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Integrating the C3 Framework in the social studies: an action research study

Meghan McGlinn Manfra (North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Jeffrey A. Greiner (Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA)

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 14 December 2020

Issue publication date: 25 May 2021




The C3 Framework is a recent example in a long history within the field of social studies education of efforts to engage teachers and students in inquiry-oriented teaching and learning. While there is some research regarding the efficacy of the inquiry design model (IDM) of the C3 Framework, few studies have sought to engage social studies teachers as coresearchers as they integrate the framework. This study addressed a persistent divide between the theory and practice of integrating inquiry in the social studies.


In this study, a classroom teacher and a university-based researcher conducted a hybrid action research study to understand the instructional shifts that occur as the C3 Framework is fully implemented into instruction.


Based on the findings, the authors present a theory of action to highlight key opportunities to shift instruction, while also acknowledging the factors that might mitigate those shifts. In particular, the authors focus on teacher decision-making and contextual factors that allow for and hinder the full integration of inquiry.


This study is unique in developing a hybrid action research/qualitative case study that provides insider knowledge related to improving social studies teaching and learning.



Corrigendum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article, McGlinn Manfra, M. and Greiner, J.A. (2020), “Integrating the C3 Framework in the social studies: an action research study” published in Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 5, pp. 1147-1159, contained a typographical error for the author Meghan McGlinn Manfra. This error was introduced in the editorial process and has now been corrected in the online version. The publisher sincerely apologises for this error and for any inconvenience caused.


McGlinn Manfra, M. and Greiner, J.A. (2021), "Integrating the C3 Framework in the social studies: an action research study", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 28-42.



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