Teaching Hard History

April 27, 2021

How can conversations across the K-16 continuum and beyond help us more effectively address pedagogical challenges and contested or controversial histories?  This is the question that the 2021 Teaching History Conference will consider.  Hosted by the UC Davis History Project, and occurring online on May 7-8, the conference provides a space for historians and educators to discuss “teaching hard history.”  Teaching hard history happens

New Sources for 7th Grade World History

April 02, 2021

Students in 7th grade often read in their textbooks that the Mongols were the terrifying conquerors of the largest land empire in world history.  But look at these three representations of Mongols. 

Teaching [world history students in] California

February 24, 2021

World history teachers, please read at least the first paragraph of this blog!  There are new resources available for teaching 6th, 7th and 10th-grade world history: the Teaching California inquiry sets.  But I fear many world history teachers are looking at the “Teaching California” title and assuming that these sets are all on California history.  This is not correct!  The title ought to be “Teaching History to Students in California.”  In this collection, there are 7 inquiry sets

How a Historical Database Can Encourage Student Inquiry

February 17, 2021
University of Washington's America's Great Migrations Project Offers Data that Promotes Student Inquiry

Recently I was preparing for a grade group session on immigration and migration to California and I came across a collection of data that I wish I had known about earlier. Perhaps you have yet to see this too, so in the interest of sharing a promising teaching tool I will explain how I think it can be useful for students at all grade levels.

Veteran Teacher Supports Remote Instruction Amid Pandemic

February 05, 2021

In pre-pandemic times, Linda Biewer-Elstob, a veteran teacher and instructional coach with the Davis Joint Unified School District, wore many hats as a math, writing and history-social science coach.  Over the past ten months, she has taken on so many roles that it’s hard to even name them, though we’ll try: Ethnic Studies Task Force Leader, professional development provider, curriculum creator, lesson study facilitator, fellow with the California Global Studies Project, and co-leader of the

Gilroy Teacher Lauren Piraro Wins Rookie Teacher of the Year

January 19, 2021

Gilroy High School history teacher Lauren Piraro has just been awarded the Outstanding Rookie Social Studies Teacher of the Year for 2021 from the California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS).   As CCSS Awards Chair Rebecca Valbuena explained in her award letter, Piraro’s “exemplary skills, dedication and commitment to high quality social studies education” make her an exceptional recipient of this first-year teacher award. 

Inauguration 2021

January 19, 2021

On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the United States' 46th President.  Kamala Harris, formerly US Senator from California and our Attorney General, will be sworn in as Vice President.  The inauguration will be historic and unprecedented, given the recent insurrection on Capitol Hill and subsequent impeachment of Donald Trump, as well as the pandemic, protests over racial injustice, and economic suffering. 

Statement in Response to the January 6 Storming of the U.S. Capitol Building

January 08, 2021

We condemn all actions and actors that encouraged or participated in the insurrection and desecration of our nation’s Capitol and endangered our democracy’s long history of peaceful transfers of power. As a statewide network of history-social science educators, the California History-Social Science Project is resolved to defend our democratic ideals in order to take a stand against this and any demonstration of racism, injustice, and abuse of power.

14 Really Good Things

December 17, 2020

Do you remember what you were doing a year ago?  Were you busy trying to conclude teaching that last unit so that grades would be finished before break?  And were you nearly as excited for winter break as your students, so that you could finally spend some time at home?  A year ago, we had just wrapped up a couple of Framework implementation conferences, and we were busily organizing more for 2020.  We were also so excited for winter break. 


November 22, 2020

The song Mother Blue’s is sometimes wildly inappropriate, but I can’t help but feel inspired when Ray Wylie Hubbard gets to one of the last lyrics. “And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations,” Hubbard sings, “well, I have really good days." 

Grade Groups Bring California Teachers Together

November 16, 2020

Last week marked the start of the Grade Groups for K-2, 5, and 7.  As I Zoomed in and out of each group, I observed teachers sharing stories about what’s been going on in their classrooms – the good, the frustrating, the sad, and the glimmers of hope.  Grade Groups is an experiment for us in the CHSSP network.   We didn’t know what it would be like to pull together teachers from Poway, Kern, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, Stockton, and dozens more cities, and strategically plan for so many teaching contexts.  What I’ve seen so far has confirmed what we hoped could happen: teachers digging into

New Grade Groups Series Starts Next Week

October 30, 2020

Starting Thursday, November 5, three of our nine statewide grade-level series, Grade Groups, will begin.  Educators will reflect, connect, and strategize about how the history-social science material from their grade level can best engage their students. 

How We Got to the World We Have Today: 10th Grade Group

October 28, 2020

“How did we get the world we have today? How do we make it better?”  These are core questions that Nicole Gilbertson, Director of the UC Irvine History Project looks forward to addressing with the 10th Grade Group, which is scheduled to begin in just a few weeks.  Nicole, who holds a Ph.D. in Modern European history, will lead the 10th Grade Modern World History Group.

Early Elementary Changemakers

October 14, 2020

“Relevance, urgency, interest, and a time where change is both accepted and expected by many educators.”  This is how Brianna Padilla, a Kindergarten teacher at Venetia Valley School in San Rafael, and Teacher Leader with the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project (UCBHSSP) describes her interest in the K-2 Grade Group, which she will lead with Rachel Reinhard, the UCBHSSP Director.