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Social Sciences - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Frequently Asked 
Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about social sciences instruction below.


1. What are Oregon’s graduation requirements in Social Sciences?

To earn a diploma, students must earn three (3) credits in Social Science, which includes history, civics, geography, and economics (including personal finance).

2. Where can I find resources to support my instruction in Social Sciences?

On the Social Sciences curriculum page you will find links to materials and websites that focus on social sciences instruction. Teacher Resources provides links and materials arranged by subject area. Also provided is a list of Professional Organizations so that you might contact others with your same Social Sciences interests.

Standards & Assessment

3. Why do we have Social Sciences Standards and how were they developed?

In 1995, the state legislature amended the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century, requiring the State Board of Education to adopt content standards in Social Sciences and other subjects. The Department developed the content standards with input and review from nationally recognized curriculum experts, Oregon educators, and citizens. In 2001, the Oregon Social Sciences Standards were reviewed and revised to reflect information gathered during the SEIP Benchmarking (which compared Oregon’s standards to national frameworks), the PEW benchmarking (which compared Oregon’s standards to the Portland Public School’s draft framework), state-wide review meetings, and the work of teacher panels. The revised standards were adopted in April 2001.

4. How are the current content standards different from the earlier version?

The current standards reflect a more global perspective in Economics, Civics and Government, World History, and Geography. The current standards also recognize the importance of Social Sciences skills as well as content knowledge. Third, the current standards focus more on the broader concepts of the Social Sciences, instead of isolated facts.

5. When will the current Social Sciences Standards adopted in 2001 be reviewed and revised?

The standards are currently under revision with an anticipated adoption date of February 2011.

6. Where do I find information about the Oregon Social Sciences Assessment?

The Office of Assessment and Information Services also has materials posted on the ODE web site. You will find their information at http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=241.


7. What is the legislation that affects Social Sciences instruction in Oregon?

• ORS 329.492 requires the development of academic content standards for Oregon Studies, “a balanced presentation of the relevant contributions to society by men and women of African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American and other racial groups in Oregon”.

• ORS 336.116 requires the Oregon Department of Education to make curriculum available to all school districts so that they may include instruction on the Irish Famine.

• ORS 329.045 (3) “School districts and public charter schools shall offer students instruction in…history, geography, economics, civics,…that meets the academic content standards…”

• ORS 329.465 (6) “…the state board shall adopt requirements for Certificate of Initial Mastery subject area endorsements in history, geography, economics, civics,…”

• ORS 336.023 History of Oregon Statehood Week.

• ORS 336.025 Women in History Week.

• ORS 336.057 Courses in Constitution and history of United States.

• ORS 336.088 Conflict resolution program; adoption discretionary.

• ORS 336.116 Unit of instruction on Irish Famine; model curriculum.

• OAR 581-022-1130 Three credits of Social Sciences (including history, civics, geography and economics (including personal finance) is required at the high school level for a high school diploma.

• OAR 581-022-1210 (1) “Each school district shall provide a planned K-12 instructional program.”

• OAR 581-022-1210 (2) “The planned K-12 instructional program shall include the following: (a) Common Curriculum Goals and academic content standards to include:…(D) Social Science (including history, geography, economics and civics);…”

You can review the legislation at Oregon State Legislature

  • Andrea Morgan Email    (503) 947-5772
    Instruction, Standards, Assessment, and Accountability - 1 - Ed. Specialist, Social Sciences Curriculum and Advanced Placement Incentive Prog

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