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What Do the Common Core State Standards Mean for History Teaching and Learning?

John Lee, S.G. Grant, and Kathy Swan
Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction Collaborative (SSACI)

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The Common Core is only a first step. With the solid statement validating history and social studies literacies that the Common Core offers, our efforts now should be to establish a larger framework for social studies that compels and supports democratic life.  Read more »

Stephen Lazar
High School Teacher, Academy of Young Writers (Brooklyn, NY)

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These changes cannot be done to teachers, but rather must be accomplished through the collaboration of teachers, and their students.  Read more »

Sarah Drake Brown
Assistant Professor of History, Director of History Department’s Teacher Education Program (Ball State University, IN)

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The language in the standards merely skims the surface of historical thinking, but the CC provides us with two key opportunities: to educate the public about what a vibrant history classroom looks like and to spearhead rigorous history teacher preparation.  Read more »

Katherine Suyeyasu
Seventh- and Eighth-grade Teacher, Oakland Unified School District (Oakland, CA)

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Teachers need access to a wide range of historical writing models beyond those offered in history textbooks. Teachers also need access to resources that are based in pedagogical methods that align with an understanding of history as a dynamic discipline based in interpretation.  Read more »

Lynne Munson
President and Executive Director of Common Core

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We should seize this opportunity to both infuse the “ELA block” with rich history and civics content but also to revitalize the teaching of the most important history and civics content in the social studies classroom.  Read more »

Karen Parks
Fifth-grade Teacher, Mesa Elementary School (Fountain, CO)

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Elementary education is designed so content knowledge is acquired through skills-based instruction. The fact that the Common Core Standards are internationally benchmarked, and the elementary reading and writing standards contain provisions for analyzing historical documents provides a degree of structure that most educators at the elementary level will find advantageous.  Read more »

The Common Core presents a

The Common Core presents a great opportunity to inspire teachers to teach history as an investigative process instead of something to memorize. But many teachers feel nervous and unprepared to teach that way. Sustained professional development needs to accompany the snazzy materials that are flooding out of the publication houses to support the Common Core. History education has a chance to make a come back after a decade of not being tested but it teachers do not have the support o learn how to teach this way, it will not be pretty.

What does the common core do

What does the common core do about American history?

Finally allows us to get away

Finally allows us to get away from teaching for breadth and begin teaching depth. The Common Core presents an opportunity for history teachers to develop a rich and meaningful curriculum that promotes civic awareness, service learning, discussion, debate and literacy. In short it allows us to hold true to the founders expectations for education-sustain the Republic with a well-informed citizenry.

I am all for what the common

I am all for what the common core says it is about, now let's see how it is implemented. I agree that we need training and support, support, support. Be prepared for teachers that are near retirement to not buy into this because it will mean changing what they have done for years and at this point it won't be worth it to many of them. We need to be sure that new teachers and those still in college are trained completely in this or it will not fly, as so many others have not.

You do veteran History

You do veteran History teachers a disservice with your comment. Even teachers close to retirement are eager to learn and try new things.

It is insulting to veteran

It is insulting to veteran teachers for one even more important reason: we have been teaching this way. This is nothing new.

Ageism is still rampant in

Ageism is still rampant in this society...

So true. Teachers have to

So true. Teachers have to know reading textbooks, lecturing, sitting in rows, etc. is dead! Time for inquiry in all subject areas and bring history alive for students so they see the relevance to their lives.

It allows teachers to teach

It allows teachers to teach history based on their feelings rather that the actual memorizing of dates and facts. It allows for teachers to place in history things which were not there in the original facts.

But you must teach the truth;

But you must teach the truth; not what your political views are at this time.

There are many very good

There are many very good ideas for classroom use, however, I teach in an independent study/dropout recovery program. These students are working on their own and have limited opportunity to work collaboratively. The common core process will need considerable tweaking to work for everyone.

It should be important to

It should be important to teach ALL American history as it happened!

Its easier to change the

Its easier to change the facts if the subject is not being regulated or mandated. Makes me wonder...

History is about facts. It

History is about facts. It should not be subject to change based on the ideas, feelings, political views or what is socially exceptable at the time it is taught.

The best history teachers

The best history teachers have always presented the story as an opportunity to examine why events happened as they did so that students feel empowered to change the course of history if they want to.

I am a veteran teacher and a

I am a veteran teacher and a combat veteran...I have been teaching depth in history since I started, but if you do not cover the breadth, then the depth is meaningless! To truly understand the depth one must know and understand the extensive connection of historical events to current events. The main problem with CC is the establishment wants to hand pick the topic, the desired learning endstate, in order to create a more liberal populace who can be swayed by liberal, socialist types to effect the ability of a government run-a-muck to dictate their desires and wishes that DO NOT relate to what our Founding Fathers desired. I teach the CC method but I do not teach the liberal dogma and I use it to further strengthen the connections to our nation as a Christian established, God fearing, leader of the modern world. While we are not perfect we are the best!

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