Revisions and Additions to the Illinois Social Science Standards

Last week, The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a bipartisan legislative oversight committee created by the Illinois General Assembly, approved revisions to the K-12 Illinois Social Science standards. The changes were created by a committee of educators representing the diversity of the Land of Lincoln under the leadership of Elizabeth Hiler, Principal Consultant of Social Science, and Erica Thieman, Director Of K-12 Curriculum and Instruction at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

While Illinois Civics Hub (ICH) did not participate in these standards revisions, the ICH hosted a series of feedback sessions for stakeholders to discuss the revisions and provide feedback during open comment to ISBE prior to the revisions being sent to JCAR for approval. A copy of this feedback and response by ISBE to the feedback can be found on the ISBE website in the meeting agenda for the June 16, 2021 board meeting.

The current social science standards continue to shape school curriculum for the 2021-22 school year. The revised standards impact the 2022-23 school year. The Illinois Civics Hub has created a google document for each grade band, placing the current standards, proposed revisions, and final revisions and additions side by side to help planning for curriculum shifts. Please note that the coding system for the standards has changed throughout the grade levels. Any changes in language from the proposed revisions to final adoption are bolded and highlighted in yellow.

Dr. Charles Tocci, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, School of Education, Loyola University Chicago, recently facilitated a webinar, Revising Illinois’ Social Science Standards: Meeting the Needs of All Our Students. The webinar featured six members of the revision task force who explained why it is important for Illinois to be a leader in teaching inclusive and empowering social studies. A recording of the webinar can be accessed at this link.