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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 purposefully designed to provide guidance to states to enhance the rigor of K-12 civics, economics, geography, and history to prepare students for college, career, and civic life in the 21st century. However, it serves another vital purpose – to assist social studies practitioners at the local level - in local schools, school districts, non-profit organizations, and for-profit publishing companies to align or develop curriculum materials to (1) enhance the rigor of the social studies disciplines, (2) build the critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills necessary for students to become engaged citizens, and (3) align academic programs to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.
The C3 Framework, like the Common Core State Standards, emphasizes the acquisition and application of knowledge through an inquiry based approach for learning to become rigorous, relevant, and meaningful for students. It intentionally envisions social studies instruction as an inquiry arc of interlocking and mutually reinforcing elements that speak to the intersection of ideas and learners. The Four Dimensions center on the use of questions to spark curiosity, guide instruction, deepen investigations, acquire rigorous content, and apply knowledge and ideas in real world settings for students to become active and engaged citizens in the 21st century.
Whether or not the C3 Framework is implemented at the state level, social studies teachers at all grade levels can use the document to reflect upon their own classroom practices and re-envision their instructional program to become more inquiry-based, dynamic, and exciting for students.  

Below is an archived webcast that provides an overview of the C3 Framework featuring the architects and leads of the project. Guidelines for using the webcast along with instructional planning guides for professional development can also be found below. A copy of the C3 Framework and other resources can be found on our C3 Framework web page or at

For more information, please contact Michelle M. Herczog, Ed.D., Consultant III, History-Social Science in the Division of Curriculum and Instructional Services at the Los Angeles County Office of Education at 562-922-6908 or

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