We go now to Frederick M. Hess at the Enterprise Institute for an update:
Yesterday, on Constitution Day, a coalition of social studies organizations issued their “College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for State Social Studies Standards.” One of the partner organizations was the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools co-chaired by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. Now, the exercise had more than a little irony, given that the organizations went out of their way to ensure that these “social studies standards” make no mention of the U.S. Constitution—or other historical events, dates, or persons.
Susan Griffin, executive director of the National Council of Social Studies (NCSS), explained, “Many state standards in social studies are overwhelmed with lists of dates, places and names to memorize – information students quickly forget.” Instead, she said, the new framework would help states establish “fewer, higher, and clearer standards for instruction in civics, economics, geography, and history,” the standards emphasize “critical thinking, collaboration, and inquiry.” Without delving into what students should actually know, the new C3 framework, explains an accompanying fact sheet, “Intentionally envisions social studies instruction as an inquiry arc of interlocking and mutually reinforcing elements that speak to the intersection of ideas and learners.”
...Frederick? Frederick? Are you still there? Well, we've lost Frederick. But you can get the rest of his report on the new social studies standards here.
I have said before that the people who talk the most about "critical thinking skills" are the least able to explain exactly what they are. But we may now have a breakthrough.
What the permissivist educational establishment appears to mean by "critical thinking skills" is the process of eliminating content knowledge from the minds of children. So when you hear them using contentless expressions such as "critical thinking, collaboration, and inquiry," pack up the minivan and flee to the hills before your children's minds are turned into mush by the Common Core monster.