Draft social studies standards released, public review set for November
Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise today released a draft of revised statewide standards for social studies and announced members of a new state team who will conduct a public review of the draft standards.
The draft standards, developed over the past year by an Iowa writing team, outlines what students should know and be able to do in social studies from kindergarten through 12th grade. The draft represents the first statewide effort to update Iowa’s social studies standards, which were adopted in 2008. A recent survey showed many Iowa teachers want clearer, more specific expectations than those outlined in the current social studies standards.
“Our social studies standards have room for improvement, and I appreciate the writing team’s hard work to develop new draft standards for Iowans to consider,” Wise said. “A new Social Studies Standards Review Team will now oversee the process of reviewing the draft standards. Our goal is to have clear, consistent standards that will help prepare Iowa students for success in school and beyond.”
According to their writers, the new draft social studies standards:
- Go beyond content that students should master, emphasizing the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that students need to be successful in postsecondary education and training and to compete for today’s most rewarding jobs.
- Weave in Iowa history and financial literacy, which are not reflected in the current social studies standards.
- Outline what students should know and be able to do at each grade level from kindergarten through eighth grade, rather than being organized by spans of grades. In grades 9 through 12, the draft standards are organized by content area within social studies.
- Embrace new research on best practices.
“We worked together with the goal of improving Iowa’s social studies standards in a way that challenges students to think critically, that connects learning to real-life situations, and that prepares students to be engaged citizens,” said Kim Heckart, a College Community School District teacher who participated on the writing team.
The Social Studies Standards Review Team will convene Tuesday, Nov. 8 to begin a public review of the draft social studies standards. The team’s first meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room B100 (basement level) of the Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., in Des Moines. Meetings are open to the public.
Members of the Social Studies Standards Review Team are as follows:
- Alex Abbe, teacher, Marshalltown Community School District
- Amber Davison, teacher leader, Des Moines Public Schools
- Janet Wills, teacher, Southeast Webster-Grand Community School District
- Beverley McPherson, teacher, Des Moines Public Schools
- Nan Kiel, teacher, Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools
- Dominic Iannone, teacher, Iowa City Community School District
- Holly Glade, teacher, Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District
- Steve Bomgaars, teacher, Spencer Community School District
- Michelle Anderson, teacher, College Community School District
- Heather Coffman, teacher, Van Buren Community School District
- Linda Linn, consultant, Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency
- Lisa Lueken, social studies curriculum coordinator, Dubuque Community School District
- Mark Core, adjunct social studies methods professor, Central College
- Greg Dufoe, superintendent, Adel Desoto Minburn Community School District
- Jason Harshman, professor, University of Iowa Department of Education
- John Wheeler, director, Iowa State Bar Association Center for Law & Civic Education
- Rob Dittmer, K-12 social studies curriculum specialist, Council Bluffs Community School District
- Cynthia Phillips, principal, AHSTW Community School District
- Nancy Elliott, executive director, Iowa Council for the Social Studies
- Leah Slick-Driscoll, teacher, Meskwaki Settlement
Visit the Department of Education’s Social Studies Standards Review Team webpage for more information.