A well implemented inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning may look vastly different from traditional approaches to teaching History-Social Science (HSS). A classroom may look chaotic at first glance, but upon a deeper look, students in an inquiry-based lesson are learning the content in ways relevant and meaningful to them. The resources found on this page will help administrators learn the hallmarks of an authentic inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning, what to look for when observing an inquiry lesson, and ways to foster an environment on campus that welcomes and celebrates such an approach.
What is Inquiry?
Modules for Elementary and Secondary Administrators
Inquiry is one of the most significant shifts discussed in California’s History-Social Science Framework. A well-planned and implemented inquiry helps teachers realize each shift identified in the Framework. Through inquiry, students engage with content in meaningful ways, learn and practice critical literacy skills, and relate their historical study to present-day issues to become an informed and active citizen in their community.
The modules below provide administrators with an overview of the inquiry process, examples of what they should expect to see in a true inquiry-based classroom at the elementary and secondary levels, and finally some tips and suggestions about how to create and foster a culture of inquiry on any school site.
Helpful Resources to Consider
The Los Angeles County Office of Education has produced webinars for administrators on topics important to supporting teachers’ implementation of the HSS Framework.
California History-Social Science Framework Overview for School Administrators
This brief archived webinar will acquaint school administrators with the four themes of the California History-Social Science Framework and provide tips on what to look for when you visit classrooms and how you can support implementation.
FAIR Act for Administrators
This webinar provides valuable information to assist school administrators in implementing the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, Respectful (FAIR) Act to add instruction in history-social science about the role and contribution of persons with disabilities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans; and other ethnic and cultural groups to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States, with a particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society, as required in Senate Bill 48.