literacy skills, such as decoding, vocabulary development, and general comprehension. Learning in social studies is heavily dependent on text and thus has been a key target of content area reading. 2. Disciplinary Literacy. Disciplinary literacy stands apart from content area reading in significant ways. Disciplinary literacies are about more than just reading. Disciplinary literacies include all the skills that are needed to understand, create, and communicate academic knowledge.3 Disciplinary literacies are also reflective of how experts think in different specialized disciplines; for example, literacy in history has distinctive characteristics that differentiate it from literacy in other social studies disciplines, such as geography and economics. Reading, writing, and other forms of expression have unique qualities in each of the core areas of social studies.
The Common Core State Standards and Literacy in Social Studies

The Common Core State Standards establish general literacy skills and some of the disciplinary skills that students need for college and career. The 32 anchor standards in the Common Core provide a foundation for literacy in social studies. The C3 Framework argues that 21 of these anchor standards are uniquely supportive of social studies inquiry, and three anchor standards are absolutely vital to literacy in social studies. Table 1

Table 1:

Connections between the C3 Framework and the CCR* Anchor Standards in the ELA/Literacy Common Core Standards
All ELA/Literacy Common Core Standards Reading 1-10; Writing 1, 7-9; Speaking and Listening 1-6; Language 6 Reading 1; Writing 7; Speaking and Listening 1

Foundational Supportive Vital

field. However, the distinction among primary and secondary sources is unique to history and thus an incomplete representation of social studies.
The C3 Framework Vision of Literacy in Social Studies

*College Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standards Source: National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History (Silver Spring, Md.: NCSS, 2013), 20. Accessible online at

identifies the connections between the ELA Common Core anchor standards and the C3 Framework. At the K-5 level, the Common Core describes the skills that students need in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. For grades 6-12, the Common Core distinguishes these skills for disciplinary contexts by listing 10 reading standards for social studies and 10 writing standards for science, social studies, and the technical subjects. The general focus of the literacy skills in a given standard is consistent, but becomes more sophisticated across the grades. In grades 6-12, the literacy skills also begin to reflect unique disciplinary characteristics. For example, informational text reading standard 1 for kindergarten states that students will ask and answer questions about key details in a text. This focus on key details advances

in sophistication so that by grades 11-12 social studies students are expected to cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole. Three important ideas are evident in the 11-12 standards: (1) the notion of evidence; (2) the distinction between primary and secondary sources; and (3) the relationship between details from text and the text as a whole. Its important to keep in mind that the Common Core State Standards emphasize history in the 20 reading and writing standards for grades 6-12, so the disciplinary context for the Common Core standards is limited. We can see this narrow focus in Reading Standard 1, mentioned above. The use of evidence is a general social studies literacy skill that is relevant for all the disciplines in the

The C3 Framework builds on the foundation provided by the Common Core State Standards in three important ways. First, the C3 Framework elevates the purpose of literacy to be in the service of academic inquiry and civic action. While the Common Core Standards mention research in Writing Standard 7, the C3 Framework places inquiry at the center of social studies, animating all aspects of teaching and learning in the field. Second, the C3 Framework expands the disciplinary context of social studies by placing on equal footing civics, economics, geography, and history and by recognizing that social studies includes the behavioral sciences. In Appendix A of the C3 Framework, the disciplinary writers map the distinct ways of knowing within their respective disciplines and further delineate the types of evidence that are particular to the discipline. Table 2 summarizes the data sources that each of the disciplines of civics, economics, geography, and history would use to address questions like: How bad was the recent Great Recession?

Table 2: Data Sources in Social Studies Disciplines

Civics/GOvernment WaYs Of KnOwing POlitical Scientists SAY DimensiOn 2 Government policies, policy pronouncements, political poll results, statistics, leadership efforts, political behavior; observations of local conditions, interviews; news reports Statistics and lots of them in as real time as possible (labor, capital, credit, monetary flow, supply, demand) Spatial and environmental data; statistics, map representations, GIS data to measure observable changes to the planet; indicators of territorial impact Accounts from the recent recession and from hard economic times in the past, both firsthand and synthetic, as many as can be found (oral history, diaries, journals, newspapers, photos, economic data, artifacts, etc.) EcOnOmics EcOnOmists saY GeOgraphY GeOgraphers SaY HistOrY HistOrians SaY

Data SOUrces N eeded tO Address QUestiOns

Source: National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History (Silver Spring, Md.: NCSS, 2013), 67. Accessible online at S o c i a l E d u c at i o n 328

Third, the C3 Framework details literacies that are essential for success in college, career, and civic life. The literacies described in the C3 Framework fall into two broad categoriesthose skills needed for inquiry such as questioning, evaluating evidence, and communicating conclusions; and those grounded in academic concepts and approaches to organizing and making sense out of disciplinary content. The C3 inquiry literacies contained within the Framework are carefully and explicitly articulated in Dimensions 1, 3, and 4 in the Framework, and include the following.
C3 Inquiry Literacies

10. Classifying historical sources 11. Determining the purpose of an historical source 12. Analyzing cause and effect in history
What Do C3 Literacies Look Like in Practice

1. Questioning 2. Selecting sources 3. Gathering information from sources 4. Evaluating sources 5. Making claims 6. Using evidence 7. Constructing arguments and explanations 8. Adapting arguments and explanations 9. Presenting arguments and explanations 10. Critiquing arguments and explanations 11. Analyzing social problems 12. Assessing options for action 13. Taking informed action The disciplinary literacies contained within Dimension 2 are more deeply embedded within the indicators. The following list provides some clarifying examples of literacies that are featured in one or more of the indicators in Dimension 2.
C3 Disciplinary Literacies

In Table 3 (p. 330), we outline four of the C3 inquiry literacies listed above and embed each within a social studies discipline. We also identify instructional resources and opportunities for teachers to incorporate these literacies in authentic ways. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather, a starting place for thinking about the ways in which a social studies experience can serve as an ideal staging ground for developing essential literacies.
Is the Common Core good for social studies? Yes, but

Social studies demands a unique set of literacy skills, but did the Common

Core get it right? Even with its limited focus on history education, we think it did. The Common Core State Standards include a robust set of skills that should be the foundation for social studies literacy. There are several elements of the Common Core State Standards that are particularly useful. The Common Core State Standards are fewer, higher, and clearer, and thus push social studies to be similarly well defined in describing the skills and practices that are essential to the field. The Common Core State Standards have also shifted the discussion about literacy in social studies from an amorphous focus on context to a manageable number of clearly stated literacies that can serve as a foundation for an upgrading of social studies state standards. The Common Core State Standards specifically encourage depth of knowledge and higher order thinking, which is sorely needed in social studies, in contrast to the current tendency to favor breadth over depth,

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Using deliberative processes Participating in school settings Following rules Making economic decisions Using economic data Identifying prices in a market Reasoning spatially Constructing maps Using geographic data
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or factual minutia over understanding. The Common Core State Standards recognize and validate the importance of preparation for civic life. As noted in the introduction to the Common Core State Standards, students who meet the standards are able to reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic.4 The Common Core State Standards also promote interdisciplinary approaches and the application of knowledge and concepts in real world settings. This has opened the door

for documents like the C3 Framework to define disciplinary literacy in social studies.
Notes 1. Tina L. Heafner and Paul G. Fitchett, National Trends in Elementary Instruction: Exploring the Role of Social Studies Curricula, The Social Studies 103, no. 2 (2012): 67-72. 2. Vicki Urquhart and Dana Frazee, Teaching Reading in the Content Areas: If Not Me, Then Who? (Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 3rd edition, 2012). 3. Timothy Shanahan and Cynthia Shanahan, Teaching Disciplinary Literacy to Adolescents: Rethinking Content Area Literacy, Harvard Educational Review 78 (2008), 40-59. 4. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and Council of Chief State School

Ofcers (CCSSO), Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/ Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (Washington, D.C.: NGA and CCSSO, 2010).

writer to the C3 Framework. He is associate professor of social studies education at North Carolina State University. Kathy Swan was project director and lead writer of the C3 Framework leadership team. She is associate professor of social studies education at the University of Kentucky. Much of the text of this article also appears in a chapter written by both authors, The C3 Framework and the Common Core State Standards, published in NCSS Bulletin 113, Social Studies for the Next Generation: Purposes, Practices, and Implications of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.

John Lee was a senior advisor and contributing

Table 3:
C3 InqUirY LiteracY

C3 Literacies as Social Studies Experiences

C3 DisciplinarY LiteracY InstrUctiOnal ResOUrce/OppOrtUnitY The Model United Nations (MUN) ( is a program that invites students to role-play as diplomats representing a country or non-governmental organization in a simulated United Nations conference. Before the conference, students research an issue from the perspective of an assigned country and develop a solution to a world problem. Within the conference, students then take on the role of diplomat, debating and deliberating within committees, such as the Security Council or General Assembly. As students research, develop and present resolutions, they are practicing many of the C3 literacies but they are specifically using deliberative processes while assessing options for action, as the MUN expects students to work collaboratively within and across country teams. As important, the MUN draws on all of the social studies disciplines asking students to think about thorny social problems (e.g., sustainable development, clean water) that can cut across or situated within a particular discipline. The Council for Economic Education has created the National Budget Simulation ( s306) in which students serve as an economic advisor to the president. In the simulation, students must weigh an increase of military spending and decreases in social programs in order to limit the deficit. Using an online simulation students add or subtract from a line-item expenditure (e.g., national defense, energy, social security) while making decisions about the impact of an increase or decrease in taxes (e.g., corporate, individual, estate). As students weigh these economic decisions, they ultimately construct an argument explaining and justifying their balanced (or unbalanced) budget and predict the consequences of the decisions they have made. In doing so, teachers are able to nestle the very important skill of constructing an argument within an authentic economics inquiry. 270 to Win ( is a non-partisan site that contains electoral maps of the results for every presidential election in U.S. history. Also of interest is the opportunity to use the map to chart a strategy for winning the 2016 presidential race. Students can answer the questions: What strategy would you recommend to candidates Mitt Romney (R) and Barack Obama (D) to win the presidency in 2012? How do the maps shape the strategy? Using geographic data provided on these interactive maps, teachers can initiate a geographic inquiry with students by asking important questions of this geo-political data. Beyond the Bubble ( is a website launched by the Stanford History Education Group. Using the Library of Congress primary source collections, the creators provide history assessments that focus students on evaluating individual sources. For example, in one of the exercises featuring the iconic Dorothea Lange photograph from the Great Depression, students are asked to source, contextualize and corroborate the document. In sourcing the document, the students are asked several questions, including Who created this document? When? For what purposes? As students determine the purpose of the historical source, they are practicing an important core C3 literacy of evaluating sourcesbut doing so within the context of a historical investigation. S o c i a l E d u c at i o n 330

Assessing OptiOns fOr actiOn

Civics: Using deliberative processes

COnstrUcting argUments and eXplanatiOns

Economics: Making economic decisions


Geography: Using geographic data

EvalUating sOUrces

History: Determining the purpose of an historical source

Social Education 77(6), pp 331333 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

The C3 Framework

The Links between the C3 Framework and the NCSS National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Michelle M. Herczog
The C3 Framework

The newly released College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards , commonly known as the C3 Framework, represents the culmination of a three-year effort to enhance social studies state standards through disciplinary and multidisciplinary concepts and practices that embody an approach to the teaching of the social studies that is based on inquiry and investigation.1 The C3 Framework includes descriptions of the structure and tools of four core disciplines (civics, economics, geography, and history), as well as the habits of mind common in those disciplines. The C3 Framework centers on an inquiry arca set of interlocking and mutually supportive ideas that frame the ways students learn social studies content. It calls upon students to use the disciplines of civics, economics, geography, and history as they (1) develop questions and plan investigations; (2) apply disciplinary concepts and tools; (3) gather, evaluate, and use evidence; and (4) work collaboratively to communicate conclusions and take informed action. Unlike standards, the document serves as a framework to focus primarily on an inquiry-based approach to acquiring important conceptual understandings.

It is not intended to prescribe the content necessary for a rigorous social studies program but is designed to guide states in their efforts to upgrade their social studies standards and to inform the pedagogical approaches of social studies educators across the nation.
The NCSS National Curriculum Standards

developers as they identify specific content to be delivered and concepts to be acquired:

CULTURE: the study of culture and cultural diversity TIME, CONTINUITY, AND CHANGE: the

study of the past and its legacy.


The National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: A Framework for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, which were published by NCSS in 2010, also advocate a pedagogy that supports critical thinking and disciplinary habits of mind. The national standards are a guide for identifying or updating content standards.2 The Learning Expectations of the national standards focus on: Purposes Questions for Exploration Knowledge: what learners need to understand Processes: what learners will be capable of doing Products: how learners demonstrate understanding Unlike the C3 Framework, the 2010 NCSS Standards present ten themes of social studies that can guide curriculum
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study of people, places, and environments.


the study of individual development and identity


the study of interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions.


the study of how people create, interact with, and change structures of power, authority, and governance.

organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.


study of relationships among science, technology, and society.

GLOBAL CONNEcTIONS: the study of global connections and interdependence. CIVIc IDEALS AND PRAcTIcES: the study of the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic.

The Learning Expectations outlined in the national standards for the early, middle, and high school levels describe democratic dispositions/purposes, knowledge, and intellectual processes that students should exhibit in student products. The Essential Social Studies Skills and Strategies represent the abilities involved in the thinking, reasoning, researching, and understanding that learners engage in as they encounter new concepts, principles and issues. Student Products describe how students demonstrate acquired learnings and provide teachers with a vehicle to assess student achievement. Snapshots of Practice provide educators with images of how the standards might look when enacted in classrooms.

Complementary Resources

Both these documents are powerful tools to guide and strengthen social studies teaching and learning. The inquiry arc of the C3 Framework features the four dimensions of inquiry that should drive all social studies instruction. It is purposefully designed to promote rigorous study aligned to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies. And like the Common Core State Standards, the C3 Framework is based on evidence

that aims at college and career readiness. As a core area in the K-12 curriculum, social studies prepares students for college and career, including the disciplinary practices and literacies that are needed for college-level work in social studies academic courses and the critical thinking, problem solving, and collaborative skills needed for the workplace. The Learning Expectations of the 2010 National Curriculum Standards, though developed before the publication of the Common Core State Standards, offer similar pedagogical approaches. And though there is no explicit alignment to the Common Core Standards, the NCSS Standards feature important elements of value to social studies educators. The Ten Themes , Student Products, and Snapshots of Practice offer specific ideas and details to help teachers envision what the approach may look like in classroom settings. This is particularly helpful in developing lesson plans and curriculum. The Table demonstrates the overarching similarities of the pedagogical approaches of the C3 Framework and the 2010 NCSS National Curriculum Standards. As the Table demonstrates, there is a significant correspondence between the four dimensions of the Inquiry Arc, and

The C3 Framework Inquiry Arcs Four Dimensions 1. Develop questions and plan investigations

NCSS National Curriculum Standards: Learning Expectations Questions for Exploration

The Enhanced Contributions of the C3 Framework Builds on NCSS National Standards by focusing on the process of constructing compelling and supporting questions to develop inquiry skills. Develops student knowledge of disciplinary content and concepts in purposeful, meaningful ways. Addresses the implementation needs of the NCSS National Standards by intensely focusing on developing skills for gathering and evaluating sources and making claims based on evidence. Intentionally aligns to the goal of the Common Core State Standards to draw evidence from informational text to draw conclusions. Develops skills to paraphrase information, construct summaries, make arguments, communicate conclusions, and apply learning as described in the Common Core State Standards.

2. Apply Disciplinary Concepts and Tools 3. Gather, Evaluate, and Use Evidence

Knowledge: what learners need to understand Processes: what learners will be capable of doing

4. Communicate Conclusions and Take Informed Action

Products: how learners demonstrate understanding

S o c i a l E d u c at i o n 332

the following four Learning Expectations of the National Curriculum Standards: Questions for Exploration Knowledge Processes Products

In meeting objectives outlined in the National Curriculum Standards, the C3 Framework has also added enhancements, as indicated in the third column of the Table. Its focus on compelling and supporting questions develops the focus of the national standards on Questions for Exploration. The C3 Framework also makes specific suggestions for improving disciplinary knowledge, developing skills for gathering and evaluating sources, making claims based on evidence, and communicating conclusions that link social studies learning expectations to the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy

in History/Social Studies, which were published after the National Curriculum Standards were developed. A fundamental purpose of education in the United States is to prepare young people for civic life, and social studies is especially valuable for that purpose. Whether used separately or in tandem, both the C3 Framework and the National Curriculum Standards are intended to achieve a common purposeto describe and promote the acquisition of the disciplinary and multi-disciplinary concepts and practices that are needed for college, career, and civic life. As Aristotle first argued, learning to be an active and responsible citizen requires experience. The C3 Framework, informed by the 2010 NCSS National Curriculum Standards and social studies experts across the nation, describes a system of disciplinary inquiry in social studies that supports such experiences. As students inquire and communicate the results of

their work, they are practicing the arts and habits of civic life needed for the twenty-first century.
Notes 1. National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History (Silver Spring, Md.: NCSS, 2013). Accessible online at 2. National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: A Framework for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (Silver Spring, Md.: NCSS, 2010).

Michelle M. Herczog is the History-Social Science Consultant for the Los Angeles County Ofce of Education, responsible for providing professional development, resources, and support for K-12 social studies educators throughout the 80 school districts of Los Angeles County. She is president elect of the National Council for the Social Studies.
This article is also being published in NCSS Bulletin 113, Social Studies for the Next Generation: Purposes, Practices, and Implications of the College, Career, and Civic Life Framework for Social Studies State Standards.

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Social Education 77(6), pp 334338 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

The C3 Framework

Can Assessment Improve Learning? Thoughts on the C3 Framework

Bruce VanSledright
The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards charts a bold new path, which differs in a number of ways from standards and frameworks of the past. Its pivotal idea is that deep understanding of the sociocultural worlda key objective of a social studies learning experience in schooldepends heavily on inviting children and adolescents to investigate, inquire into, and build knowledge about that world. Its design and message displace the old approach that turned on an image of learners holding passive acquisition roles in the face of other peoples understandings. Instead, if pursued as developed, the C3 Framework asks learners to engage in actively participating in their own knowledge growth under the expert tutelage and guidance of social studies teachers. The design and structure of the C3 Framework is deeply rooted in decades of research on how children and adolescents learn.1 Those who have conducted empirical studies on that learning process have noted repeatedly that, if deep understanding is the goal, children and adolescents must ask questions about what they do not understand, embark on an investigative journey that begins to address those questions, explore resources for learning, develop evidencebased understandings, and be able to communicate them cogently and coherently. Because they are novices, children and adolescents need guides and facilitators in the form of teachers who assist and help to discipline and focus the process in order to insure success. With some exceptions, this has not been what we typically do, nor is it what we do today. Rather, we ask learners to sit much more passively as we adults tell them how things are, how the sociocultural world works. We ask them to trust that we are telling them the right story. To see if they trust us, we ask them to repeat the story back to us, most famously on tests we give them periodically. Then a curious thing happens. Because we are so busy telling so many stories, telling learners what they need to know, we have no time to remedy learning difficulties, or misunderstandings, or lack of understandings, if we see them appear on tests. Instead, we march on. After all, educators are charged with following the pacing guide rooted in broad, complex social studies content standards and their indicators of learning. To the extent that a state or a school district tests and evaluates social studies programs periodically or at the end of a year, learners need to be prepared for those testsor so the argument goes. However, at this point the entire practice repeats itself because, even if those tests show misunderstandings or lack of knowledge, we seldom stop to remedy them, but simply press on because there is so much to tell.
S o c i a l E d u c at i o n 334

My point here is to argue that this practice is a deeply flawed effort, uneducative at best and fundamentally irresponsible at worst, particularly if deep understanding is the goal. To understand, students need to learn how to question, to think, to investigate the sociocultural world, to do that in disciplined ways, and to communicate what they understand in defensible forms. They need to have substantial practice at this enterprise. That practice will take time. The C3 Framework recognizes this concern and is structured to provide guidance as a means of steering around it. What it does not speak to quite as clearly is that the remedy involves at least two major accompanying changes. One is a change in social studies state content standards and their indicators, refocusing them around rich questions and reducing their breadth at any given grade level. The second involves approaches to assessment. The latter change is the focus of my comments here.
New Framework, New Assessments

The approach to assessment that I suggest is based upon the need to move away from testing and toward assessment. It coheres closely with the design of the C3 Framework, and in fact, I would maintain that it is necessitated by that design. Broadly speaking, it involves shifting the conversation away from tests as a means of sorting and ranking students and towards embracing

assessment as a means of educating in social studies. 2 The approach I outline is a classroom-based, teaching and learning approach. Some refer to this as formative assessment. I will call it diagnostic performance assessment; as I proceed, I hope to make the meaning of that concept clear. The suggestions I make, although geared toward classrooms and close to teaching and learning in those types of contexts, apply more broadly to the way states assess social studies learning. For example, the state of Maryland accomplished this feat for a decade prior to the inception of No Child Left Behind. The approach was called The Maryland State Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP). 3 It was designed to ask children and adolescents to show how well they understood what they had learned through experiences in which they performed them, individually and sometimes in small groups.
An Assessment Structure

and memorize. They tell us precious little about a learners capabilities. In contrast, the design of the C3 Framework is all about growing learners capabilities. Assessment approaches and outcomes need to make sense of those capabilities if they are to be enhanced. Therefore, asking learners to demonstrate their sociocultural knowledge becomes a rich guide for understanding their current capabilities and how to stretch these

capabilities farther. That is what much of a social education is about; it frames a good share of the work of social studies teachers. The assessment structure has three interconnected parts: cognition, observation, and interpretation. They form the three pillars upon which strong assessments are built. Assessment begins with the cognition pillar. Cognition refers to the thinking learners need to do in order

Curriculum for Current Issues, U.S. History, and World History

Textual Analysis Critical Thinking Multiple Perspectives Global Awareness Collaboration Civic Literacy
CHINA Kashmir (Disputed) Pre- and Post-Partition Territories British India before partition Provincial boundaries Line of partition

The design and administration of diagnostic performance assessments for classroom use should be based on a structure that supports the dimensions and flow of the C3 Framework. My suggestion here follows principles outlined by a group of scholars commissioned by the National Research Council to generate advice about constructing assessments that produce the best evidence possible about what students know and what they could do with that knowledge.4 The last clause is important. Knowledge by itself can be rather shallow. It matters most when we can put it into action and accomplish brilliant things with it. It represents an authentic measure of what we know. Traditional and typical testing approaches are flawed precisely because they miss this point. They test for bits of knowledge divorced from the powerful and rich ways in which knowledge enables us to think clearly, act, and critically and reflectively navigate our worlds. In many ways these tests tell us little more than whether or not learners can read and comprehend






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to understand and address a question being posed, such as the one presented in the C3 Framework: How bad was the recent Great Recession?5 If we approach this question from a historical angle, say, in the context of an eighth-grade history

course, then it would be important to know something about the kind of thinking of which eighth graders are capable in addressing this question. We also need to know about the kinds of resources necessary to assist these students in broaching

the question, along with the sorts of concepts (e.g., change over time, evidence, historical significance, and context) they would need to understand and be able to apply to it. Fitting these pieces together would require a theory of how students would (a) pose the question and search out sources to address it; (b) read, think strategically, and use concepts to make sense; (c) draw evidence from the sources in order to make claims of understanding; and (d) communicate those understandings. The research literature on learning history is useful here as a source for drawing up a robust theory of cognition in history.6 All of these portions of cognition and how they fit together, of course, would frame how this question would be investigated and taught. Observation refers to the way in which diagnostic performance-assessment tasks would be designed to observe learning in action. We cannot see learning or cognition take place in the mind; all we can see at present are their proxies.

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Therefore, we need tasks that allow learners to display for us how they think and understand. If assessment is to give us diagnostic power, we must have tasks that require both displays of thinking and the understandings that derive from them. These tasks can take on myriad forms, from the DBQ-essay response, to constructing a small website that details the learning process and the evidencebased claims advanced to address a question, to an oral presentation in class, or a blog.7 Once observations are complete, we effectively hold evidence of student thinking and understanding (or its absence) that must be interpreted consistently, signaling the introduction of the interpretation pillar. Therefore, we need interpretive tools, often referred to as rubrics. Rubrics must be linked to the theory of cognition we began with. Rubrics must gauge thinking processes, and the concepts required to do so, as well as the understandings of the question (i.e., claims students make). They must be robust and reasonably sensitive to both the thinking processes and the goals of those processes. I cannot overstate how important it is to develop and

use sharp, sensitive rubrics that are tied as closely as possible to the cognition pillar. The C3 Framework contains a number of indicators in the History section of the document (Tables 20-23) that could serve as the basis for designing rubrics. 8 The numerous tables in the C3 Framework used to cross-reference the indicators of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies can also be useful.9 Table 1 contains a sample rubric for one of the indicators for high school history in the C3 Framework: D2.His.11.9-12. Critique the usefulness of historical sources for a specific historical inquiry based on their maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose. This indicator requires identification of the document, the correct attribution of the document to its author, and the identification of the perspective of the author. If rubrics are thorough, robust, and applied consistently, they generate evi-

dence of student learning, and problems and impasses to that learning. They expose where little learning has taken place either in thinking capability, subsequent understanding, or both. Equipped with this evidence, we are then better able to diagnosis where the problems are, and why learning breaks down. This allows for opportunities to adjust teaching practices, reteach, and then reassess in an ongoing, cyclical effort to improve learners capabilities to think and understand, in this case historically, but also in other social studies subjects. The most apt analogy that comes to mind is from medicine. Serious physical maladies require treatment. Doctors assess patients to diagnose the problem largely because the problems source is often invisible. The assessment data serve as evidence for a diagnosis and for prescribing a treatment. The treatment, tailored to the patient, arrests the malady. In my foregoing example, the same set of assessment-diagnosis-treatmentreassessment principles and cycles are at work, only in a classroom context. The cycles begin with a deep and strong grasp of what it means to learn social studies. The C3 Framework attempts to lay out

Table 1. Sample Rubric for Indicator D2.His.11.9-12*

Identification: Identifying an Account 3 Clearly and correctly identifies the account, dates it, and speaks to its origins 2 Correctly identifies the account, adds the date, but does not note the origin 1 Only correctly states the accounts identification by name 0 Does not identify the account or provides a mistaken identity Attribution: Attributing an Account to an Author 3 Attributes the account to the correct author and speaks to who the author is 2 Only notes the correct author 1 Notes an incorrect author 0 Does not attribute the account Perspective: Assessing Authors Perspective 3 Clearly describes the authors perspective using contextembedded cues from the text (or painting, photo, etc.) 2 Describes the authors perspective, but without noting any context cues 1 Notes a perspective but misses details and/or appears to misinterpret the author 0 Neglects to assess the authors perspective
* The indicator is in College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: State Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History, 48. The C3 Framework is accessible online at The rubric is adapted from Bruce A. VanSledright, Assessing Historical Thinking and Understanding: Innovative Designs for New Standards (New York: Routledge, 2014), 94. N o v e m b e r / D e c e m b e r 2 0 13 337

clearly and concisely what that learning looks like and how to teach to it. It presents a powerful guide. We need powerful assessments to assist in bringing it all together.
Notes 1. For example, see the research reviews in Handbook of Research in Social Studies Education, eds. Linda S. Levstik and Cynthia A. Tyson (New York: Routledge, 2008). 2. It is entirely unclear what educative effect this sorting and ranking has. Policymakers have argued that it would drive better teaching practice. Legislation such as No Child Left Behind was built around testing as a means of driving improved practice, at least in rhetoric. However, policy analysts, for instance, who have carefully studied such tests-asleverage approaches, remark on how little real inuence they have on improving learning or teaching. Children are still left behind for many of the reasons I am describing here. For a cogent analysis of this, see David K. Cohen and Susan Moftt, The Ordeal of Equality: Did Federal Regulations Fix the Schools? (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009). 3. For more on this program, see www.msde.state.

4. James W. Pellegrino, Naomi Chudowsky, and Robert Glaser, eds., Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001).

5. National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: State Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History (Silver Spring, Md.: NCSS, 2013): 66-68, 72, 76, and 81. Accessible online at 6. See, for example, reviews of this literature by Keith C. Barton, Research On Students Ideas About History, in Handbook of Research in Social Studies Education, 239258; David Hicks, Stephanie van Hover, Peter Doolittle, and Phillip VanFossen, Learning Social Studies: An Evidencebased Approach, in APA Educational Psychology Handbook: Vol. 3, Application to Learning and Teaching, eds. Karen Harris, Steve Graham, and Tim Urdan (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2012): 283-307; and especially the explanation of Peter Lee, Putting Principles Into Practice: Understanding History, in How Students Learn: History in the Classroom, eds. M. Suzanne Donovan and John Bransford (Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press): 31-78. 7. In history, examples of such tasks can be found at; http://histori; and in considerable detail in Bruce A. VanSledright, Assessing Historical Thinking and Understanding: Innovative Designs for New Standards (New York: Routledge, 2014). This latter volume integrates some of the indicators of the historical literacy strands of the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies. 8. College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for

Social Studies State Standards: State Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History, 46-49. 9. Sample rubrics can also be found at the sources cited in Note 7. For additional guidance, see also the work of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium at formance-tasks/ and Chauncey Monte-Sano, What Makes a Good History Essay? Assessing Historical Aspects of Argumentative Writing, Social Education 76 (November/December, 2012), 294298.

Bruce VanSledright is professor of history and social studies education at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. His most recent book is Assessing Historical Thinking and Understanding. This article is taken from a chapter by the author, Can Assessment Improve Learning: Thoughts on Inventive Approaches Aligned to the C3 Framework, in NCSS Bulletin 113, Social Studies for the Next Generation: Purposes, Practices, and Implications of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.

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Social Education 77(6), pp 339341 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

The C3 Framework

Taking Informed Action to Engage Students in Civic Life

Meira Levinson and Peter Levine
The C3 Framework exhibits a signature commitment to civic action from the very start, making clear even in the title its aim to guide states in preparing students for college, career, and civic life. Fittingly, therefore, students arc of inquiry ends (and then ideally begins anew) in the fourth dimension of the C3 Framework with their Taking Informed Action. Action is essential to the inquiry arcand even more fundamentally, to the social studies as a wholebecause, as Aristotle first argued, learning to be an active and responsible citizen requires experience. Texts and examples can help, but children learn to be citizens by working together as citizens. That means that an essential element of social studies education is experiential: practicing the arts and habits of citizenship collaboratively. This insight captures not only what we know about successful social studies education, but also what cognitive scientists and educators know about all deep learning. Students learn to read, for example, in large part by reading. Skilled teachers will guide students reading, scaffold their encounters with challenging texts, and teach them essential metacognitive strategies. But all of this work takes place in the context of students actually reading texts. Similarly, students learn mathematics by doing math. They learn science in large part by conducting scientific experiments themselves, not just by learning about others scientific findings. They learn to dance, to play basketball, and to persevere in the face of failure by actually dancing, shooting hoops, and persevering. Students need similar guided experiential opportunities to take informed action throughout their K-12 schooling in order to learn how to engage productively in civic life.
Taking Informed Action in Schools: A Historical Perspective

Good teachers have always asked students to take civic action as part of

their social studies education, in part because public schools were founded in the United States for the express purpose of preparing young citizens for active engagement in civic life. The champion of universal public education, Horace Mann of Massachusetts, wrote in 1846 that since the achievement of American independence, the universal and ever-repeated argument in favor of public schools has been, that the general intelligence which they are capable of diffusing, is indispensible to the continuance of republican government.1 In 1915, for example, the U. S. Bureau of Education (the forerunner of todays Department of Education) formally endorsed an approach called community civics, which involved a strong element of action outside the school. 2 The Bureaus guide for teachers named action as the end of all good citizenship and of all good teaching. It drew the implications for pedagogy: A lesson in community civics is not complete unless it leaves with the pupil a sense of his personal responsibility and results in right action. For example,
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The good citizen should be able to write a courteous letter to the public official. Practice in writing such letters should be given to pupils, preferably relating to actual conditions observed by the pupils, or containing practical suggestions by them. Moreover, the manual advised, It is sometimes desirable for the class to undertake a special piece of work of direct use to the community. In an elaborate real example that the manual described, students were concerned about the impact of a snowstorm on their city, learned about the ordinance that required homeowners to shovel, and noted that many residents were out of compliance. They considered various responses, including speak[ing] personally to offenders, but decided that would be slightly officious and perhaps offensive to older citizens. Finally, they created a paid snowshoveling service that they offered to seniors. 3 Other well-documented examples of community civics in action include Benjamin Franklin High School in East Harlem, New York, where in 1948 students tackled negative stereotypes about their community by mapping the neighborhoods actual needs and assets in order to influence the news media.4 Since 1995, students at Broad Meadow Middle School in Quincy, Massachusetts, have supported the development and maintenance of a school in Pakistan in honor of Iqbal Masih, an anti-child-labor activist who was killed at 12 years old.

Taking Informed Action in TwentyFirst Century Schools

As in the past, ambitious and rigorous social studies educators continue to provide their students opportunities to take informed action about issues of civic concern. Many compelling examples come from student-sponsored legislation. In Iowa in 2008, for instance, seventhgrade students from West Branch Middle School did work leading to the introduction and passage of a law requiring oil reclamation from untreated oil filters.5 In 2011, Hope High School students drew upon their economic and civic knowledge to propose an amendment to allow Rhode Island residents to redirect a portion of their state income-tax refund to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Other forms of informed civic action are more direct. In a nationwide survey of high school civics and government teachers conducted last summer, some reported that their students conducted exit polls, ran mock elections in local elementary and middle schools, and completed voter registration forms in anticipation of the 2012 presidential election.6 Nor is informed student action limited to civics. History teachers across the nation have helped their students create public history exhibits that educate community members about important aspects of local history. In Peterborough, New Hampshire, for example, middle school students at South Meadow School curated an exhibit about the Contoocook River that combined historical and geographic inquiry. Their exhibit included a 3D watershed map, historical diaries and other texts, student-created artworks, and displays of artifacts. These initiatives in some cases reflect state standards that encourage action of various forms.7 Hawaii, for example, requires students to come to a consensus on issues and then take action to gain community involvement. Minnesota requires students to demonstrate the skills necessary to participate in an election, including registering to vote, identifying and evaluating candidates

and issues, and casting a ballot. Nevadas standards call for active participation in civic and community life. But explicit and clear action standards are relatively rare or buried amid many pages of standards about specific topics from history and politics. Thus the C3 Framework offers a historic, and essential, opportunity to expand and deepen students engagement in civic life through action. In a survey of young adults (1824) that CIRCLE conducted in 2012, just 27% recalled

high-quality opportunities for action are particularly rare in schools serving lower-income students, exacerbating a civic empowerment gap between historically privileged and marginalized youth.
that they had done a project in the community for their high school social studies class. To be sure, students can also take action inside the classroom or school, but this survey of community projects suggests that most never experience that form of engagement. And high-quality opportunities for action are particularly rare in schools serving lowerincome students, exacerbating a civic empowerment gap between historically privileged and marginalized youth. For instance, middle-class students whose parents attended college are far more likely to get opportunities to discuss current events or other contentious issues, to participate in simulations such as Model UN, to present arguments backed by evidence in a public forum, or to meet with community leaders.8 Furthermore, students opportunities for taking action are often limited these days to one form of action: namely,
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service learning. In 2008, almost one quarter of all K-12 schools offered service-learning: community service projects that connect to the academic content of a course.9 Research shows positive results when teachers allocate substantial amounts of time to the project, develop strong partnerships with organizations outside the school, challenge students intellectually and academically, and enable students to address important social issues. Oftentimes these demanding criteria are not met, however, and the service activity has little to no effect on students civic learning. Furthermore, recent research with young adults has found that community service in high school was positively related to civic engagement later on only if the young people remembered that they had learned about possible causes of and solutions to social problems that they were addressing.10 Other research has similarly found that service experiences beget more service and volunteerism, while students who have the opportunity to participate in explicitly civic and political activities in school are more likely to be civically and politically engaged in the future.11 State standards, guided by the C3 Framework, need therefore to incorporate a wide variety of student action as part of social studies. Experiential social studies takes many forms, including: making collaborative decisions within the school or classroom; starting, leading, and sustaining student organizations; conducting community-based research; producing student journalism and media; making presentations to public audiences or contacting the news media; and campaigning for changes in politics or public opinion. Although particular approaches may not be appropriate for specific students,

schools, communities, or contexts, all students should experience an appropriate mix of these forms during their K-12 education in the social studies.

By regularly taking informed action in response to rigorous, sustained inquiry in the social studies, students have opportunities to contribute toeven to co-createa more engaged, democratic, civil, and generally revitalized public life. A survey conducted by CIRCLE last year found that 98 percent of teachers said that it was very important or essential to teach students to embrace the responsibilities of citizenship, such as voting and jury duty. Many offered strong supportive statements, such as Its why I get up at 5:30 a.m. every morning. Students, too, respond well to the idea that they can take responsible action. Once action takes its rightful place in the social studies, courses will no longer be greeted with groans, indifference, or questions about Why do we have to learn this? Even more to the point, the social studies will be able to regain ground as an essential component of education for college, career, and citizenship. There is promising initial data that social studies knowledge increases students reading comprehension skills, and that social studies action can positively impact students academic success in high school and college.12 Students active engagement can also improve classroom management, discipline, and school culture.13 And most important of all, it prepares children to take on the demanding responsibilities of engaged, responsible citizenship over a lifetime.
Notes 1. Horace Mann, Report for 1846, Life and Works (Boston: Lee & Shephard, 1891), Vol. IV, p. 113. 2. P. Levine, The New Progressive Era: Toward a Fair and Deliberative Democracy (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littleeld, 2000), 229. 3. United States Bureau of Education, Teaching of Community Civics (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Ofce, 1915), 00natirich_djvu.txt.

Making Civics Count: Civic Education for a New Generation, eds. David E. Campbell, Meira Levinson, and Frederick Hess (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Education Press, 2012), 77-82. 5. James Youniss, How to Enrich Civic Education and Sustain Democracy, in Making Civics Count, 115133. 6. Data collected for the Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge, All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement (Medford: Mass.: Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, 2013); see p. 44-45 for information on the survey. 7. S. Godsay, W. Henderson, P. Levine, and J. Littenberg-Tobias, State Civic Education Requirements (Medford, Mass.: Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, 2012),

8. Surbhi Godsay, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Abby Kiesa, and Peter Levine Thats Not Democracy: How Out-of-School Youth Engage in Civic Life and What Stands in their Way (Medford, Mass.: Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, 2012); Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Do Discussion, Debate, and Simulations Boost NAEP Civics Performance? CIRCLE Fact Sheet (Medford, Mass.: Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, 2013); Meira Levinson, No Citizen Left Behind (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012). 9. Kimberly Spring, Robert Grimm, Jr., and Nathan Dietz, Community Service and Service-Learning in Americas Schools (Washington, D.C.: Corporation for National and Community Service, Ofce of Research and Policy Development, 2008). 10. Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge, p. 43. 11. James Youniss, How to Enrich Civic Education and Sustain Democracy, in Making Civics Count, 115133; Jonathan F. Zaff and Erik Michelsen, Encouraging Civic Engagement: How Teens Are (or Are Not) Becoming Responsible Citizens, Child Trends Research Brief (Oct. 2002). Hahrie Han, Moved to Action: Motivation, Participation, and Inequality in American Politics (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2009). 12. Meira Levinson, The Third C: College, Career, and Citizenship, in Making Civics Count, 247-257. 13. Levinson, No Citizen Left Behind, Chapter 5.

Teaching Reading with the Social Studies Standards: Elementary Units that Integrate Great Books, Social Studies, and the Common Core Standards
Edited by Syd Golston and Peggy Altoff
NCSS Bulletin 112, 118 pp., 2012 This book has been designed for elementary teachers who want to meet the Common Core Standards for Reading Literature as they teach social studies. The class activities recommended in this book for each grade level allow teachers to accomplish the following objectives: 1. Achieve specic learning expectations outlined in the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. 2. Achieve specic objectives outlined in the Common Core Standards for Reading Literature (as well as selected other Common Core Standards) This books opening chapters lay the groundwork for the eective teaching of standards-based social studies through the use of literature. Item 120112 Price: $29.95 NCSS Members: $19.95

Meira Levinson is an associate professor of education at Harvard, following eight years teaching middle school civics, history, and English. A civics writer for the C3 Framework, Meira also recently published No Citizen Left Behind and Making Civics Count. Peter Levine isthe Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Tufts and Director of CIRCLE. The lead civics writer for the C3 Framework, Peter also recently published We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America.
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4. Michael C. Johanek, Preparing Pluribus for Unum: Historical Perspectives on Civic Education, in

How to order: Customers in U.S. and Canada only may use www.socialstudies. org/bookstore or call 800-683-0812. All customers may e-mail, call 770-280-4196, or fax 770-280-4092, and customers outside U.S. and Canada should use only these numbers and e-mail. Mail and P.O. Orders: NCSS Publications, P.O. Box 936082, Atlanta, GA 31193-6082 USA. NCSS publications catalog and order form are available at

Social Education 77(6), pp 342344, 350 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

The C3 Framework

From Receivers to Producers: A Principals Perspective on using the C3 Framework to Prepare Young Learners for College, Career, and Civic Life
Michael Long
The morning the film crew from the Los Angeles County Office of Education arrived on our schools campus, we all experienced a momentary feeling of oh my goodness, why have we agreed to do this? The task before us was simple in description but complex in reality and weighty in importance: capture on film a first grade model civics lesson in which six- and seven-year-old English Learners encounter a close read of a grade-level social studies textbook, identify its key features (such as topic and main idea, text boxes, and authors purpose) and apply their civic learning in a real-life setting. The lesson design incorporated appropriate language scaffolding, high-leverage pedagogy, structured student talk, student use of technology, identification of appropriate supplemental sources, student interviews of a community member (e.g., a parent, teacher, and one another) and an end product demonstrating student ability to explain the need for and purposes of rules in various settings inside and outside of school (C3 Framework, Table 9). All in a typical days work? Perhaps for some ... but while other primary grade classrooms at Lake Marie were focusing on the mechanics of literacy for the day, it felt like a stretch for us to implement inquirybased instruction and ask these young learners to grapple with compelling questions at the civic level. In watching the students adjust to the film crew while encountering their first close read of the text, I found myself holding my breath.
The Looming Questions

I attempt a pacing guide that might differ for each class and yield results beyond our existing tools of measurement? And when layering in The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, I face, perhaps, an even greater consideration of how I will lead the charge in developing civic proficiency and interdisciplinary literacy among the new generation.
Rethinking the Teachers Role

Theoretically, this small piece of new territory for elementary schools across the nation rests on a bigger plane of education and purpose for learning: moving young learners beyond mere content and into civic engagement. The new paradigm of instruction requires a rather staggering shift in thinking and practice--one that may indeed stymie some but yield a new

generation of thinkers and learners. As the principal of a pre-K-6th grade elementary school, I encounter many questions about such instructional shifts. Many of the questions ride the wave of excitement surrounding the Common Core State Standards. Specifically, how will we know our students have reached a new level of mastery? How will we assess them? Will my school crash and burn as
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Perhaps the answers lie in the process of rethinking the role of a teacher, letting go of traditional methods and initiating a not-so-gradual transfer of responsibility for learning to the learners themselves. Notice, I do not suggest the transfer of responsibility of learning from the teacher to the learner, for in this setting, all are learners, teachers included. The task and life-long goal of learning rests squarely on each of us. And so we face the reality of the first obvious and rather startling change. If teachers are no longer intended to serve as sages on the stage, filling students heads with pre-constructed knowledge, classroom life as we know it will become largely

First graders at Lake Marie Elementary in California interview Principal Michael Long for their civics lesson on rules and laws in society. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Office of Education with permission of Lake Marie Elementary School, South Whittier School District.

unscripted. Such unscripted learning, in turn, might lead to uncharted areas for teachers and, collectively, learners may need to learn navigation skills that differ greatly from yesterdays memorization and regurgitation skills, which were geared toward the accountability of standardized achievement. Indeed, a host of questions and what ifs will likely continue to plague the current generation of teachers until they face a few learning cycles under a much different and greater job description for teachers.
Moving from Receivers to Producers

As I walk the halls of my school and ponder the changing needs of our students, I realize now more than ever that teachers can no longer look forward to a controlled day of expounding beloved content because twenty-first century learners must do so much more than passively receive an education. Yes, some teaching will always need to be direct and explicit and there will always be a need to conquer certain information through rote skills. But todays students will be expected to produce much of their own learning,

something that will require educators to serve more as diagnosticians, facilitators, and capacity builders than the instructors of yesterday. Moreover, that learning may be loud, messy, unscripted, and not always predetermined. Teachers must diagnose student learning needs and interests, guide the learning process as students encounter new information, and cheer them on to produce authentic demonstrations of learning and thinking and not just the standard five-paragraph essay. Come to think of it, does the real world even require a five-paragraph essay ... ever? In this light, while educators can and must set the learning before our students, they cannot necessarily control the process or outcomes. Take, for example, Dimension 2 (Table 22) of the C3 Framework, which outlines the following indicators: By the end of 5th grade students will Generate questions about multiple historical sources and their relationships to particular historical events and developments. The indicators that follow, detail an even meatier task of using information about a historical source, including the maker, date, place
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of origin, intended audience and purpose to judge the extent to which the source is useful for studying a particular topic. Gone are the days of students passively reading the standard textbook passage with the end goal of preparing a summary or performing well on a culminating chapter test. Twenty-first century learners must actively seek information and apply critical thinking skills to navigate and evaluate the validity and relevance of that information in a way previously reserved for higher education. The kicker here lies in the reality that once the students have evaluated validity and relevance, they must reflectively produce something of value with this information as they continue in the learning quest.
Unknown Territory

Part of the risk in acknowledging the burden of responsibility for learners to know how to access, navigate, and use information leads to the unsettling conclusion that as much as they cannot know and memorize the vast, ever-growing body of information before them, neither can we. To follow this path of thinking, leads to the admission that in their

quest for knowledge, they (and along with them, we) might end up in unknown territory. Yet, is this not the very nature of how our nation was founded? While our forefathers envisioned and fought for something greater, not one of them could truly predict the results of where, what, and who we are today. So it goes with the learning of our students as we envision what we hope they will learn and produce. But in our continued fixation on testing and accountability, might we become so focused on designing a tool for measurement that we curb the learning? Sadly, as we move forward in implementing the Common Core State Standards and the C3 Framework, the but how do we assess and whos going to pay for it questions surface faster than the more important discussions of learning potential and the amazing possibilities of the unknown territory ahead.

Where Do We Go From Here?

About midway through our first grade model lesson in which I was the subject of an interview on rules and laws in society, I reluctantly handed over my new iPad to six-year-old Johnny. His response to my hesitation was classic. Dont worry, Mr. Long, I get it. I wont drop it, just watch. Im going to press this button and ask the questions. And with that, Johnny floored me with his ability to proceed, in spite of the fact that he had never interviewed a soul in his life, never filmed with an iPad, and had never shown an ounce of concern about the importance of rules in society. It was duly noted that the same student who had yet to sit still in class and finish one written assignment or worksheet was fully motivated to produce his own learning. And he did so with confidence, doing what even I did not know how to do just three years ago. In fact, the kids that day rose to every expectation

we had for them, not without struggle, but with joy and eagerness. They independently navigated and evaluated text, consulted outside sources, interviewed a community member, relied on technology and incorporated it into a final presentation of the importance of and reasons for rules and laws in our society. Like other school administrators, I bear the tremendous weight of the responsibility to provide an education for hundreds of students at a time. In my quest to set the stage for learning at my school, I regularly fight test performance anxiety, because until now, this has been seen as the measure of our success. Now, for the first time I find myself on the precipice of letting go, seeking a new measure for success and trusting that my students will embrace the new paradigm of thinking and producing. The first grade classrooms response to learning is only one sign of the great
continued on page 350

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Social Education 77(6), pp 346349 2013 National Council for the Social Studies

The C3 Framework

Exploring the Black Death:

The Medieval View and Response
Michael M. Yell
Exploring the Black Death is a lesson developed for my unit I Love the Knightlife: Exploring European Life in the Middle Ages. The unit is part of a yearlong ancient and medieval history course that I teach in the seventh grade House of Avalon at Hudson Middle School in Hudson, Wisconsin. As a social studies teacher, I have always tried to incorporate inquiry and critical thinking into my lessons. This is a major objective of the C3 Framework, and the sidebar to this article shows how this lesson supports the goals of C3. In the lesson, students explore primary sources in order to hypothesize about the compelling historical question How did medieval people view and respond to the Black Death?
Phase One: Initiating the Inquiry

In the first portion of the lesson, the study of the Black Death is initiated with a strategy called Discrepant Event Inquiry, which I use to begin each unit.1 Students are presented with a puzzling, paradoxical, or discrepant event or story, and ask questions in an attempt to draw tentative conclusions that enable them to solve the puzzle. This type of inquiry engages students and launches their inquiry. Students ask yes or no questions, pose hypotheses, analyze and synthesize information, and draw tentative conclusions while attempting to find an answer to the puzzle. The questions students ask must be answerable by a yes or a no. Open-ended questions are not allowed as students must do their own thinking and their own hypothesizing. The story that is used for the inquiry that begins this lesson involves a man

named Boccaccio and his family. Boccaccio is the manager of a dock in a port city. One day when he is gone, his workers unload a ship that is later seen drifting aimlessly at sea. After being told about this ship, Boccaccio and his family mysteriously disappear and are never seen again. The students must figure out what happened to them, and they have five minutes to do so (I use an online bomb timer for this). After they are told what they must figure out, the timer is set and the questioning begins. Typical questions for this inquiry are: Were Boccaccio and his family kidnapped? No. Did anyone on the dock know what happened to them? No. Were the people on the ship dead? Yes. The questions and answers continue for a few minutes until I hit pause on the timer. Students in small groups process what they have learned from the questioning, and think of new questions to ask. The timer is again started and the question/answer cycle continues until the puzzle is solved. The students know that my stories may include made up characters, but the
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events fit in with the historical period. In this case Boccaccio was not a dock manager, but a writer (the real Boccaccio will make an appearance later in the lesson). A possible answer to the story was that as the manager of a dock he would have been acquainted with cases where a diseased ship came into a port. After learning that his men had unloaded a ship with the Black Death, on which everyone aboard died, he could surmise what was about to happen to his friends on the dock and the entire city. He took his family and fled. This strategy begins the process of wondering and questioning.
Phase Two: Developing Supporting Questions

The Discrepant Event Inquiry is followed by a K-W-L/Media Hook where students view and respond to the allegorical painting by Pieter Brueghel titled The Triumph of Death. K-W-L/Media Hook is a strategy that utilizes images to elicit the students prior knowledge on the subject as well as to begin the process of developing questions. 2 Students discuss and list what they K now about the subject of study, what they Want to know, and at the completion of the inquiry, and, later, what they Learned. In this strategy, following the inquiry, the students discuss what they know about the subject, in this case the Black Death, and respond to Brueghels incredible painting, The Triumph of Death. The painting is projected onto a SMART Board for discussion and for

the process of developing questions (an LCD, or even a transparency, could also be used for this purpose). The purpose of the media hook is to further engage students with the topic. The compelling question for the lesson I have developed is: How did medieval people view and respond to the Black Death? Supporting questions are developed by students in this phase. In using this lesson with my seventh graders, I have found that, at first, the types of questions tend to be very literal and include questions like: How many people died from the Black Death? What were the diseases that spread during the Black Death?

Why didnt the Black Death kill everyone? And as students move into phase three and the engaging strategy called Mystery, they continue to develop questions. As they are working with primary source statements, the questions become less literal and focus more on the ideas that people held in the Middle Ages.
Phase Three: Evidence, Inferences More Questions, and Collaboration

The lesson continues with a strategy called Mystery, which engages students in investigating a problem and using evidence to find a solution. In this portion of the lesson, students work together in small groups using primary source

statements to categorize and hypothesize on how medieval minds attempted to understand and cope with the Black Death. In this strategy, the teacher provides groups with a set of clues or texts that will help them solve the mystery. The clues used in this lesson include primary source statements describing the Black Death from Giovanni Boccaccio, an Italian writer during the time of the Black Death, and Agnolo di Tura, another Italian chronicler who wrote some gripping accounts of the Black Death. A statement on the causes of the Death written in 1348 by the Paris Medical School is included in the primary sources as well as ordinances from the city of Pistoia (a medieval Italian city

Links to the C3 Framework and Common Core Standards

The four dimensions of the Inquiry Arc of the C3 Framework engage students in (1) Developing questions and planning inquiries; (2) Applying disciplinary concepts and tools; (3) Evaluating sources and using evidence; (4) Communicating and critiquing conclusions. This lesson plan supports each of the four dimensions of the Inquiry Arc. It focuses on the compelling question, How did medieval people view and respond to the Black Death? Students research answers to many supporting questions about the Black Death. As students examine and compare the sources, they apply disciplinary concepts and tools as they evaluate the credibility, corroborative value, authority, and individual perspectives of different sources and develop their skills of historical thinking, which involves locating and assessing historical sources of many different types to understand the contexts of given historical eras and perspectives of different individuals and groups. [C3, 45] In evaluating sources and using evidence, the students employ technologies and skills to find information and to express their responses to compelling and supporting questions through wellreasoned explanations and evidence-based arguments. [C3, 53] The students collaborate with others as they communicate and critique their conclusions. [C3, 59] The lesson plan also helps to meet the following Common Core Standards that are referenced in the C3 Framework. Anchor Reading Standards 1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. 6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text. Anchor Writing Standard 7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. Anchor Speaking and Listening Standard 1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

The C3 references are to National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History (Silver Spring, Md.: NCSS, 2013): 45, 53. 59. Accessible online at All Common Core Standards are quoted directly from National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (Washington, D.C.: NGA and CCSSO, 2010): 60 (Anchor Reading Standards); 63 (Anchor Writing Standard); and 48 (Anchor Speaking and Listening Standard). The C3 Framework includes explicit connections to these and other Common Core Standards. See The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History: 2022, 2627, 5051, 5657, and 6364. N o v e m b e r / D e c e m b e r 2 0 13 347

Excerpts from Primary Sources

Everyone felt they were doomed to die and, as a result, left their property. And in this great affliction and misery of our city, the authority of the lawshadalmost completely disappeared for, like other men, the ministers and the executors of the laws were either dead or sick or so short of help that it was impossible for them to fulfill their duties; as a result, everyone was free to do as he pleased. Most stayed in their home or neighborhoods because of their hopes for remaining safe, and every day they fell sick by the thousands; and they almost always died. The city was full of corpses. Giovanni Boccaccio, An Italian Chronicler, who wrote The Decameron It is impossible for the human tongue to recount the awful truth. The victim dies almost immediately. And none could be found to bury the dead for money or friendship. Members of a household brought their dead to the ditch as best they could without a priest. Nor did the death bell sound. And in many places great pits were dug and piled deep with the multitude of dead. And they died by the hundreds, both day and night, and all were thrown into ditches and covered with earth. And soon as these ditches were filled, more were dug. And I, Agnolo di Tura, buried my five children with my own hands. And so many died that all believed it was the end of the world. Agnolo di Tura, an Italian Chronicler We, the Members of the College of Physicians of Paris, intend to make known the causes of this pestilence. We, therefore, declare as follows: the stars exerted [a strange] power [on the] sea and the waters of the sea arose in the form of a [poisonous cloud], . This vapor spread itself through the air in many places on earth. A Statement issued in 1348 by the staff of the Paris Medical School In the year of the Lord 1348 there was a great pestilence in the city it was of such fury healthy servants who took care of the ill died of the same illness. Almost none survived past the fourth day. Neither physicians nor medicine were effective. There was such fear no one seemed to know what to do. Baldassarre Bonaiuti writing about the Black Death in Florence How will posterity believe that there has been such a time when without the [lightening] of heaven or the fires of earth, without wars or visible slaughter,when has any such thing been ever heard or seen that houses were left vacant, cities deserted, the country neglected, the fields too small for the dead. Francesco Petrarca, a Renaissance author describing the Black Death from medieval sources. Alas! Our ships enter the port, but of a thousand sailors hardly ten are spared. We reach our homes; our [families] and neighbors come to visit us. Woe to uswe scattered the poison [and going] back to their homes they in turn infected their whole families, who in three days [died] and were buried in one common grave. Gabriele de Nussii, an Italian writer who wrote about the Black Death in The Great Dying in the Year of Our Lord 1348.
Ordinances of Pistoia

No citizen shall go into [cities in which the disease has broken out] and no one can or ought to come from [any of these cities]. No person of the city of Pistoia or foreigner shall bring ... to the city any used cloth from another city. When anyone has died no person shall go to the place of the deceased before or after burialor attend or go to a meal in that house or place on the said occasion.
Other Suggestions

Repent, pray, do penance for your sins. Prohibit swearing and work on the Sabbath. Punish yourself by whipping. Flee to the mountains, clean air, and isolated places. Confine the sick to their homes. Burn the clothes, bedding, and possessions of the diseased. Break up the air inside your homes by ringing bells and by releasing birds, then chasing them so they fly around the room Do not bath as this opens the pores to the air. Spend time in smoky and stinking places. Burn green wood in your fireplace and outdoors so it will smoke. Draw off impure blood by bleeding. Kill Jews, foreigners, gypsies, beggars and lepers. The plague, it is said, began among the unbelievers.
Source: Most of the above statements are quoted from Coping with Catastrophe: The Black Death of the 14th Century, a unit published by the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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of about 11,000). There are also general suggested courses of action to combat the Black Death that come from a variety of medieval sources. (See the Primary Sources sidebar) Mystery is an inductive thinking teaching strategy which progresses through three steps: (1) discussion of data, (2) grouping and labeling data, and (3) interpreting, generalizing, and hypothesizing about the data. In this lesson the data is in the form of statements drawn from medieval sources. Students work in small teams to group and label the data, and finally form their generalizations and inferences regarding the variety of responses medieval people had to the Black Death. As we encourage students to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), groups are also encouraged to find more information on the medieval responses to the Black Death. The inquiry which began in phase 1 and 2 of this lesson continues with

students using historical evidence, and working together to form hypotheses about the historical question in phase 3. Typical group hypotheses often include statements on the importance of religion in the Middle Ages and how this affected much of their response to the Death, ideas about the vicious scapegoating that occurred, the breakdown of law and order that resulted, and the prevalence of a few far sighted and logical responses. There are several group discussion strategies that I use to initiate a rich classroom discussion. Following the discussion, students individually review their notes from the primary sources as well as their inferences and hypotheses to write an essay discussing the question, How did medieval people view and respond to the Black Death? Their research and discussion leads them to a greater understanding of the Black Death in particular, but also introduces them to broader historical issues such as the impact of disease, the causes
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and effects of epidemics, and problems that arise from the breakdown of social institutions (e.g., the suspension of Church services and the absence of law and order that resulted from the Black Death).
Notes 1. More details about the Discrepant Event Inquiry Strategy can be found in Michael M. Yell and Geoffrey Scheurman (with Keith Reynolds), A Link to the Past (Silver Spring, Md.: NCSS, 2004): 6-8. 2. More details about this strategy can be found in A Link to the Past, op. cit.: 9-11.

Michael M. Yell is a National Board Certied Middle School teacher from Hudson, Wisconsin. He is a former president of NCSS and the author of the NCSS Bulletin, A Link to the Past (Silver Spring, Md.: NCSS, 2004), as well as many articles on teaching history. He can be reached at yellmm@hudson.k12. This lesson received the 2012 T.E.A.M.S award of the International Medieval Congress. The lesson in its entirety will be published online at www.teams this fall.

Photograph by Michael Yell


FrOm Receivers tO PrOdUcers

from page 344

November 2123, 2014

The 94th NCSS Annual Conference in Boston, November 2123, 2014 is your opportunity to rejuvenate your teaching strategies and collaborate with some of the leaders in social studies education. When you attend the conference, you will
Learn from over 400 presentations by the leading social studies researchers and practitioners Receive classroom-ready resources Interact with well-known speakers and educators as they share their ideas, experiences, and knowledge Share teaching strategies and solutions with peers, building your own learning community around topics that matter to you Discover the latest teaching products and services Earn college credit


Choose from over 400 presentations addressing the Conference Subthemes, with special attention to implementing the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards to prepare students for college, career, and civic life:
Teaching Social Studies as Inquiry Taking Informed Action Supporting Disciplinary LIteracry Building 21st Century Skills Promoting Civic Learnings Six Proven Practices

Presentations will be oered at all grade levels and cover:

History The conference will feature a Civics reception at the new Economics Edward M. Kennedy Institute Geography for the United States Senate (shown right) opening Social Sciences fall 2014. Psychology Global Connections

potential for the learners at my school. If I am not careful, they might actually contribute something wonderfully unexpected to their larger community. In an attempt to diagnose learning needs and provide something different than anything previously done at our school, I interviewed a group of incoming fifth graders. I soon found these discussions veering into unknown territory far outside the realm of my comfort zone. The students shared their desire to use the fine arts emphasis at our school to make a statement to the rest of the student body and community at large. Their idea rests on the notion of addressing a civic problem or communicating an important message through a yearlong, documented endeavor culminating in a community unveiling. I have recently finished writing and securing a grant to work with a resident artist for guidance on this project, and believe the project has the capacity to grow a life of its own. What will happen if the students take unexpected action and learn something incrediblesomething that does not match what I planned? I must release my fear of budgets and permanent facilities damage (think kids gone wild with paint) and time away from test preparation. I must release the notion that the bulk of the learning in a subject comes from a textbook. I must present them with compelling questions, high expectations, opportunities to grow, and unboxed space to practice unique expression. Even more importantly, however, I must require the students to answer the question everyone seems to be asking, So where do we go from here?

94th NCSS Annual Conference November 2123, 2014 John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, Boston MA National Council for the Social Studies

Michael Long is the principal of Lake Marie Elementary in the South Whittier School District and an adjunct professor of Education for Biola Universitys School of Education. He is a contributing member of the C3 Framework Teacher Collaborative Council and was named 2008 California Teacher of the Year for his work in teaching writing to English Learners. mlong@

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FrOm InqUirY Arc tO InstrUctiOnal Practice from page 326 4. Resources matter. Again, if we are going to take Bruners view seriously, we need to realize the challenges teachers and kids face at the resource level. Students bring considerable life experience to their understanding of social studies ideas. To help them grow beyond the limits of their own experiences requires a range of highquality and accessible resources. 5. Writing matters. Whether it is in the form of an oral report, an essay, a debate, or a blog, good social studies teaching and learning demands the capacity to write well. Explanations and arguments are at the heart of the ways in which students present their ideas. 6. Trust matters . The Inquiry Arc reflects a level of trust between teachers and students that is not part of the traditional pattern of schooling. Good teachers know that students will blunder sometimes as they embrace the greater responsibilities an inquiry approach demands, but they also know that students will not become the kinds of life-long learners that we desire if they are not trusted to take an active role in their own education.

2. A. Beatty, C. Reese, H. Persky, and P. Carr, U.S. History Report Card (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Ofce of Educational Research and Improvement, 1996); D. Hess, Controversy in the Classroom: The Democratic Power of Discussion (New York: Routledge, 2009). 3. J.B. Smith and R. Niemi, Learning History in School: The Impact of Course Work and Instructional Practice on Achievement, Theory and Research in Social Education, 29 (2001), 38. 4. S.G. Grant, K. Swan, and J. Lee, Lurching toward Coherence: An Episodic History of Curriculum and Standards Development in Social Studies. Featured presentation of the Research in Social Studies SIG at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, BC, April 2012. 5. National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History (Silver Spring, Md.: NCSS, 2013), 16-64. 6. S.G. Grant, History Lessons: Teaching, Learning, and Testing in U.S. High School Classrooms (Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006); eds. S.G. Grant and J.M. Gradwell, Teaching History with Big Ideas: Cases of Ambitious Teachers (New York: Rowman & Littleeld, 2010). 7. J. Bruner, The Process of Education (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960), 33. 8. The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History, 83. 9. Ibid., 97. 10. Ibid., 23. 11. Ibid. 12. Grant, History Lessons; Grant and Gradwell, Teaching History with Big Ideas; S. Van Hover, Teaching History in the Old Dominion: The Impact of Virginias Accountability Reform on Seven Secondary Beginning History Teachers, in Measuring History: Cases of State-Level Testing across the United States, ed. S.G. Grant (Greenwich, Conn.: Information Age Publishing, 2010), 195-220; B. VanSledright, In Search of Americas Past: Learning to Read History in Elementary School (New York: Teachers College Press, 2002).


College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: State Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History The Framework was developed to offer guidance for state social studies standards. The shared principles that drive the Framework are: Social studies prepares the nations young people for college, careers, and civic life. Inquiry is at the heart of social studies. Social studies involves interdisciplinary applications and welcomes integration of the arts and humanities. Social studies is composed of deep and enduring understandings, concepts, and skills from the disciplines. Social studies emphasizes skills and practices as preparation for democratic decision-making. Social studies education should have direct and explicit connections to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies The C3 Framework changes the conversation about literacy instruction in social studies by creating a context that is meaningful and purposeful. Reading, writing, speaking and listening and language skills are critically important for building disciplinary literacy and the skills needed for college, career, and civic life.

Teaching through an inquiry approach demands the skilled use of questions to frame units of study and to develop the necessary scaffolding so that even young children can examine issues of substance and interest. It is not a teaching approach for the faint hearted, but the research evidence gathered to date that supports the C3 Framework, suggests that students will embrace it.12
Notes 1. T. Epstein, Interpreting National History: Race, Identity, and Pedagogy in Classrooms and Communities (New York: Routledge, 2009); M. Schug, R. Todd, and R. Beery, Why Kids Dont Like Social Studies, Social Education 47, no. 5 (1984), 382-387.

S.G. Grant is founding dean of the Graduate School of Education at Binghamton University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on teaching history. Most of this article also appears in a chapter by the author, From Inquiry Arc to Instructional Practice, published in NCSS Bulletin 113, Social Studies for the Next Generation: Purposes, Practices, and Implications of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.


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