Inquiry, Historical Thinking and Action Civics - A Two Day Institute

Inquiry, Historical Thinking and Action Civics

A 2-Day Teacher institute

August 9 & 10, 2018


Across the country, we’re witnessing students take the lead in asking critical social questions, and defining and acting on issues that impact their lives in the deepest ways. How can we, as history-social science teachers, build in inquiry and historical analysis to support this emerging civic engagement as an integral part of our instruction?


The recently adopted California History-Social Science Framework presents an approach to standards-based instruction that encourages inclusion of social justice themes and civic engagement in your curriculum. Its inquiry-based orientation invites student-centered exploration of important issues and topics, and its emphasis on ‘citizenship’ (broadly defined) helps make the study of history relevant to students’ lives. Taken as a whole, this document gives teachers guidance with regard to incorporating historically grounded engaging discussions in their instruction, and encourages direct student civic and community engagement.


Join other Bay Area teachers in a 2-day institute sponsored by the San Mateo COE in partnership with the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project. The sessions will help teachers explore repurposing their curriculum to align with the new California History-Social Science Framework, with an emphasis on the Framework’s encouragement of inquiry, historical thinking and student civic engagement. The institute will be held at the SMCOE offices.


Day 1: Inquiry & Historical Thinking in the Framework

The Framework encourages content to be organized around large, thematic inquiry questions that help define and shape instruction. This inquiry focuses and unifies instruction at the course, unit and lesson levels. Thematic course-long questions can help define student-led projects in their classrooms and their broader communities. We will explore the inquiry process as well as the themes that the Framework explicitly offers including “Haves & Have-Nots”, “Uses and Abuses of Power”, “Patterns of Population“, and “Expressing Identity”, among others.  Following an overview of the Framework, participants will look at how these can help reshape their course and inspire their students.

Day 2: Instructional Planning for Historical Thinking, Current Connections and Student Engagement.

With an emphasis on the implication of the Framework on unit design and lesson planning, this session will provide a model for unit and lesson planning that emphasizes historical thinking as it connects current issues with historical content, context and analysis. The session will present lesson examples and provide structured time for teachers to collaborate on instructional planning in order to adapt these approaches to their own classrooms.

Questions: Contact Gwenn Lei, Coordinator,, at the San Mateo County Office of Education or the UC Berkeley History Social Science Project if you are interested in attending or would like more information.

Registration Link:

Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 9:00am
San Mateo County Office of Education

Event type:

Date Text: 
August 9-10, 2018