C3 Social Studies: Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

Course Number: EDU 5515 C42 (Graduate)
Instructor: David Wells
Location: In-person + online/independent format
Dates and Times: June 28 to July 30, 2018. Workshop Session from 8:30 am - 12 pm on June 28, 2018 at the VT-NEA, 10 Wheelock St, Montpelier, VT, followed by online coursework through July 30, 2018
Credits:  3 credits
Tuition:  $900

Note: Course payment or purchase order of $900, payable to RRWIB, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form. Credit card payments can also be made online. Please mail check to the Castleton Center for Schools, PO Box 6049, Rutland, VT 05701.

Course Description

Students will no longer sit and listen to irrelevant Social Studies lessons where the main goal is to memorize facts. It is an exciting time for Social Studies in Vermont with the state adopting the inquiry based C3 Framework to guide our work. This course itself will be guided by the inquiry model as participants study questions, sources and activities that lead to a student’s deeper understanding of Social Studies concepts. The course will culminate with each participant having a inquiry based lesson that they can teach in their classroom.

Audience: K-12 Classroom Teachers, Administrators and Curriculum Coordinators.

Course Goals

  • Provide a thorough overview of the C3 Framework and its Inquiry Arc
  • Present the key features of inquiry based social studies lessons: questions, tasks, sources, and presenting arguments.
  • Support participants as they design an inquiry based Social Studies Lesson.

Course Objectives

Participants in this course will demonstrate their ability to do the following:

  • Develop an understanding of the C3 Framework and its Inquiry Arc
  • Identify and understand the role of questions, tasks, sources and the presentation of strong arguments in an inquiry based Social Studies Lesson.
  • Demonstrate an overall understanding of an inquiry based Social Studies instruction by developing a unit that will be taught in the participant’s classroom. 

Course Expectations


Week One: Introduction to the C3 Framework and the Inquiry Arc (In-Person Workshop in Berlin, Vermont)
Readings: C3 Framework pages 12-50
Written Reflection: How can your lessons align with the Inquiry Arc?
Forum Response: Where do questions belong in your Social Studies curriculum?

Week Two: Digging Into Inquiry & Questions
Readings: Grant, Chapters 1 & 2
Written Reflection: Making inquiry realistic in your classroom
Forum Discussion: Compelling and supporting questions

Week Three: Getting Real: Finding Sources for Inquiry
Readings: Grant, Chapter 4
Written Reflection: Which sources will support your lessons?
Forum Discussion: Sharing sources that support inquiry

Week Four: Key Components of an Inquiry Based Lesson
Readings: Grant, Chapter 3
C3 Inquiry Hub example lessons at the elementary, middle and high school level

Written Reflection: Describing the key inquiry components in your example lesson
Forum Discussion: What would you model from the hub examples in your own lessons?

Week Five: Integrating Social Studies Concepts into Other Subjects
Readings: Differentiated example lessons from the C3 Social Studies Hubs
Written Assignment: How would you integrate other subjects into an inquiry based social studies lesson?
Forum Discussion: Presenting a well integrated unit from the C3 Hubs

Week Six: Designing an inquiry based lesson for your own classroom
McTighe, J. (2005). UBD Unit Design by Jay McTighe
Wiggins, G. (2013). Introduction to Understanding by Design: Video One Video Two
Written Assignment: C3 Aligned, Inquiry Based Mini-Unit to be posted on class forum
Forum Discussion: Mini-Unit Feedback to Peers

Week Seven: Presenting your inquiry based lesson
Written Assignment: Final Draft of C3 Aligned, Inquiry-Based Mini-Unit
Forum Discussion: Reflections on the process

Final Project:

Classroom Action Plan: Designing a C3 Aligned, Inquiry-Based Mini-Unit that will be taught in your social studies classroom.


It is expected that participants will be highly engaged in each classroom forum discussion. Forum discussions will demonstrate the participants’ understanding of new information learned in each week. Weekly Written Reflections will demonstrate the participant’s ability to apply course concepts to their own instruction. The completion of the final project will demonstrate the participant’s ability to identify key areas of instructional improvement in the participant’s classroom and concrete steps that he or she will take to improve student learning outcomes and behavior.

Required texts

Required texts are not included in the course tuition.

Grant, Swan & Lee (2017) Inquiry-Based Practice in Social Studies Education

National Council for the Social Studies (2014) C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

C3 Teachers

For additional course information

David Wells
(802) 661-4049

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!