Social Studies Review 2018

Review Details

2019 revised standards - Chapter 132 




Allison Hunter

RSU 57


Allison Ladner

RSU 39


Amy Wright

RSU 23


Andrew Reddy

Biddeford Schools


Carrie Emmerson



Chad Greene



Christina Randall

RSU 19


Crystal Polk



David Greenham

Holocaust & Human Rights Center of Maine


Debra Stevens

RSU 34


Derek Carroll

RSU 68


Donna Olsen

Lewiston Public Schools


Donna Short

RSU 25


Doretta Callahan

RSU 22


Erin Towns

Auburn School Department


Garrett Martin



Geoffrey Wingard

Bangor School Department


John Bear Mitchell

Native American Programs at the University of Maine


Jon Edstrom

Biddeford Schools


Kate Kennedy

Bangor School Department


Keith Newman



Logan Landry

RSU 16


Megan Hoffman

AOS 94


Nate Theriault

Auburn School Department


Nicole Madore



Samantha Drost

SAD 42


Sarah Simmonds

Falmouth Schools


Shana Goodall

RSU 26


Shane Gower

RSU 38


Shawn Magaw

RSU 57


Sonja Abbott

Auburn School Department


Stephanie Nichols

Gorham School District


Valerie Young

RSU 16



Steering Committee Guidance to the Writing Team


  • Bring up to date with clear language
  • Identify terms that need to be defined
  • Be consistent with terms throughout the document
  • Be aware of teacher capacity at all grade levels
  • Update with technology as appropriate
  • Thoughtfully thread the topics of Maine Native American History and Maine history into the standards and performance indicators as they currently seem to be add-ons.
  • Reorganize document so that “Strand A” is not viewed as another part of content
    • B-E should become A-D and stand alone as content
    • Strand A should become an overarching piece that shows how it connects to teaching the content and the student application of their knowledge and skills


Intro/Key Idea:

  • Put a greater emphasis on skills
  • Update the eras
  • Identify more “themes” than unity & diversity
  • Emphasize the idea of connecting and spiraling across K-12
  • More specific information about Maine Native American and Maine history statutes.

Strand A - Application:

  • Reorganize document (see above) so that we “lead with A”
  • Either combine A3 with A2 or use A3 to promote a variety of rigorous/authentic assessments that go behind a community service project
  • Identify skills that can be used to find “common ground” with other content areas


Strand B - Civics & Government:

  • B3 can’t be a catch all for unity/diversity, global, Maine Native American, immigrants, etc
    • Most likely will need to be split


Strand C - Economics

  • Needs to be retitled Personal Finance and Economics
  • The standard needs to be re-written to reflect “good” personal finance and not just have the term added into the standard. Focus should be given to make sure that the key topics from the PF definition are included - “The aspects of individuals or family life that involve earning and spending money; often includes making budget choices, savings and investing, the use of credit, and managing risk and insurance.”
  • Move C1 & C2 down to C2 & C3 and create a C1 for personal finance
  • The new C1 should pull the personal finance out of the original C1 (which will help narrow it down a bit), and look at national standards to strengthen the new C1.


Strand D - Geography

  • Modernize to reflect: best practices, up to date terminology, and technology


Strand E - History

  • The use of primary & secondary sources need to be identified earlier in the standards
  • Replace “multiple sources” with primary/secondary


Narrative of Steering Committee Work and Timeline


  • A list of potential steering committee members were approved by the commissioner’s office on January 29, 2018 and they were invited to participate via email on January 31, 2018. The steering committee was comprised to represent different grade levels, different roles in education (teachers, administrators, higher education, and non-profit organizations), different areas of expertise across the content area, and different geographic representation.
  • All members of the steering committee accepted the invitation to participate by February 2, 2018 and using a doodle poll created on February 5, 2018 to pick a meeting date. On February 6, 2018, the steering committee agreed upon a meeting date of April 16, 2018 with May 31, 2018 as a second meeting if necessary.
  • Public comments were open from February 5, 2018 through March 16, 2018 with public hearings taking place in Augusta on February 27, Houlton on February 28, and Westbrook on March 1.
  • On February 7, the Department of Education reached out to known social studies and education stakeholders to let them know that a review of the Maine Learning Results in Social Studies was beginning with a public comments period.
  • Via email on March 27, 2018 the steering committee was given the resources need to prepare for their meeting. This included a copy of all of the submitted public comments including transcribed copies of public comments that were presented in person at one of the hearings. It also included a collection of current research and identified best practices in social studies education.
  • On April 3, 2018 the steering committee was sent an email giving them the assignment to do a SWOT analysis on the following areas of the Maine Learning Results in Social Studies: Introduction/Key Ideas, Applications of Social Studies, Civics and Government, Economics, Geography, History.
  • On April 16, 2018 the steering committee met and created guidance for the writing team. The day was spent reviewing the purpose of the team, relevant state statutes, the current standards, and public comments. The current state standards were reviewed using the SWOT analysis protocol. Each section that was identified for the committee to review on April 3 (Introduction/Key Ideas, Applications of Social Studies, Civics and Government, Economics, Geography, History) was discussed one section at a time. The group shared all of the strengths that they had identified and all suggested strengths were compiled. The group then reviewed the entire list and narrowed down the highlights of what they wanted to focus on. The process was repeated for the weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of each section. At the end of the SWOT analysis of the section, the group reviewed the highlighted ideas across the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in order to summary what parts of the section needed to be maintained and what parts need to be revised. Parts of the section that needed revision, the steering committee worked to reach a consensus of what the guidance should look like based on a combination professional experience and researched best practices in the field of social studies. At the end of the SWOT analysis, time was spent reviewing the public comments to ensure that feedback that was provided was discussed during the analysis or taken into consideration when the guidance was being developed. At the end of the day, the team was given additional time to review the guidance that had been drafted during day, to review the public comments to make sure that the guidance aligned with the feedback included in the public comments, and to provide another opportunity to provide any additional thoughts or feedback.
  • From April 17 through May 4, every member of the steering committee reviewed the guidance and responded to questions about the work regarding possible still to be completed work and questions.
  • From May 4 through May 7, the state Social Studies Specialist reviewed the feedback and deemed that the overall thoughts from the feedback from the steering committee was that they felt that the guidance reflected the best practices and research in social studies and that all public comments had been taken into account while crafting the guidance.
  • On May 8, each member of the steering committee was emailed and asked to confirm that they had reviewed the final draft of the guidance, if they felt there were any additional edits to be made, if this is the guidance that they want to provide to the writing team, and to confirm that they feel the work of the steering committee had met its intended goal and that all of the work was complete.
  • On May 16, the last member of the steering committee responded to give unanimous agreement that the initial work of the steering committee was complete and ready to share with the writing team.
  • A call for educators to participate as a member of the writing team was publicly posted through the DOE Newsroom on May 22 and known social studies and education stakeholder were contacted directly on May 23.


Steering Committee Representatives

Mary Dyer – Maine Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy– (Augusta): President

            Mary serves as the president of the Maine Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. The mission of this group is to improve the financial knowledge of Maine citizens, with a special focus on Pre-K through college-aged students, including adult learners. Working collaboratively, the Coalition seeks to increase awareness and provide training and support to Maine educators while also promoting educational resources and fostering communication among agencies and individuals who provide financial education to Maine families. The Maine Jump$tart Coalition is also part of the National Jump$tart Coalition that serves as a national leader in the development of Personal Finance standards. The Maine Jump$tart Coalition also oversees the Maine LifeSmarts Program that is intended to develop the consumer and marketplace skills of teens. Although Mary is not an educator, her work is intended to help teachers, students, and young adults understand and develop some of the skills necessary to succeed in the world both during and after their schooling is complete.


Patrick Hartnett - RSU #17/Oxford Hills: Assistant Superintendent

            With a Ph.D. in Public Policy and as a former social studies teacher in history and political science, Patrick has the content background knowledge necessary to understand the pedagogy needed in the standards. He also participated as a teacher in the 1996-97 writing of the original social studies learning results for Maine. RSU #17 is in the process of a review of their social studies curriculum and proficiency implementation which has led Patrick to research current best practices and develop an understanding of both state and national trends. This district level experience will give the committee insight into potential issues of district implementation that the writing committee will need to be aware of. As a former state principal of the year and a current assistant superintendent, Patrick brings a vision of standards implementation and how districts will need to be supported.


Kathleen Neumann - Maine Historical Society (Portland): Manager of Education & Interpretive Programs

In her position as Manager of Education and Interpretive Programs for the Maine Historical Society in Portland, the focus of Kathleen’s job is to develop curriculum and programming for not only teachers and students in grades Pk-16, but also adult learning and community opportunities. She is a former middle school and high school teacher with both a bachelor’s and Master’s degree in History and certificate in public history. Kathleen understands the essential critical thinking skills that are necessary for students of all ages to access education materials in order to make connections in learning throughout Maine’s history and beyond its borders. With programs that focus on the analysis, research, and interpretation of primary and secondary sources, participants are able to take their learning beyond the typical classroom. Kathleen is an officer for the Maine Council for the Social Studies and she has also helped Mystic Seaport, The Museum of America and the Sea develop online curriculum and learning communities for teachers and students.


Nicole Rancourt - Maine Humanities Council (Portland): Program Officer

As a former middle school humanities teacher, Nicole has the content background knowledge necessary to understand the pedagogy needed in the standards. While in the classroom, she also participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Teaching American History program that was directed by the U.S. Department of Education. Nicole is currently the Program Officer at the Maine Humanities Council where her background makes her one of the state level experts in making connections between the content of social studies and the necessary disciplinary literacy skills of both reading and writing in the field of social studies. This background supports a growing interest both nationally and in Maine to make sure that disciplinary literacy is supported and highlighted in each of the specific content areas. Nicole currently serves on the board of the Maine Council for the Social Studies. She is also a former National History Day judge who currently coordinates and runs the National History Day judging room for the Maine state competition.


Kim Sebold - University of Maine at Presque Isle: Professor of History

Kimberly is one of the leaders in social studies education in the state of Maine. With a Ph.D. in History and her current position of History professor at the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI), she was selected to represent Maine as a reviewer for the National Council for the Social Studies C3 Framework before its release in 2013. Kimberly’s research about the implementation of proficiency based education in history at UMPI led her to also incorporating the Thinking Like a Historian Framework in her approach to developing the core competencies that are needed in the field of social studies both inside and outside of the classroom. She is currently working on a competency based History curriculum that like the rest of the personalized learning programs at UMPI focuses on six key traits including preparation for a career, real-world application, and real-world problem solving. Kimberly has also worked with teachers around Arookstook County to develop best practices in social studies for their classroom while also serving as part of the Maine Geographic Alliance.

Mike Thurston - AOS 92/Winslow High School: Social Studies Teacher & Department Chair

            Mike has spent the past 33 years teaching secondary social studies and brings the classroom experience necessary to understand the role of standards in teaching students and the content knowledge in social studies necessary to give guidance to the writing team. He has also served as an educational leader in both his role as the social studies department chair at Winslow High School and in his service on the National Education Association Board of Directors for seven years. Mike has been recognized by the Maine Department of Education for his expertise in education by being appointed to DOE task force group that include topics such as, graduation requirements, school choice, and standards based diplomas. His experience in these task force groups will provide valuable feedback and guidance around the creation new social studies standards for Maine and their rollout around the state. The combination of social studies classroom experience and as an educational leader outside of the classroom, makes Mike a leader in education in Maine.


Katrin Teel - Bangor Christian Schools: High School Government Teacher

            As a current high school Government teacher and the former Business Studies Program Director at Beal College, Katrin has the experience in helping students prepare for the world around them in a variety of different venues. As a government teacher, she has the background knowledge and classroom experience to guide the development of social studies standards especially in the political science strand. In her previous role at Beal College, Katrin worked with both institutions of higher learning and with the business community to develop and maintain a Business Studies program that met the needs of students as they explored and entered various parts of the workforce. This understanding of the real world demands of employers combined with her experience in government both professionally and as an educator will allow Katrin to bring a perspective that covers the multiple avenues of college, career, and public service that a student may choose to pursue after college.


Patrick Womac - University of Maine at Orono: Assistant Professor of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction

With a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and is a former teacher, Patrick has the content and pedagogical background knowledge necessary to understand how teachers will have to work to implement and assess the skills and content embedded in the standards. He currently teaches social studies methods classes for elementary and secondary teachers and is able to share the perspective of the unique challenges that they have in incorporating social studies into their curriculum. Patrick’s research and teaching emphasize the importance of interconnecting the social sciences at the elementary level, and framing secondary instruction on an inquiry-based foundation. He has experience working with social studies standards in Tennessee, Washington, and South Carolina (all states that have recently revised their standards). He is a leader in the field of geographic literacy and has worked with Kathy Swan and other leaders in social studies education on the development and implementation of the National Council for the Social Studies C3 Framework for social studies.

Public Comment Video

Public Comment Submitted to Maine DOE February - March 2018

Connors, John - (PDF)

Maine Curriculum Leaders Association - (PDF)

Marshwood Middle School Social Studies Department - (PDF)

Greene, Chad - (PDF)

Cheever, David - (PDF)

Clark, Kelly - (PDF)

Griffith, Susan - (PDF)

Dugovic, Susan - (PDF)

Kane, Paula W. Roy - (PDF)

Nokes, Eileen - (PDF)

Hargrove, Jesse - (PDF)

Oullette, Cassandra - (PDF)

Larson, Andres - (PDF)

Cooper, Amanda - (PDF)

Graffam, Holly - (PDF)

Flynn, Bernie - (PDF)

Olsen, Donna - (PDF)

Ghiglieri, Nate - (PDF)

Doughty, Karen - (PDF)

Thibodeau, Bobbie - (PDF)