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Supporting quality social studies instruction: the social studies practices continuum

Susan Erickson (Weston Public Schools, Weston, Massachusetts, USA)
Kerry A. Dunne (Lexington Public Schools, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA)
Christopher C. Martell (College of Education and Human Development, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 14 September 2021

Issue publication date: 8 October 2021




This article presents the social studies practices continuum, which is a tool that supports social studies teachers in implementing inquiry-based practices in their classrooms. It was designed by the authors based on similar instruments found in science education and informed by the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies Standards.


The article describes the instrument's creation and describes its use with preservice teachers in teacher preparation programs, inservice teachers during district-based professional development.


The continuum has been used as a reflective tool for teachers and curriculum developers, and as a tool for instructional coaches and administrators to improve teaching practices.


This article offers a new tool for teachers and supervisors to use in improving instruction.



Erickson, S., Dunne, K.A. and Martell, C.C. (2021), "Supporting quality social studies instruction: the social studies practices continuum", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 172-178.



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