Arabella Pruett

Arabella Pruett, an eighth grader at Central Middle School reads to her class out of her social studies textbook.

Changes are coming to Edmond Public Schools in the way social studies is taught. The change comes in an effort to reach a new generation of technology users and curious minds.

The current elementary curriculum is 13 years old, last adopted in 2007 and the secondary curriculum has been in place since 2012.

“The history portion has not changed, but what has changed is how we look at it,” said Liz Rogers, social studies content specialist for the district. 

Forty-eight district leaders are gathering to collaborate on how to make sure the proposed curriculum is blending itself among the grade levels.

Changes to the curriculum will align with the new 2019 state standards which provide a four-strand framework of incorporating history, geography, civics and economics together.

The enhanced curriculum will include adding more discussions on current civic events, more technology usage, and studies on tribal sovereignty, Rogers said. Additionally, students will be introduced to more evidence-based writing, critical reading, and interpretation of the sources they are using.

“The new grade-level standards will be more robust and seamless,” Rogers said.

Lynn Neumeister, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Central Middle School has been a part of the collaboration effort. 

“Every social studies teacher in our district will have a say in this,” she said.

After teaching 37 years, Neumeister said the way teachers teach and the way students learn has changed. The curriculum used to be a checklist of things students needed to learn, Neumeister said, but now it requires a much more in-depth look at social relationships and the functioning of society. She expects the new curriculum to achieve that.

Neumeister said, “The proposed changes are good for students, encouraging them to become better informed about the world around them.” 

A final vote on curriculum changes will happen in early April.

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