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'Think like a historian': State approves new social studies standards

A group of students sitting at desks inside a classroom.
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Social studies education in Connecticut public schools has gotten several updates in recent years. For example, a statute requiring local Indigenous history went into effect this year, after collaboration between Connecticut's major tribes on a K-12 curriculum. Also, a statute in 2022 called for Asian American and Pacific Islander studies, and is set to roll out in the fall of 2025.

The state legislature combined many of these mandates in 2021, calling for a "model curriculum."

This curriculum should include Native American studies and AAPI studies, the bill stated, in addition to LGBTQ studies, climate change, financial literacy, military service and veterans, civics, media literacy, the principles of social-emotional learning, and racism. It was a long list and a tall order, and prompted the Connecticut State Department of Education to gather a group of experts on all of these fronts, and construct a new set of social studies standards.

This hour, we hear from some of them and preview that document.


  • Steve Armstrong: Social Studies Advisor, Connecticut State Department of Education; Past President, National Council for the Social Studies
  • Tony Roy: President, Connecticut Council for the Social Studies; Social Studies Teacher, Bloomfield Public Schools
  • Dr. Brittney Yancy: Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies, Illinois College
  • Dr. Michael Bartone: Associate Professor, Central Connecticut State University's Department of Literacy, Elementary, and Early Childhood Education

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Katie is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show 'Where We Live.' She has previously worked for CNN and News 8-WTNH.
Catherine is the Host of Connecticut Public’s morning talk show and podcast, Where We Live. Catherine and the WWL team focus on going beyond the headlines to bring in meaningful conversations that put Connecticut in context.