During the National Council for Social Studies’ Annual Conference in Washington, DC, the C3 team held two meetings at the National Museum of the American Indian. Here, we met with strategic partners to discuss the C3 Hubs and the C3 Exchange, respectively.
This is an important next step for C3 Teachers. We are not only fostering responsiveness to the various needs of teachers across the states, but also growing our teacher resources.
The C3 State Hubs help to bridge the gap between the framework and the local particulars of the states. You can browse the current state hubs and see how there are similarities and differences, reflecting what the educators from the C3 Teacher team see as their state’s needs and contributions. Though several hubs are under construction, you can see their respective visions.
A great example of this is the Hawaii Hub, which has divided up their Hub in ways that reflect how Hawaii is and will use the C3. It made those of us representing the Kentucky Hub think more about the ways in which we want the Hub to grow to foster social studies in our state.
Several state hubs have been adding inquiries: local, national, and international in scope. In Kentucky, for example, we have a geography inquiry that asks whether it should be considered a southern state. Sure, a teacher in Michigan could implement this inquiry as it is. However, (s)he could also look at the content and pedagogical structure to create their own inquiry that considers regionalization for their state.
C3 Exchange and Organizational Hubs
Our other meeting was of representatives from several social studies organizations to discuss how to facilitate teacher inquiry using their materials. When launched, the C3 Exchange will be a bank of resources culled by these organizations including lessons, units, documents, and other materials to help teachers implement inquiry.
During our meeting, we reviewed the National Museum of the American Indian’s resources that will be linked through the C3 Exchange related to their inquiry on Indian Removal.
Then, our partner organizations began brainstorming about how they would be a part of the Exchange. Ultimately, the Exchange will link resources to the C3 Indicators. The utility in this is twofold: If you are looking for ways to foster a particular skill, you can find sources that are conducive to the purpose of the particular indicator. Conversely, this tagging can help teachers determine various ways they can use the source. For example, tags on the Indian Removal Act will be the skills the experts at the Smithsonian’s NMAI believe the text facilitates. In this case, they aligned it to the indicators for using evidence (D3.3.9-12, D3.4.9-12).
One of the most difficult parts of conducting an inquiry can be finding sources. I have written blueprints that I thought were really solid, but was unable to find appropriate sources. It helps refine how we use any particular source. Additionally, with the advent of the mainstreaming of “fake news,” there is more pressure on teachers to think very intentional about fostering the critical literacies necessary for doing source work. The Exchange will contribute to that.
Our teacher community is a vital part of the C3’s growth—as we move forward, we’re thankful that you’ve joined us and will continue to be responsive to your needs.