"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."
~ Thomas Jefferson

C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards


NOW MORE THAN EVER, students need the intellectual power to recognize societal problems; ask good questions and develop robust investigations into them; consider possible solutions and consequences; separate evidence-based claims from parochial opinions; and communicate and act upon what they learn. And most importantly, they must possess the capability and commitment to repeat that process as long as is necessary. Young people need strong tools for, and methods of, clear and disciplined thinking in order to traverse successfully the worlds of college, career, and civic life.

The C3 Framework1 is centered on an Inquiry Arc—a set of interlocking and mutually supportive ideas that frame the ways students learn social studies content. By focusing on inquiry, the framework emphasizes the disciplinary concepts and practices that support students as they develop the capacity to know, analyze, explain, and argue about interdisciplinary challenges in our social world. It includes descriptions of the structure and tools of the disciplines, as well as the habits of mind common in those disciplines. Taken together, the C3 Framework provides guidance to states on upgrading state social studies standards to include the application of knowledge within the disciplines of civics, economics, geography, and history as students develop questions and plan inquiries; apply disciplinary concepts and tools; evaluate and use evidence; and communicate conclusions and take informed action.

The C3 Framework focuses on inquiry skills and key concepts, and guides—not prescribes—the choice of curricular content necessary for a rigorous social studies program. Content is critically important to the disciplines within social studies, and individual state leadership will be required to select appropriate and relevant content. States that decide to incorporate the Inquiry Arc and concepts of the C3 Framework into their state standards will then need to engage in a rigorous local process of selecting the appropriate content to be taught at each grade level to ensure that students develop the knowledge and skills to be civic-ready before graduation. The concepts expressed in the C3 Framework illustrate the disciplinary ideas, such as political structures, economic decision making, spatial patterns, and chronological sequencing, that help organize the curriculum and content states select. View or download the complete document here



DIMENSION 1: Developing Questions & Planning Inquiries


Constructing Compelling Questions
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS CONSTRUCT COMPELLING QUESTIONS, AND…
  • D1.1.6-8 Explain how a question represents key ideas in the field.
  • D1.2.6-8 Explain points of agreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a compelling question.

Constructing Supporting Questions
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS CONSTRUCT COMPELLING QUESTIONS, AND…
  • D1.3.6-8 Explain points of agreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a supporting question.
  • D1.4.6-8 Explain how the relationship between supporting questions and compelling questions is mutually reinforcing.

Determining Helpful Sources
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS CONSTRUCT COMPELLING QUESTIONS, AND…
  • D1.5.6-8 Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of views represented in the sources.


DIMENSION 2: Applying Disciplinary Concepts & Tools

CIVICS


Civic and Political Institutions
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Civ.1.6-8 Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of citizens, political parties, interest groups, and the media in a variety of governmental and nongovernmental contexts.
  • D2.Civ.2.6-8 Explain specific roles played by citizens (such as voters, jurors, taxpayers, members of the armed forces, petitioners, protesters, and office-holders).
  • D2.Civ.3.6-8 Examine the origins, purposes, and impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and international agreements.
  • D2.Civ.4.6-8 Explain the powers and limits of the three branches of government, public officials, and bureaucracies at different levels in the United States and in other countries.
  • D2.Civ.5.6-8 Explain the origins, functions, and structure of government with reference to the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, and selected other systems of government.
  • D2.Civ.6.6-8 Describe the roles of political, civil, and economic organizations in shaping people's lives.

Participation and Deliberation
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Civ.7.6-8 Apply civic virtues and democratic principles in school and community settings.
  • D2.Civ.8.6-8 Analyze ideas and principles contained in the founding documents of the United States, and explain how they influence the social and political system.
  • D2.Civ.9.6-8 Compare deliberative processes used by a wide variety of groups in various settings.
  • D2.Civ.10.6-8 Explain the relevance of personal interests and perspectives, civic virtues, and democratic principles when people address issues and problems in government and civil society.

Processes, Rules, and Laws
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Civ.11.6-8 Differentiate among procedures for making decisions in the classroom, school, civil society, and local, state, and national government in terms of how civic purposes are intended.
  • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
  • D2.Civ.13.6-8 Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.
  • D2.Civ.14.6-8 Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good.

ECONOMICS


Economic Decision Making
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
  • D2.Eco.2.6-8 Evaluate alternative approaches or solutions to current economic issues in terms of benefits and costs for different groups and society as a whole.

Exchange and Markets
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Eco.3.6-8 Explain the roles of buyers and sellers in product, labor, and financial markets.
  • D2.Eco.4.6-8 Describe the role of competition in the determination of prices and wages in a market economy.
  • D2.Eco.5.6-8 Explain ways in which money facilitates exchange by reducing transactional costs.
  • D2.Eco.6.6-8 Explain how changes in supply and demand cause changes in prices and quantities of goods and services, labor, credit, and foreign currencies.
  • D2.Eco.7.6-8 Analyze the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in a market economy.
  • D2.Eco.8.6-8 Explain how external benefits and costs influence market outcomes.
  • D2.Eco.9.6-8 Describe the roles of institutions such as corporations, non-profits, and labor unions in a market economy.

The National Economy
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Eco.10.6-8 Explain the influence of changes in interest rates on borrowing and investing.
  • D2.Eco.11.6-8 Use appropriate data to evaluate the state of employment, unemployment, inflation, total production, income, and economic growth in the economy.
  • D2.Eco.12.6-8 Explain how inflation, deflation, and unemployment affect different groups.
  • D2.Eco.13.6-8 Explain why standards of living increase as productivity improves.

The Global Economy
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Eco.14.6-8 Explain barriers to trade and how those barriers influence trade among nations.
  • D2.Eco.15.6-8 Explain the benefits and the costs of trade policies to individuals, businesses, and society.

GEOGRAPHY


Geographic Representations
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Geo.1.6-8 Construct maps to represent and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
  • D2.Geo.2.6-8 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
  • D2.Geo.3.6-8 Use paper based and electronic mapping and graphing techniques to represent and analyze spatial patterns of different environmental and cultural characteristics.

Human-Environment Interaction
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Geo.4.6-8 Explain how cultural patterns and economic decisions influence environments and the daily lives of people in both nearby and distant places.
  • D2.Geo.5.6-8 Analyze the combinations of cultural and environmental characteristics that make places both similar to and different from other places.
  • D2.Geo.6.6-8 Explain how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions are connected to human identities and cultures.

Human Population: Spatial Patterns and Movements
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Geo.7.6-8 Explain how changes in transportation and communication technology influence the spatial connections among human settlements and affect the diffusion of ideas and cultural practices.
  • D2.Geo.8.6-8 Analyze how relationships between humans and environments extend or contract spatial patterns of settlement and movement.
  • D2.Geo.9.6-8 Evaluate the influences of long-term human-induced environmental change on spatial patterns of conflict and cooperation.

Global Interconnections
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.Geo.10.6-8 Analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
  • D2.Geo.11.6-8 Explain how the relationship between the environmental characteristics of places and production of goods influences the spatial patterns of world trade.
  • D2.Geo.12.6-8 Explain how global changes in population distribution patterns affect changes in land use in particular places.

HISTORY


Change, Continuity, and Context
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.His.1.6-8 Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts.
  • D2.His.2.6-8 Classify series of historical events and developments as examples of change and/or continuity.
  • D2.His.3.6-8 Use questions generated about individuals and groups to analyze why they, and the developments they shaped, are seen as historically significant.

Perspectives
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.His.4.6-8 Analyze multiple factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras.
  • D2.His.5.6-8 Explain how and why perspectives of people have changed over time.
  • D2.His.6.6-8 Analyze how people’s perspectives influenced what information is available in the historical sources they created.
  • D2.His.7 and D2.His.8 are expected to be demonstrated beginning in grade 9.

Historical Sources and Evidence
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.His.9.6-8 Classify the kinds of historical sources used in a secondary interpretation.
  • D2.His.10.6-8 Detect possible limitations in the historical record based on evidence collected from different kinds of historical sources.
  • D2.His.11.6-8 Use other historical sources to infer a plausible maker, date, place of origin, and intended audience for historical sources where this information is not easily identified.
  • D2.His.12.6-8 Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to identify further areas of inquiry and additional sources.
  • D2.His.13.6-8 Evaluate the relevancy and utility of a historical source based on information such as maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose.

Causation and Argumentation
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D2.His.14.6-8 Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
  • D2.His.15.6-8 Evaluate the relative influence of various causes of events and developments in the past.
  • D2.His.16.6-8 Organize applicable evidence into a coherent argument about the past.
  • D2.His.17.6-8 Compare the central arguments in secondary works of history on related topics in multiple media.


DIMENSION 3: Evaluating Sources & Using Evidence


Gathering and Evaluating Sources
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D3.1.6-8 Gather relevant information from multiple sources while using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources to guide the selection.
  • D3.2.6-8 Evaluate the credibility of a source by determining its relevance and intended use.

Developing Claims and Using Evidence
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D3.3.6-8 Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.
  • D3.4.6-8 Develop claims and counterclaims while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.


DIMENSION 4: Communicating Conclusions & Taking Informed Action


Communicating Conclusions
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS USE WRITING, VISUALIZING, AND SPEAKING TO…
  • D4.1.6-8 Construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources, while acknowledging the strengths and limitations of the arguments.
  • D4.2.6-8 Construct explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples, and details with relevant information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations.
  • D4.3.6-8 Present adaptations of arguments and explanations on topics of interest to others to reach audiences and venues outside the classroom using print and oral technologies (e.g., posters, essays, letters, debates, speeches, reports, and maps) and digital technologies (e.g., Internet, social media, and digital documentary).

Critiquing Conclusions
INDIVIDUALLY AND WITH OTHERS, STUDENTS…
  • D4.4.6-8 Critique arguments for credibility.
  • D4.5.6-8 Critique the structure of explanations.