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An inquirED Blog

Social Studies Curriculum Review and Adoption

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

Schools and districts around the country are rebuilding their social studies programs after years of neglect. They have come to understand that a robust, inquiry-based K–12 social studies program is central to their mission of helping students become active and informed participants in our democracy.

But as instructional leaders seek to develop or purchase curriculum, they are finding little or no guidance around what constitutes an effective social studies curriculum, or what criteria define high-quality instructional materials.

inquirED’s Curriculum Review Guide includes five rubrics that can be used to evaluate the essential components of a social studies curriculum: Inquiry-Based Instruction; Culturally Responsive Education; Standards-Based Instruction and Assessment; High-Quality, Diverse Sources; and Learner Supports and Continuous PD.

In conjunction with the Curriculum Review Guide, inquirED is offering a free webinar series called “Searching for Social Studies,” examining the need for high-quality instructional materials and how schools and districts are seeking them out. See below for an overview of webinars. We will update this page with recordings and resources.


Webinar Schedule

If you aren’t able to attend live webinars, recordings will be sent the day after.


Searching for Social Studies: Why Instructional Materials Matter

Thursday, March 18th @ 3:00 CT

  • Research shows that high-quality instructional materials have a significant impact on improving outcomes for students. What are the implications of this research for social studies teachers and leaders? Join inquirED CEO Shanti Elangovan as she discusses the power of curriculum with Tanji Reed Marshall, Director of P-12 Practice at the Education Trust, and Stefanie Wager, President of the National Council for the Social Studies.

Searching for Social Studies: District Spotlight Denver Public Schools

Wednesday, March 24th @ 3:00 CT

  • Are you beginning the process of curriculum review and adoption? Join representatives from Denver Public Schools as they break down the process they used to sort through options, choose a curriculum, and begin the process of implementation. Avoid the pitfalls and discover the strategies that will help you successfully navigate the process

Searching for Social Studies: The Curriculum Review Guide

Wednesday, April 21st @ 3:00 CT

  • Do you need a powerful tool to help you evaluate curriculum? inquirED has compiled data and feedback from schools and districts across the country to create an elementary social studies curriculum review guide. Join CEO Shanti Elangovan and Head of Learning Experiences Elisabeth Ventling Simon as they discuss the need for high-quality social studies curriculum and instructional materials.

Searching for Social Studies: How Social Studies Curriculum Can Transform Teaching

Wednesday, May 12th @ 3:00 CT

  • Can a new social studies curriculum begin to transform teaching practice? Join us for a discussion with Jim Short, Carnegie Corporation's Program Director for Leadership and Teaching to Advance Learning. Jim will share the details of a new Carnegie report that places curriculum at the center of professional learning. Then, we’ll head into the field to look at the model in action, with Sarah Milo Hoskow, inquirED’s Director of Partner Experience.



Additional resources will be added as they become available.



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