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College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History

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The result of a three year state-led collaborative effort, the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards was developed to serve two audiences: for states to upgrade their state social studies standards and for practitioners — local school districts, schools, teachers and curriculum writers — to strengthen their social studies programs. Its objectives are to: a) enhance the rigor of the social studies disciplines; b) build critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills to become engaged citizens; and c) align academic programs to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.

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Why Vote? 5th Graders Take Informed Action

What does the C3 Framework look like in a fifth grade classroom? This five-minute video produced by Social Studies School Service provides a snapshot of high quality C3 social studies instruction designed to prepare students for active and engaged citizenship.

The accompanying lesson plan, handouts, and summative assessment rubric developed by Rebecca Valbuena, Board Member of California Council for the Social Studies and Michelle Herczog, President of National Council for the Social Studies provides step-by-step directions and tools to transform a traditional lesson about the fundamental principles of representative democracy into an opportunity for students to understand the importance of voting and participating in civic life.

Lead the Way! Tips and Tools to Introduce, Plan, and Implement the C3 Framework at your School Site/District

Explore resources and suggestions for guiding educators through various implementation phases of the C3 Framework.


Michelle Herczog
2014-15 NCSS President
Consultant III, History-Social Science, Los Angeles County Office of Education

Michael Lovorn
2014-15 NSSSA President
Department of Instruction & Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


Grade K-12 instructional leaders, administrators, department chairs


Develop Your Own C3 Lessons

Describe how Social Studies and English Language Arts Methods Instructors at Schools of Education can utilize the C3 Framework as a vehicle for training teacher education students how to use the C3 Framework to meet the Common Core State Standards through the social studies curriculum.


Michelle Herczog
2014-15 NCSS President
Consultant III, History-Social Science, Los Angeles County Office of Education


Grade K-12 teachers, school administrators

Coaching the Coaches Part 2: C3 Framework Rubric

In the last webinar, we discussed the importance the NCLE Asset Inventory and the Collaborative Learning Continuum. You  placed yourself as a learner and your collaborative team on the continuum. Think about the goals you set for working together as a collaborative team with that inventory. Where would you place yourself and team now?

Coaching of Coaches: Collaborative Learning

Ultimately the quality of teaching depends not only on the qualities of those who enter and stay, but also on workplace factors.  Teachers who feel enabled to succeed with students are more committed and effective than those who feel unsupported in their learning and in their practice. Those who have access to teacher networks, enriched professional roles, and collegial work feel more efficacious in gaining the knowledge they need to meet the needs of their students and more positive about staying in the profession.”--Linda Darling-Hammond

Introduction to the C3LC Investigation Series-Putting the C3 Framework into Practice

Welcome to participants in the NCSS C3 Literacy Collaborative grant, and all others who share an interest in putting the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards into practice while simultaneously aligning curriculum and assessments with new state literacy standards such as the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.

Meeting the Common Core State Standards for ELA Part One – How Does the C3 Framework Align to the Common Core

This investigation is designed to answer the compelling question of “Why should teachers integrate literacy (using ELA CCSS) and social studies instruction (C3 Framework)?” Just as the C3 promotes inquiry-based learning, this investigation will similarly support you as teachers AND learners to use disciplinary concepts, tools, and sources to communicate your conclusions to this question so that you can take informed action in planning and utilizing the C3 in your school and classroom.


Meeting the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts: Argument Writing

In this investigation, we’ll explore what you can do to support students’ argument writing and learn to integrate key aspects of argument into their writing as this student has done. You’ll see that working on argument writing with students relies on an inquiry approach to teaching social studies as well as an emphasis on literacy.

Meeting the Common Core State Standards for ELA Part Two: Reading Informational Text

In this investigation, we will identify ways to tap into informational texts that make texts readable, engaging, inviting, and at an appropriate level of complexity for each grade band. We focus on four strategies that promote the vision of complex text integration defined in the crossover of the Common Core State Standards and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework.  At the heart of our understanding is reading as form of inquiry.

Instructional Shifts Investigation

Purpose: This investigation is designed to focus on the guiding principles of the C3 Framework to determine if the instructional pedagogy of the C3 Framework represents an instructional shift in classroom practice. Other investigations will provide a more in-depth look at the Four Dimensions and provide ample time for viewers to study and apply the work in classrooms.



C3 Literacy Collaborative Project (C3LC)

The C3LC Project provides free professional learning, tools, and resources to support teachers from across the nation to utilize the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.

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The C3 Framework and the National Social Studies Standards

NCSS published the national curriculum standards for social studies in 2010. This article by Michelle Herczog describes the ways in which the C3 Framework for Enhancing State Social Studies Standards, published in 2013, corresponds with the national standards. The article identifies the distinctive contribution made by the C3 Framework.

The Links between the C3 Framework and the NCSS National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

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