Social Studies: FAQ's

What are the Learning Standards for Social Studies?

The College and Career Ready Standards for History/Social Studies (CCRS-H/SS) have five specific content area standards for social studies, which are indicators of what students should learn and be able to do upon completion of the K-12 Social Studies program:

  • Standard 1: History of the United States and New York
    Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.
     
  • Standard 2: World History
    Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in world history and examine the broad sweep of history from a variety of perspectives.
     
  • Standard 3: Geography
    Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live-local, national, and global-including the distribution of people, places, and environments over Earth's surface.
     
  • Standard 4: Economics
    Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of how the United States and other societies develop economic systems and associated institutions to allocate scarce resources, how major decision-making units function in the United States and other national economies, and how an economy solves the scarcity problem through market and nonmarket mechanisms.
     
  • Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government
    Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the necessity for establishing governments; the governmental systems of the United States and other nations; the United States Constitution; the basic civic values of American constitutional democracy; and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.

What are Social Studies Practices?

The Social Studies Practices represent the social science and historical thinking skills that students should develop throughout their K-12 education in order to be prepared for civic participation, college, and careers. The Practices were created based on the existing New York State Social Studies Learning Standards, the National Geography Standards, the historical thinking skills articulated within the new Advanced Placement World History Curriculum Framework, the Disciplinary Tools of Dimension 2 of the C3 Framework, National Council for the Social Studies Standards, and Habits of the Mind published by the National Council for History Education. Social Studies Practices are identified for each of the grades K-8, and then for the high school, and are found in the standards documents. These practices are organized under the following headings:

  1. Gathering, Interpreting and Using Evidence
  2. Chronological Reasoning and Causation
  3. Comparison and Contextualization
  4. Geographic Reasoning
  5. Economics and Economic Systems
  6. Civic Participation

What are Key Ideas?

Key Ideas are aligned to the standards and represent enduring understandings that should be the focus of teaching and learning for each grade. Key Ideas are designed to address larger social studies perspectives, trends, and issues.

What are Conceptual Understandings?

Conceptual Understandings are more specific statements designed to support each Key Idea. Each Key Idea is comprised of approximately two to seven conceptual understandings that are designed to support the larger Key Idea. Together, the Key Ideas and Conceptual Understandings represent the body of Social Studies concepts that should be the focus of teaching and learning.

What will elementary students learn as a result of the new standards?

Grade Level - Course of study

Kindergarten - Self and Others
Grade 1 - My Family and Other Families, Now and Long Ago
Grade 2 - My Community and Other Communities
Grade 3 - Communities Around the World
Grade 4 - United States History and Government
Grade 5 - The Western Hemisphere


Contact Information

DoDEA Social Studies Instructional Systems Specialist
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria VA 22350-1400
Email: