New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework

students in a classroom

New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework

The New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework is designed to prepare students for college, careers, and civic life with courses that are rigorous and aligned to New York State Learning Standards, both Common Core and Social Studies. This Framework integrates existing New York State Learning Standards and the New York State Core Curriculum for Social Studies into a single, three-part document. It is intended to serve as a guide for local districts in developing their Social Studies curricula. It incorporates the New York State Common Core Learning Standards and recommends the use of the C3 Inquiry Arc as instructional methodology. Social Studies practices are identified, as well as the key ideas, conceptual understandings, and content specifications.

The Content Advisory Panel (CAP), a diverse group of New York K–12 and Higher Education educators from across New York State, has played an integral role in redefining Social Studies and in the development of the Framework.  The CAP first met in November, 2011.  A workgroup of teachers was asked to develop activities that would align the Core Curriculum to Common Core Learning Standards. The CAP met in February, 2012 and made recommendations and revisions to the workgroup’s activities. Those revisions were incorporated, and the CAP convened in April, 2012 to review those revisions. The first draft of the K-8 Framework was posted, and public comment was invited in September and October, 2012. The CAP reconvened in October, 2012 to review those comments and to make recommendations for the 9-12 work. An informal survey was conducted in December to determine how to split the current two-year course of study in Global History and Geography into two distinct courses. On the basis of that survey, the second course of study will begin with 1750 and will serve as the basis for a newly designed Regents Exam.  In February and March, 2013, the 9-12 Framework was made available for public comment and a survey was conducted. The CAP met in March to review comments and to make recommendations. Those recommendations were incorporated, and the CAP reconvened in November, 2013 to review the entire document. The Draft K-12 Framework was posted for public comment in December, 2013, and the opportunity for public comment was extended to January 2014. The CAP reviewed the comments and made final recommendations for the Framework. The Framework was publicly presented to the Board of Regents in March 2014, and was approved by the Board of Regents at the April 2014 meeting.

The Field Guide builds on the Framework by providing guidance on how to use the Framework to promote conceptual understandings (including the development of questions to drive inquiry) and how to integrate Social Studies content, practices, and the CCLS in curriculum, assessment, and instruction. In short, the Framework articulates what students should learn in Social Studies, while the Field Guide provides guidance on how to integrate social studies content, practices, and CCLS in the context of rigorous, inquiry-driven instruction.

Additional Resources

Social Studies Field Guide

For information on the development of this document, please read Background Information.

If you have any comments or feedback, please submit to

Updated January 8, 2015

Created on:
Tue 12/17/2013
Posted by NYSED
Social Studies
Common Core Learning Standards