Kurt Knierim, a CSU History alumnus who now teaches Secondary Social Studies Teaching Methods for the CSU History Department, was recently chosen to serve on the Colorado Department of Education’s Colorado Academic Standards Review and Revision Committee. Out of over 580 applicants, Kurt’s expertise in U.S. History, his commitment to students, and his experience working on previous state projects stood out.


According to Knierim, “I feel honored to have been chosen to further this work.”  He explains that the Colorado High School History Standards are the frame by which all public high school social studies teachers operate. All the teaching concentration majors in history and the other social studies in Colorado tie these standards to every lesson they present and every lesson plan they write. Once in the classroom, part of the evaluation of history teachers is linked to their ability to teach to and be familiar with the Colorado High School History Standards. These standards are skills – based and reflect the craft of the historian. When CSU students take the EDUC 465 course that our department offers, they work closely within this framework.


Colorado State law requires that standards for K-12 social studies education be revised every six years. Knierim will be working on the revision due July 1 2018. And he’s looking forward to the process. “Having worked with the state on several other projects, I know that they strive to choose the best teams possible for these sorts of projects because of the high stakes nature of how these standards are used.”