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November 20, 2015
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JP O'Hare

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New York State K-12 Social Studies Toolkit Featured In Special Section Of Flagship Social Studies Journal

Toolkit Written by New York State teachers, for New York State Teachers Called a "Major Advance"

The New York State K-12 Social Studies Resource Toolkit is extensively featured in a special section of the National Council for the Social Studies’ flagship journal Social Education.  The journal says the Toolkit, “marks a major advance in the progress of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework” for Social Studies Standards.

“As a Social Studies teacher myself, I know it is crucial that students receive rich opportunities to study history and social issues,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.  “The Toolkit gives teachers the resources to keep their students engaged and help them become better students and better citizens.

“The best endorsement of the Toolkit is the second grade student who told his teacher, after a day’s lesson, that ‘it had been the ‘best recess ever’ when, in fact, the class had been piloting one of the curriculum inquiries.  That’s an engaged and eager student.”

Social Education’s special section highlights the ways in which the Toolkit instructional and curriculum design tools can serve as an exemplar and resource for other states.  The Toolkit resources are open source and available to any teacher or district leader in the United States.

Social Education’s writers and researchers offer a detailed examination of the process by which the Toolkit was created and the ways in which it is already being used in classrooms to engage students in new and innovative ways. 

Using federal Race to the Top funds, the Toolkit project brought together nearly 60 New York State teachers to write, revise and pilot inquiries for the K-12 Social Studies Framework, which was adopted in 2014.  It’s designed to put instructional and curriculum tools into the hands of teachers and leaders in local districts. The centerpiece of the Social Studies Resource Toolkit are “inquiries” that are provided for all K-12 teachers.  The Toolkit resources focus on implementation of the Inquiry Arc, as presented in The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, including the four dimensions: (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.  Units and instructional resources were developed and piloted by New York State teachers in classrooms across the State over the last year to identify best practices.

In May 2011, the Board of Regents directed Education Department staff to create a Social Studies Content Advisory Panel, consisting of a wide range of social studies experts, including several highly distinguished social studies teachers to develop the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework. Drafts of the Framework were made available for public review and commentary and the final version was adopted by the Board of Regents in 2014.  The Framework provides specificity while allowing room for in-depth exploration, creates a rigorous program that is also realistic for all students, and captures the most significant events while creating opportunities to connect to local history and current events. 

A link to the special section of Social Education can be found here: .

For more information on the New York State K-12 Social Studies Toolkit please visit .

For more information on the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework please visit .



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