Practices

Hillsborough's students engage in the follow social studies practices.

Developing Questions and Planning Inquiry - Developing insightful questions and planning effective inquiry involves identifying the purposes of different questions to understand the human experience, which requires addressing real world issues. Inquiries incorporating questions from various social science disciplines build understanding of the past, present and future; these inquiries investigate the complexity and diversity of individuals, groups, and societies.


Gathering and Evaluating Sources - Finding, evaluating and organizing information and evidence from multiple sources and perspectives are the core of inquiry. Effective practice requires evaluating the credibility of primary and secondary sources, assessing the reliability

of information, analyzing the context of information, and corroborating evidence across sources. Discerning opinion from fact and interpreting the significance of information requires thinking critically about ourselves and the world.


Seeking Diverse Perspectives - Making sense of research findings requires thinking about what information is included, whether the information answers the question, and what may be missing, often resulting in the need to complete additional research. Developing an understanding of our own and others’ perspectives builds understanding about the complexity of each person and the diversity in the world. Exploring diverse perspectives assists students in empathizing with other individuals and groups of people; quantitative and qualitative information provides insights into specific people, places, and events, as well as national, regional, and global trends.


Developing Claims and Using Evidence - Developing claims requires careful consideration of evidence, logical organization of information, self-awareness about biases, application of analysis skills, and a willingness to revise conclusions based on the strength of evidence. Using evidence responsibly means developing claims based on factual evidence, valid reasoning, and a respect for human rights.


Presenting Arguments and Explanations - Using a variety of formats designed for a purpose and an authentic audience forms the basis for clear communication. Strong arguments contain claims with organized evidence and valid reasoning that respects the diversity of the world and

the dignity of each person. Writing findings and engaging in civil discussion with an audience provides a key step in the process of thinking critically about conclusions and continued inquiry.


Engaging in Civil Discourse and Critiquing Conclusions - Assessing and refining conclusions through metacognition, further research, and deliberative discussions with diverse perspectives sharpens the conclusions and improves thinking as a vital part of the process of sensemaking. Responsible citizenship requires respectfully listening to and critiquing claims by analyzing the evidence and reasoning supporting them. Listening to and understanding contrary views can deepen learning and lay the groundwork for seeking consensus.


Taking Informed Action After thoroughly investigating questions, taking informed action means building consensus about possible actions and planning strategically to implement change. Democracy requires citizens to practice discussion, negotiation, coalition seeking, and peaceful conflict resolution. When appropriate, taking informed action involves creating and/or implementing action plans designed to solve problems and create positive change.

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