Boy, it's a busy time.
It's early December, and the (AMAZING) social studies standards writing team is busy working on standards, learning priorities, and indicators. I am getting ready to receive the first full (non-public) draft early next week, and the two co-lead writers and I will be busy working on making sure the work flows well, the voice is similar across the entire document, and that everything makes sense. All of this work leads towards having a draft ready for public review in mid-January.
At the same time, I'm thinking about rolling out these new standards. There are some shifts that districts and teachers are going to have to make. Inquiry has been added into the standard expectations. There is still the expectation of disciplinary literacy, and of course, there are the specific content strands. So what does "rollout" mean?
Our agency has a process in three distinct phases for getting districts and educators ready to shift to new standards. On this note, that means that if the expected timeline holds for revising our social studies standards, summer 2018 will kick off the Year 1 Understanding phase of rollout. Bootcamp 2018 (planned right now for two venues, two days each) will offer the chance for individuals or district teams to come and start unpacking the revised standards. It will be time to look at expected shifts in understanding and pedagogy, and offer the opportunity to work on what this might mean for your district. We will take a look at how these standards fit (or don't) the courses/classes you already teach PK-12, and provide time to brainstorm what may need to change. It will focus on implications of rigor, skills, and content needed for students to meet these standards. We will talk about the need to incorporate disciplinary literacy (although it will not be a two-day immersion in DL) into social studies curriculum. It will provide time to brainstorm your community stakeholders and who you should open talks with in order to best meet your students needs. And finally, it is time to prepare for curriculum development to start in Year 2. This gives you permission to take time to learn the standards before jumping in to curriculum changes.
In addition to the two Bootcamps in Summer 2018, I am planning out workshops throughout Wisconsin during the 2018-19 school year, as well as a way to work through the Year 1 Understanding phase virtually. I am tentatively thinking about seeing if there are districts who would be interested in piloting the work and sharing their progress, do's and don'ts, etc, although I haven't completely figured that out yet in my head. This is a BIG change for us - as you know, we haven't updated social studies standards in almost 20 years, and the shift to inquiry-based expectations is not surprising, but it does mean change is coming.
Year 2 is the year for curriculum development and choosing resources, and Year 3 is looking at instruction and assessment. Bootcamp 2019 and 2020 will reflect those phases, as will work around the state the next two years.
If you are just past a social studies curriculum cycle, or in it right now - it's all good. Keep improving what you offer for your students to learn, and remember that curriculum should be a living document that is reviewed and changed as needed. The #2 question I'm getting right now is "but we are doing review this year! What should we do?!". In response, take a look at the Powtoon here - there's SO much that could be done to help make your curriculum as strong as possible.
There's so much exciting stuff coming down the road for social studies in Wisconsin, and so much to do! Let me know if you have any amazing ideas for helping districts and teachers through this process - as most of you know, I'm a one-person gig here, and brainstorming with myself isn't as fun as you may think.
Have a great week,