KAILUA-KONA — The public and educators are invited to weigh in on draft standards for the state’s social studies coursework before the Department of Education seeks to implement them in the classroom.
The standards, in part, look to the “C3 Framework” from the National Council for the Social Studies. The three “Cs” are college, career and civic life, three areas for which the group said the field of social studies is meant to prepare students.
A total of 15 professional organizations, including the National Geographic Society, the American Bar Association and Council for Economic Education were among the task force that collaborated to develop the framework.
Social studies standards across the state were last reviewed in 2005, said DOE communications specialist Derek Inoshita, adding that the department adopted the C3 Framework for two primary reasons. The first, he said, was to provide a foundation for new standards while, secondly, also supporting the development of “meaningful, broad-based and rigorous curriculum.”
“The C3 Framework offers an advantage for designing curricula because it is student focused and allows for students to explore and inquire about what is important to them,” Inoshita said.
Because it’s “rigorous, creative and innovative,” he said, the framework complements all of the state’s larger-scope plans for education, allowing for a “thorough exploration” of issues at the local, national and global levels.
“The department is writing standards that address place-based and culturally responsive issues,” Inoshita said. “This allows students to grapple with topics that relate to their culture and identity no matter where they are from.”
Educators and the public have the opportunity to give input on the draft social studies standards for the rest of this month. A survey of the course review document is available at http://bit.ly/SSReviewLinks.
At that link, reviewers have the opportunity to evaluate a given standard’s clarity, measurability and rigor and advise whether they would recommend no change, a revision or discarding the standard entirely.
Those who recommend a revision or discarding of the standard will then have a chance to offer their rationale and, if appropriate, their proposed revision.
Inoshita said those comments will be reviewed to strengthen the standards’ language and content for classrooms.
Written by state social studies educators that included middle school, high school and postsecondary faculty, the standards have also been reviewed at the national level by stakeholders with interests in social studies education.
The standards are exclusive to grades 6-12. Inoshita said after public comments for these draft social studies standards are reviewed, there will be a public review of elementary standards.
That’s expected later this summer, he said. A timeline for implementing standards will go before the state Board of Education when DOE seeks the standards’ adoption.
Inoshita cautioned that the draft standards aren’t final, and public comments will go toward developing and shaping what the final standards look like.