Last fall, the National Council for the Social Studies published the Social Studies for the Next Generation: Purposes, Practices, and Implications of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. It’s a mouthful.

The goal was always to create a sort of model for states as they wrote their own state standards –  a guiding document that provides a clear structure for the type of social studies instruction that we all know is good for kids.

. . . the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.

Capt Barbossa
Pirates of the Caribbean

And I’ve talked about this a ton – we were writing our state standards at about the same time that the NCSS was finishing up its work. The good news? We’re a lot alike. The focus is on the process of social studies rather than the specific content of social studies.

We want kids to be historical thinkers, solvers of problems, users of evidence  . . . people who can address an un-Googleable question and make sense of it.

I really like them.

But many social studies teachers are still not aware that they exist. And the teachers who are aware of them are quite sure what to do with them. More good news.

C3 Teachers is here to help:

  • Teachers play a critical role in helping students learn academic content using the C3 Inquiry Arc, which outlines the social studies habits of mind, disciplinary tools and conceptual content that students need to become ready for college and career, and most importantly, civic life.  As social studies students map their own disciplinary inquiries, C3 Teachers embark on a pedagogical investigation examining and experimenting with their own practice as they support students’ question, learn, apply, analyze, collaborate, express, and act in authentic social studies experiences. is a place to learn more about that process and to share your experiences with other social studies teachers.

You’ll find resources, ideas, teacher stories, strategies, and other goodies to help you find ways to integrate the philosophy behind the College, Career, and Civic Life standards.

Check it out.