Social Studies

Published: 2/15/2018 1:44 PM

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) states that social studies "is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence." For students to become fully empowered participants in democracy, students must draw upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, sociology as well as content from the humanities to develop broad conceptual understandings in social studies. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions as citizens of a diverse democratic society in an interdependent world.
Civics Education Introduction: A Presentation from Dr. Larry Paska
This summer Dr. Larry Paska, the current president of the National Council for the Social Studies, joined the Kentucky Department of Education at each of our Civics Symposia to discuss data about social studies in the nation's schools and its impact on civics education. The video of Dr. Paska's presentation is available here. The PowerPoint Dr. Paska references throughout his presentation may be found here.


KAS Social Studies Standards Public Comment Feedback Period
Senate Bill 1 (2017) calls for the KDE to implement a process for reviewing all academic standards and aligned assessments beginning in the 2017-18 school year. The current schedule calls for one or two content areas to be reviewed each year and every six years thereafter on a rotating basis. The revision process for social studies standards will begin in January 2018.
To provide feedback on the Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies, please use the following link to access the KAS for social studies public comment feedback survey. The survey is also available at Due to the amount of text within the survey, it is recommended that surveys be completed on a full-size computer or laptop screen.  Feedback on the current social studies standards will be collected by the Appalachia Regional Conference Center (ARCC) through Thursday, February 22, 2018.
Questions on this process can be directed to​.​

For more information on the social studies standards revision process, view the Office of Teaching and Learning's Social Studies Standards Revision webcast, view the Social Studies Standards Revision Process Critical Fact Sheet, or visit the Social Studies Standards webpage.

Nominations Open for History Teacher of the Year

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is seeking nominations for the Kentucky History Teacher of the Year. State History Teachers of the Year receive $1,000, an archive of materials for their school's library, and an invitation to attend a 2019 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar.

In addition to the state prize, state winners also become finalists for the national award. The national winner will receive a $10,000 prize and attend a ceremony in their honor in New York City.

A list of frequently asked questions outlines who is eligible for the award and the criteria for winning the award among other information. Nominate someone for History Teacher of the Year using the online nomination form. The deadline for 2018 nominations is March 31, 2018.​

2017-18 Assessment Information
Current social studies assessments will continue based on CCA 4.1 for SS in grades 5 and 8.
For the past several years the high school level end-of-course exams have been provided through a contract with ACT QualityCore. The contract for those exams has ended.  A U.S. History end-of-course exam will be developed by Kentucky teachers and then field tested once the social studies standards have been revised and approved. 
For more information on the standards revision process, visit the social studies standards page on the KDE website. Reference this chart for the proposed Kentucky Academic Standards Review/Revision Schedule.
Note: assessment revisions will lag behind the standards revisions at least one year. 
Beginning in July 2018, a student must pass, with 60% accuracy, a Civics Test composed of 100 questions in order to graduate from a public high school with a regular diploma. For more information on the Civics Test, visit the KDE Civics Test webpage.
Stay Connected
  • Listservs: Click to subscribe to listservs, such as KYSOCSTU, for information about the social studies community.


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Lauren Gallicchio
Office of Teaching and Learning
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-9850
Fax (502) 564-6470