Got (Framework) Questions?
by Beth Slutsky, Academic Program Coordinator
Over the past several months in all corners of the state, teachers have started to implement the new H-SS Framework. At the CHSSP, we’ve been joined by colleagues from the Department of Education,County Offices of Education, the International Studies Project, the California Council for Economics, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, and the California Geographic Alliance to host Framework launch events to introduce educators and administrators to the document. We’ve also entered into a number of additional conversations with teachers around the state about what this new state-adopted document should do to shift their instruction. As we’re embarking on this new era of history-social science education, we’ve been faced with a number of very smart questions that center on the question of: what does it mean to implement the Framework? As Framework readers have rightly noted, there is a significant amount of expanded content, in addition to the renewed emphasis on teaching history as a way of teaching literacy, critical thinking skills, and citizenship. We’ve been hearing teachers’ questions about whether it’s more important to cover topic a or b in depth, how they should make choices about events and historical figures, or how they run out of time no matter what planning goes on. Our very short answer to these questions is that we hear you and that implementation of the Framework will not happen all at once; it takes time to figure out the pacing and details that make sense for one’s own classroom. However, what the Framework does is provide the overarching frame or points of significance that can help tie together this significantly expanded content into a more coherent and inquiry-driven course of study.
To try to help address initial questions about implementation we’ve created a new resource for teachers. In this document we’ve pulled out all of the most significant Investigation Questions from all of the grade-levels in the Framework and collated them into one document. We’ve aligned standards-based topics to the questions so that teachers can skim through their grade-levels and explore just the questions in a nutshell. For example, by glancing at two pages, tenth-grade teachers can see the key questions ranging from the World in 1750 all the way through Globalization. Hopefully this very brief list of questions can begin to guide the shift in instruction by pointing to the most overarching questions that can link together content and foster critical thinking skills.