The New York Social Studies Resource Toolkit is a curriculum and instructional resource that builds out from the recently released New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework. Featuring an ambitious new approach to constructing social studies curriculum inquiries, the Inquiry Design Model (IDM), the Toolkit emphasizes the role of teacher knowledge and expertise. The Toolkit project was funded and sponsored by the New York State Education Department.
The New York Social Studies Toolkit features 84 curriculum inquiries, six per grade level K-11, and twelve in grade 12 (six for Economics and six for Participation in Government).
All of the 84 inquiries within the New York State Toolkit were built using the Inquiry Design Model and feature a blueprint with a description of how the inquiry might be taught. All of the inquiries connected to key ideas, conceptual understandings, content specifications, and social studies practices found in the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework. Although the inquiries align with standards, they are not intended to be comprehensive content units, nor are they intended to be a series of prescribed lesson plans. They are intended to serve as pedagogically rich examples content and skills built out in inquiry-based fashion.
The Toolkit Conceptual Foundations describe the principles that informed the design of Toolkit inquires and the Inquiry Design Model (IDM).
Undergirding the Toolkit project in general and the curriculum inquiries in particular are a set of 10 assumptions. Rooted in research and practice and reflecting the Inquiry Arc of the C3 Framework, these assumptions offer a coherent and mutually reinforcing set of ideas that define the often nebulous term “inquiry.” The assumptions are:
The New York Toolkit Project approach to professional learning recognizes the complexities of designing inquiry activities and then teaching those inquiries in the classroom.
Complementing the Toolkit Inquiries and Conceptual Foundations is a collection of turnkey professional learning materials that introduces educators to the C3 Framework and the Inquiry Design Model. These materials feature PowerPoint slide decks and related materials that are organized around three parts of the Inquiry Design Model – Questions, Tasks, and Sources. The four slide decks available here are annotated to provide facilitators with the information they need to conduct the professional learning activities.
This collection of four videos introduces the New York Social Studies Toolkit Project and three key elements of the work – Questions, Argumentation, and Taking Informed Action.
Along with the IDM Toolkit slide decks are a set of four videos that introduce the project and speak to the several elements of the Inquiry Design Model in general and three key elements in particular: Questions, Argumentation, and Taking Informed Action. The videos feature Toolkit writers, members of the Teacher Collaborative Council, and students in some of the piloting teachers’ classrooms.
The New York State K-12 Resource Toolkit and Professional Development project, funded by a grant from the New York State Education Department, is the result of the efforts of nearly 100 educators from around New York State and across the country.