Teaching California


Teaching California helps teachers and school districts implement California’s new History-Social Science Framework, which was adopted by the State Board of Education in July 2016. The California History-Social Science Project served as the primary writer of the new Framework, which outlines an instructional approach that promotes student-centered inquiry and encourages students to develop clear and persuasive arguments based on their own interpretations of the past, using relevant evidence. The Framework also details how educators can teach students history-social science, while at the same time develop their proficiency in English, as outlined in the Common Core and English Language Development Standards.

Many teachers report that schools and districts do not have the resources to purchase new textbooks or other instructional materials to support implementation of the new Framework. This is due to Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), the 2013 law that ended categorical funding for local schools and districts. Without a mandate from the state, or pressure locally, new books or other resources necessary to teach the updated approach to History-Social Science simply will not be available, despite growing interest.


Funded by a grant from the State Department of Education via the San Francisco Unified School District, Teaching California is designed to address existing needs and provide a sustainable model for future instructional material development: a free, online, and open curriculum program, aligned with the new Framework.

Set to launch summer 2019, Teaching California offers schools and teachers classroom-ready resources designed to engage students in exciting and inspiring investigations of the past. Our grade-specific instructional materials will each address a grade-level standard in the Framework, and are comprised of curated primary source materials — letters written in the days following the 1906 earthquake and fire, to early photographs of urban and rural California—from California’s premier archives, libraries, and museums. Also including related secondary sources, strategies for improving student literacy, and primary source analysis tools, these instructional materials will help implement a research-based approach to improve student reading, writing, and critical thinking.

Teaching California encourages teachers and students to embrace an interpretation of history that places California at the center of the study of the past, where appropriate and relevant, by offering local and state examples of national and worldwide histories and highlighting the rich, varied, and impactful contributions of Californians. And as a cultural heritage institution with a growing Digital Library, this process also supports the rapid digitization of the California Historical Society’s collections, enabling students and the wider public to access and engage with primary source materials for years to come.

Explore our new beta website at teachingcalifornia.org. For more information about Teaching California, please contact us at teachingcalifornia@calhist.org.