K-12 Learning Progressions in Social Studies

A Working Definition:

“Learning progressions are descriptions of the successively more sophisticated ways of thinking about a topic that can follow one another as students learn about and investigate a topic over a broad span of time.” 
NRC (2007)Taking Science to School 

Teachers can use Learning Progressions within a content by:
  • Identifying a sub goal of the larger learning progression based on what students already know and what learning is ahead.
  • Breaking the sub goal down into a smaller learning progression that can be used to organize units.
  • Establishing clear transfer goals, understanding, essential questions.
  • Developing meaningful assessments (especially formative).
  • Planning & modifying instruction (how to teach the standards).
  • Monitoring progress (mastery of specific concepts & skills: Novice <------>Expert).
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