Answers for WV Social Studies teachers from WVDE

Good Morning Everyone,


As the school year fast approaches an ending our thoughts are already going towards the next year.  I just wanted to send a note out to clear up any confusion about the Next Generation Social Studies Standards and Objectives in West Virginia.  They were approved by the State Board of Education in February.  They will  become effective on July 1, 2012.  There will not be a roll out as there has been for ELA and Math.  The Next Generation Social Studies Standards and Objectives will become effective in grades K-12 during the 2012-2013 school year.  They can be found both on the Policy Page of the WVDE site and they can also be found on Teach21 under the interactive Next Generation Standards and Objectives along with the new ELA and Math.


Below are the answers to some of the questions I have been asked:


  • ·         The current classroom materials were adopted before the current 21st Century Standards were in place, so they were not aligned totally to begin with.  New instructional materials for Social Studies will be in the classrooms in the Fall of 2013.
  • ·         A staff member from the Assessment office was actually at the table as the objectives were being written and the changes will not have any implication on standardized testing for Social Studies.
  • ·         The textbook is a resource, however the world is full of primary source documents, interactive maps, guest speakers, online resources and an entire array of materials that Social Studies teachers are able to use in their classrooms, let the standards and objectives guide your teaching not the textbook.
  • ·         The Electronic Resource Packages on Teach21 will be aligned to the new objectives before school starts back in August. During the 2012-2014 school year other resources on Teach21 will be aligned to the new standards and objectives.
  • ·         The new History Clusters will help teachers in grades K-11 guide instruction.
  • ·         Elementary teachers should be aware that the k-4 WV objectives have been imbedded into grade specific history standards.
  • ·         The History component of Social Studies should be taught as a story if we want students to retain the information.  The other areas of Social Studies; Civics, Geography, Economics, and Literacy should be imbedded within the story when possible and made meaningful to the students.  Skills from all the areas will still need to be addressed and taught but make it meaningful for the students and make sure they understand why it is important for them to know this information.
  • ·         Common State Standards (common core) for Social studies are still in the development stages.  If and when they are presented and complete they are only the standards.  Each state will still have to develop their own objectives (which we have already done) and decide at what grade levels specific content will be addressed.
  • ·         The SASS institute this summer will be training individuals who will be able to deliver professional development on the Next Generation Social Studies Standards and Objectives  at the local and RESA levels.


Thank you and enjoy your summer!

Joey Wiseman                 

Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Social Studies Coordinator

Office of Instruction

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