Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.
- National Council for the Social Studies Definition of Social Studies
Foundations of the Social Studies Standards
- Social Studies: A Call to Action - This report was published by the Iowa Department of Education in 2015. The data were collected from teachers and administrators across the state in order to gauge the status of social studies in Iowa.
- C3 Framework: Published in 2013 by the National Council for the Social Studies, the C3 Framework served as a foundational document for Iowa’s social studies standards. Check out several resources on the C3 Framework from the National Council for the Social Studies, LA County Office of Education, and C3 Teachers.
Iowa Core in Social Studies Standards
- View Iowa’s Social Studies Standards or by visiting the social studies section of the Explore the Core section of this website.
- View printable cards of the standards by grade level:
- 1st Grade
- 2nd Grade
- 3rd Grade
- 4th Grade
- 5th Grade
- 6th Grade
- 7th Grade
- 8th Grade
- 9th-12th Grade:
- 6th-12th Grade Literacy in History/Social Studies Standards
- View the K-12 inquiry anchor standard progressions:
- View printable cards of the progression of the standards by content area:
- View the Iowa Social Studies Standards as a poster, formatted as a MS Excel (.xlsx) document.
What instructional shifts do the standards require? Teachers must think about four instructional shifts as they are planning for effective implementation of Iowa’s social studies standards. Check out an Overview of Iowa Core in Social Studies Instructional Shifts. They are:
- Craft questions that spark and sustain an inquiry
- Integrate skills and content purposefully
- Provide opportunities for communicating conclusions and taking informed action
- Engage in rigorous, student-centered learning
Unpacking the Standards
- A video titled How to Unpack a Standard from the Imperial County Office of Education in California demonstrates how to unpack standards to understand the true meaning of the standard and what instruction will be necessary in order to truly implement the standard.
- A blog post titled Moving from Content Standards to Student-Friendly Learning Targets outlines the four steps of unpacking standards to understand not only the meaning of the standard, but the rigor demanded in the standard.
- The Glossary for the Iowa Social Studies Standards helps define and unpack the vocabulary used in the standards.
- Check out the Iowa Core Parent Guides. Available in both English and Spanish, the guides provide an overview of what students will learn by the end of each grade level by the Iowa Core.Parent guides are available for each grade level of the Iowa Core standards.
- The curriculum revision process is an important component of ensuring a viable and rigorous curriculum for each and every student in a school setting. The Checklist for Social Studies Curriculum guides districts through a comprehensive process when they are undergoing the social studies curriculum revision process.
- Social Studies Standards Overview for Administrators - Two-page overview of the standards for administrators.