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National C3 Framework for Social Studies–Inquiry (2013)

Download the C3 Frameworks.

A central mission of public schools since their creation in the mid-1800s, civic education today includes the beliefs that students need to be aware of their changing cultural and physical environments; know the past; read, write, and think deeply; and act in ways that promote the common good. The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (2013) encourage the development of knowledgeable, thoughtful, and active citizens through a focus on inquiry. C3 emphasizes the development of solid questions, application of discipline-specific knowledge and skills, making reasonable claims supported by evidence, meaningful expression and action rising from those claims. Note that C3 wholly defers content standards to the states.


Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework (2018)

Download the MA History and Social Science Frameworks.

The Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework details the academic content, concepts, and skills in history, geography, economics, and civics & government essential to all Americans. See the Mass DESE History & Social Science instruction resources page. The framework emphasizes interaction between standards for content, practice (inquiry), and literacy for every grade. Teachers and administrators, higher education faculty, and staff of museums, historical societies, libraries, and archives all contributed to the standards. Based on input from Emerging America and historians, 2018 content standards added several vital points of Disability History

The 2018 framework made Civics central, including an 8th grade civics course. Standards include World Geography and Ancient History in grades 6-7, U.S. History I and II, and World History. Standards also include several electives and language for media literacy. 


Common Core State Standards (2011) 

Originally supported by business and educators alike, these ground-breaking standards influenced literacy standards in every state. Almost all have dropped the "Common Core" language. Yet there has remained an emphasis on informational texts (including primary sources), and core skills of analysis, critical thinking, inquiry, and skills for writing and speaking, including making and supporting claims with evidence and solid reasoning. 

In particular, see the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (Grades 6-12).

Download “Primary Sources and the Common Core State Standards,” by Rich Cairn. Teaching with Primary Sources Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2, Fall 2012. Library of Congress. Also find exemplary lessons.