The Social Studies fields covered by the Common Core Curriculum will be getting a second look as teachers and other education experts protest that not enough attention is being paid to subjects outside the STEM fields. The body responsible for drafting the standards has announced that it will be developing curriculum maps in history and geography, drawing for their inspiration from the best social studies standards in the nation.
Support for the “Common Core Curriculum Maps in History and Geography” is being provided by the Louis Calder Foundation and by proceeds from CC’s Curriculum Maps in English Language Arts. Common Core’s K-12 English Language Arts Curriculum Maps (http://www.commoncore.org/maps/), the first all-new curriculum tool created which is aligned to the CCSS, currently have more than 7,000 users. CC’s new history and geography maps will be a companion to the ELA maps
Lynne Munson, the Common Core President and Executive Director said that everyone involved with the drafting of the new maps is committed to making sure that the existing state curriculum in the subject are canvassed, and only the best will be used in the development of the new fields. Munson hopes that the new maps will assist teachers in elementary and middle schools build up their students’ knowledge in history and geography.
The CC’s foray into Social Sciences follows the March 15th Common Core Forum, where attendees discussed the importance of expanding the Common Core into fields beyond sciences, mathematics and reading.
“Social Studies classes, especially in elementary schools, have been reduced or eliminated,” said Lewis Huffman, the Education Associate for Social Studies for the South Carolina Department of Education. In South Carolina “a couple of years ago we were talking about the possibility of eliminating social studies assessments. Within a week, I had teachers calling me, telling me that their school administrators were already telling them ‘you don’t have to teach as much social studies’ or ‘you maybe don’t have to teach social studies at all.’”
The CC might have also been guided by the results of a nationwide survey of teachers conducted by the FDR Group which found that over 80% of teachers felt that the increased focus on mathematics and “language arts,” was overshadowing all other subjects.