History and Social Sciences for Orange County


The History/Social Science/Civics Coordinator of the Orange County Department of Education provides curriculum resources, coaching, and professional development to History and Social Science/Studies educators throughout Orange County. In order to serve students, parents, families and the community, History/Social Science/Civics courses and experiences should include the following:

  • A classroom culture that supports the learning of all students.
  • Compelling unit questions, e.g. What does it mean to be an American? (see Problems, Questions and Themes in the History and Geography Classroom in the History-Social Science Framework for Public Schools).
  • Supporting lesson questions and questions for formative assessment, e.g. purpose, texts, tasks, support and extension? (see Assessment of Proficiency in History-Social Science in the History-Social Science Framework for Public Schools).
  • Reading of primary and secondary sources from written, visual and audio formats. 
  • Tasks that help students understand the major themes, patterns of human interaction, concepts, significant events/turning points, and people in the History-Social Science Framework for Public Schools.
  • Tasks that ask students to participate in disciplinary thinking e.g. causation, perspective-taking, or contextualization (see the Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills in the History-Social Science Content Standards).
  • Tasks that encourage students to interpret and produce content in order to support the development of literacy especially for students who are emerging bilinguals (see the ELA/ELD Framework).
  • Tasks that ask students to collaborate and participate in civic discourse, e.g. Partner Share, Socratic Seminar, Philosophical Chairs, Debate or Structured Academic Controversy.
  • Periodic assessments that ask students to synthesize information and research, as well as make claims substantiated with evidence.
  • Topics that include "the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups" (Ed. Code Section 51204.5).
  • Opportunities for students to participate in civic action e.g. community events, Public Service Announcements, or campaigns for a cause (see Practicing Civic Engagement: Service-Learning in the History-Social Science Framework).
  • Experiences that help students develop digital literacy and exposure to differing types of databases, software and learning experiences.


History/Social Science/Civics Vision Statement

History and Social Science/Studies educators prepare students for college, careers, civic life when students acquire content knowledge and literacy skills through the application of disciplinary thinking. Students are able to use their understanding of the world to participate in their communities as citizens and agents of change.


Professional Development &

Professional Learning Opportunities


Community of Practice

Now in its second year, the Orange County Department of Education’s History-Social Science Community of Practice (CoP) brings together leaders and teachers to consider the implementation of the 2016 History-Social Science Framework. This year’s CoP will continue its focus on inquiry with an in-depth focus on content understanding, literacy and historical/critical thinking, see the attached flyer for further information.

HSS Flyer CoP.jpg

If you would like to be added to our contact list for news and updates, please send your request to History-socialscience@ocde.us.