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Vista USD |  BP  6142.94  Instruction

History-Social Science Instruction   

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The Board of Trustees believes that the study of history and other social sciences is essential to prepare students to engage in responsible citizenship, comprehend complex global interrelationships, and understand the vital connections among the past, present, and future. The district's history-social science education program shall be designed to develop students' knowledge of historical events within a chronological and geographic context and shall include, at appropriate grade levels, instruction in American and world history, geography, economics, political science, anthropology, psychology, and sociology.

The Board shall adopt academic standards for history-social science which meet or exceed state content standards and describe the knowledge and skills that students shall be expected to achieve at each grade level.

The Superintendent or designee shall develop a comprehensive, sequential curriculum that is aligned with the district standards and is consistent with the state's curriculum framework. At each grade level, the curriculum shall integrate age-appropriate instruction designed to develop student achievement in the following areas:

1. Knowledge and cultural understanding, including historical, ethical, cultural, geographic, economic, and sociopolitical literacy.

2. Democratic understanding and civic values, including an understanding of national identity; constitutional heritage; and an individual's civic values, rights, and responsibilities.

3. Skills attainment and social participation, including basic study skills, critical thinking skills, and participation skills that are essential for effective citizenship.

The district's history-social science curriculum shall include a multicultural education component which is designed to teach students to respect and appreciate cultural diversity and different points of view while also developing their understanding of commonalities and collective experiences. The curriculum shall reflect the experiences of men and women and of various cultural, ethnic, racial, religious, and social groups and their contributions to the history, life, and culture of the local community, California, the United States, and other nations.

The Board shall adopt standards-aligned instructional materials for history-social science in accordance with applicable law, Board policy, and administrative regulation. In addition, teachers are encouraged to supplement the curriculum through the use of biographies, original documents, diaries, letters, legends, speeches, other narrative artifacts, and literature from and about the period being studied.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide a standards-based professional development program designed to increase teachers' knowledge of adopted instructional materials and instructional strategies for teaching history-social science.

Legal Reference:


33540 History-social science curriculum framework

51204 Course of study designed for student's needs

51204.5 History of California; contributions of men, women, and ethnic groups

51210 Course of study, grades 1-6

51220 Course of study, grades 7-12

51220.2 Instruction in legal system; teen or peer court programs

51221 Social science course of study, inclusion of instruction in use of natural resources

51221.3-51221.4 Instruction on World War II and Vietnam War; use of oral histories

51225.3 High school graduation requirements

60040-60051 Criteria for instructional materials

60119 Public hearing on the sufficiency of instructional materials

60200-60206 Instructional materials, grades K-8

60400-60411 Instructional materials, grades 9-12

60640-60649 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress

99200-99206 Subject matter projects

Management Resources:


History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, rev. 2005

Model Curriculum for Human Rights and Genocide, 2000

History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, October 1998



California Council for the Humanities:

California Council for the Social Studies:

California Department of Education:

California History-Social Science Course Models:

California Subject Matter Project:

National Association for Multicultural Education:

National Council for History Education:


adopted: April 21, 2011 Vista, California